June 21st, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

We get to the middle of the "End-of-the-School-Year" arc with John reading Mike's report card; as you might expect, he's told "For God's sake, get your noisy brat to settle down!"

(Strip Number 137, Original Publication Date, 23 June 1981)

Panel 1: As we join the Pattersons, we see John reading Mike's report card; he's gotten to the Teacher's Comments section where he reads the following: "Michael's academic work is normal. He would excel if he settled down." This, of course, means that Mike is something of a disruptive influence.

Panel 2: As John continues to read the report card, he's told "Social skills are coming along normally. He is learning to control his active nature." This means that it's taken her all year to get him to stop asking questions and to sit quietly like all the other drones.

Panel 3: Miss Campbell goes on to write "He has shown an aptitude for athletics, group leadership and public speaking." This aptitude seems to mean that he's not only the class daredevil, he's sort of a ring-leader and spokesman for the elements she cannot control. Given that she's as easily outwitted and overwhelmed as Elly, this means that Mike is an incredibly average little boy that runs circles around yet another failure who cannot handle any sort of shock.

Panel 4: We conclude with her comment "It is with great reliefpleasure that I promote Michael to Grade Two." This is self-expalanatory, isn't it?

Summary: The problem, of course, is that Miss Campbell isn't addressing the real problem; the real problem, as I see it, is that Michael acts up in school to compensate for the lack of attention he gets at home. If someone would stop screaming "Get lost, I'm busy" whenever he wants reassurance that he's still loved, he wouldn't be the handful he is now.