Snarky Candiru2

Harridan/Beatnik: The Unasked and Unaskable Question.

Since Lynn appears to like to copy ideas and themes from network television, one of the more irritating features of the strip is having to watch a main character do something that probably wouldn't happen in real life. This is why Elly appears to have been appointed gatekeeper of communicating her parents' plans to her younger brother when in real life, they'd probably have called him up after they talked to Elly. While I do realize that there are valid objections to my argument (such as 'they don't know his phone number', 'long distance costs too much', 'they hate getting the machine' and so on and so forth), there's something implied by this that Elly never wants to speculate about.

That something is the very real possibility that they might not like Phil as much as she thinks they do. Oh, sure, they're vaguely disappointed that she never did finish school and probably never will but they're okay with her choices in life as long as she's happy....and besides, she gave them something Phil seems reluctant to do: grandchildren. Since Elly's raison d'etre appears to be denying how similar she is to her mother, the 2021 version of her is probably texting Connie so she can fret about how rootless the Martian is and not realizing that Marian said the same damned thing about Phil. This is probably owing to her very real need to feel good about herself by feeling bad about herself. Just as she thinks that being told that she isn't fat and ugly is an insult because it 'means' that her feelings are a joke, any sign that her parents disapprove of Phil's lifestyle is a lie because it means that her feelings are again a joke too.
Snarky Candiru2

On pump organs and parenting the parents.

As I've said before, Elly and Phil state themselves to be arguing over who gets what material possession as a means of distracting themselves from having to contemplate their parents' mortality. The idea seems to be "as long as we're fighting about anything else, Mom and Dad won't grow old and die"...which impresses me as being a trifle wrong-headed and self-serving. Then again, most of what drives Elly is wrong-headed and self-serving because she impresses me as being soft and weak and silly and sentimental enough to think that when her parents both die, she'll be a poooooooor orphan girl all alone in a big, scary world.

This appears itself to be another distraction entirely because the argument actually is about who deserves the blasted thing more. Elly wants something big and heavy to dust and never be used because she wants to be rewarded for having to endure the unspeakable horror of having a sibling. Phil wants the thing to make Elly shut up and admit that her childhood was not the bleak horror story of stifled servility she needs it to be. What entertains me is that not only do the parents never learn this, it (as I have said before) would baffle them no end. It's just a piece of old junk neither of them need to struggle with, not some reward for being favorite child.
Snarky Candiru2

On the rejection of the circle of life.

The interesting thing about Elly is that she while she falsely claims that she doesn't mind getting older, she's telling the truth when she said that she wanted very much to freeze her parents' age in place. She said more than she wanted to when she told Phil that it's okay that Jim and Marian didn't want to stop being the parents because she was never ready to stop being the child. This tells me that when Jim finally passed, it's pretty much certain that Elly described herself as being an orphan now and people were forced to agree with her.

The reason that I mention this is that you'll notice that I mentioned that it really bothers her that she herself is aging. I myself ascribe it to an insane overreaction to being treated with the deference due a wife and mother but the idea that she's an old crone whose best years are past her has plagued her since she was twenty five years old. This means that she isn't going to find it delightful or reassuring that her children wish they could have more time with her as the years burn away. All she's going to think is that they're carving her grave marker and wondering which one gets to kick the dirt into the hole.
Snarky Candiru2

The Downsizening.

As we know, Lynn took a very long time telling the story of her parents' passing. While we focus mostly on the fact that it took twenty years after her father passed for her to finally mark Jim's death in the epilogue, most people tend to not notice that she waited ten years after her mother's death to say goodbye to Elly's mother. What we're about to look at now is Lynn recording her reaction to her parents' earlier decision to spend the remainder of their very brief time together in a smaller house in a smaller city.

As one could expect, Elly was the mouthpiece for Lynn's feeling that her parents were casually selling her childhood memories out of sheer negligence for her feelings. The strip depicted Jim and Marian as saying bluntly that items Elly wanted to have were junk that she'd be glad not to have to clutter up her home because she never actually bothered telling people that she loved them. Also, we had to contend with her and Phil being baffled, upset and disappointed by the fact that their neighborhood had changed a lot in the twenty years since they'd left home. This was a preface for five years of Elly and Phil spending most of their time feeling out of sorts because they had to parent the parents. Then came the source material for Sunset and Shadow and the having to move Jim closer to Elly because reasons.
Snarky Candiru2

Meet The Caretaker

The irritating thing about the brother-sister cold war we're currently wading through is that it's a bit of a smoke screen meant to distract us from a sea change taking place in Elly's life. This is because Elly decides to take herself, Liz and April to Vancouver to show the baby off to her parents. Not only does this sour Elly on the idea of traveling with April because she blames the child for her own incompetence as a mother, it finally brings it home to her that her parents are getting on in years; this causes Elly to ask her parents to move close to her so she doesn't have to worry nearly so much because plopping them in the same time zone makes them easier to ignore or something. Jim isn't down with that because he doesn't want to complain or be a burden or anything but since Lynn is working through her own issues with dying parents, he kind of is.

This leads to a fictionalization of her parents' downsizing and spending their remaining years in a small town in British Columbia....and also the pitched battle she appears to have had with her brother over heirlooms. What's pure fantasy is the time afterwards because Lynn appears to have not gotten the answers she wanted from her parents: "Why didn't you love me, Mommy? Why did you always make me feel bad? Why didn't you let me give up on myself?" and "Why didn't you punch Mommy in the head and MAKE her love me, Daddy?"

The end result of this is not just the treacly exitus Marian made but a wish-fulfillment future with Jim that led him to having Lynn's idea of a wife for her father: a woman who whipsawed between being a doormat and his mommy. I don't know if she's giving her dad a happy ending or punishing him for not flat-out decking his wife and making her indulge her idiot child's whims.
Snarky Candiru2

My comment to an entry 'Thursday, 4 March 2021' by dreadedcandiru2 in binky_betsy

Also, it wasn't exactly as if they had let their parents know but they both wanted the heavy blasted thing. They assumed that their parents were going to hand it over to the Best Child.

Meanwhile, if Jim and Marian had learned of it, they would have shrugged and alluded to the need the children have to fret needlessly about their health manifesting itself insanely.

View the entire thread this comment is a part of

Snarky Candiru2

Meet The Evolving Hack

As was pointed out, Mike has a hard time seeing people as people because he tends to see them as fodder for his twee and pretentious attention-getting stories. What he keeps running into is the baffling reminder that for some incomprehensible reason, people aren't automatically grateful to have their lives strip-mined so the jerk can get an award. The first such instance was when, being stuck for a subject for an assignment, he'd waylaid a custodian who objected to having his story published without his knowledge or approval when he found what he thought was a private conversation turned into a newspaper story.

It would seem that Mike's take-away from that was not learning the integrity he was supposed to have learned. His juvenile and nasty attack on the Kelpfroths was okay in his eyes because he'd learned never to let the sucker find out. What Dummy didn't want to realize is that even if his victims didn't read the magazine his slurry of ad hominem attacks occurred in, it didn't mean that they didn't have friends who did. His lack of knowledge of people in his way taught him a third and worse method of pilfering from other peoples' lives: making things up.

This is why we have what is probably an author insert stuck in the middle of Stone Season. Mike's drug fiend reasoning appears to have been that since there was no such person in Mrs Dingle's past as Mystery Scandinavian Dude, she couldn't sue his ass off for misrepresantion.

What interests me is that all three of Mike's techniques have a real-life inspiration: a back-poking snake of an author who sees the people around her as fodder for her gibbering.