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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The FOOBiverse!'s LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
12:18 am
Thursday, 23 November 2017
Today we see that Martha’s promise to Mike rates below Martha’s loyalty to her friends.

(Strip Number 1374, Original Publication Date, 24 November 1988)

Panel 1: We can assume that by this point Martha has actually read Michael’s note.  She has judged it to be “not a joke” and “like – sincere”.   This means that Martha expected it to be a joke and not sincere.  She knows Michael pretty well then if “joke” was her first guess.  Plus, Michael appears to have grown giant sagging breasts.  Not only that but his sweater appears to be a few sizes too large for him and the jagged design has crawled off his neck and is heading down his shoulders.

Panel 2: Michael says, “Yeah, well, I sort of, um, wanted you to have it.”  While Lynn is going for “uncertain teen speech”, as we saw two days ago, Michael did actually only “sort of” want Martha to have it.  Martha does not know what to say, but Lynn Johnston is doing a pretty good job of drawing Martha in a defensive posture with her arms crossed across her chest.  It’s either that or she is horrified thinking about the breasts Michael had in the prior panel and wants to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to her.

Panel 3: Okay.  Michael gave her a note and Martha has judged the content to be sincere.  What is the natural next step for a boy and girl thinking about starting a relationship?  Maybe they want to set up a date where they can spend more time together.  Maybe they want to sit together during lunch.  Nope.  Michael’s first thought is protecting the information in that note.  If you are that worried about it Michael, then just ask for the note back.  She’s already read it.  What does she need to keep it for, especially if you are going to go all paranoid and stalk her to make sure she doesn’t share the note with anyone?

Panel 4: Martha shares the note with her two best friends and why shouldn’t she?  She doesn’t know Michael is creeping around that corner to spy on them.  Lynn Johnston should have just drawn Michael walking into the situation by accident.   I know she likes the shocked, "looking around the corner" visual; but this makes Michael look extra creepy.

Summary: I know that Lynn Johnston is channeling the Colin the paper boy story (see below) that was based on her real life experience, but there is a big difference in a young girl telling an older boy she has a crush on him versus a boy telling a girl his same age that he likes her, when they were already kissing each other and marching around holding hands at summer camp for everyone to see.

Monday, November 20th, 2017
10:45 pm
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Today we will see the beginning of Mike’s descent into relationship insanity.

(Strip Number 1373, Original Publication Date, 23 November 1988)

Panel 1: After handing Martha the note, Michael tells her not to open it.  At this point you have to begin to wonder if he has somehow booby-trapped the note and is having second thoughts about booby-trapping it.  The dialogue works pretty well for that situation.

Panel 2: “I mean don’t open it in here!” (where the booby trap will be set off and get me too.)  In the meantime, Lynn has forgotten that her square in the background is supposed to partially represent where the wall ends at the ceiling and she has drawn a silhouette man whose head goes above the ceiling.

Panel 3: “Um...open it when you’re somewhere alone.  I don’t want anyone but you to read what I wrote in there.”  (That way you will be the only one affected by the booby-trap.)

Panel 4: “On second thought, maybe I’ll just take it back!”  (What am I doing?  I don’t want to hurt Martha with my booby-trapped note.  I must take it back.)

Summary: After all this, if I were Martha, I wouldn’t open that letter.  What is in this letter that Michael feels needs to be treated as a need-to-know, top secret clearance letter?  We will never find out, but based on Martha’s response letter coming up, Mike is saying something along the lines of “I like you.” That's not much of a secret considering that everyone already knows this from the last storyline.

Sunday, November 19th, 2017
10:00 pm
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Today we learn that Mike and Martha are the only persons of colour in their school. 

(Strip Number 1372, Original Publication Date, 22 November 1988)

Panel 1: The hair gel from yesterday’s strip apparently having worn off, Mike is leaning against a locker thinking, “Here I am waiting for Martha with a stoopid note in my pocket.”  Even in his thoughts, Michael drops his yods for “stupid”.  From a story-writing perspective, this is an abrupt shift from the Mike we saw earlier where Michael rejected Martha completely.

We have not seen Martha or seen anyone talk about Martha since that time, so there is no motivation for Mike to want to be back with Martha.   This sort of “reset the characters back the way they were before as if nothing happened” is something Lynn Johnston did a lot in the final years of the comic strip.  So, let’s just pretend that this is the first time Mike and Martha have talked since summer camp and everything will make sense.

