dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we know, Elly seems to have spent most of the strip's history trying to get people to take her seriously and regard her concerns as legitimate and worthy of attention and respect. From the dawn era in which John assumed that she just sat around all day eating bon-bons and watching soaps to the end times when Mike still didn't quite see what she did for him, Elly yearned to have what she said not be treated like so much horse buns.

The reason that I mention this is that she seemed to have gone out of her way to avoid taking her children seriously because doing so would lead to the downfall of Western civilisation. When we look at the Picky-Face Martian Princess Creature, we see an unhappy little girl who people dread having to listen to lest some ill-defined disaster in which she rides roughshod over everyone because she's too ignorant and selfish to care about 'real' things ruin things for everyone else. They see the monster who wants Mike and his family to die in a gutter because the alternative is realizing that her feelings actually matter to her.

The reason that this is not a shock to me is that I remember the way everyone acted as if Molly Thomas wanted Bad Things For Everyone because she wouldn't admit that Connie had every right to throw her weight around and treat her like a shitheel who needed her attitude adjusted because her demeaning comments, refusal to take her seriously and screaming to the crazy woman next door she just HAD to move next to came from a place of (self-)love. Five bucks says that the scrawny old loon still thinks that she wasn't a sordid joke.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
We are, I should think, about a year away from Elly's trying to argue her way out of a traffic citation. The reason that I mention this is that we're dealing with a sequence in which Elly loses by being intimidated. We start off with Elly being made too self-conscious by John's sports car to function normally because the speed and advertising-created danger of the thing intimidate someone who thinks that her station wagon affords her more safety. Since she's too damned nervous to function correctly, she winds up making a fool of herself fighting a traffic ticket. The reason that I mention this is that most of Elly's 'thing' about machines stems from them scaring her on one level or another.

This seems to be a problem endemic to her generation, I should think. A lot of the fear of technological change seems to me to stem from a fear of screwing up and breaking things and losing face. People these days really tend to underestimate the role of 'face' in human events and it ends up costing them. The one it usually ends up costing is, of course, April because she doesn't understand how terrified her mother is of all of the gizmos she takes for granted because Elly would sooner eat a bucket of live scorpions than admit to being afraid of something. This is odd because you'd think April would have connected that with all of the times Elly never admitted to having misjudged someone to her detriment. Elly doesn't want to admit to having misjudged Kortney because it would make her look bad.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Now, before I get to the meat of this essay, I'd like to remind you of a certain fact that Elly is at pains to avoid. Said fact is that after the kids came into the picture, she gave herself an excuse for not really pursuing the BA in English she once thought would make her dreams come true. While part of me wants her to read the comic strip "Dustin" and have her realize that his Bachelor Of Arts in English Lit makes him pretty much unemployable, most of me tends to see her as someone I remember from years ago: the person who sort of flagged and failed because she wasn't the smartest person in the room any longer. I've always sort of thought that most of Elly's problem is the same one that's going to cripple Hilary Forth: the inability to deal with the fact that she's an ordinary person who people aren't going to do favours for. This means that the realization that the 'too good to be true' types who 'had' to be getting help actually WERE more competent than she was destroyed her further interest in higher education because it would not achieve the end result of her mother finally praising her in public.

She cannot, of course, admit that to herself so needs to have an alibi for the fact that she's too overwhelmed by the fear of having her mother's ghost criticizing her and making her feel bad for being an ordinary person to contemplate finishing her schooling. How fortunate for her that twenty-five years ago, she and John got hammered and created said alibi. If April hadn't fooled all of us, Elly would have to find a different excuse to keep off campus and she'd be surrounded by adult children who'd call her on her hypocrisy about homework and that would be awful. She'd end up with a degree and children who saw through her and she'd have to look in the mirror and see an idiot who feared the opportunities that were dangled in front of her. This, I should think, would be why she'd probably be actively resisting April's attempt to shove her into getting her BA so that she can stop feeling like a second-class citizen and turning the discussion around on her. Anything to not admit that she's too damned terrified of what a dead woman might say to get something she deserves.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
You will no doubt have noticed that Elly justifies her obsessive, toxic need to suppress her children's individuality by flailing her limbs and wailing idiotically about preserving their youth and innocence. Mike and Lizzie couldn't dress as punk rockers because that clearly meant that they wanted to turn their backs on happiness and goodness and so on and so forth because the alternative was admitting that she was just a petty nitwit who was jealous that someone who wasn't her got to decide what her kids wore. We are currently in an early round of Elly's blind panic about how children want to grow up too fast and leave her alone and old and forgotten because the deluded mental pygmy needs to feel miserable and victimized in order to justify herself to herself.

