dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

On the refusal of blowback.

I should think that it's safe to say that like most of the characters, Elly really doesn't like to think about there being any sort of negative consequences to what she does. She can't wait to be praised for her actions and lives a life of angry desperation because she doesn't get what her endless hunger for approval sees as being enough praise but condemnation, criticism and having things blow up in her face are things she just doesn't want to have to contend with.

The strip I linked to comes from a sequence that serves as a fairly good example of what I'm writing about. As we'll going to be reminded in three years time, Elly decides sight unseen to bar the children from watching the box for a couple of weeks because it's clear as anything to her that their love of casual profanity must have been encouraged by evil network television despite the fact that she and John use far worse language in front of them all the time without a moment's thought. From the original stupid over-reaction to a problem that isn't remotely what she thinks it is to Connie's ass-kissing attempt to reassure her that one day, they'll thank her for being a punitive and small-minded tyrant, the whole thing is a celebration of her refusing to pick her battles because she thinks what other people think of her parenting skills comes before actually having them.

This inability to understand the evil, scary, wrong and unfair concept called "cause and effect" would be bad enough if it were simply restricted to her not understanding that she's the problem. Standing there angry at Mike because Gordon ups, shoves him aside and joyrides into a ditch because it's clearly all Mike's fault that his attempts to tell Gordon not to play around with her car fell on deaf ears proves us that things aren't actually allowed to not be her children's fault. Her belief that she can do no wrong because her intentions are good and her children can do no right because their intentions MUST be bad because they get in the way hampers her effectiveness as a parent and makes her make comments about how her evil children act as if she's some sort of punitive, child-hating tyrant who deliberately spouts errant nonsense out of malice.
Tags: elly patterson: universal imbecile.

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