Panel 2: It looks like Mike is wearing a Christmas sweater where his neck is like the neck of a Christmas ornament, only the colourist has opted to make Mike’s sweater a single colour instead of giving him a different colour from the jagged marks on the sweater up.  So the sweater just has a strange design on it.  Mike identifies his situation is weird, but he does not identify why it is weird.  Maybe it’s the weird sweater.

Panel 3: Martha approaches carrying the giant sheaf of paper which typifies students at the school.  For some reason the colourist has decided to give Martha multi-coloured hair.  It’s not as obvious in this strip, but it will be more obvious tomorrow.  Mike runs through his reasons not give Martha the stoopid note:   He won’t be embarrassed.  His life will be simple.  Really, when have any of those things been a motivation for Mike?

Panel 4: In a storyline ripped straight from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, Mike hands Martha the note that will explain everything while shouting the word “HERE!!!”  After being a major stick in the mud for the whole book, Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth Bennet a letter that explains how he is actually the best man in all of England.  She believes it and therefore falls in love with him, because in Jane Austen books the manliest men write letters talking about how wonderful they are and all the wonderful things they have done.  The story with Michael and Martha is really pretty similar, except it does not have the happy ending of “Pride and Prejudice”.  It has a happier ending.

Summary: This strip officially begins the romance between Mike and Martha that is going to last a few years.  Martha MacRae is by far the best of Michael’s girlfriends and consequently, Lynn Johnston will send a lot of pretty terrible messages about how girls should act in relationships using Martha, which is all the more surprising considering the author’s gender.

Saturday, November 18th, 2017
12:37 am
Monday, 20 November 2017
Today's prelude to the two week long exercise in graceless behavior and martyrdom which howtheduck will cover has Lynn complaining that for reasons that are 'he wants to grow up before I can catch up' and 'he unfailingly chooses the wrong girls', Aaron used to slick himself up something fierce.

(Strip Number 1371, Original Publication Date, 21 November 1988)

Panel 1: We find ourselves at the bus stop on a blustery, snowy late November day. While other people's hair, clothing and (in an oblivious Lizzie's case) homework are being blown around by the breeze, Mike stands there smugly smirking because he's put so much gel in his hair, it's like he's wearing a helmet. Lawrence points this out by saying "Now that's what I call gel!!"

Summary: This is yet another battleground in Lynn's war against her children wanting to look how they want to look; said battle takes its most intensive form when Elly makes that hateful comment about April looking like a pole dancer. That being said, we switch from me talking about how Elly turns her kids' "wanting to look like and/or not getting teased by their friends" into "I hate you, love, God and happiness" to howtheduck looking at Lynn not being able to handle rejection by someone she seems to have stood no chance with well and turning Mike into a repulsive and overbearing scoundrel (and Martha into a needy jerk who tosses her friends aside to appeal to the creep) in the process.
Friday, November 17th, 2017
12:43 am
Sunday, 19 November 2017
Before we transition from my "Aaron dudes himself up to impress the 'wrong' girls" to howtheduck taking another look at they're actually the wronged girls because Lynn wrote love notes to a boy who just wasn't in to her so it's okay that Mike's an emotional abuser playing head games, here's yet another example of him being too fucking stupid to understand why Elly is always angry about the horrible state he and Lizzie leave the rec room in.

(Strip Number 6755, Original Publication Date, 20 November 1988)

Panel 1: We start things off with Lynn revisiting her hatred of the evil that is chewing gum by having Elly go all goggle-eyed in horror because Lizzie left a wad of it on the televison set in the family room.

Panel 2: Elly's conclusion is that Lizzie must be saving it.

Panel 3: She then notices that the kids have been jumping on the couch again; this means that she'll have to sew the cushions back up instead of doing something 'futile' like telling them that she feels angry about having to clean up after them.

Panel 4: She then fishes out three soda cans, two jelly beans, potato chips and a store-brand Twizzler from under a couch cushion.

Panel 5: This is followed by her noticing that the upset bowl of popcorn she just cleaned up is accompanied by a butter stain on the coffee table.

Panel 6: A little while later, Mike notices that for some reason, Mom is boiling with rage again and asks what's the matter; what's the matter is that she just cleaned up the family room.

