dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The why of inattention.

There is a good reason that the Pattersons' preferred mental state is an obliviousness to their immediate surroundings that doesn't relate to their odd belief that life works like television does. It seems to me that they don't pay attention to what they're doing because they want to protect themselves from having to realize that they're jerks.

Take, as an example, this example in hateful behaviour from the early nineties; as we see, Michael acts like a surly goof but doesn't understand why or how he's antagonized his family. Since he combines entitlement with victimism and blank-witted stupidity, the idea that he can't parade around and treat other people shabbily can't occur to him because he can no more see them as having rights he needs respect than he can see himself being in the wrong. This is why the Michael of 2012 is no doubt witlessly inconveniencing his fellows and not seeing himself as being an entitled bastard.

Elly, as I indicated earlier, is the same way. If she has to pay attention to what she's doing as a housewife, she'd have to realize that slavishly imitating her inept, pompous and judgmental dimwit of a mother ate away far more of her precious time than her children ever could and that would lead to the humiliation of admitting that she not only wasn't loving, fair, firm or kind, she also learned to be an idiot parent from another idiot. It would be as big a humiliation as admitting that she's a crappy friend, wife and employee. Better to live in a fog and not see herself as having an impact of any sort so she can protect herself from the possibility that said impact is negative.

This refusal to admit to being a capricious, deceitful, short-tempered, inconsiderate, entitled, domineering clod only too happy to usurp the rights of others is also why John cannot be asked to pay attention to what he's doing. He can only maintain the illusion that he's an honest, considerate person if he doesn't allow himself to see what he's doing. This is also why he doesn't bother wasting his valuable time finding out who the people around him are; were he to do something impractical like getting to know April as a person rather than blathering witlessly about princesses, he might look in the mirror and see a selfish rat bastard idiot who treated his daughter like a criminal because of toy trains. Better to hide behind stereotypes and misinformation; that way, he doesn't have to realize that the world doesn't actually owe him a living because he didn't really suffer anything.

This brings us to Liz; most of why she spent her formative years not seeing the obvious is that she didn't want to. You'd have to be more in love with feeling bad about yourself than with in love to not notice Anthony's longing for you but Liz manages it. What always bothered me about Lynn's calling her sum-up of the Lizthony dynamic a Second Chance is that because of Lizardbreath's constantly willing herself to not see that Anthony imprinted on her and stayed that way despite being married, the first chance she actually gave the relationship was when she and Anthony guessed that they were engaged.

Finally, we have April. She's different because she's forced to pay attention to what's going on around her; it's like how she's also the one forced to learn moral lessons and to apologize. Since she has no power and influence, she has to guide her own destiny like a sucker instead of being a good person and not have to pay attention.
Tags: one big oblivious family

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