May 17th, 2007

Snarky Candiru2

Patterson Passivity Syndrome or 'I'm not a mind-reader'.

You can't read this for as long as I have without noticing a recent motif: a main character wants something to happen (or NOT happen) but doesn't articulate said desire. What they do is stand around and think about what the expected outcome should be. This only makes sense if the character in question thinks they're living in a comic strip and the other person can see the thought balloon and modify his or her behavior accordingly. This is, of course, a silly thing for the person to believe because 'For Better or For Worse' is clearly presented as the down-to-earth adventures of a highly-flawed family of real-life suburbanites. One of the things about real life is that people can't telling what you're thinking just by looking at you, let alone if you're on the other end of a phone conversation. All they know is what they see so that means, at best, they leave with a vague impression that something is bothering a Patterson but don't know exactly what. Not, of course, that they try to pry it loose 'cause they know they'll be met with sullen grumbling about their 'knowledge' of something the Foob in question falsely assumes they possess. There used to be a time when this family said what was on their minds but since their characters are being destroyed, they've turned into huffy, closemouthed asshats who declaim about bad things that would not occur if they'd stood up to the plate and said something about them beforehand.