Panel 7: She then glares angrily at him about how depressed she is about having to in there as a means of getting him to understand how angry she is at him and Lizzie for treating her so cavalierly and behaving as if she's nothing more that a machine that's built solely to clean up after them.

Panel 8: It looks as if he's getting the point when he agrees that he too gets depressed.

Panel 9: The problem is that he's too dumb to understand what Elly means and says that if she were to get some decent furniture in their, everyone's problems would go away. This means that he's not going to understand her look of angered shock either.

Summary: This sort of shit probably made Aaron's life pretty damned difficult. Here he was, trying to live in this world and all people were allowed to know was that he's this selfish idiot who doesn't care about his mother in the least. If we were to ask how long he's supposed to suffer for who he was when he was five, I'd say that Lynn's death will be his only release.
Thursday, November 16th, 2017
12:40 am
Saturday, 18 November 2017
When John points out the flaw in Elly's Very Clever Plan that she should have foreseen, she gets all gloomy about how being better at insulting people is better than cursing like a common person.

(Strip Number 1370, Original Publication Date, 19 November 1988)

Panel 1: As Mike looks up the ever neat word 'narcissist' and tells her its definition (a person who loves himself) as if he were reading from a dictionary instead of a thesaurus, Lizzie tells him to get a load of this one.

Panel 2: We then switch to Elly boasting to John about how her plan to improve the children's vocabulary worked because they learned thirty new words that week.

Panel 3: John points out that they also spent half that time finding new ways to insult one another.

Panel 4: Rather than admit that her next plan should be to figure out why they act like rats in a cage, she glumly sticks to her guns and says that it's a start.

Summary: You've just watched an episode of "Wait? What was Elly's plan again?" in which her desire to somehow push profanity out of her kid's skulls by exposing them to big words failed because that's not how things actually work. In a month's time, we're going to see another Very Clever Idea that helps no one when she decides that to make the children Wonderful and Loving and Generous and Appreciative, they need to spend Christmas on a working farm in the ass end of a freezing cold December to be crammed in like sardines, lectured at by that snotty little heifer who needs her face slapped Cousin Laura and to use a honey bucket because Idiot Danny let the sewer line freeze solid like a dolt.
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
12:37 am
Friday, 17 November 2017
Brian points out that unlike the poor children whose lazy mothers don't love them enough to increase their wordpower, teachers are going to see right through Mike's campaign to insult them via a thesaurus.

(Strip Number 1369, Original Publication Date, 18 November 1988)

Panel 1: We see Mike tell a pseudo-punk girl named Janice that she looks stupid and her outfit is ugly by calling her vacuous and her ensemble opprobrious. Since it doesn't make sense to her that a social outcast who isn't worth the trouble of shouting down think that he can improve his social standing by insulting her from a thesaurus, she gives him a funny look and says "Uh....sure?" before leaving the scene to tell people to watch out for that no-hoper Patterson because now, he thinks that using fifty dollar insults makes him smart.

Panel 2: Brian sidles over when Lawrence tells Mike that his plan to insult everyone undetected is working and also to use 'churlish', 'obtuse', 'puerile', 'insipid' and 'plebeian'; Lynn reminds us that she confuses 'words people use everyday' with 'words they actually know' when she has Brian ask what's goin'on because she thinks that people who don't talk as if they swallowed a thesaurus ARE churlish, obtuse, puerile, insipid and insipid because they don't show off to strangers in order that We Moms might bask in their glory.

Panel 3: Mike answers him with a question when he asks Brian what would happen if he were to call Mrs Maloney porcine, oleaginous and corpulent.

Panel 4: Since Brian knows that those words all mean 'fat' and he knows that this woman would as well, what he thinks would happen is that Mike would fail math.

Summary: You'll have noticed that this is the second day in a row that Lynn has used Mike as a sort of mouthpiece for her belief that if a mother cared to do so, she could have a child speak like a Philadelphia lawyer in order to set him or her up in life and also to be praised for doing so. You'll also have noticed that Lynn has a distinct problem understanding that there's something of a chasm between "words people know" and "words they use in day-to-day conversation". This leaves us dealing with a nitwit who thinks that he's clever by using words he just learned because he assumes that he's the first to have done so.
Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
12:36 am
Thursday, 16 November 2017: FORWARD, PROLETARIAN JERK JOCK!!
Having been insulted by imperialistic running dog Michael Patterson, Hero Of The Proletariat Brad Luggsworth makes the parasite standing on the back of the workers feel the pain his counter-revolutionary actions would have brought others.

