Binky Betsy (cookie77) wrote in binky_betsy,
Binky Betsy

Wanna analyze this?

The original lineup of 4-Evah (featuring a pre-evil Becky) discuss dysfunctional families, with an's abounding. I couldn't understand it then; I can't understand it now. It's not just the concepts; it's the way the conversation flows, or rather doesn't. It's stilted and unfocused. And of course, not the way real eighth-graders talk.

Start with Gerald's comment in the first panel. First of all, I don't see the need for the dramatic pause before and emphasis on "THERE!". Second, Jeremy didn't say, or at least April didn't quote him as saying, that he wished he'd been born into a different family. So this strip doesn't even fit its lead-in.

Then Becky goes on what to me is a tangent. Jeremy is not a newborn baby; he's the same age as them, so the question should be "What does he want to do from now on?" not "He couldn't help being born." Then that sentence is not a natural lead-in for the second. What does acceptance and survival have to do with blamelessness? Sure, babies are innocent, but as children age, they become responsible for their actions, regardless of how bad their circumstances might be. And some kids in bad circumstances think violence is a way of survival. Or crime. Or an eating disorder, or drugs, or going roadside. I just don't understand what Becky's getting at here.

Then April pipes up, leaning thoughtfully on her hand and turning the strip into a pray-TV ad for Bob Jones University. "How are you supposed to know how to think an' act an' live?" At her age, she would likely just leave it as "How are you supposed to know how to act?" "Think" and "live" are pretty deep for not-quite-14, and the whole sentence is so on-the-nose. Becky finally gives a reply that makes sense in context. Although, does she mean from birth? I mean, as other posters have said, some kids are pretty darn old when they figure out that they need better role models than their parents, and some never figure it out at all. And what if there's simply no such person around? Or you choose the wrong one?

And Gerald seems to be wondering the same thing, so that's okay, except that he's not quite deconstructing the idea. Again I say, they started out talking about Jeremy, who is not a baby, has made some bad choices, and should by now have decided if he wants to start playing the hand he's dealt or not*. Also, looking at this two-shot, I have to say Gerald/Becky looks better than Gerald/April. And April/Duncan might not look bad either. Eva can have Luis (he'll live in her wing of the house), and that takes care of everyone.

And finally, the statement that makes no sense at all. Not gonna get into why the concept is wrong; it's the phrasing that bugs. Respect, security and fair. All abstract concepts. Why would a baby understand two but not third? Lynn could easily have changed the order: fair, no/security and respect, yes. Or security, no/fair and respect, yes. This isn't even bumper stickers.

*He did redeem himself, IIRC before the strip went so far off the rails, when he gave April the names of the train set vandals. He did it his way ("If you tell anyone, I'll kill you!") but he did it.

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