The reason that I mention this is that were we to raise the curtain on the Patterson family, we are going to have to endure Elly sitting in her kitchen wailing to Connie about her concerns as regards April. It makes too much sense to assume that Elly is engaged in petulant whining and idiotic hand wringing because she's too stupid and stubborn to admit that April has a damned good reason not to be in close contact with a dough-headed mother who made little secret of her belief that she ruined everyone's lives by being born. Given Connie's own stupid entitlement issues and on-going outrage at a son who won't allow her to be an insane mother of the bride, she'll have the same anti-child sympathetic ear as they whine about how terrible and cruel and ungrateful children are trying to be people in their own right to be unfair to their imbecile mothers. It matters not that Mike and Liz have been reduced to pathetic freaks eager to curry favour with a monster mother who wants to wrap them in Mother's final loving garment (viz. 'the winding sheet') as long as someone stubbornly refuses to see the love and care and generosity that wants to smash down the barriers to admitting that only Elly gets to define what she is despite the fact that it was her stupidity that eventually led to Farley's death. More on that next.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Of course, one of the things Elly WILL be complaining about when she reaches yet another arbitrary milestone that somehow means that she is too old to enjoy life any longer is that Christmas no longer means what it used to when she was a young mother. While I have no doubt that she will somehow remember what used to be a frantic, thankless and unrewarding scramble to make things just right for an oaf husband and blind children who did actually really take her for granted into a time of magic and happiness and delight, the plain fact of the matter is that Elly is now bored out of her tiny mind now that Deanna is the primary hostess.

After all, there are no tiny hands rooting through her closet looking for presents. There are no children underfoot disturbing her as she makes the dessert she's been assigned to make. There are no cartoons on her television, she's been told where to get the gift cards she secretly wishes were an option back in the eighties despite constantly saying otherwise, her husband has been so thoroughly domesticated that he finally starts saying that his mother never cooked so good and to top things off, Mike and Liz are getting all soppy about how they should have thanked her more. If it were not for the one thing to complain about, she'd go crazy trying to find something to do to justify getting up in the morning.

Luckily for her, she cannot declare the victory that would leave her without a reason to be alive in the first place as long as April exists. As long as April lives in a different time zone, Elly can have something to fret about and something to pester her about. As long as April insists on living a scary, risky life, Elly can be happy panicking about ghosts and phantasms. As long as April insists that she's happy with some person who clearly must be Evil Incarnate because Fearful and Incurious John and Elly have no idea who he is or what his background is, she can moan and blubber about how badly off Gerald is with that hussy Becky and how he needs April to save him from what everyone who isn't a member of Team Foob calls a pretty happy life with a great gal. As long as April and her country boy decide that it would be best for everyone for them to stay in a hotel instead of being a nuisance, Elly can moan and wail about her misguided daughter not realizing that she's loved and accepted. As long as Elly is afraid of the world and in love with the idea of bossing her children around forever (and as long as she can be aided and abetted by an imbecile husband who always blames the children when she starts freaking out like a moron), she can be kept alive by the need to panic about nothing at all. Now THAT'S the Spirit of Pattersonian Christmas: Elly turning into one of the monster parents from Sally Forth who won't lay the Hell off.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As I said yesterday, there seems to be a set pattern in how Elly deals with situations when it's obvious that she's in the wrong. Simply put, she blames the victim of her stupidity, irrationality, inflexibility and obliviousness for the end result of her terrible, arbitrary and ridiculously destructive decisions. This is why Mike was bad because he wanted to give on his future because he didn't know that when Elly did everything in her power to make him hate playing the trumpet, she thought that she was lovingly giving him the impetus to succeed despite hating her mother for doing that to her because that was magically different. It's why Liz was bad for not supporting her mother and wanting to run around with her friends because Mommy thought that having a teenager meant having a free babysitter. That being said, the victim that gets blamed the most is April. The generalized template seems to be as follows:

  1. April is placed in jeopardy owing to Elly's negligence, stupidity and refusal to understand the world around her.
  2. Elly can't admit that she's the person to blame for the problem because that would mean that she's not loving, fair, firm, kind, wise, aware or anything else that a mother is supposed to be.
  3. This means that April somehow asked for the trouble she's in and Elly is not responsible for the mess and has no duty to humiliate herself by apologizing to a lesser life-form.

