Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Playing the symbols

This admission won't come as a surprise to anyone, but I have to admit, I am rather dense in certain areas.

Birdbrained, boneheaded, chuckleheaded, dense, dim, and slow... all of these apply to me in certain fields.  Interpreting modern dance, appreciating modern art, and enjoying a mime show are all areas in which I am markedly deficient.  Anyone who has ever seen me shaking my head as I walk away from such events realizes that.

But what people might not know is that I am the one and only person in the United States - a country with a current population of 320,000,000 some-odd people (some much more odd than others, but anyway) - who does not get symbolism in books, movies and TV shows, even when it's so heavy-handed as to drown out the plot.

People read "A Christmas Carol" by Chuck Dickens and marvel at the old Victorian's ability to symbolize the evil that took place at the firm of Scrooge & Marley by understanding that the chain Marley "forged in life" was made of "cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel."  I read that and came away figuring that whoever took Marley to his fate just grabbed the heaviest steel stuff sitting around the office, and then I am happy for Bob Cratchit that they didn't take away the coal scuttle.

Or let's say we're watching a movie, and for the 427th time, I have to watch "The Wizard Of Oz" and when it's over, the cinema buffs go on about how Dorothy’s walk down the Yellow Bricks stands for her spiritual quest, Toto the dog represents the "incredible unanimal mankind" side that Cummings described, and the haggy Wicked Witch of the West is the symbol for the repressed dark thoughts of the subconscious, and I just sit there saying I can count 17 people who could play Miss Gulch today.
When you see this hamburger chain logo, you are
supposed to get the subliminal message that her
collar says "MOM."  I don't.

And of course, amateur psychologists had a field day with Bill Clinton's cigar, trains going into tunnels in Fellini movies, and even the silver and black of the Oakland Raiders uniforms inspire their players and fans to adopt pirate personae during games.

I don't look too deeply into things, but I get a boot out of people who do.

A boot. You know what THAT stands for, don't you?

Oh no.........

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