dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

"Somethin' bugging you guys?": Mike versus understanding his effect on people.

One thing I remember reading long ago is something Walt Kelly said about how you didn't really need to be able to understand English to enjoy a comic strip if it was done right. The example he used is that a cursory glance at Albert Alligator going through his paces would tell us that he's a bombastic, self-absorbed and clueless blabbermouth who stumbles through life convinced of his own excellence.

The reason that I mentioned a far better comic strip is that, as I've said before when I did so, we can do the same thing for the Pattersaints. As we see here, Mike acts like a total jerk to everyone but doesn't connect his behaviour to the anger and hurt feelings it inspires. This tells us that he has a tendency of not noticing the fact that what he does to the people around him affects them when it's in any way hurtful or in any way would make him into a bully or a whiny, selfish little bitch who cares more about his happiness than that of those around him.

The reason for this, I should think, is that he's the avatar for another of the author's favourite logical fallacies. While it is true that he's fond of John and Elly's beloved false cause fallacy that states that how they feel about an action must be the motive for said action, Mike likes to pick and choose when what he does makes people feel. What seems to be happening is that Mike believes the following:
  1. I have done a certain thing.
  2. This thing makes people angry.
  3. I am a good person and everything that I do is good because I do it.
  4. They clearly don't understand this and are angry for no reason that I can admit to without assuming that the thing I did was bad.
This sort of pleading the question seems to have insulated him from having to worry about how he's seen by other people. Either they're good guys who admit he's good or finks like Sistwirp who just don't know how the world works or monsters like Divala who want to emasculate him and keep him from celebrating his accomplishments.

Speaking of Liz, they seem to share an affection for a rather annoying fallacy. In his case, we're dealing with his insane assumption that if he has to share something in the least, it won't be long before he'll get nothing at all and be yelled at for expecting anything. In Liz's case, it results in a horror of meeting her boyfriends' relatives.
Tags: mike patterson: universal idiot

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