Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saint Mack

Even using comparisons with Jodie Landon and other students, Michael Jordan Mackenzie's personality type is difficult to pin down. Some of the traits he is given in the series appear to conflict with each other (being reliable and faithful, but irresponsible with money), though not to a critical degree. A good athlete, he is also bright and well read, and makes good grades. Nonetheless, he is not on the level of Jodie and Daria in intelligence.

After considerable reading and review, I would guess that Mack is an ESFJ: extroverted, generally emotional in his expression, concerned with the here and now, resolves his problems and looks for closure. He is, as noted above, reliable and disinclined to cheat on a girlfriend, but a free-spender and not good with his allowance, apparently spending most of it on Jodie. He is warm and caring, full of energy, responsible, enjoys structure, obeys the law, has a strong moral and ethical sense, and prefers practical solutions to problems. Saint Mack, indeed.

Materials about the Myers Briggs personality system always say that any two well-balanced personalities can become mates, though certain types are prone to go for certain other types. In the case of Mack and Jodie, I looked through various articles to learn if the two had a natural chemistry. They don't. Fanfic writers have played with this idea for years.

It is interesting at this point to look again at Jodie's editorial in The Daria Diaries and study what she says about Mack, without naming him: "And why are you dating the captain of the football team—because you like him, or because he's who he is and you're who you are and others don't care to question the equation?"

Does Jodie think of her relationship with Mack as artificial, founded on false expectations and inexperience? It sounds like it. Are they doomed as a couple? Not necessarily, but I've long had a gut instinct that Jodie will one day tell Mack, probably in college, that they should "just be friends." If it happens that Jodie dumps Mack, is there a person to whom Mack would naturally gravitate, someone he knows from Lawndale? An interesting thought to be explored later.

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