Tags: foobs vs common decency

Snarky Candiru2

Notes on the sibling complex...

Another odd factor that must be reconsidered is the sibling complex that Mike and Liz both have. It was pointed out a long time ago that Deanna and Liz bore an astonishing physical resemblance; while it staggered Mike for a second, he recovered almost as quickly because, well, a 'safe' version of his kid sister seems to have been what he was looking for all along. Just as he always seems to have wanted to live in his parents' house forever, there's something in him that wants to keep sex within the family as well. Since he can't actually do that, the next best thing is to marry someone as submissive, stupid and needy as Liz; the advantage with Deanna is that he not only doesn't get called an ugly brother because Deanna doesn't object to being treated like dirt as long as he's the douche doing it, he also gets to defy parents without antagonizing John and Elly. The same damned thing is happening with Liz; Anthony is not only as repulsive, self-absorbed, and entitled as the passive-aggressive dickchoad that is Mike, he's a safe version of the same asshole. He even provides her the benefit of being able to look down on her betters....just like mommy and daddy do.

That being said, there's something else they all have in common: the need to be irritated by the unwelcome presence of a picky-faced princess from a planet known to be hostile to the needs, hopes and dreams of the master race of vermin Lynn wants us to venerate. It's third from its sun and its inhabitants call it "Earth." Simply put, they all hate April because she's the closest thing to a normal human being that Lynn has ever created.
Snarky Candiru2

Of smugness and of moral event horizons.....

In a recent post he made on the Foobiverse Journal, chucique reminded us why it would be futile for anyone to tell the Pattersons off; since she has enough class to not want to make an unnecessary scene and enough brains to realize what futility is, Mira probably would have simply joined the chorus of the unimpressed and let the assembled vermin go right on thinking that the Settlepocalypse wasn't both a tragedy and a travesty. When she got back home, she'd make vague allusions as to how awful the Pattersons are and, well, how self-satisfied they are in their repulsiveness, folly and sin. That, you see, is the galling thing about life with Foobs; what we're dealing with is a grotesque rogue's gallery who are not only slithering filth, they're proud of it and have convinced themselves that they should be envied. You all already know exactly why I think that these people should have been hanged, drawn and quartered two years ago; knowing that they're going to get a nasty shock on the day of the judging of the nations when God tells them all that they're the wrong sort for Paradise is, while satisfying to a point, not enough. Man seeks to see justice done in this life so their being derided behind their backs by people who matter is not torment enough to satisfy the urge towards vigilantism in all of us. 
Snarky Candiru2

Charity and other completely baffling things.....

As howtheduck reminds us, Rod's charitable impulses and good works for his community never seem to have been important enough to Lynn to rate commemoration in the strip. His love of the outdoors was transferred to Paul, his love of flying to Warren and his hobbies to John but not his being the flying dentist, his trips overseas to provide care for the disadvantaged or his volunteerism. The closest we came was Deanna and Connie's trying to work all those nasty adventurous impulses out of their system and thus growing up to be steady, regular women. It almost seems to me that Lynn doesn't understand charity because she cannot understand giving without getting something in return. This might explain why it was that Dee and Mike feared Mira's gifts to them and preferred Elly's acting like a Mafia loanshark; it was a given to Lynn and thus to them that Mira would want something for her trouble and since she wouldn't say what it was, it was probably bad.

Snarky Candiru2

Mike Patterson: Public Irritant

As I've said before, there's a cost to the Pattersons' refusal to pay any constructive attention to their children. Since he desperately yearns for the contact he's supposed to have and his idiot parents begrudge him the things they must do to keep him alive, the natural tendency all children have to believe that everyone in their immediate vicinity was placed on this Earth to entertain them is amplified and mutated into something negative and self-destructive: the need to impress people who want to get a rise out of him so they can laugh at him for being a gullible sap. Now that he's six again, we see that he'll do whatever stupid thing Lawrence suggests so he'll fit in and people will like him. As the years burn away, he does more stupid stuff to impress more creeps and gets more lectures from idiot parents who won't see that their "We gave birth to you and still you want more? You selfish monster, what do you want from us?" attitude is why he acts up and out.

Snarky Candiru2

The unhinging of the jaws.....

One of the oldest, most irritating and less life-affirming parts of life in Milborough is the poor way in which the characters handle being upset. As I've said before, you can't go a week without seeing someone standing around bellowing in rage because of a trivial reverse. Why is it that we've spent thirty years of our lives wincing as the characters piss away their dignity screaming at non-events? What inner need of Lynn's is served by trying to convince her readers that the proper way to handle minor embarrassments is to throw a tantrum like a spoiled child? It seems to me that it's the flipside of her need to distance herself from the real world by assigning demeaning, trivializing names to things that scare her; the realities she wants to avoid insist on trying to pull her out of her fantasy capsule and it enrages her. This disproportionate rage leaks onto the page and alienates those who pay attention, remember the past and know how Elly's nonstop pointless fury deformed her children's personalities.

Snarky Candiru2

Pattersons versus dignity: the early years.