(Strip Number 1368, Original Publication Date, 17 November 1988)

Panel 1: The next day, we see Lawrence question Mike's enthusiasm for the thesaurus by questioning its use.

Panel 2: Mike proposes the application of calling Brad Luggsworth a dork to his face and getting away with it because there's no way HE would know what Mike was saying.

Panel 3: He then asks Brad what it's like to be inept, fatuous and inane. This is because like his creator, he does not know what the word 'dork' is a synonym for and thus does not call Brad a lout or churl.

Panel 4: We next see Mike protruding from a snow drift because Brad took violent exception to having that snotty jerk Patterson think he can get away with calling him a clumsy oaf by dressing it up with ten-dollar words. Frienemy Lawrence surmises that maybe Brad took exception to his tone of voice.

Summary: The reason for the header line is that stupid segment in Brad's Liography that has him kick the crap out of snotty rich kid Mike in the name of poor kids like himself. The reason for Mike's getting pasted is his breezy assumption that Brad can't possibly know big words he himself didn't because he's an athlete.
Monday, November 13th, 2017
12:31 am
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
Elly continues to be a dull-minded old woman who doesn't have the least idea who her kids are when their enthusiasm about insulting people undetected astonishes her.

(Strip Number 1367, Original Publication Date, 16 November 1988)

Panel 1: A delighted Michael tells Lizzie that Mom's right about how great thesauri are. This is because there are at least fifty synonyms for 'stoopid' that no one ever uses. Perhaps next, he can look for synonyms for 'presumptuous', 'ignorant', 'insensitive' or 'wrong-headed' because Lynn's aggravating (whoops....there's another word he can look up) need to hammer home how 'superior' her way of saying 'stupid' is to the millions of Americans reading her lovely column impress me as being a graceless, tone-deaf recurring irritant that should have been discouraged by the Syndicate.

Panel 2: Lizzie is equally thrilled because she has found just as many ways to call someone 'ugly' without being detected.

Panel 3: Since Elly isn't especially aware that she's busy raising trash-talkers and also believes in magic, she assumes that their learning the value of a good thesaurus will convert them into polite, right-thinking, well-spoken drones by magically pushing those cuss words right outta their heads.

Panel 4: When told how ever neat it's going to be that he and Lizzie can shred everyone they've ever met and not have them understand how thoroughly they've been owned, Elly responds to Mike's boast by going into safe mode.

Summary: What interests me is not that Elly is too dim to have foreseen this. What interests me is what words they looked up synonyms for. Mike wants to call everyone he meets an idiot because he feels anxious about his grades (and is also a pea-brain) while the Lizzie who's busy convincing herself that she's too ugly to be loved because no one lets her trade on her looks to the extent John used to wants to reassure herself that her accusers are hideous freaks who aren't entitled to an opinion because they're ugly and thus bad.
Sunday, November 12th, 2017
12:29 am
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
When Mike responds to Elly's latest attempt to to prove that she is a GOOD MOTHER WHO LOVES HER CHILDREN AND DESERVES THEIR RESPECT by lifting him and Lizzie out of the muck by using a bad pun, Mommy is once again shocked by the easily predictable.

(Strip Number 1366, Original Publication Date, 15 November 1988)

Panel 1: We find the kids' plan to just sit back and watch a bit of television in the rec room hijacked by Elly's Very Clever Plan To SAVE THEM when she tells them out of the blue "Okay, you two....we're going to improve your vocabulary."

Panel 2: Rather than risk being beaten half-to-death for asking where she's getting this 'we' stuff from or pointing out that her habit of closing her eyes and behaving as if she smells something awful when she talks to them makes them feel as if she hates them, Mike and Lizzie sit their passively as Mommy tells them that she wants them to learn two words a day and to be able to use them in a sentence.

Panel 3: She then hands them each a thesaurus she just bought them.

Panel 4: Since Lizzie isn't comfortable around the books her parents are too 'busy' to have read to her from, she asks what they are. Since Mike is a wiseass, he makes a terrible pun based on the -saurus part of the word and tells her that they're books that died millions of years ago. Since Elly can't be asked to figure out who her kids actually are, she's gobsmacked.

