September 28th, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Today's strip depicts John not reacting well to Mike's declaring that he'd prefer to have his dollar a week allowance to having to do chores for the upgrade. That's because he doesn't see how his and Elly's behavior affects how Mike thinks any more than he can see that a buck a week isn't the sweet deal it was when Sputnik was launched.

(Strip Number 4072, Original Publication Date, 30 September 1981)

Panel 1: As John tightens the screws on some appliance in a manner that reminds us that Lynn has no idea how people hold a screwdriver, Mike tells him that Lawrence gets two dollars allowance a week while he only gets a dollar.

Panel 2: Tentacle-Fingered John says that they'll give him more but he'll have to work for it.

Panel 3: Mike replies by saying "You mean if I rake the lawn, wash the car and brush the dog, you'll PAY me?"

Panel 4: His saying that he'd rather have the dollar causes John's face to become a mask of rage.

Summary: This is owing to his belief that his son is a lazy, ungrateful brat who won't help out. The problem is that he's completely God-damned unaware that the incessant caterwauling he and Elly do about how housework is this Terrible, Awful Thing that makes them miserable affects how Mike sees the world; it's sort of appalling to know that these schmucks run around getting pissed off at their children without realizing or admitting that the kids are only living the beliefs they themselves show they hold to be true, good and beatiful by living them. Simply put, Teenaged Mike lives in a messy room because he thinks that cleaning is the Worst Thing Ever; he believes that because John and Elly say it is non-stop.
Snarky Candiru2

The question of gratitude......

Now that we're about to have our noses rubbed in the fact that John (who thinks that a dollar a week allowance is a princely sum because he doesn't realize that it's not 1959 any more) thinks that Mike is showing insufficient gratitude for getting an insufficient allowance, it behooves us to consider how often the Pattersons are grateful for anything. A simple keyword search yields an amazing result. Searching for the word 'thank' as a subject yields no results whatsoever; the same goes for the word "thanks" and "thanked". When one uses them as punchlines, the results are, well, dissatisfying; the verb "to thank" is almost always used either ironically or sarcastically. One sees a similar thing with 'grateful' and 'gratitude' itself. As a subject, grateful is used as a means of expressing dissatisfaction while as a tag line, it's used to complain about being old and feeble. Gratitude, on the other hand, is used sparingly as a subject and used as a punchline when someone wants to be patronizing. This paints a rather alarming picture of a group of people who don't really appreciate the blessings lavished upon them any more than they're thankful for the people around them.