October 28th, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Friday, 29 October 2010

We remind ourselves that the Pattersons don't believe in seeing children being enthusiastic about things.

(Strip Number 189, Original Publication Date, 30 October 1981)

Panel 1: We start off with Mike, who's in his cowboy outfit, yelling "POW! BLAM BLAM! BAM!" while perched on top of John's easy chair; since John is (a) sitting in it and (b) new to the idea that children make noise, he bugs his eyes out in horror.

Panel 2: His cheery yell of "HIYEEOOOOOSILVER!!!" and pretending that he's riding his trusty steed delight Lizzie and horrify the half of Elly's face that we see at the edge of the frame.

Panel 3: The final panel shows Bug-Eyed Elly with her hands on his shoulders as he tells her "Honest, Ma; I'm not excited," Since I know how Elly and John react to loud noises, this is owing to an off-panel threat that he be made to stay home if he doesn't settle down.

Summary: I wonder how Lynn's notes will spin this; my personal guess is that we'll get a reminiscence that doesn't explain why it is that John and Elly are so damned delicate that a small boy who's excited about something fills them with fear, disgust and the feeling that if they don't clamp down hard, civilization itself will collapse.
Snarky Candiru2

Fooby Halloween.

Having looked through the Halloween strips, I've come to certain conclusions about how Lynn sees Halloween that, if you'll allow me, I'd like to share.

  • First off, Elly/Lynn seems to regard it as a medium for showing off her supposed skills as a seamstress. We start with her making Mike a space man costume, continue on with the Little Bo Peep ensemble she made for Lizzie, segue into the angel outfit she wore the next year, the Sherlock Holmes thing she made for Mike, and the Teddy Bear and Little Bo Peep 2.0 costumes she supplied April with. The reason I mention them in detail is the commonality the strips share: Lynn/Elly's lack of patience with wriggling children who feel like idiots wearing her handiwork. The one with April's panicked rejection of the Teddy Bear suit and Elly's angry reaction thereto leads one to the conclusion that Elly's idea of how things work is that she decides what a kid will wear; if the kid has a different idea, he or she is an extra-bad person who hates to see Elly happy.
  • This brings me to the next problem I have: the breezy assumption that enthusiastic children are a burden to their poor, suffering, put-upon parents. You know how I feel about how weak, soft and lazy that John and Elly are by now; watching her go into hysterics because her children look forward to something doesn't need to given any more emphasis.
  • A lesser problem is Mike's need to treat Liz like shit because of his lunatic misapprehension that if he doesn't shove her aside like the dumb bully he is, he'll be put on the curb with the rest of the trash. Sibling revilery is also far too common and unpleasant a sight to be reminded of.
  • Next, we have to remember what a juvenile dipstick John can be when he wants to; again, we get a reminder that he's a big, mean, entitled brat accompanied by candy corn and plastic vampire fangs.
  • Continuing on with our look at John, he's also a hypocritical assclown; the same man who decries the free candy and hands out toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters only does so so that he and Elly can bogart the candy they confiscate.
  • The end result of all this bullshit is the assumption that Halloween would be perfect were it not for small children which haunts the Patterswine Redux. Since Mike has all the worst personality traits of the smug failures he calls parents and none of the good, he and his Stepford robot wife have made sure that his children will never enjoy the sort of happy Halloween he and his sisters had.

Put all that together and you're reminded that the Pattersons are doing their level best to suck the fun out of Halloween just like they do Christmas; it's only fair because anything that isn't about how bad Elly has it is malum in se.