Summary: Elly's inability to understand who her kids are and what they respond to is going to make her Very Clever Plan backfire. As John is too afraid to tell her lest he be exposed to Klingon foreplay (being clawed at, roared at and having heavy objects thrown at him), Mike and Lizzie only obey in order to learn how to insult people without being exposed to the evil words "Hey, jerk!! I have feelings too!!!"
Saturday, November 11th, 2017
3:41 pm
The third round of "Facebook fans Interviewing Lynn"
The latest news note is about the latest batch of questions posted the Facebook page so as to be printed off and sent to Lynn to be answered.

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12:35 am
Monday, 13 November 2017
We begin Mike's transformation into an annoying dolt who uses big words he doesn't properly understand when Elly objects to his use of gutter language in her presence. Also, this is the dawn of the John who, while knowing that his wife's Very Clever Plan is about to run aground on the rocky shoals of reality, holds his peace because he knows it's not going to do any good.

(Strip Number 5049, Original Publication Date, 14 November 1988)

Panel 1: We start things off with pea-brained Mike not being able to get it through his thick skull that his mother isn't going to take him describing the flurries he's looking at out the picture window as 'shitty weather'. Since we know who Elly is and how she regards every stupid thing her moronic whelps do as a referendum on whether she should be publicly executed for failure, we can anticipate and understand the hint of desperation behind her yelling "LANGUAGE!!!" at the boy.

Panel 2: I'm put in mind of that old promo TV Land had about how what Ward and June told the Beav went clean through his empty skull without touching the two neurons tied together in a slip knot he calls a brain when I watch Elly drop the "Honestly!!!" bomb; that's because unlike her, I know that Mike isn't going to learn anything from her impassioned speech about what's happening to the world that people in movies, television and real life can't express themselves without using profanity because all he sees is a mother who wants to punish him for being alive (and, unlike her and all the other adults he knows, being able to enjoy it) and using just a coupla swears as that day's excuse.

Panel 3: She attracts John's attention when she points out that there are thousands of perfectly delightful descriptive words whose use won't make Marian materialize out of the luminiferous aether and tell Elly that she's a disappointment who should kill herself so a competent mother can raise those kids properly before asking why today's hateful children who hate the love in her heart use the same tedious four-letter ones.

Panel 4: John gets in a slam at the expense of the children neither he nor Elly actually bother reading to by stating that maybe they like to use ones they can spell.

Summary: The problem with the Very Clever Plan Elly comes up with is that it's a day late and a dollar short. John might have foreseen that all the kids would see when exposed to a wider vocabulary is the ability to insult people without pushback from sub-literate friends but he won't tell Elly this because he knows better.
Friday, November 10th, 2017
12:49 am
Sunday, 12 November 2017
Once again, Lizzie's blank-witted inability to remember that Elly resents having to pick up the winter clothing she and Mike thoughtlessly leave on the floor is used as fodder for a strip.

(Strip Number 6737, Original Publication Date, 4 December 1988)

Panel 1: We begin a weekend morning with Lizzie in her nightgown yelling happily as she looks out the window.

Panel 2: She tells everyone to look out the window because it's snowing.

Panel 3: Farley rushes out after Lizzie as she continues to happily chant that it's snowing.

Panel 4: Lizzie makes a snowball.

Panel 5: As Elly folds a towel, Lizzie shows her the snowball she made and says to look at the first snow of the season.

Panel 6: When Lizzie tells Elly that pretty soon, they'll be able to make snowmen, she doesn't realize that Elly's looking at Farley as he shakes himself dry all over her clean laundry.

Panel 7: As Lizzie gushes about she's been waiting all year for it to snow because now, she'll be able to enjoy all the winter activities like skating and toboganning that Elly fears and hates because she hates cold weather, she thoughtlessly takes off her coat and mittens without regard to whose job it is to put them away.

Panel 8: We end the strip with the visual image of Elly glaring in horror as Lizzie yet again peeled herself out of her snow gear without putting it away carefully like a good daughter who loves her mother is supposed to. Since Lizzie's brain is tiny, she wouldn't understand Elly's inevitable horrified, despairing reaction to her saying "Just think!! This is only the beginning!!" even if she saw it. This is because she assumes that winter clothes pick themselves up and snow mops itself up. What a Lynn or an Elly lose sight of is that this is not because she's an evil monster who lives to see her mother in pain but a grinning nitwit who doesn't get this 'cause and effect' thing people tell her about.

