Tags: eva warzone

Snarky Candiru2

Meet The Good Bad Influence

There is, of course, another reason why Eva Warzone is beloved by the Patterson family: she feeds into April's irrational jealousy of Becky McGuire. You'll have noticed that I linked to one of Elly's stupider comments about how awful it is that teenagers seem to act as if parents don't know jack shit and how she blamed every bit of it on that awful friend of hers. Since Elly Patterson is the Elly Pattersoniest of all Elly Pattersons, it makes a sad sense that she can look at typical goofy teenage girl behaviour and see it as a wave of chaos come to destroy parental authority for the bonehead reason that she assumed that that was what she was doing to her own mother when she was a plastic flower child.

It would do no good for Jim to come along and try to explain to his errant imbecile daughter that despite her belief otherwise, she wasn't a dangerous rebel and her mother didn't really reel from anything. I'm put in mind of a scene from one of the cross-overs between Law & Order and Homicide: Life On The Streets when Munch managed to read the FBI report on him and angrily denied his being summed up as the man he was: a noisy poser trying to give his mother a huge middle finger by pretending to be a Maoist. Since Elly wanted to think she was dangerous, she assumes that tame behaviour like wearing make-up kind of early and blowing Mommy's money on cute tops makes Becky the Anti-Elly.

What she never wanted to see is that April did inherit the family's jealousy, insecurity and belief that people who stand in the family's way are garbage people plotting their ruin which kind of gave Eva an in. Since April needs to see herself as being at war with everyone (owing to having that instinct reinforced by another moron with a bunker mentality), the poor deluded sap will always find an excuse to hate the one person actually trying to get her to not act like swine.
Snarky Candiru2

Meet The Airhead

It should be obvious at this point that the series of failed and incompetent mentors that feed the Pattersons bad advice fail to correct the most serious problem they have: the airgap effect. No matter how hard a Patterson tries, he or she cannot put him or herself in the shoes of another person. What is more, their innate gloominess and exaggerated dread that people want to take everything they have away from them makes them confuse the claims of empathy with a twitching eagerness to rob them of all they have and mock them for wanting to be treated well. Thus do we have Liz's need to blow off April's concerns with snotty and hateful comments about being a picky face.

The reason that I mention this is that Lynn created someone whose sole purpose is to come along and tell April that her feelings of fear, disappointment and confusion are fake noise she isn't really feeling because she's not grateful to have a great mother like Elly: Eva "War Zone" Abuya. Lynn wants us to believe that we're looking at a helpful girl who wants a noisy irritant to come to her senses. Too bad for her that people actually see a rich nitwit shoot off her fat yap and say "Your problems don't affect me in the slightest. Stop talking because it makes me feel bad about having everything handed to me on a tray."
Snarky Candiru2

Molly's expiry date.

To continue this look at what Elly is doing wrong here, let's remind ourselves that Elly hasn't the vaguest idea of what Molly actually wants. She isn't looking for advice, she isn't looking for guidance, she isn't looking to be told that she should move on and she definitely isn't looking for a comment on how some old lady failed math. What she's looking for is for someone to agree that for reasons beyond her control, her life has been totally upset and that it sucks that it happened. Her father isn't around when she wants to have her feelings acknowledged and the woman he married is distinctly unsympathetic to her plight so she's looking for someone to vent to and she ain't getting it.

The reason, sadly, is that she lives in a world that fears and hates a moody teen-ager who wants to be told that her life isn't all sunshine and rainbows and unicorn farts. From whining ass-bucket John making that hateful and stupid comment about problem hair to that ignorant pinhead Eva Warzone checking April's expiry date, it's sort of obvious that we live in a world hostile to the idea of people getting things off their chest and getting catharsis. The idea should be that a child should bury feelings of confusion, loss and alienation to make things easier for the adults causing the problem for a very stupid reason: the child must serve as an emotional crutch to stupid old people who see their blessed lives as a bleak hell-world because other people have free will.

Well, there's that and they're stupid enough to not understand that children aren't chaos-loving monsters who want to ruin them. After all, you can't read John's arch and moronic comments about not knowing that he'd raised a princess without telling yourself "Holy Shit! This stupid sack of bastard thinks that the kid wants to laugh at her brother and his family as they freeze to death instead of wanting to be told that things will work out for her!" Someone who'd pull a chair out from under a child because he automatically assumed that she cussed out her idiot mother simply isn't capable of seeing a child any other way because he's an authoritarian muttonhead who needs his arse kicked for him.
Snarky Candiru2

War zones and pop stars

Like all of us, the Patterson family look at a person and wonder if his or her character traits are something he or she is born with or something that's the product of life experiences. Unlike most of us, it's pretty much a given that when they look at their own children, John and Elly fall all over themselves to take credit for the good in their kids while saying that the bad is in the kids' blood despite that being at war with a little thing I call objective reality.

