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On invisible vicious circles.

The irritating thing about having Mike and Lizzie's banishment from the house because Elly is too stupid, emotionally distant and gutless to play referee is having to remember that Lizzie is more excited about going to camp than he is. While she's thrilled by the prospect of going to a camp without having to deal with John and Elly's bullshit about respect and entitlement and so on and so forth, Mike goes into it with the same bad attitude about doing what they tell him to he always has. The problem is that neither of his dimwit parents have any idea why that is or especially want to.

This is because that mutton-headed dolt Elly would have to do something she does not especially care to do: admit that what she says to her children matters. Elly wants to live in a world where her mistakes don't mean anything because children are resilient. She thinks that she should have been able to smack him around because he bothered her while she was being an inept and angry seamstress and he wouldn't grow up to resent her. She thinks that she should have stood around screaming to his face about what a bad child he is and it would just wash off his back. She thinks that she should have played favourites as shamelessly as she did and he'd not feel like the house was a prison and he'd been convicted of not being Lizzie. His resentment fed into her anger which led to his being more resentful and so on and so forth. Since she's not very bright, she's probably telling him to be a smarter parent than she could ever care to be and since he's desperate for any sign that she cared at all, he's dumb enough to listen.

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