Summary: Given that Katie has children who are "leave their stuff on the floor because they blank out on the fact that the person who picks it up resents it" age, we can probably expect Lynn to crow about how angry her daughter is at Laura and Name Escapes Me for doing to her what she did to Lynn.
Thursday, November 9th, 2017
12:36 am
Remembrance Day 2017
After the Moment of Silence, Michael delivers the "Thank a vet" thing by reminding himself that he has yet to do so.

(Strip Number 1365, Original Publication Date, 11 November 1988)

Panel 1: We focus tightly on a Legionnaire as he says that they're at the point of observing the one minute of silence in honour of those who gave their lives to this country.

Panel 2: After the Royal Anthem marking the end of the ceremony, Lawrence asks a downcast Mike what the matter is. What the matter is that he's never said thank you to his grandfather for living in a free world.

Summary: I think it's for the best that Lynn dropped the "It's a free country so I'm going to act like a goober on television" thing that originally ended this arc. I like poignant endings to poignant arcs and think that yeah, Mike being a bonehead on television sort of spoils it for everyone. I hope Lynn admits to fixing that mistake in the notes.
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
12:34 am
Friday, 10 November 2017
Today's dialogue-free effort has Mike and his rowdy friends stunned into silence when the people who survived the war march past them.

(Strip Number 10925, Original Publication Date, 10 November 1988)

Panel 1: We start off with Mike and his evil, selfish and unpatriotic classmates ruining the solemnity of the occasion for everyone by not living their lives in the cowed silence that Lynn expects of them. As they do so, you begin to see why the 23 year old Paul J reading this pigeon-holed Mike and his classmates as the ungrateful brats of yuppie idiots who forgot to teach them history.

Panel 2: We then see the march past of the veterans.

Panel 3: This has the desired effect of making the children shut the Hell up and show some respect.

Summary: Just as campaigns to stop profanity never seem to stick, wanting to wise off seems to be too powerful a temptation to idiots like Mike. We see this in the deleted strip that has Mike blow off being criticized for being a goof-off who just don't get it.
Tuesday, November 7th, 2017
7:34 pm
The "Draw Farley" contest, part two: I'm number three! I'm number three!!
The latest news note is about the results of that Draw Farley contest from a few weeks back and it looks as if I came in third. Here's the write-up for those who are interested.

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Personal observations:
Drawing One: I like this one but, well, I do remember that Lynn hates an artwork style she cannot successfully adapt to her own purposes (by which I mean "brazenly steal") so I know it isn't going to get top marks.

Drawing Two: It looks like something Lynn herself could have drawn back when she gave a shit.

Drawing Three: I agree with Lynn's assessment. This child is talented for her age.

Drawing Four (our winner): I do NOT agree with Lynn's assessment. This looks like the garbage Lynn churns out when she's shit-talking Doug and Rod.

Drawing Five: Unlike the old picky-face living in her kid's basement, I think THIS deserves to be the winner. Well, this or Number Seven.

Drawing Six: Holy crap!!! I made the short list!!! Hooray for me!!!

Drawing Seven: This is clearly the one of the best Farleys here but Lynn's pathetic and stupid fear of the Scary Machine That's Filled With MATH!!!!!!! sadly disqualifies it.
12:32 am
Thursday, 9 November 2017
I sure hope there are notes that explain why Lynn is screaming "MY DADDY DIDN'T FIGHT THE WAR INSIDE, YOU HORRIBLE, UNGRATEFUL MONSTER BOY!!!" at Aaron.

(Strip Number 5046, Original Publication Date, 9 November 1988)

Panel 1: We find ourselves at the middle school so that we can remind ourselves that this is set in Ontario in the late eighties; this is because when Lawrence talks about having the morning off on the eleventh, Mike mutters 'Yeah' in confirmation.

Panel 2: He then reminds Mike that there's buses taking everyone to the Remembrance Day service in the park. Since Mike has been cast as the slacker who doesn't love his country and grandpa enough, he whines about having to go out in the cold.

Panel 3: As they go out into the brisk autumn day, Lawrence reminds Mike that their teacher Mr Gordon says that attendance is mandatory because they hafta remember the soldiers who fought in the war even though it was breezy and cold, Michael.

