Tags: settlepocalypse

Snarky Candiru2

Remember The New Magic Girlfriend......

The irksome thing about the way the Gordon/Allyson not at all a thing actually plays out is that we're going to deal with how Lynn wished her own life had turned out after it became obvious that the boy she'd fixated on had no real interest in her and a lot of interest in a girl his own age. She wishes that a kind fate had awarded her a perfect forever love to make up for her disappointments. Thus do we have Tracey Moore being created out of whole cloth in order to show us how Lynn thinks life should work. First, we have childhood friends and then they turn into partners without all of that romance stuff to make things syrupy and weird....and then she turns into a paragon of dowdiness and repression who never ever does anything to make Gordon feel like a loser or less of a man.

The reason that I mention this is that Lynn would eventually award another doltish stalker who never met a social norm he liked or understood the greatest prize of all: Lizardbreath. Today, it's Gordon not realizing that minor gratitude doesn't mean that he's dating Allyson now. Tomorrow, it's Assthony successfully getting Liz to wait.
Snarky Candiru2

The realest dope about the Settlepocalypse.

Of course, the real problem that I have with the stupid bloody soap opera Lynn thought would improve the last years of the strip is that it did no such thing. Now, Lynn might think that her audience would have been very pleased indeed with the "redemption of Elizabeth" nonsense we were subjected to but it seems to me that had Liz and Anthony not been the stars of a cheesy, sleazy romance comic but instead two more people who get sort of treacly and smug about how faithful they were during University and how they had a tidy little marriage without jolts, shock or drama, they'd be more bearable people than the monsters we wound up with.

The problem, though, is that Lynn had herself a damned itch to scratch and it led her to something far outside her competence zone. Just as Batiuk should have left serious business aside and stuck to doing a down-beat and wan copy of Archie, Lynn's talents lie in the recording and playback of the dirt-ordinary behaviour of tidy little people who try to avoid trouble. Simply put, Pattersons and Patterson-like people are not meant to experience what Liz and Anthony did. They are meant to stand on the sidelines and make ill-informed and superior comments about people who are.
Snarky Candiru2

On Liz Patterson and perspective failure

Having had an excess of time to consider the issue, it seems to me that the single most upsetting thing about the pathetic and stupid way in which Lizardbreath handled her life after Anthony Caine first became a part of it is that it’s very likely that if she were to see a different cast of characters going through the same disturbing motions, she’d probably correctly identify who the idiot characters were and what their sordid and silly motives were. Contrasting this with the obvious fact that she’s oblivious as to what moved Anthony and Therese and how her own actions might be perceived and it’s distressingly clear that she’s too close to the issue to think clearly and honestly about her past.

I would tend to blame not only her not ever reacting all that well to the idea that someone she knows is ‘allowed’ to have a friend who isn’t her because of her deep-seated belief that people require permission to be friends with people but also her dolt love interest Anthony’s attempt to ‘help’ people by saying the wrong damned thing at the wrong damned time. A person with a brain in his head would keep his damned mouth shut about why exactly it is that Therese thought that the passive and clueless nitwit Elizabeth was plotting her ruin but Anthony is as smart as he is handsome and ambitious. This means that he’d want to help everyone out by explaining to Liz what Therese thought she was doing at the Christmas party with a view to forcing them to get along. Liz might have almost accepted the idea that Anthony was allowed to move on even without her express permission but the idea that she’s thought of as a problem or antagonist made her morals and brains go out the window. She can’t think straight because she never liked the idea of being accused of anything and will probably die moaning about the cruelty of being judged for someone else’s sins despite that being pretty much what always happens in the real world. 

Snarky Candiru2

The hidden upside of a realistic wedding arc.

About the only good thing about a more realistic wedding arc in which Elly's improvidence and refusal to see obvious complications from her viewpoint is that the predictable (by everyone but her) mess would feed directly into her confirmation bias. Just as she'd eventually go on to misinterpret what someone who actually knew what he was talking about when describing how her total fucking ineptitude with The Machine as meaning computers were malfunctioning junk because it can't be that she's a moron who doesn't know what she's doing, the chaos her brainlessness would necessarily have created would mean that she's right to see her husband as being stupid and her children as trying to destroy her.

This is because, of course, she doesn't especially want to see herself as the author of her own misfortune. It won't be that her fear of taking her children to airports that expose her to terrible people who call her a negligent dumbass or her default refusal to understand that other cars will be on the highway that cause the delay that exasperates other people, it'll be on John for willing traffic into existence, the kids for worshiping chaos and Georgia for kowtowing to someone who isn't actually getting married. Similarly, it won't be her blank-witted inability to understand how weddings work that cause people to call her a moron who flips the bird to social norms out of pea-brained immaturity and narcissism, it'll be on the mothers of the world who want to punish their daughters for wanting to be people in their own right.

