April 24th, 2016

Snarky Candiru2

The dull-witted child is mother to the stupid woman.

To continue on with my look at the not-very-well-hidden flaws of the Pattersons, I'd like to restate a point I made long ago. As I said about eight years ago, the strip makes the most sense if we assume going in that Elly was never exceptionally bright to begin with. What little we do know about her past tells us that she's just not smart enough to have ever figured out why it was that Marian wasn't big on praising children. Oh, she does raise the children to believe that nothing that they ever do is really good enough herself but we're talking about copying a method without understanding why it's done. What she'll never see is the blind optimism behind the reproving glare. In my mind, I can imagine someone coming along and telling Marian to her face that Elly feels as if she's a disappointment and a failure of a daughter that she's right not to really love only to get a blank stare and a reassurance that Elly knows things that she never will. Marian went to meet Masky McDeath justified because she wrongly thought that her daughter knew that she was loved and approved of and appreciated. After all, she sure seems to have figured out what Marian was up to and did it herself so, yeah, Elly isn't the gloomy, self-hating, literal-minded dimwit convinced that her parents are ashamed of her silly people see.

This would be bad enough were it not for the fact that the end result of thinking that people spit her name when she's not looking is that Elly is also somewhat short-tempered. There's so much pointless, needless rage and bitterness coming from that stupid place that can't love itself that it can't help but spill all over the children. We see an angry dumb woman who was never really allowed to win arguments because she had to be held down for her own good overreacting to mild reverses because she doesn't know enough to not argue with a toddler.