dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Concrete Thinking or Cement-Head John

One of the things that the retcons and the strip teach us is that abstract concepts tend to terrify, confuse and anger John like nothing else; his preferred method of dealing with the world is at the most literal level. This is, of course, why Ted’s attempt at self-deprecating humor as regards his summer place was lost on our boy; I should think that he might have looked at the tidy, well-appointed vacation cottages by the marina where he and the family were meant to go and thought-bubbled “Those aren’t cabins in the woods so we must drive on.” We also see this come into play when he tried to cure Lizzie of the habit of sucking her thumb; his solution was, as we know, to put an appliance in her mouth to keep her from doing so. The result was that she ended up lisping, getting teased and feeling even more insecure about her looks that she was beforehand; when she tried explaining that to him, she was greeted with blank-eyed confusion and baffled consternation. Reason: he couldn’t understand that she sucked her thumb because of a feeling of insecurity because it just wasn’t in him. It’s also why he doesn’t read serious literature; the generalities and abstract concepts bewilder and anger him. His coping mechanism seems to be to substitute stereotypes for real thought; as an example, he sees defiance where none exists because “everyone knows” that children will take a mile if you give them an inch. Factor in the false pride and victimization fantasies he shares with Elly and you’ll see that this is a man who’s unhealthy for children and other living things.

Tags: john - grinning weirdo

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