There are any number of situations like this that can be plugged into the template. Off the top of my head, I remember the following plot threads:

  • "Elly knows how April was able to open the gate and has an affirmative duty to take useful corrective steps but doesn't because the steps she does take presuppose that April is a tiny adult instead of a three year old. When the predictable disaster occurs, Elly blames fate and the failure of her child to follow orders."
  • "Jeremy Jones wanted to pulverize April because his daddy ran off to play the harmonica and he thought that April was taunting him because he's stupid and angry and thinks that people only enjoy nice things to be deliberately cruel to him like the vandal he is. Elly's response is to try to force April to forgive him."
  • "April doesn't want to waste her teenaged years dressing all dowdy because Mommy is a vindictive, slut-shaming monstrosity of a woman who wants to punish the popular girls of 1965 because no one wanted to date a scowling, defensive, haughty, pig-ignorant dullard who lived to misinterpret things. Elly's response is to throw her hands up in the air and talk about how moody April is for no reason."
  • "Mom takes Kortney's side when it's obvious to everyone else that she has to be let go because Flapandhonk loves flattery and hates being told she's wrong. Elly's response is to more or less imply that April was asking for it because she dresses loose."
  • "During the Housening, Elly was too transfixed by the inconvenience to herself and the dreadful possibility of being uprooted to do anything about the shabby way John is treating April."

that were all made worse by Elly's idiocy and incompetence. What's worse, we're dealing with a potato-nosed fright who doesn't understand that April can't know that she's loved IF SHE'S NOT ACTUALLY LOVED!! Oh, Elly thinks that she loves her daughter and is there for her but the facts speak for themselves. Said facts say that we're going to be spending quite a lot of time watching Elly wring her hands about how distant April is because she doesn't see the problem: herself.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about Elly's being slumped over in despair because someone else was right about how to proceed in saving the theater is that we end up dealing with again over the years. One of the more annoying ways in which she witlessly betrayed April was by refusing to let Kortney go despite everyone else telling her "This kid isn't honest. This kid is playing you for a sucker and she's been doing it for years and you wound up getting your child jammed up in the process because you don't listen to us."

The reason that I mention that is that when Moira decided that when the failure was away, someone competent had to rise up and do what was necessary instead of what simply made her feel like some big, stupid hero, Elly's response to having her turnip nose rubbed in the truth was to cry like a child and then throw a stupid tantrum because she'd let herself be made a fool of. Her response to other people at the time was to want to not think about the problem but instead to rant at length about how OUT OF CONTROL April was for wanting to fit in with the other children who do not have vindictive bitch mothers waging a war on the popular girls of the year 1965 CE because no one wanted to date a snarling, petulant, high-strung know-nothing know-it-all who delighted in taking every little thing the wrong God-damned way. It's not about her being a chump who let herself get defrauded because she was hooked on flattery, it was about how April was, for some reason, someone who lacked trust in her pooooor, sainted mother.

Once she calmed down, she delivered the following chunk of blame-evading verbiage:

It seems our ex employee must now suffer the indignities of fingerprinting and having a police record to dog her probably for the rest of her life. Even though the people whose cheques she forged refused to press charges, she has still been found guilty of fraud and theft of cash and merchandise. She is not in prison, but is being held responsible for her actions by having to repay the amounts stolen and doing community service. She is under the care of a counselor and has to report to a probation officer. She has a lot of restrictions, and I doubt she'll be able to secure employment for quite a long time. This is a suburb of Toronto, but is still a fairly insular community and news like this travels far and fast. I feel sorry for Kortney. She seemed to self destruct for some reason. I guess I'll never know what made her do the things she did, but it's up to the justice system and perhaps support groups to help straighten her out.

