April 14th, 2014

Snarky Candiru2

On 'family' and other magic words.

As you will recall, the Pattersons once took April and Liz on a road-trip out West to visit Marian. As you will also recall, Liz was treated like a selfish and extra-bad person for not being thrilled to death to sit quietly while distant relatives she had never heard of before talk about a time long before her parents ever met. The reason that I mention this is that it reminds me of a peculiar habit John and Elly's generation have. Since John and Elly are typical boomers, they share the same set of faulty and baffling logic:

  1. I, John Patterson, know of the following relative living in the following area.

  2. Since I know this, it follows logically that my children magically somehow this person despite my never having mentioned him or her before.

  3. Therefore if they are reluctant in any way to visit this person when they are in his or her vicinity, they are selfish people who refuse to be gracious.

  4. Any suggestion that they do NOT know this person is wrong and bad because it suggests that I am an imbecile boomer who believes in magic, telepathy and drawing to an inside straight.

You will notice that I'm sort of guessing as to the second link in the chain. I don't really know why they make the assumption they do. It could be that the second proposition is "I, John Patterson, am sure that despite Liz or Mike or April not knowing this person from any other random stranger will immediately form a lasting personal bond because of a remote genetic connection." The problem is that this alternate proposition is equally silly and wrong. The problem is that John, Elly, Lynn and all the other boomers are behind the curve when it comes to understanding societal change. They were raised in a world when families weren't spread out over thousands of miles and the opinion of a person's extended family actually carried something like weight. They don't live in this world of ours where people don't live and die by the (worthless) opinion of Great Aunt Gertrude and thus don't feel the need to wreck their lives to placate distant nothings. This means that John and Elly are going to keep merrily on burdening themselves and their children with the need to touch base with strangers because of a magic word.