As by way of example, it's obvious to everyone who isn't a Patterson or Patterson-like life form that for all intents and purposes, April was a neglected orphan being raised by her grandfather. For very self-serving and ridiculous reasons, her parents seemed to do very little in the way of actually bringing her up or imparting values or anything like that. Someone cruel and heartless who didn't understand how horribly Elly and John had to struggle because they had to wait more than five seconds for a goal to be accomplished and also had to do that themselves might confuse them with dimwitted, negligent and short-tempered baby-sitters with an attitude problem whose baleful and useless interference only served to make the work of her primary caregiver harder.

This, I should think, is why they're at pains to sell April on the idea that Becky is bad news while Eva is great. You see, not only is Becky from a broken home and thus to be avoided because of some dread that marital disharmony might be contagious, she has terrible information to impart. Just as Gordon used to be bad for Mike because he used to regard Elly as being a short-tempered idiot who overreacted witlessly to harmless phenomena such as dressing up like Bowie for Halloween, Becky tells April that parents are capable of using their children as weapons in some sort of emotional war. Worse still, she says something VERY dangerous about how physical and emotional distance have very little to do with one another. If April were to be exposed to that sort of darkness, she might start to thinking that it doesn't just look as if her parents don't actually care for her much and are mostly out for themselves.

How much better for April to have Eva slam her down when she questions if her parents actually like her. Most of us can see that she's making the same stupid mistake Weed does when he assumes that since his super-busy but loving parents do not teleport to his side when he feels low, they do not care for him. Since she's the "Where is X when you need him/her" kind, she's there to sell the Martian on the idea that since her emotionally absent and distant parents are hovering over her congratulating themselves that they're finished being her mom and dad, they do care for someone they don't know that they regard as an inconvenient poor relation.
Snarky Candiru2

Too good to hang out with losers: what Becky should have told Eva Warzone.

As you will recall, I recently linked to the last strip in which Becky appeared. What Lynn clearly seems to have intended to happen was to have Becky apologize for seeking fame and the lonely, nomadic and empty lifestyle that goes with it when she should have been satisfied with fun, friendship and hiding her light under a bushel so that the less talented (HI THERE, AYPO!!!!) can feel better about themselves. She also seems to wanted Becky to apologize to Eva Warzone for thinking that she was better than people she was better than. The strip in question can safely be described as being an example of the same ethos that produced this example of Lynn's belief that the more talented should simply lose on purpose in order to make people feel better and spare them the horrible effort of getting good at something.

Granted, there is a situation that doesn't involve apologizing for having goals, a positive work ethic, the willingness to do things you don't like and other things that Lynn hates. In the real world, Becky might have finally realized that April believed that she'd declared war on her and wanted to use her star power to crush her and her friends. Being famous wouldn't seem as cool when it came at the expense of a friend's sanity and peace of mind so the whole 'too good for my own good' speech might have been yet another way by which Becky wanted to reach out to April and turn a misguided antagonist back into a friend. That being said, Becky should NOT have apologized for having ambition. While it is very unlikely that April would actually believe that people who don't follow her lead aren't trying to bust her ass given her background, an honest effort to explain herself might start to make sense once April is out in the real world and has to deal with how regular, non-Patterson people behave. What Becky should have done is to take Eva Warzone aside and explain that when a person tries to confide in a 'friend' only to get a snippy little speech about expiration dates and war zones because said 'friend' is too blind to see how awful the Pattersons really are, said 'friend' needs very much to take a flying leap. She could start by pointing to Shannon and her mother, Eva herself and her mom, and so on and so forth and then ask "One of these things is not like the other"; given that John is in the parking lot grumbling because he has to do things for his daughter when all the other parents willingly support their children, I think that Eva would lose a lot of face and thus finally shut her stupid mouth.
Snarky Candiru2

Duncan Anderson: Caribbean Cipher

As you might have guessed, I think that one of Liz's Great Big Problems is that she hasn't managed to escape the baleful influence of the Professional Good Influences that her parents like having around. Whenever I see one of the Magical Tokens, I'm put in mind of the character I most hate in Greg Evans's Luann: Delta James. Evans himself seems to see a rather sensible figure who motivates her apathetic friends to Helping Others. I see an annoying, chirpy, unlikable jackass who sees the people around her as stepping stones on her path to greatness; the idea that they don't want to waste their precious youth which they'll never get back helping some nagging narcissist climb the ladder is not one that appeals to her any more than being told they have a moral obligation to put aside their own petty desires for the sake of their children appeals to John or Elly.