that shut out any suggestion that the reason that Kortney went kablooie is that her boss was a negligent idiot who let her. The difference between this situation and the one where she knew that she was the author of her own misfortune is that she couldn't find someone to blame for her problems. She'd been talked into doing something that made her uncomfortable and scared her. She knew that what she was doing wasn't working. She knew that the only way she contributed to said goal was to serve as a delivery system for the idea of a more agile mind and she knew that the plan worked exactly how he thought it might. When it came time to sum up the catastrophic defeat that was willingly participating in being defrauded was to shoot the messenger because she had a victim to blame that wasn't her.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
It occurs to me that for all my talk about how it's te family that wants to chain Elly to the house, it's a damned sight more likely that despite her wistfulness about it all, she deliberately passed up any sort of future opportunities to travel by herself for a very telling reason: her fear that the family can actually cope without her. On a level that her conscious mind can't and won't acknowledge, Elly knows damned well that they can discover that it's perfectly fine to not have the foreboding presence of a dodo ranting about how hard her minimum cinch life is and how no one appreciates the sacrifices she won't God-damned shut up about looming over them like a black cloud of misery. They can also discover how oppressive life ceases to be when they don't have to risk being screamed at for trivial reasons, how much more pleasant dinner is if they aren't forced to wait hours to eat stodgy, indigestible food and especially how easy it is to maintain the house to any reasonable standard when not being hectored about how bad they are for not following the inefficient methods Elly thinks that she learned from her mother.

Since Elly doesn't want to admit that given a chance, John and the kids could manage perfectly well (if not better) by themselves and would probably see their occasional time without her as a fun change even if they miss her, she needs to convince herself that they simply cannot function without her in the slightest which means that sadly, she must reluctantly become the helpless organic adjunct of a stove and washer-dryer. This allows her to blame them for a defect in her own character and force them to feel guilty for denying her things she refuses to grant herself lest she be revealed to be not as important as she thinks she is. My guess is that the April of 2014 is being upbraided for selfishly denying her pooooor mother the ability to have an AWESOME time when she was away from her and her endless needs. Since the Martian's needs are allegedly insatiable, Elly cannot learn new stuff, make new friends and toast her "freedom" because if Elly could, she'd have to no longer see a special snowflake in the mirror. For a narcissist and dry drunk like her, that's a major no-no.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
While we never did quite see Elly swooping down on April's stuff, we probably shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Elly can't possibly tolerate the presence of possessions that somehow or other oppress her by raising the evil and unfair possibility that her children are people in their own right and not extensions of her will. This means that April also wound up wondering where the heck some of her stuff went. Given that she, unlike the other children, managed to figure out that Elly lies her ass off in order to shut her kids up, she seems to have learned something else. What that something else is that since objects disappear at random because crazy people take them away for insane and silly reasons, getting too attached to things is a rather foolish waste of time.

This realization that the possibility that there are people out there who arrogate to themselves the right to decide for other people what they can own seems to have kept her from getting too upset about her personal possessions when the Housening was going down. What being forced to move out of her home by crazy people doing stupid shit for ridiculous reasons has taught her is that just as getting too attached to things is a waste of time, getting too attached to living in a certain place is also a waste of energy.

The fun thing about that is that just as Elly had no idea that she taught Mike that he has to be strong to keep people from grabbing his stuff or that she taught Liz that only Liz's stuff matters, she has no idea that she taught April that belongings are essentially meaningless.
dreadedcandiru2: (Royally Peeved Candiru)
As we all know by now, [livejournal.com profile] cookie77 recently had occasion to actually discuss her concerns about the Declining Years of the strip with Lynn at a convention in Pittsburgh. It started placidly enough with Lynn making the usual whiny comment about how mean-spirited the comments we make are when our friend tried to lead Lynn to a place she simply did not want to go. Her comments about how the Pattersons themselves had become a group of selfish and unsympathetic jerks dumping all over April elicited the standard snippy comment about how we shouldn't care about how people are treated in something that's just a comic strip. Leaving aside the fact that it turns back into a magic land wherein the characters talk to her when her interlocutors fawn over her like she wants them to, what caught my eye was the thing that made Lynn reveal herself to be the unlikeable, ungrateful incompetent we have all been sickened by; simply put, her right to demonize April was called into question and she hated it. Well, that or she was asked to feel sorry for someone who is in Elly Patterson's way and, well, that clearly is too much to ask of her. Every time the Pattersons want to do something self-serving at the expense of other people, there's April hinting that their excuses are so much rubbish. She's against Liz and Anthony screwing people over so that John and Elly can get the even tighter stranglehold over Gordon that they think having to fulfill the moral obligation of caring for the children they brought into the world entitles them to. She's against casting Jim adrift on an ice floe to be forgotten. She's against Mike bullshitting his way into seizing the Pattermanse so John can play with trains. She's against Elly letting a thief flatter her. She's even against letting Liz fall for Jesse's weak bullshit. Since she's always in the way of the Pattersons acting like swine, defending her is a bad thing because Lynn doesn't see the same vermin we do.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
As you know, I tend to think that the Elly Patterson of 2013 is sitting at the kitchen table trading stories with Connie about the children that grew up to disappoint them. While Connie is moaning that having to tolerate Lawrence's choice to be gay gets in the way of her showing off grandbabies to a family that never is going to care about her no matter what she does, Elly is groaning about how that spoiled, spiteful, selfish princess is chasing after the same sort of stupid dream that made Phil a nomad who wouldn't obey his sister like he was clearly meant to. Both women console one another with self-aggrandizing self-pity about how the only thing that softens the blow is that they cannot expect better. The reason for this is hinted at by the title I used.

