It seems to me that both Gavin Caine and Mira Sobinski probably spend a lot of their time wondering why the Hell their children are so attracted to the Patterson family, they’ve more or less become members of a sort of cult. I can’t quite fault them for doing so because it’s almost impossible to conceive of an adult choosing to degrade him- or herself by consorting with the appalling collection of white trash we are asked to venerate. Let’s review some of the more unpleasant traits and see how baffling it is that people like the Foobs are appealing:
- First off, the Pattersons are very poorly educated and proud of it. Not only did Elly abandon her studies because she was overwhelmed by the course load, John is smug about only knowing how to use machinery; any sort of knowledge that might contradict what ‘everyone’ knows (or, to translate that from Train Man to human being, the preconceptions he’s too lazy and gutless to question) is rejected. I dare say that his father is a more learned man despite having only a high-school diploma to his name. Their disdain for learning has been handed down to their idiot children.
- The next factor one must contend with is their repellent vulgarity; not only do they go out of their way to act like yokels, they exult in their abominable loutishness.
- Allied to this is their smirking belief that those who work towards a goal want more out of life than Fate is willing to dispense and are thus doomed to unhappiness.
- We must also contend with their astonishing absence of empathy; this is why Mike or John wail about how it hurts to be mocked only to smugly insist that people who object to their hateful commentary should just get over themselves.
- This leads into their lack of remorse; simply put, anyone who might get in the way of them and a desired goal is not entitled to his or her opinion. This person is to be run over at all costs and be damned for being in their path.
- Finally, they look at the idea that the Pattersons have that they are entitled to mow down the Thereses of the world because they have suffered as have no others and shake their heads in utter confusion. Trying to figure out what sacrifices they’ve had to endure is pretty much beyond their critics because they can’t find things that don’t exist.
The problem, of course, is that the Miras and Gavins of the world look at these people and assume that simply because the Pattersons are over twenty physically, they’re adults. What I see is a collection of spoiled children who appeal to the snot-nosed brat in their worshippers; eventually, of course, Mira will unwittingly come to the truth of the matter when she asks Deanna what she wants to be when she grows up.