dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The labyrinth in Mike's skull.

Of course, most of Michael's problems seem to be related to the fact that he has something in common with Lynn: he's got an undiagnosed case of Attention Deficit Disorder. The strip that led me to that conclusion is this exercise in failing to reach him. While Elly mistakes his attention on her face as meaning that he's paying attention to what she's saying, what's really going on is that Mike is paying attention to everything else BUT the noises coming out of Elly's mouth. This tendency to focus on anything but what's really important comes from the same place that makes Lynn focus on irrelevant details that have nothing to do with the real message of any given strip. Just as we have to wonder why she's talking about trivia when important things are happening, the people in Mike's vicinity are always mystified by his baffling focus on the inconsequential. This means that Michael is pretty much the sort of man-child singing about boom anime babes that make him think the wrong thing in Barenaked Ladies' One Week: his girlfriend is telling him what matters to her but he's lost in his own mind thinking about Aquaman and X-Files.

They're also baffled by his yo-yoing between malingering his way through life when having to do something he doesn't like to do and shutting himself off from the outside world and spending hours on end on something when he's in the zone. As we see here, Mira demonstrates an inability to realize that the person her daughter married doesn't mean to be rude but cannot help it. The task before him enthralls him to the extent that he cannot and will not allow outside influences like relatives who want to get to know the odd person who doesn't have steady enough work to suit them or children who want to invade Daddy's space to intrude.

This sort of thing leads to another problem Mike and Lynn have: making verbal outbursts. Much like Lynn, Michael finds it difficult to regulate his emotions and is prone to do and say things that he might later regret because he doesn't have the ability to edit what he says before blurting it out. Not, of course, that he can explain why he's upset any more than he can explain anything else about his life in terms that someone like Deanna or Mira can adequately understand. While he finds it easy to look past the surface of things and spend many enjoyable hours working happily away, he can't explain this hidden well of creativity to someone more aware of the material world than he is. He also can't explain to his mother why his preferred organization style is "a pile for everything and everything in its pile" because they can't explain their inability to cope with routines or need to be actually be able to see things in order to remember them. Mira Sobinski has a neat, orderly mind wherein she files everything away primly and properly and can almost instantly recall things like faces, passwords and where she keeps the barbecue tongs; she can't understand that her daughter married a man with an ever-whirring mind constantly changing directions like he's Ted Forth losing himself in a corn maze who can remember trivia but needs Deanna around to help him remember where his car keys are.
Tags: freefloating commentary, mike versus mira

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