As you may or may not know, the title of this entry is a direct quotation from one of the badly animated specials that appeared in the late 1990s called A Storm In April. The first half of the cartoon revolved around Elly's foolhardy and thoughtless decision to take April to work with her "to see what Mommy does for a living" as well as to make her soon-to-be former coworkers into babysitters. As expected, Elly made the Triangle-Mouthed Gasp And Goggle-Eyed Frown Of Existential Terror™ because April refused to admit that good little children are supposed to sit quietly exactly where Mommy plops them down. They aren't supposed to want to move or talk or think so behaving like something that isn't a walking doll is done because they're bad children who hate Mommies and want them to suffer.

Anyways, they get to talking about the sinister comic opera that was her birth at home. Towards the end, someone points out that she was born on April Fool's Day and the Delicate Genius lessens what it means to be human by spouting the ridiculous non sequitur I'm using as a title so we can all be reminded that April's presence ruined everyone's lives forever. From the second the gynecologist suggested that Elly might be pregnant to the second that Liz bellowed in rage because the Picky-Face commented on how her contribution to planning her own wedding was staring out the window like a robot, April has been depicted as a spanner in everyone's works.

This is a ridiculous conceit for the characters to have because they were screwed every which way long before the Martian picky-face princess creature ever forgot to check her expiration date. Elly might whine and growl about being being tied down and never having a career all day and all night but any objective look at her tells us that her bellowing and mewling is in vain. She doesn't have the brains, stamina or guts to be anything other than a posturing wannabe sponging off of the hard work of other people so blaming a child for her own failures is a rather nasty exercise in pleading the question via a fall guy. The other Pattersons vary only in degree, not in kind. John would be a dissatisfied wreck hiding from his family in his shed had April never been born, Mike was always going to be a doofus churning out crap novels because his upbringing ripped the guts out of him, Liz's love life would have been in a constant stall because not having April around wouldn't magically cure her of the passivity and obliviousness that Elly's negligence reinforced and Deanna still a pale copy of Elly.

The maddest and most maddening thing of all is that there actually is a parasite within the Patterson family who actually did destroy everyone else's lives by the simple act of being born. Said monstrosity used to wear her hair in the same ponytail she had when she was pretending to be a hippie chick only to adopt an ugly, unflattering bun when she started pretending to be a sensible, mature woman. This menace to everyone's happiness also has the tendency to stand around jabbing her finger in the air and bellowing like a God-damned lunatic when slighted.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
As we've seen recently, Lynn likes to tell a rather annoying joke in which a character makes a lot of noise about being decisive only to turn out to be a waffling idiot. The first version of said clinker had Evil Ted try to lure poor John to the Dark Side of the Force only to be revealed as pathetically dependent on others to make up his mind for him. The problem is that her favourite butt of this non-joke is the Picky-Faced Martian Creature Princess. I can think of at least two occasions in which April complained about not having input into her day-to-day life only to go into vapour lock when asked to decide something trivial. In the first instance, John and Elly go on vacation up to a cottage up North and only bother telling April about it a few days before they leave and in the second, we have to contend with her wanting to not be treated like an imbecile who has her decisions made for her by people who do NOT have her interests at heart only to not be able to decide what to have for lunch. In both cases, the basic premise seems to be as follows:

HUM! Since April can't make a little decision like this, it only stands to reason that she can't make big decisions. That means that she's a silly child who doesn't know what's best for her and that John and Elly are right to whatever they want without worrying about an opinion she doesn't really have.

