I know it was drilled into our brains by our very able high school English teachers: “Don’t mix your metaphors!” This and other sacred literally rules could only be broken by that priestly class of “writers” , who committed these violations with the knowledge, awareness and competence of a “literary license” (so we were told) “But”, our teachers said “as for you initiates, don’t even think about it!” And so I was completely overjoyed to hear the POTUS engage in an exercise of linguistic creativity (and with Star Trek & Star Wars no less!); that like all good art forms forces us to stop and “work with it for a while”. I have always been convinced that part of this “not schmoozing” thing was really about the president not wanting to waste time with the “slow of thinking”; I really believe that often these “debates with the opposition” is him engaging in a conversation that is far above the comprehension of his opponents. It’s like having a meaningful conversation with Jabba the Hut , without Lt. Uhura engaging the “universal translator”. This is not just about a political difference; it’s the ability to conceptualize the problem in a new and different way; and come up with a solution in a new non-confrontational and dynamically positive way. It must be very hard when you are ask to compromise with the other side, and the only “ideas” the other side brings to the table are “cut”, “stop”, “no” and “deny”. Or to quote Yogi Berra: “There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ’em.” And so on the day the Republicans engage in the practice of running the government by running the game clock out; all the POTUS and anyone at that point can do is rely on the power of literary imagery. Or, when you find yourself in a place that makes no senses; sense making can only be found in literature. The brilliant use of a mixed metaphor by Obama that escaped most people; took me a few minutes to work through. The “Mind Meld” is a technique used by Vulcans (Star Trek) to read a person’s mind, by placing the hand on their face; translation: “I can’t figure out (read) what the Republicans are thinking because there is nothing to read.” The “Jedi Trick” of entering an opponent’s consciousness and then convincing them toward a particular action (i.e. good) does not work on an entity who has “Jedi” like mental powers (control of the congress?) but may not use these powers for doing good; ex. Darth Vader and the emperor are both Jedi albeit ; and I hate this definition, “working from the Dark Side”. Short translation: I can’t figure out what these folks (Republicans) are thinking to bring such harm to our fragile economy, and purposely create unemployment and economic suffering to ordinary Americas. They are mostly worried about a Borg attack in a local primary; and I can’t get them to see the world beyond their blind allegiance to a Ferengi world view. They resist all of my attempts to convince them to think beyond the benefits to the rich and big business; and do the right thing for the nation and its people.
Perhaps what we see on display in Washington is: Despite all of the efforts on the part of the Jedi to bring peace, prosperity and justice to the nation; the Klingons, watching their world fade and die, find meaning now only in a culture of doing battle, for the sake of just doing battle.