This leads us to a reminder that it's a good thing Jim's ill health took her mind off of the angry whispers from people who looked at her funny for not planning Liz's wedding like she was supposed to. Did she WANT to go through life as an anonymous drone who didn't see herself as being part of her children's lives and did she not want anything in return for her sacrifice? What the Hell is wrong with this woman and why are they supposed to deal with her being a malfunctioning idiot?
Snarky Candiru2

On blowing the wad and traveling and the Settlepocalypse.

Now, to get to a sort of point about what Lynn thinks is happening in her own strip, let's examine Jim and Marian's reaction to Phil's wedding. As we'll see this August, the idea of her little boy growing up and leaving the nest upsets Marian a lot. Still, despite her wondering where the time went, she tells Elly that all parents look to the day when their children grow up and take their places in society as autonomous adults. Jim thought-bubbles why this is when he tells himself that he and Marian no longer have to worry about taking care of the kids any longer and can finally pursue their own interests.

The reason that I mention this is that for some reason, Suddenly Fatter Than She Was In Life Ghost Marian shows up during the preparation to the hand-off from John and Elly to Liz and Anthony in order to sanctify the teal-and-lavender horror by her presence. This image of a gaseous vertebrate smiling as her granddaughter grows up, puts aside silly adventure and prepares to pop out kids for a clueless asshole with entitlement issues who holds her in contempt just like Elly did serves to sanctify not only the horrible behaviour only silly Martians and evil snarkertrolls who hate love and good things and faith and fate have a problem with, it also has Marian finally admit that yes, it's a good thing that Elly dropped out of school to service a goober who treats her like an appliance. This means that by extension, all things that Elly did were good and Marian should have admitted it and let Elly be happy instead of wanting her to do more and be unhappy.
Snarky Candiru2

The failed fishing trip as deciding factor in the Settlepocalypse.

As we all know, it's been about a month or two since the search-and-rescue people took John and Phil away from Unnecessary Hardship Island after the end of a series of self-induced disasters. As we also know, John and Elly don't think that Paul would have been 'there' for Liz when she 'needed' him and was from a different world anyhow and Warren was too 'nomadic' to be a really suitable mate for their little girl. While it might be stretching it to connect "John thinking that he almost died because he went without food for three days because it never occurred to him or his idiot brother in law to walk around the island to see how close the mainland was" to rejecting anyone who isn't the sunken-chested, humorless and whining drone they love, I think that the Road to the Settlepocalypse started with John being given stupid directions by an imbecile with a scrub brush mustache.

This is because of the stupid lesson John derived from his made-up and self-induced humiliating catastrophe is that adventure is dangerous and bad because a bone-head was mildly inconvenienced owing to his own rock-headed stupidity. Oh, he might pretty it up by saying that kids have to sow their wild oats before joining sober adult society but the fear of the wilds is too strong in him to trust them.

That being said, we cannot overlook the fact that men like Warren and Paul who can thrive in the scary, scary woods quite well makes him feel inadequate and stupid....especially since they humiliate him by saying things like "all that was wrong with you was a panicky imbecile brother in law who had you hunker down like an idiot and a lack of food." Since Anthony would also feebly die within inches of rescue, he's the man for Liz.
Snarky Candiru2

Mothers of the bride and other monsters.

As we know, the last daily strip was the closest we ever got to the traditional "Liz gets advice on how to live her life thereby establishing continuity from one generation to the next" speech that always seems to appear whenever we see a wedding story. The odd thing, the thing we made the most note of is that IRIS was the one sharing the warm and fuzzy stuff in which she told Liz what life was supposed to be all about when we expected Elly to do that particular job. It bothered most of us that after a business-deal like 'proposal' in which Anthony and Liz declared that they guessed that they were engaged, the closest thing we got to an actual emotion was when Warren hissed like a Hammer Horror vampire when he saw the Token That Said Liz Was Taken; having Elly outsource the whole "you'll make a lovely bride and wonderful wife" speech to a proxy so that she could hover around the background talking to Connie about how tiring doing everything by remote control was felt like something of a cheat.

