dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Connections: John and Michael

I think it's pretty safe to say that John doesn't relate well to kids because he's pretty much still a kid himself. As I've said before, he seems to be primarily motivated by the very real need to not really grow up and accept any sort of scary change that would make him the loser in life's race. We also have to deal with the sort of black-and-white insanity that's pretty much the price people have to pay for accepting unearned privilege into their lives.

This means that any person reading the strip for the first time would be able to predict that he and Michael would continue to be somewhat incompatible during most of the middle years. After all, we're dealing with a sort of vain idiot who assumes sight unseen that Michael should be so grateful to have Daddy provide him with the things he needs that he wouldn't constantly challenge him at every turning. Since John is rather simple and there aren't hidden undercurrents in his mind, the fear that Michael represents a future in which what John wants to see happen is set at naught just because he happens to die is not something he feels. He simply wants the obeisance he feels is due to him owing to his being someone who'd fit in better as a cast member of The Venture Bros.

What Mike sees when he sees John tends to fuel Dad's rage because of the fact that John doesn't see an uncool, obsolete old fossil who won't listen to people because he spends his complaining about nothing and besides, he's forgotten what it's like to be young anyway. This is not quite the case because John clearly seems to remember himself as being a better kid than he was and as getting along better with his dad than he actually did; this means that he remembers the past through the distorting lens of a nostalgia that makes his life better than it was. This world in which childhood is a carefree romp not only gets in the way of his ability to relate to the anxious, resentful screw-up son he actually used to be, it makes him useless as a father to Lizzie.
Tags: john patterson: confused philosopher

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