metaphors

A Midday Musical Meditation (Tell the Captain)

Detail of cover art for 'Sink' by Floater, Elemental Records, 1993.

It really is something of a song, well, not quite for all occasions, but, rather, with myriad suitable applications. Choose your metaphor; the Captain has already picked his poison.

Go and tell the Captain, waves are growing high, and anyone washed overboard, leave them here to die. Go, now, tell his mistress, who lies in sheets of wine, the candles and the invocations will not bring down the tide. He’s abandoned any hope of life now; the endless storms that rage upon us grow from ripples in his mind. He has chosen darkness over light now; mistress and crew have lied and left him to be cold.

Floater, “Tell the Captain/Out of Sheer Loneliness” (1993)

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Something About Adam’s Butt

Composite includes detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 24 August 2015.  'Bug Martini' and Bug Martini logo are drawn by Adam Huber, and presumably thus copyrighted.

For the puns on the buns this one’s got no good runs for the big guns rockin’ in a title really idle for the teevee something something oh Jesus God why are you letting me carry on like this?

There isn’t a frame in this one that isn’t … well … okay, Uncle Sam Bug kicking bug-ass isn’t exactly creepy, but as we’re fond of saying around here, it all goes downhill from there.

Don’t blame Adam; make him famous.

The fourth panel is worth a Nerd Bug that doesn’t know how to keep his damn mouth shut, too. Really. All that and a bag o’shivers, too.

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Huber, Adam. “Have Buns – Will Travel”. Bug Martini. 24 August 2015.

An Ouroboros (Earth Home Mixup Mixtape Mix)

Detail of cartoon by Jen Sorensen, 17 February 2015, via Daily Kos Comics.Every once in a while, it pays to run the rhetoric to earth.

To wit, Jen Sorensen’s latest ‘toon might seem aimed at Republicans, especially if you just hang with the “not a scientist” detail we offer here. But it’s not really so direct a criticism of the GOP; where that sneaking suspicion comes from is the (ahem!) “accidental” coincidence between conservative rhetoric specifically and irresponsible rhetoric in general.

If Sorensen really wanted to make it about Republicans, the swimming pool frame would not be about biodegradation but, rather, blaming Democrats for the lack of undocumented immigrants to clean the damn pool.

Sure, it’s a little thing, but details matter.

And, certes, we would acknowledge a certain weakness of this sort of rhetoric. After all, the home is different from the world at large in the same way the family budget is different from the business budget is different from the government budget. Still, though, the only reason we put up with treating the world around us this way is because we don’t see it so directly. If all the waste we’ve dumped into the ocean was instead piled up in the streets, people would actually give a damn. Of course, they would just vote to dump it all in the ocean, which in turn leads us back ’round the ouroboros.

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Sorensen, Jen. “If people treated their homes like they treat the earth”. Daily Kos. 17 February 2015.

The Funky Fishscale Fog

Detail of 'La Pêche Miraculeuse', ca. 1610, by Peter Paul Rubens.

The fictional Jebediah Springfield famously explained, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” In the modern day, wise men like Bill Maher question the vapidity of the word “spirit”. Either way, a transfusion seems out of the question:

So, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is blocking health care benefits for low-income families in order to help them “live the American dream” and Gov. Pence is curtailing food aid in order “ennoble” people.

How very gracious of them.

In theory, the “give someone a fish” adage sounds quite nice, and in a booming economy with low unemployment and broad job opportunities, we can have a credible conversation about work requirements and the safety net.

But Pence, like Walker, runs the risk of sounding horribly out of touch – their argument is predicated on the assumption that the economy is in great shape, and everyone who wants a job can easily get one. I suspect most of the American mainstream would offer a different assessment of economic conditions.

(Benen)

We might also note that while once upon a time perhaps it was possible to teach a man to fish, such that he could do the work properly and earn a living, in a day. In modern times, though, that isn’t quite so easy. That is to say, we can certainly test the thesis, but probably need not: Go out on the street and give a job to the first unemployed person you find.

The objections and complications are easily predictable.

Who says that person is qualified, for instance? Maybe she was a waitress before the restaurant closed to make room for the McDonald’s in the Walmart, or he was a janitor who cleaned the school restrooms before being laid off for budget cuts. In either case, though, you need a “people person” with strong reading, speaking, and interpersonal skills, and maybe, just maybe you can teach that person to solicit telephone survey responses and appropriately record the data in a day.

Or maybe not. Either way, that person is going to need to eat at some point during the day.

And, you know, in most markets you’re probably going to be paying that employee less than they need to continue living in order to do the work.

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