Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Between the Thing & the Symbol of the Thing

Started a conversation a few days ago about the pathological (mis)understanding of metaphor by fundamentalists. It's what I tend to do out of the blue as a sign (or a symbol?!?!) that I usually tend to think really deep thoughts. Fundamentalists (let's just call 'em "Fundies" for the remainder of this post) see symbol in all designs of nature: a rainbow as promise from G-d, a hurricane as punishment. But when it comes to something as (purely) symbolic and metaphoric as a text (i.e., the Bible), every word is a physical manifestation of some external reality (instead of something that has been translated into symbolic language).

Case in point: just left St*rfucks a little while ago after enduring an entirely useless conversation with the clerk ("barister," if you speak St*rfuckian). My bill came to an even $6.66. He wanted to know if I wanted to buy something else so as not to have to pay an even $6.66, as if paying an even $6.66 would eternally damn my soul. "No thanks, I'm not superstitious." Then he proceeds to tell me about some (stupid) customer a few days earlier who insisted on buying something extra so as not to have to pay an even $6.66! Funny how consumerism and (so-called) Christianity go hand in hand. It's as if (purely symbolic) money really means something else!


  1. ARE YOU SERIOUS? The latte jockey actually asked if you wanted to avoid paying $6.66? I don't know if it is more sad, pathetic or hilarious. I wish I'd been there---I'm missing out on all the fun stuff!

  2. The other day I noticed that the time was 5:55 and the temperature was 55-degrees fahrenheit (I wish we would change to Celsius just so I didn't have to spell fahrenheit).

    Anyway...55-degrees at 5:55. That means something, right?