dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Of sliding time scales, fixed chronologies and lessons learned.

The real reason that Curtis never seems to learn from the past, of course, is that he's always going to be eleven years old. He's been eleven since 1988 and he'll still be eleven when Billingsley retires and either hands the strip off to an assistant or writes a strip of destiny. Since he has to be the local representative of the "This Loser Is You" franchise, he has to forget any lessons he might learn so that his failings might move the strip forward. The problem, of course, is that every so often, Billingsley introduces a story element that makes it difficult to believe that we're still frozen in some sort of late eighties-early nineties fantasy world; the most problematic element is Greg's disdain for rap and love of R and B. Since he's still in his late forties, it would make more sense if he were to start to tell Curtis to listen to real rappers instead of the lesser lights that dominate the charts.

The problems in chronology aren't as bad when you get to a strip wherein characters age; as an example, Luann DeGroot can remember things and refer to the past without introducing the sort of absurdities one would have to deal with in other strips. The problem with her universe is that characters age at varying rates to meet whatever need Evans has at any given time. This means that Luann is eventually going to end up being classmates with Toni's niece/cousin/daughter/whatever Shannon.

It's far easier for moral lessons to stick in strips wherein people age in real time; the characters in For Better or For Worse can pretty much pinpoint when John figured out that Elly wasn't simply talking to hear herself talk when she described how overwhelmed she felt. The trouble, of course, is that since the Pattersons can not admit to making mistakes, they miss the point of what happened to them and end up getting all their lessons wrong.
Tags: amazonian catfish tinfoil hat, foob history, i can't believe it's not tiffany., surgically attached hat

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