Panel 4: Lazy, Hitler-Worshiping, King-And-Country-Hating Mike moans "Can't we remember them inside?" because he doesn't realize that the march-past is a sort of military parade and thus, by definition, held outdoors no matter what the weather.

Summary: I remember that when I first saw this, I made the assumption that the Pattersons consisted of yuppie scum and their ungrateful brats because unlike Mike, I realized that in order to honour veterans, I had to accept a tame level of the discomfort they had to deal with. Time has done what it's supposed to and made me see what's actually going on: Lynn has decided that in order for her to show off her love of country, she's going to have to grab her son's avatar by the shirtfront and scream in his face about how soft and selfish he is and how little he loves his country. This is because the war on straw men is one that will never end.
Monday, November 6th, 2017
12:29 am
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
As is normal for the season, Michael is depicted as being an inhuman ghoul who thinks that the war was staged to entertain him because Lynn questions Aaron's love of country.

(Strip Number 5045, Original Publication Date, 8 November 1988)

Panel 1: As he watches something or other on television, Mike says that the footage of a plane hitting the ocean is ever neat. Since Elly knows something he doesn't, she's aghast.

Panel 2: Said thing that she knows and he does not is that this is newsreel footage from the war and the man flying that plane actually died.

Panel 3: She then explains that every bullet or explosion he sees is for real. He says "Really?"

Panel 4: Since he's Danny from Apaches and thus too stupid to understand what death is, he confuses Elly by regretting that the ever neat carnage isn't in color.

Summary: One wonders which Aaron she's screaming at about how he doesn't care about the pain, misery and suffering of others. If it's the five year old instead of the teenager he was when this came online, the high schooler is going to be treated like a radioactive leper because of the idiocy of the kindergartner.
Sunday, November 5th, 2017
12:27 am
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Lizzie's ignorance as to what exactly we are remembering on the 11th of November is the first strip in an arc that has as its basis Lynn's refusal to understand or approve of the fact that to HER children, the Second World War is starting to become no longer real.

(Strip Number 1364, 7 November 1988)

Panel 1: We see Elly and Lizzie walking down Main Street on a brisk November day; as they do so, they buy a poppy from a Legionnaire. As always, the man's collection box has the "Lest we forget" motto emblazoned on it. This becomes important.

Panel 2: Lizzie buys another poppy from two more members of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Panel 3: She buys yet another from a member of the Ladies' Auxilliary.

Panel 4: When she asks Elly what exactly they're remembering, Elly doesn't quite know what to say.

Summary: Instead of doing something sane like explaining what it is we're remembering, Lynn decides to show us what we're remembering by pretty much grabbing Aaron by the shirt-front and screaming that since he didn't see the point of going out on a freezing cold November day back when they lived in Lynn Lake, he clearly wanted Hitler to rule the world.
Saturday, November 4th, 2017
12:22 am
Monday, 6 November 2017
We end the arc with Connie still feeling as if she's dealing with wild animals because she's a weakling who needs her hand held all the damned time.

(Strip Number 5044, Original Publication Date, 5 November 1988)

Panel 1: Simce this strip's target audience is 'angry mothers who keep moving the damned goalposts of how appreciative their children actually are', it's not hard to see that when Elly reassures Connie that some day, Molly and Gayle will join her own children in looking back and appreciating what great mothers they both are, she means that this will happen when Molly and Gayle are on THEIR deathbeds.

Panel 2: We also reinforce the belief that physical presence is better than emotional closeness by stating that all they can do is their best because they're doing something right by being in their children's field of vision.

Panel 3: Elly's basic lack of self-awareness makes her comment about how every child needs someone he or she can trust to provide support and stability into a lie because she doesn't connect her need to run away from the children she sees as trying to drain her of her substance with their need to seek out people like Miss Edwards for emotional support.

Panel 4: When Connie latches onto Elly and bawls "DON'T LEAVE ME!!!!", Elly is flabbergasted.

Summary: This is because Elly doesn't realize something we do: Connie is an incompetent child-woman who ended up chasing her step-daughters away because she cannot handle pressure. Ah, well. Tune in tomorrow when Lynn tells Katie what we're remembering by grabbing Mike by the shirtfront and screaming in his face about how he should stop lying and admit that he wants Nazi Germany to rule the world.
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