August 8th, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Ted, Mira, Therese, Becky and the favor bank.

As I'm about to demonstrate, the 'favor bank' system of morality isn't just about manipulating children and others into a state of peonage; it also gives the Pattersons the right to hate people at will. The first example of a person the Pattersons hate on sight because he doesn't feel the need to do them favors is Ted; even though he's a bit of a playboy and really doesn't quite get that Connie isn't the big girl he thought, he's not really all that bad a guy; you wouldn't know that to hear the Pattersons talk, though. The point woman for Ted-hate is, of course, Elly; the reason that she hates Ted is that he never did her the favor of taking her as seriously as she wanted him to. Since he reacted to her hysteria, bullying and bluster with mockery and disdain, he never filled her favor bank; he also managed to alienate himself from John by not doing him the favor of marrying poor, innocent Connie. We know that all three people involved in the mess still idly wonder what would have happened if things had gone better; Elly sees herself as saved Connie from a hateful oppressor because she never understood Ted at all. Similary, Mira never let herself be marginalized like Mike and Elly wanted her to be, she still didn't do them the favor of fading into the background so that Elly would be the sole voice influencing Mike's family life. We see this same need to demonize people who don't do the Pattersons the good turn of knuckling under to their whims when Therese refuses to let Elizabeth interfere with her marriage and when Becky doesn't hide her talent under a bushel to salve April's ego.