dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Punting responsibilty and its discontents.

Now, before I get to the point I'm trying to make, I'd like to talk about my favourite episode of "The Red Green Show": the one where they think Ranger Gord has gone missing. It turns out that somehow or other, the letter that told Gord he'd been replaced by a weather station got lost in the mail seventeen years ago and Red kept trying Harold not to remind ol'Gord that he'd essentially wasted all that time in the woods for nothing. As it turned out, Gord had a plan to turn his years in the woods into a jumping-off point for creating a series of gonzo parody animated cartoons about the wilderness while noticing that Possum Lake was exactly the way he'd left it. Nobody'd done anything with their lives either so he didn't feel especially bothered by having wasted all that time because at least he had a plan for the future. The payoff came when Red told the viewers "Boy, it's sad when people waste their lives and don't even realize it. Maybe they don't want to look." Just for a second, Red's usual cocky grin faded because, well, he looked, didn't like what he saw and went back to NOT looking.

The reason that I mentioned ol'Red is that it occurs to me that just maybe, John and Elly don't want to admit that they're powerful influences in their children's lives. This, as I've said many times, is because John and Elly are powerful negative influences on the way the kids behave and they don't feel like blaming themselves for the things about the kids that really irritate them. As by way of example, Elly doesn't want to admit that the 'defiance' that drives her up the wall is the natural and inevitable end result of her seeing an attack in every harmless gesture and more than she wants to admit that most of the reason that Lizzie and April used baby talk far longer than they ought to have is because she spoke to them as if they were much younger children than they were.

As for John, he can't quite admit that his emotional distance has warped them. Mike is less of a man than he could be because he doesn't actually have a father but instead someone who enables the boy's need to see Elly's wanting a personal life as being wrong and Liz has this weird complex in which she looks for men who vaguely resemble him. He also doesn't want to admit that he sets an awful example as regards how to behave in public. As I'll remind you tomorrow, the optimal outcome of the strip would have been his being registered as a sex offender.
Tags: john and elly fail parenting forever

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