dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

Mike as seen by his contemporaries: portrait of the artist as a walking punchline.

As I continue on with my more in-depth look at how other people see Mike, I think that it's pretty safe to say that between John's willful blindness and Elly's blank-witted stupidity that he and Lizzie never really had a chance of growing up into human beings that could function in society. One of the symptoms of their inability to cope with the real world without retreating into a sort of us-versus-them mentality is their reaction to the discovery of how they're perceived.

Since Mike has done more damage to society by running a magazine into the ground and writing horrible novels that help reinforce limiting stereotypes, it behooves us to begin our look at how others see the Patterson children who haven't escaped with him. What we must take into consideration is that since he combines John's fatuous blindness to the consequences of his actions and need to lash out at perceived enemies and Elly's physical ineptitude and inability to read the room, he doesn't have the least idea how the people around him think and cannot do anything without making a laughable mess.

The first hint that he's regarded as being not all that impressive comes from the parent-teacher conferences John and Elly went to in the Early Years. The child that his teachers described was a disruptive little nuisance who seemed to crave attention due to a lack of it at home and who only seemed to do well in courses that came easily to him. If he could settle down, stop making an ass of himself and do things that required effort, he could make something of himself. His reaction to finding out that he was regarded not as the victim of persecution but as just another anonymous pain in the neck who needed follow the same rules as everyone else was hostility and disbelief.

We also find ourselves coming away with the distinct impression that his peers saw him as being rather on the outside looking in socially. He was always up to do something stupid if he was dared to, never got that he was being lied to when the guys said he'd be their friend, tended to blunder his way into confrontations with another scruffy social outcast and could be counted on to generally make a mess of things and a fool of himself. When his contemporaries made it quite clear that they saw a flat-footed, dough-headed, entitled jerk with too high an opinion of himself, his reaction was either anger or petulant whining about how people were mean.

The same sort of pathetic wailing about the inhumanity of others came into play when the love interests he'd driven away owing to his tendency to take them for granted and treat them like crap alluded as to how he wasn't exactly the easiest person to be in love with. His need to not listen to his conscience kept him from seeing the ridiculous boor that we saw wailing about his heart being caught in a machine because he was too stupid to figure out what really happened.

This mess went on to inflict his self-pity, entitlement and hapless incapacity to do anything right on downstairs neighbors, in-laws, landladies and sundry people in the publishing industry. I'll handle them tomorrow. Right now, I need to not think of an inept buffoons who wails about how cruel it is that he has to play by the same rules as everyone else.
Tags: mike patterson: universal idiot, mythologizing mike
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