As I once said, the Pattersons seem to have made something of a mess of teaching their children how to donate things for charity. The reason, as I explained, is John and Elly’s tendency towards smug narcissism. Since they seem to believe that they are the only people in the history of ever qualified to decide who gets what, they cannot help but totally screw up a simple thing like a charitable donation. What’s more, their need to shut their children up by appealing to worse problems doesn’t really have the desired effect of making them willing donors to a cause. Either they succumb to white liberal guilt and go on a disaster tourism thing or they give as little as possible to worthy causes. What makes the Pattersons’ tendency to make this particular faux pas bearable is that Lynn doesn’t make it a centre-point of the strip.
The same cannot be said of Jan Eliot, creator of the strip Stone Soup. For the last four or so years, most of the plots that aren’t devoted to shaming Holly for being a teenager are focused on congratulating Grandma Evie for spending months at a time building houses in disaster areas. The problem is that, as has been pointed out by people who aren’t stupid, doing so is something of a bad idea. Not only does Evie take work away from competent local workers (while, I should think, conning herself into thinking that they need Mighty Whitey’s help to breathe), she needs to be fed and housed which is a further drain on resources. The worst effect, of course, is that by doing so, she manages to obtain a nifty club to pound poor little Holly over the head with for her horrible crime of being a thirteen year old girl who doesn’t want to babysit. When the little thing explained this to her family, they were beside themselves with rage and snippily informed the child that not only must she babysit, all of her money must go to charity lest she lead to the enslavement of all women everywhere and everywhen by buying cosmetics and trying to attract male attention.
By combining idiot disaster tourism with a default need to rage against children for being children, Jan Eliot has managed to surpass her hero Lynn in the category of “Irritating, self-congratulatory and obnoxious jerk creator”. It’s like she’s a leftie version of Reaganite pain in the ass Allison Barrows of the strip PreTeena. The same hatred of teenaged girls because, well, they want to look pretty, attract male attention and have little patience for that ultimate uncool hindrance to happiness called Moooooooother informs both strips. Given that Moooooooother seems to be animated by a need to atone for being such a creature herself only seems to make things a bit worse.