The problem is that Lynn and her fanbase ignore possibilities that don't make a defiant, hypocritical idiot out of April. First off, they ignore the very real possibility that she's subconsciously afraid of deciding things on her own. You can't live in a house wherein a simple statement that you're very sorry about missing dinner but homework comes first turns into Elly bellowing like an idiot and John threatening violence unless you apologize for having free will NOW without developing a sort of protective submissive attitude. They also ignore the very real fact that even if Elly doesn't blow a gasket or John doesn't grumble about attitudes, the two of them will overrule her because they're afraid of her. In the first instance, they had it in their stupid heads that if April knew about their vacation plans, she'd somehow whine her way into making their trip up North go away while during the Housening, the clear subcontext seemed to be that ignorant, selfish April was so fixated on having a room she wouldn't get to enjoy much longer anyway that she didn't see the dire consequences of not being treated like furniture.

This leads me to a third problem I have with how they treat April. The same people who are terrified of her learning things that scare them have the annoying habit of expecting her to be an ignorant idiot that they have to explain what strokes are only to turn around and expect her to know that Mike simply cannot afford to buy and maintain a house. Why it is that they need to be safe from her knowing what's going on around her is something I'll touch on more fully later. Suffice to say for the here and now that their expecting her to know something that they keep from her when it's convenient makes hectoring her for being stupid a rather irritating thing.

Finally, the same sort of idiots who were clearly disappointed that John didn't haul off and belt April for 'defiance' tend not to want to see that the only reason that April is being singled out for being a waffling idiot in a strip peopled with prevaricatiing clods is that they've been ordered to. The amusing thing about watching her being yapped at for being clueless for not knowing what she wanted for lunch is that most of why her life sucked is because her allegedly adult siblings couldn't make up their minds about what to do.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
You will no doubt remember my hammering away on the fact that the reason John and Elly encouraged April's friendship with Eva relates to their need to blather on about how Becky is not to be approached owing to her being sure to end up like the stiff in Fargo. Simply put, they think that it's good for April to be told that since she isn't a refugee in a war zone, she shouldn't make so much noise about being treated like unwanted furniture and be grateful for her parents. We know that they love people who want to demean their children for kicks because they love Laura. Granted, she hasn't quite gotten the kids to agree that they really are lazy, horrible, selfish monsters who freeload off of their parents instead of working in factories like other children and thus don't deserve to own their own horses, horses that their parents must own as due payment for the outrageous imposition of having to feed, clothe and house defenseless children who could no more survive on their own than John and Elly could fly without the aid of wings and gasoline.

This makes me suspect something rather unpleasant about the whole Kortney-gets-fired arc. I remember reading somewhere that Kortney is the child of one of Elly's friends and, since Mrs Krelbutz vouches for her lazy, thieving daughter, Flapandhonk is loathe to believe a mere child when an adult has said something different. The same part of me that suspects that Elly doesn't want to listen to April because it would mean that a child is the boss of her suspects that maybe, just maybe, Elly wanted Kortney to flatten April to shut her up. I mean, it's not like April would be believed when she said she was blameless and it would have the desired result of letting Elly get robbed so she could keep getting flattered by someone who tells her what she wants to hear instead of what she needs to. Elly would deny this but, well, Elly also denies that Anthony is a scoundrel so we can safely say that she is somewhat allergic to the truth.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Having established that a potential employer would only hire Elly if he or she were looking for a drudge who can be sweet-talked into doing the menial labor that pushes her envelope of competence if the joe-boy job she's barely good at is dressed up really nice, let's see how the people she employed in her hobby business see her.

Let's start with the woman who actually ran the place when she was off babbling witlessly about not being able to work a computer and allowing a lying thief to help her boyfriend jack the place and threaten her child. It seems to me that Moira tended to view Elly as being someone who simply didn't understand what a retail business was all about but had to be taken more seriously than she should because she owned the place on paper. What this meant is that she had to stand by and grin while the dimwit boss she had to flatter made idiotic business decisions like getting rid of a coffee counter that brought in customers, throwing temper fits because customers didn't give the vain dolt with the turnip-shaped honker the deference she deserved and letting a lying thief manipulate her. This probably means that she regrets the day when said imbecile's dentist husband helped bankroll his moron wife's need to play magnate.