This is especially true about the irritants April had to contend with: Eva "Warzone" Abuya and Luis "Refugee" Guzman. The instant that April starts talking something that normal people would sympathize with, Eva is Janey-on-the-spot with a cutting remark about war zones or expiration dates so that a sinister sort of magic act can take place. The idea is that since April's being treated like a piece of furniture no one wants to do with do not affect Eva in the least, April is magically supposed to stop caring about it. Similarly, we're supposed to pity Luis so much that we no longer care about someone whose main problem is not La Migra but doltish, greedy parents who regard her as a moocher because she doesn't bring money in.

Would, then, that they were all placid ciphers like Duncan. I mean, if we must have people whose sole reason for existing is to have Lynn caper around yelling "Hoop-yah! Look how tolerant the Pattersons are!!", the least they can do is BE tolerable and shut the Hell up about it. We know as much about him as we do Darryl Smythe.
Snarky Candiru2

The Hagiography of Eva Warzone…….

I think that it’s fairly safe to say that Lynn loves the idea that most of her characters are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. This, I believe is owing to the fact that she grew up knowing that she had living family members back in the United Kingdom and her tendency to see her unique experiences as somehow being universal. This is why the Pattersons both have relatives back in the Home Island, why Anthony and Deanna’s parents came off the boat and pretty much why Lawrence’s dad and Eva “Warzone” Abuya’s parents had to be foreigners.  This last, I should think, is owing to Lynn not really wanting to admit to herself that black people have always been a fact of life up here in the Great (Lily)White North.

We must also remember that Lynn tends to see visible minorities as being somehow magical; the worst of this tendency is the infamous strip that had John interacting with the Ethiopian cab driver. As we all remember, it was an exercise in having a refugee from a war zone explain to John that he should be grateful to live where he doesn’t have to face doing something obsolete old people used to do called “dying for his beliefs.” Had Lynn stopped there, we would have been able to shrug, write it off as her committing a minor faux-pas and gone on to discuss other horrors. Unfortunately, she’d developed a taste for the logical fallacy called the ‘appeal to shame’ and eventually created a character that embodied that particularly nasty form of shutting up people whose points of view got in the way of Housenings, Sham Weddings and Settlepocalypses: Eva Abuya.

As you will recall, the function she has that isn’t reminding April that she’s supposed to fear and hate someone who probably simply wonders why her childhood friend got all butthurt and jealous when she went solo is to not permit her to vent. She is thus depicted as an ennobling influence because she browbeats April into shutting up and not complaining about a hysterical nitwit mother who blames her for everything bad in her life, a boorish asshole father who treats her like a shit-heel because she has a brain of her own, an entitled ass of an older brother who barged in and disrupted her life so that he wouldn’t have to accept the generosity of a woman who thinks that he’s a deluded twit, a moronic goof sister-in-law who wants to turn her into a serf and a spoiled brat of an older sister who resents her for being loved better. A real friend would let April vent so that she doesn’t feel that she’s all alone and possibly just crazy; a pious fraud like Eva who doesn’t actually give two shits about her stands there and makes high-sounding noise about warzones and expiration dates so she doesn’t have to listen to boring comments about things that don’t matter to her. She is thus more or less equivalent to the boorish, insensitive, self-absorbed nitwit Liz who thinks “Well, whatever is inconveniencing April doesn’t affect me so it shouldn’t matter to her.”

This makes writing her Liography fairly easy; all we need do is make her rich parents refugees from a war zone who answer every question she ever asked with moral bullying about having to pay for the air she breathes and you’ve got a piece that has the theme “Eva is the best friend April could have because she’s programmed like a machine to bleat about how the picky-face should be grateful to be in the presence of people who regard the minor inconvenience of looking out for her interests as an unreasonable and evil imposition willed upon them by a tyrant child who wants to dominate them.” This sickens me because I remember something Lynn does not: anyone with a brain can read her strip and see that Becky is still a better friend than the lecturing turd with the attitude problem. Eva will go on to live a great life looking down on people who bore her with complaints that mean nothing to her and are thus not worth consideration while Becky is bound to end up becoming a dismembered carcass in a landfill somewhere because she told April that her parents had a lot to be desired.