One thing you cannot help but notice is that Lynn seems to have an active hatred of acting in a classy, dignified manner. This is why she calls food 'grub', potatoes 'spuds', dogs 'mutts' and children 'small ones'; she doesn't want to look what she calls all high and mighty and what regular people who like the person they see in the mirror call having self-respect. This self-loathing is one of the oldest features of the strip; the same impulse that led Anthony to chicken out and chase the unicorn instead of be a man, stay with Therese and move upward in the world is the one that has Elly scream because the last doughnut had been eaten. In both cases, we have to bear witness to goofolas who loathe who they are surrender their dignity so people would pity them and not hold them to the minimum acceptable standards for adult behavior. In the strip, they're rewarded for being whiny, destructive, immature mooches; in reality, the people they torment would tell them to shut up and quit waiting for the Easter Bunny to show up.

Snarky Candiru2

Elly,and Me; a study in contrasts.

As you might have guessed by now, Lynn seems to want to grab onto the demographic that thinks that "Marley and Me" is the funniest thing they've ever seen. In both it and Foob, we have a couple that is unprepared for the presence of a destructive and fairly dim-brained but affectionate dog in their lives. There's a difference that's telling though; the authors of Marley tried their best to train their dog and, despite all the havoc he wreaked, they knew that he simply couldn't control himself. They also loved him very much. None of those things hold true for the Pattersons. Elly simply couldn't be bothered to train Farley. Doing something to make her life easier would, you see, mean that John and the kids would 'win' and make her do things. As for making sure that he ate properly and was healthy, that's another thing the Marley people had over her; Elly can't be bothered to do that because it would mean that she cared enough to do so. She also screams and hollers whenever he does something she doesn't like. This happens a lot because she was too lazy to train him and is too stupid to see that her hasty, incompetent actions merely confuse him and sabotage whatever efforts John made to have him trained. What's more, none of the Pattersons especially seemed to have had much use for Farley when he was alive; the closest they came was their habit of smiling when they referred to him in a contemptuous tone of voice. The only time they felt anything other than annoyance is when he died for their sins.

Royally Peeved Candiru

Elly: putting the 'dumb' in 'martyrdom' since 1975.

One of the most annoying things about Elly is that she thinks that the simple act of being a parent is indescribably traumatic. As I said before, she thinks that she must control every single aspect of her childrens' adult lives in order to balance the scales because it took so much out of her. What makes Elly's belief unbelievable is knowing how easy her life really was. Mike, Liz and April were not the uncontrollable monsters of her angst-ridden recollections, after all. They were, as we all know, ordinary, reasonably well-behaved kids who lived amazingly conventional lives. All they needed was a bit more attention and a little less screaming about how they could do some minor thing that Elly inflated into an atrocity to their poor, long-suffering mother and they'd have been fine. She never had to deal with any real problems with them until April showed up; that's because she stopped paying attention all together by then. Another annoying thing about her is that she treated the simple, easy-peasy parts of motherhood as overwhelming, soul-crushing burdens. She actually meant it when she wrote those idiotic poems that described getting kids ready for school as being a grueling ordeal. Watching Elly make mountain ranges out of the mole-hills of her life as a means of explaining why she must dominate those of her children is as enjoyable as it is smart or palatable.

Snarky Candiru2

Let's you and him fight: Deanna's love of violence........

One of the most annoying things about the new interpretation of the first encounters between Deanna and Mike is that she acts far too mature for her age. This is, of course, because Lynn wants her and Mike's behavior to make sense to her. If that means that they act like no first grader who ever lived, that's just how it's gotta be as far as she's concerned. A child that tiny given a contemporary bedroom eyes is bad enough; what makes it worse is the suggestion that she'd like to see him rough people up to prove how manly he is. This, sadly, is a trait that a another female character demonstrated, I'm talking, of course, about Elizabeth. Watching Anthony give Howard the purple nurple impressed Liz so much, she didn't call him out on all the crap he pulled afterward. This is an alarming trait as far as I'm concerned; it may look all cute to see someone demurely titter while idiots beat the holy Hell out of each other over her but in real life that's kind of not all the charming. It suggests, at least to me, a fairly-well developed love of aggression that has no moral component to keep it in check.
Snarky Candiru2

Therese, Warren and Paul: the invisbles

It can be said with some certainty that John and Elly never really respected Therese's marriage to Anthony. As far as they were concerned, she had no claim on him that they had to take seriously. Comparing how upset they were when someone they didn't like, Eric, treated Liz the way the beloved Anthony treated his wife, we remind ourselves that the Pattersons' sense of morals leave something to be desired. Both parents see Anthony as a solution to a problem only they have: making sure that Liz will bow to their will for the rest of her life. The dreary idiot looks to me as being best suited to make sure that Liz lives a life of frustration so it seems obvious that he is their idea of a good choice. Just as Paul and Warren are mocked, patronized and secretly feared because they might rescue Liz from co-dependence, Therese is seen as an obstacle because she took Anthony out of the equation. Not that they can see themselves as having done wrong. Their psychopathology is based on the futile desire to be in absolute control of their environment; anyone who might come in and upset their plans is a trouble-maker.