As for that lying thief I'd mentioned, Kortney got away with a lot of mischief because she saw our hero as an inattentive dilettante with a bottomless appetite for flattery who she could manipulate with ease. All she needed to do is whine about made-up hardships, tell lies small children could see through and tell Elly how great she was and she'd avoided getting sacked for stealing from the business, helping her boytoy loot the place and threatening April.

Since Moira and April did most of the real hiring, it's not much of a surprise that Kortney's replacement Bernice is a sort of clone of Moira herself; she too regards Elly as a well-meaning but inept obstruction who simply wasn't cut out to work retail.

Finally, we come to April herself; Elly seems to have hired April on to keep her from running around unsupervised and adjusting her attitude. This backfired hilariously when Kortney threatened to punch April in the face for informing on her; given how stupid Elly is and how little she trusts her children tell her the truth (as well as her oh-so-characteristic refusal to even see the possibility that she should make things right with her child), all she did was inflame the sort of animosity that keeps April from phoning, writing or e-mailing her poor aggrieved mother.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)

Here’s something I probably forgot to mention when Elly got bent out of shape at the Easter Parade. Not only did she perceive herself as being judged unfairly merely because she wanted her hard work to be acknowledged (as well as being told that she has no right to any recognition at all at any time), she’d thought that Lizzie had for some selfish and baffling reason spat all over her poor mother when she’d done her a favor. It confused and angered Elly because she has it in her head that all little girls want to look pretty. The same woman who snarls angrily at anything with a Y chromosome because all men everywhere all agree that the most (if not the only) important thing about a woman is the temporary phenomenon known as her physical appearance and panics when contemplating the dangerous body language of young women who do not go in for the “Bulgarian cleaning lady” look she deems appropriate for teenaged girls seems to be transfixed by the notion that every little girl everywhere should make herself as cute and frilly as possible to turn Daddy into mush.

The reason that I mention this unwitting hypocrisy is that an upcoming note has Lynn attempt to elicit sympathy by noting that unlike Lizzie, Katie wanted to break her pooooor mother’s heart by wanting to not doll herself up like a damned gumdrop so as to scratch the psychological itch that made Lynn all but wet herself with glee when seeing her daughter tarted up like a damned doll. As we know, the Lizzie in the strip was and is a passive little dummy whose goodness and purity seems to come from defining herself by her physical appearance first, last and always. Always and ever, what she looked like took precedence over more useful priorities like her grades or being acceptable company. That being said, there is someone who seems to exist to defy and martyr Elly by evilly and cruelly not seeing the point of getting dressed up so that she can be reminded that Mommy things of her as a means for gaining praise first and as a person second: April. Not only does April look a lot like the real Katie did, her need to not let Elly fuss over her and look as if she got caught in an explosion at a lace factory has the same effect of having a moron whimper about being stabbed in the heart.

dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
It doesn't take too much mental effort to realize that the so-called Sweet Suite (which, as we know, is the punny name for the basement apartment John and Elly promosed April in order to make up for the Housening) was never really going to be completed before she left for University. I'd like to think that John and Elly had the sense to fix the place up so they could rent it but, well, either he's using it for trains or she's colonized it and peopled it with old Grubberware containters. Either way, they're making it quite clear that they've pretty much quit parenthood; the problem is that they're too damned dumb to realize it. It astonishes and angers them that April has picked up on the "sponge it up and disappear" vibe they're giving off. This, you see, is a side-effect of being obssessed and possessed by one's belongings; one loses the ability to see what others see.
dreadedcandiru2: (Indignant Candiru)
In any self-respecting chick lit novel, the characters have to contend with an antagonistic woman who by her very existence calls their parasitism, idiocy and self-absorption into question; this straw feminist always reassures the idiots in their self-defeating life of Stepfordization and self-induced inferiority by living a life that they don't have the stamina, intellect or courage to even contemplate without getting what used to be called the vapors. In the Alsatia of the She-morons called Milborough, that person is called April. The reason that Elly thunders about how her youngest is a Martian princess that wants to destroy everything is that she's a rather poor fit with the rest of the principal females. About the only time that she displays the proper response to things is when confronting Becky. The rest of the time, she tends to be painfully and improperly honest, to worry about others and to behave as if her needs are not the be-all and end-all of existence; hell, she doesn't even complain too much about being turned into a damned serf. Elly simply can't identify with someone who isn't consumed by pointless misery, constant envy, misplaced rage and the need to own horses out of revenge herself upon those she blames for her own failure of the will. She also can't relate to someone who speaks her mind and says uncomfortable things to the face of the person making her uncomfortable; since KAN is loaded with people who don't want to be made to feel guilty about acting like vermin, the same jerks who weep with horror because we evil people wanted Anthony to endure the bleak torment of having to grow the Hell up, stop pining after Liz and focus on fixing his marriage and raising his child would have gone berserk with delight if John or Elly had slapped April in the face for defiance. This, of course, owing to a tendency they share with the dimestore dynasts who married Liz off to a car lot: the need to see defiance where none exists. They'll simply have to console themselves with the realization that April will never know the 'bliss' that Elly and the other idiots experience. Not for her the warm, comfy glow of self-induced inferiority, envy, misplaced aggression, making excuses for failing in every area of her life and defining herself as more than the adjunct of some man she secretly despises for having the will to do things that she does not, Since she's a bad person who dares defy her parents, she deserves to actually live life as if she were as good as a man.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
It should comes as no great shock that someone with the unhealthy obsession Elly has with food and lots of it would think putting pile-high helpings of the greasy slop she loves on the table was the chief criterion of being a good parent. We all know that the woman eats like someone was trying to take her food away and, for some insane reason, thinks that's normal. In her mind, Therese's greatest crime was trying to cure Anthony of messy, nasty, sloppy, disgusting, juvenile eating habits and Deanna's greatest virtue is that she doesn't object to SHLORRP-SHHLUPPP-GRUNT-GLLUUMMPPPHHHH. The happiest time in her day is when she can get the family together so they can bond by cramming a lot of fatty food into their mouths in revolting haste. She can't imagine or accept that someone would delay gorging themselves in a manner that would induce mass vomiting in a select committee of Klingons for any reason. Given her inability to deal with any sort of upsetting phenomenon in a productive fashion, I should think that April's occasional requests for the ninety seconds of time to finish up what she's doing are seen as a slap in the face.
dreadedcandiru2: (Calm Candiru)
You can't read this for as long as I have and fail to notice something: Elly doesn't seem to particularly care for April. It's like she only has enough love in her heart for TWO children. She'll go that extra mile for Mike, no problem. After all, not only did she help him with his Mighty Tome of Glurge by making it even glurgier, she opened her home to him in his hour of 'need'. Hell, she even gave it to him. Liz is worthy of receiving her sage advice about twoo wuv: 'Wait till Anthony comes to his senses and dumps the EEEEvil career woman and move in for the kill unless it takes longer than a year or two. Then, you can actively break up his marriage.' April, on the other hand, seems always to have fought for Mother's begrudgingly given affections. Always and ever, the fact that April has needs to must be met come as something of a shock to our current protagonist. The sad fact is that April is the victim of her mother's mental rigidity. As far as Elly was concerned, she'd had her two children and motherhood was supposed to be a thing of the past. All the poor girl is to the potato-nosed dullard is a vast inconvenience. What's more, she's managed to convince most of the rest of the family to more or less ignore her in the hopes that she'll go away and she can have her Perfect Family. Deanna's plan to to adopt her, bizarre and opportunistic as it may be, seems almost like a godsend. Becoming a family retainer would mean she'd still be part of their lives, wouldn't it?
dreadedcandiru2: (Lady Candiru)
You can't read this for as long as we all have without noticing that Elly, Michael and Liz seem to be refugees from a hysteria ward. The slightest upset and the three of them just plain flat out lose it and throw a childish temper fit. We contrast them with April who usually responds to life's little reverses with the occasional rueful sigh. The Emo Brigade hang a lampshade on their insane ignorance by referring to her as a walking tantrum. This is because they do not see things around them as they really are. Like a lot of closed-minded dumb people, they have firmly held opinions about how groups are SUPPOSSED to behave in a given situation. Teenaged girls are 'supposed' to be spoiled princesses who screech their way through life and, by gum, that's how they insist on seeing her. They and Daddy Asshat shut their eyes, minds and hearts to any behavior that would invalidate their empty-headed stereotype while jumping with both feet on anything that seems to confirm it.


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