Snarky Candiru2

On collateral damage in the Cashpocalypse.

As you know, I've been toying with the idea that the Pattersons' wastefulness and stupidity has finally caught up with them. While it's loads of fun contemplating Elly standing around shrieking at the repo man as he hauls away her stuff or seeing the smoke coming out of her ears as her one-way brain tries to process the notion that the family has been living beyond its means for donkey's years, we also have to remind ourselves that the Core Four are taking a lot of innocents down with them. As a for instance, anyone who's in business with them will have to scramble to make sure that the Crown doesn't end up owing their horses just because they're in business with morons.

While I'm pretty sure that Moira and Gordo can somehow escape the gravitational pull of Patterfailure, the same cannot be said for April and the other children. The sudden collapse of the Patterempire seems to have been timed just right so as to ensure that whatever advantages John and Elly were able to lavish on Mike and Liz are to be denied the picky-faced Martian princess who destroyed Elly's life forever. That, of course, isn't the only thing that is perfectly timed so as to make her life worse. My inner cynical bastard suspects that she'll somehow end up being magically responsible for the collapse in the first place. I can readily imagine Elly leading the charge to ascribe the ruin caused by a collective financial delinquency on the imbalance in the family structure that April causes. Since John is only too ready to agree to anything that keeps the greaseburgers coming and is probably hating the fact that his out-of-control daughter defies him by insisting on facts instead of relying on the comfy stereotypes that prevent him from doing a lot of thinking, he'll add the threat of violence to ignorance. We can also count on Mike to resent the fact that he might have to get a real job, Deanna to be pissed that she might have to accept the evil generosity of the mother who'd warned her that the Sainted Pattersons were bozos, Lizzie to still be sore that she's a middle child and Anthony shrugging as he sighs a sigh of relief that he's still thought of as a demigod.

What makes things worse is that none of the stereotypes that her parents approve of will allow her the kindness of listening to her vent. Since she's been brainwashed into hating the one person who'd do so, she's stuck listening to Eva Warzone and Luis Refugee hector her about how she should be grateful that she has family around to blame her for their own idiocy.
Snarky Candiru2

Connie and other green-eyed monsters

There is something besides the need to help a friend that inspires Connie's constant stream of unsolicited advice: envy. As I've mentioned before, she desperately wants all the things that have been thrust in her friend's arms: the chance the be a MOBzilla, grandchildren to show off and so on and so forth. It appears to her that Elly seems ungrateful for the bounty that an unkind, mocking fate has denied her which, of course, leads to the vitriol about exploitation that spews from her lips. I believe that I have also mentioned the same thing inspires Eva Abuya in her campaign to make April feel like a fool. What should be obvious is that this is how Lynn views constructive criticism. People who point out flaws aren't trying to help you avoid getting into an avoidable jam, they're just picking on you because they're jealous.
Snarky Candiru2

The Defriendening of April Patterson

It ccurs to me that howtheduck's suspicions that April is disassociating herself from Eva are in the process of being confirmed. As we've see, April is slowly but surely cutting herself off from the friends she made as a child because of some ill-defined belief that she has to do so in order to enter the adult world. Her logic is that their ways are not her family's ways so they cannot really be freinds any longer.

Given her background, this is not a surprise. Nowhere in the history of the strip, for instance, have we seen or heard of anyone from either John or Elly's youth that was not related to them. The only long-term friends we've seen the occasional glimpse of were met when they were in their twenties. The same thing is happening to Mike and Liz. One by one, the oh-so-few friends they made as kids are dropping out of their lives. It seems clear that they take after their father in this. It seems obvious that he promised to keep in touch with the folks back home in Manitoba but life got in the way. April, on the other hand, seems, at least to me, to be taking after Elly. I should think that Elly richards slowly disconnected herself from her pals back in Vancouver when she was pretty much April's age because of some foolish belief that, since she'd never see them again, she didn't need to hang out with them. I'd say that, just as there are a bunch of people back in Aberdeen, Manitoba who was John would show his face more often so they can catch up with him, there are a group of people in their late fifties who live in Vancouver who occasionally think of a woman who dropped off the face of the Earth.

This comes from strange desire to put the Patterson family above all other human relationships. Since, by Elly and John's logic, there's only one right way to do things, there's no need to deal with strangers who do it wrong. The closest anyone has to a friend is a toady who laughs at a Pattersonian joke and confirms that Elly is always right. The resemblance between the Foobs and a family in the grip of an abusive tyrant animated by the unholy need to be the only influence s/he has in his/her family is not one that Lynn would welcome.