dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

On the loading of the horse-buns

Of course, it's not bad enough that John and Elly give horrible advice because they're too out of touch with reality to know what the Hell they're talking about. What makes things worse is that when they do give advice, they tend to fall into a trap Erma Bombeck noticed herself falling into. At one point, she heard her husband giving the "When I was your age, I didn't have a school bus. I had to walk x number of miles in the snow" and wondered if this would escalate to his having to ride a chariot wearing a loin cloth and having to worry about the Mongol hordes on his trip to and from school. This is owing to the same nostalgia filter that has parents envy children and look back on good old days that weren't so good in reality reversing polarity when the offsprings' attitudes need adjusting. As this stupid lecture teaches us, John clearly seems to believe that if Mike were to have a second to himself, his life would be ruined forever because he won't know how to work. The unspoken context is that John sees his youth as being a bleak, joyless expanse of endless chores that must be compensated for by buying himself sports cars and model train layouts; since he survived that non-existant horror and is better for it, it only makes sense to keep his son from a life of horrible dissipation and sloth.

The problem that isn't the fact that John is conveniently inflating his work load in order to browbeat his son into doing something he never actually did himself is that he and Elly tend to expect uncritical obedience to their load of tosh. The way Lynn sees it, children are magically obliged to listen to parents no matter how little sense they make because doing otherwise means something horrible: it means that their opinions are as open to dismissal as everyone else's. Simply put, if Elly is spouting self-serving gibberish about how Liz is supposed to read her alleged mind and gets a bug in her panties when balderdash is given its right name, Elly's attitude is the one that needs adjusting. Sadly, Lynn is pandering to people with the same authoritarian impulses as herself as evidenced by the people who wanted John to reduce April to a whimpering heap for daring to say something horribly defiant and cruel and wrong like "I'll be right down for dinner in a bit but I have to put homework away first."
Tags: john and elly fail parenting forever

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