dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Domestic Man and other impostors.

Now that I've exhausted the possibilities implied in bludgeoning Kate over the head with the fact that she shouldn't get in Lynn's way when she wants to actually be a parent for once, I'd like to get back to Phil's struggle with kicking an addiction. I'm torn between being disgusted and pleased because he doesn't acquit himself especially well. It both sickens and delights me to have to remind you that the same overbearing snot who witlessly lectured Mike about staying the course made a whiny little bitch of himself because, as he saw it, people were trying to shackle him down when he should be free. This odd aversion to a more structured existence seems, I should think, to stem from the environment in which he and Elly grew up. Since any fool could look at Phillip Richards and immediately identify him as that contemptible figure called the momma's boy, we didn't actually need Elly trying to get him to remember that she was treated like a freaking maid while he had very few limits set on his behaviour to assume that this was the case. Her racing around trying to do things that would finally get her the approval and respect her parents withheld and their fawning over the smug beatnik asshole kid brother's every stupid action would have told us that anyway. Why this fear of re-examining the past? Why this fear of a structured existence in which there are consequences for his actions that last and last and last? It seems to me that Orwell's essay "Notes on Nationalism" can help explain things. In said work, Orwell pointed out that rabid exponents of a cause cannot allow themselves to think certain thoughts that are damaging to their belief systems. It seems to me that there are four core beliefs that Phil doesn't wish to believe that he believes:

  1. "When I saw Elly get shortchanged because of her gender, I thanked whatever god or gods might exist that I was born male and didn't have to deal with that."
  2. "Deep down, I believe that women were put on this Earth for the sole purpose of serving me and they don't like that, they're crazy, evil and selfish."
  3. "If a person bothers me, it's okay if they suffer things that I would not tolerate if they were done to me."
  4. "I am totally exempt from the rules that everyone else must obey."

The reason that Phil does not own up to the hatefulness, bitterness and selfishness in his heart is quite simple: he cannot and will not admit that he's loaded with malice and entitlement. This need to assume himself to be untainted leads him to want to shrug off any sort of implication that he has things to apologize for. His trying to shout Elly down or turn the argument against her tells us that he's comfortable in his denial. His panicky squealing about the castration and ruin implicit in growing the Hell up, paying his taxes and dying like the rest of the human race tells us why he does so: he fears an impossible act of restitution in which he is forced to grovel for forgiveness that isn't forthcoming. The petulant, irrational and immature means by which he expresses his fear of Elly's vengeance tells us that he created this straw older sister the first time someone used the scary phrase "you reap what you sow" in his presence. Were he to finally grow up, he'd be left with an impossibility: how to make up for fifty five years of his life lost fighting a monster made of his own fear that he's a jerk.
Tags: elly verus phil, phil: bee and bop king

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