The problem is that Lynn has little patience for the idea that the mother of the bride pretty much gets to call the shots when her daughter gets married. From Connie whining about how unfair it is that Molly and Gayle's mother got to be the mad fool riding roughshod over their wishes and Mira whining because Deanna actually thought that her opinion mattered to Shawna-Marie's mother acting like a butt, Lynn is preaching a hip, cool gospel about how the mother of the bride should just butt the Hell out and let the daughter run HER wedding the way SHE wants to. The very perfect model of what a wedding is supposed to look like is, of course, Elly's wedding which was held in Winnipeg for the convenience of John's family because (as I've said before) someone got it in her stupid-ass head that getting a degree meant a life of spinsterhood. This need of Foob women to pretty much cut off their noses to spite their face because they're angry at their mothers for the very stupid and specious reason that they don't want to admit that Mister Right is an imbecile not worth the effort seems to be why Lynn does this.
Snarky Candiru2

Phil and Georgia's wedding as a predictor of events.

There are three very interesting things about the wedding that's due to show up next year if the reprints are still a going concern. The first very interesting thing is the fact that Lizzie balked at being a flower girl because the idea of being first terrified her. This, sadly, is because the same fear that led to her clinging to Elly's leg like a freaked-out barnacle as a pre-schooler reasserted itself when the old familiar peril of being alone and unprotected from the looming shape of nitwit malice that haunted the earliest years of her life was put on the table.

Speaking of said looming shape, the second interesting fact is that resentful chowderhead Mike made a nasty and stupid comment about how terrible it would be to be married to Lizzie and how whoever was 'meant' to be married to the horrible child who stole attention away from him had to run away lest his life be ruined by having to share.

Finally, we have to contend with the fact that Lizzie wondered who was compiling the traditional list of uncomplimentary garbage about her for the traditional wedding speech. The reason that I mentioned this is that we were told quite specifically which relative eventually got put in charge when Liz's fear of the scary outside world that wanted to hurt her and make her live alone forever and never be loved by her parents made her cling like a barnacle to the safety of another weakling who couldn't cope with the real world. The person in charge is the writer of the family: a sullen arsebucket who won't get over having to share the spotlight and won't admit that he's being a spoiled brat whining about toys he cannot have.

This can only mean that the wedding speech was more than likely a long-winded, poorly-constructed and overwrought mess that amplified the message "Run, Anthony, Run" to levels that should have been banned by the Geneva Convention. What's really appalling is not that Michael was given yet another forum to squeal like the unpalatable doorknob he always is about how simply awful it is that some horrible interloper got in the way of people waiting on him hand and foot. It isn't that he got all defensive when someone with class and brains (Hi, there, Mira) called him out on being a vindictive turd who thinks that the Sun shines out of his sigmoid colon. What makes me want to wring the filthy necks of any number of fictional characters is that his tsunami of rancid porridge was defended almost as vigorously as the idea that Liz should marry Anthony because he's the only man John isn't threatened by.
Snarky Candiru2

Connie: Superior. Elizabeth: Inferior.

Now that we're pretty much at the point where Georgia first becomes aware of the fact that Elly and the others have been aware of a scrawny, flat-chested woman with eyeglasses and chianti-red hair that comes out of a bottle for quite some time, I think it behooves us all to compare this to a certain slow-speed atrocity that consumed the first decade of this century: the Settlepocalypse. The commonality that sticks out like a sore thumb is stupid and useless John stupidly assuming that Phil is simply dating Georgia while he and Connie walk down the aisle like Elly wants them to. It doesn't matter that neither Connie nor Elly want that any longer; what matters is that John is too stupid to understand that flames can die out and that Phil was simply someone Connie had "fun" with while waiting on Ted. Once it got to be too clear that Ted would always chicken out when it came to talk weddings, Phil also became a non-starter and thus given Milborough's shallow dating pool, a change of venue was needed. When you contrast Connie's willingness to cut her losses with Lizardbreath's sheer stupidity, the older equivocating nitwit with the daddy issues comes out a clear winner.
Snarky Candiru2

The real meaning of family politics.

As you might have guessed, I think that one of the telling moments in the lead-up to the Settlepocalypse was when Elly told Connie that her primary reason for preferring Clarice Caine to Mira Sobinski is that unlike a certain domineering monster who wants to enslave the Pattersons with her family politics, Anthony's mother has the decency to be cowed by the Sainted Martyr Flapandhonk.

What this tells me is that when Elly and the others make their asinine comments about family politics, it's obvious as anything that Elly is still burning with resentment because Mira behaved as if she were somehow or other able to tell them all what to do. This is a no-no when interacting with Patterswine because they hate the idea of not being given final say over how does what, cultural norms be damned. It doesn't matter to Elly that the mother of the bride is generally recognized as being the ones calling the shots because she can't take being told what to do by anyone. It's a reminder that she doesn't have a clue what to do and she hates the reminder that she's a dithering imbecile.