October 25th, 2015

Snarky Candiru2

Elly Richards: Also a Git Lit Hero.

Another thing that an enterprising mind could do is to create a series of books based on the childhood of Elly herself. This is because her younger self looks like the very model of a modern sixties unsympathetic female comedic protagonist. While the male git seems to regard his being a sullen, slow-witted, antagonistic rebel without a brain as making him a really great guy who gets into trouble for no reason, the female git is a shrill, bratty, melodramatic pain in the ass who bounces from one self-induced calamity to another out of sheer idiocy. We have your Georgia Rennisons, we have your Nikki Dorkdiaries and we can jolly well have your Elly Richardses.

She seems to be a rather appealing character to me because of her messed-up self-image and vindictive nature. A good author would manage to drop broad hints that we're dealing with a scowling idiot ready to take offense and slow to admit failure. A good author would show us that Elly makes a lot of her own trouble because she's sort of clueless and sort of misreads the room. She'd even manage to point out that Elly had an Anthony of sorts who might actually have made her happy when she was off chasing any number of idiots who made her feel bad about herself but made her look good doing it.

Of course, what really sells her as a hero is that your standard git-lit hero is usually the child of parents trying their damnedest despite having a trying child. Mike doesn't qualify really because there are no reasonable authority figures in his life. Elly is an angry, self-pitying scold, John is a thin-skinned bully, Phil is a temperamental shmuck who uses the adjective 'treacherous' to describe children who don't understand the bebop slop coming out of his fat yap and who also let their home life get in the way of devoting all their mental capital to the adoration of an irritating Peter Pan clone and his grandparents are distant nothings. Elly has loving parents who she hates because she refuses to admit that Marian fears spoiling her children.
Snarky Candiru2

The body, the language and the ignored hero.

I think that it's rather safe to say that John is actually the first person Elly Richards seriously dated. While Lynn spent a lot of time and energy insisting on the fact that cohabitation would have destroyed their parents' reputation and made them societal outcasts, it often occurs to me that much like Deanna, the only way she'd ever agree to have sex is if she's Mrs Somebody first. It has little to do with anything like religion or what Mother might think and everything to do with what she thought Society at large thought of her. The Quality Women wanted her to get her MRS degree and maybe pick up her BA later on in life just to scratch some sort of itch and by Hell, she was going to do it and Mother be damned. This, as I've said, is owing to her deliberate refusal to consider the idea that her mother didn't want her to die old and alone and have nothing because of the insane grudge she has against Marian.

How this would manifest itself in a sort of Young Elly series of books pitched at the Adrian Mole set is that we would have her throw herself at an endless series of unattainable males who are either bad for her or are already in a committed relationship with someone else. The writer would point out this out without actually pointing it out by having her deliberately misinterpret what girls with the body and the language are saying to her. We'd have her crying on her pillow about how all the 'good' ones were taken just because she isn't some pretty Barbie doll with perfect hair, perfect teeth, a perfect figure and perfect everything telling their selfish lies about how she's too quick to take offense and too slow to admit error and how that's why no one really wants to date her.

This thinking that if she were to be cuter, she'd be more loved would also allow the writer to hit people over the head with the body image issues that have always crippled Elly. Thanks to the habit they have of illustrating these things, we could compare the dishy little thing she really was with the butt-ugly monstrosity Elly has always seen in the mirror. Alternately, we'd have her talk about how much money it must take to make her class pictures look like a movie star when she's really Frankenstein only to have someone who's lying in a doomed attempt to make her feel good say he didn't spend a dime. Fathers are supposed to say that, darn it!

We could even have her ignore or be totally unaware of a proto-Anthony who might actually love her for who she is. Any sort of flash-forward to the present day would depict him as being a good man doing good things in the world wondering whatever happened to that poor girl who was always down on herself and angry for no sensible reason.