everything is made of metaphors

when we were deep in conversation, a woman said to me the other day that everything is a actually just a metaphor. at the time, she was making an off-hand comment about religion, but i quickly saw how that could aptly be applied to everything. and, with that sensibility, the world’s landscape again made much more sense. the brain exercise is in figuring out how things and analogies are used, and as metaphors for what. what “x” means, or what the substitutions are, mathematically speaking. the funny of more cerebral comedy is in the juxtapositions one forges when attempting to make relevent correlations, but those who are trying to be comedians in a “paint-by-numbers” kind of way gloss over that all the time. the good ones dance among those fine lines constantly, adding their own details to make it real. personal. and, when without agenda, they bring us to our own conclusions as we make our own parallels, too.

that my brain is now such a wonky mishmash of stored thoughts and felt feelings actually bodes well for such application. but in a catch-22 for the ages, now that i am no longer able to functionally hold my former position in the comedy representation landscape, it appears to be commonplace more than ever in daily life that most people are reverting to what they think are literalisms. the knowledge we miss out on as strained efforts are made to fall in line by remembering and regurgitating useless redundancies is sometimes astounding. which, good or bad, at times makes me laugh even harder.

some of the smartest people i worked with took the time to figure out how various kinds of brains worked. in most cases, they silently analyzed them. our eyes are indeed windows, but especially when they’re not accessible, there is also much to be ascertained by paying attention to vocal distinctions. when clients and i small-talked as we waited for a boss of mine to have a clear phone line, the three minutes or less that we shared never included vacuity. our candidly explored observational awarenesses soon became bits, and i saw the conversations that were once just mine pop up on talk shows and in comedy specials.

characters based on my person were made into both film and television fare. selling that content in the press while maintaining my anonymity of involvement was a version of walking among landmines. if reporters knew, they graciously kept it out of the coverage for a while and i got to live another day as a non-distraction. a non-story. but a younger writer with whom i once worked on my essays asked if any other projects were based on me when i told him about a character of a popular mainstream sitcom with my maiden name, so while the reality is perhaps more hidden, the curiosity about origins isn’t gone. but, as i told him, it wasn’t couth then to discuss muses publicly, especially the non-famous ones, so while i often see certain things that ring very familiar to me, i am not totally sure.

on a trip back east once, there was need to accompany a boss’ political comedian client to something. before we parted ways, he paused for a moment to look at me quizzically. whispers have always swirled around me, and i see now how many were on their best behavior in my presence. but not until a photographer shot me recently have i seen that same inquisitive, halting, pondering expression in a professional setting. the shooter startled subtlety and paused just as he had years ago. while he went momentarily silent before trying to find appropriate sounding words to say that he saw more public paths for me, she quickly articulated her camera to capture my eyes from another angle and blatantly told me how she could see in them how sharply directed my thoughts were. her keen awareness and bold dissection let me know both that thankfully my brain still works sometimes, and that being aware to keep my inner thoughts positive is clearly imperative. of late especially, the veil shielding my own reflexive ideations has become spotty and weakened as if it had been eaten by moths in an old closet without mothballs. and questioning insights being so visible is socially precarious.

meeting him was an early job perk that i got to have accidentally. the thin line he held that separated reputable arrogance from an aware and talented verbal expression of logical sentiments had led him to make an appearance on a show that wasn’t his in an attempt to pull out some sorely needed candor. he and my boss spoke a lot then, but after our first in-person encounter, in all the subsequent times i worked with that political comedian guy, he treated me differently. that i could discern his thoughts so clearly before he made a move endeared me to him in that position, and as he became a different kind of famous that was new to him, having someone to lean on and speak with candidly in a work setting turned out to be a much-needed, unanticipated benefit. the widely public scrutiny that came from such a positively benign intention was unanticipated. to say he was thrown off-balance wouldn’t be fair to such an astute human too many of us look up to and admire, but with that awareness, he was never the same.

a movie we watched on a streamer recently that he both wrote and directed tells me that despite his more rural living surroundings now, he hasn’t left the game entirely. he isn’t one of the many who have succumbed to public pressures, and he remains a steadfast voice amidst the chaos. the logic pieces that he ascertains aren’t lost, but he still repositions things so they have the best shot at being heard and taken as he intends. years of being mistaken has taken their toll i imagine, and while he is far too nimble to get sidelined by the less prudent points, his place in the current landscape is perhaps more perilous than ever. staying more behind the scenes seems to suit his naturally acerbic nature, but without his daily doses of clarity, many among us seem quite lost.

the tenants of a life in smarter entertianment circles don’t always fit easily in what has become a more “wall-e” type world. he was one of the unicorns that let me be one, too, and that is special. seeing his parade of correspondents over the years, let alone personally having known some of his long-time staff, it is clear that i am far from the only one to benefit from knowing of his perspectives. the raucous intellectual debates he spawned made us all better. wiser, more shrewd. less eager to simply do as we’re told.

it’s been years since he parted ways with the need for that boss i had, but when i was promoted, that boss made a unique play to keep dealings with him in his stable. whether we know it or not, we all need realistic snark like his, i think. that of he and his late night mentors is missed. he honed his perspectives so poignantly that we all clamored for even the kernels that fell from his effortless wit. and there aren’t many whom i feel the same about currently. watching from afar, he is angling to be heard again. albeit differently, and in my opinion, this is a more suitable and advantageous avenue to make the waves he wants from his outlooks. interpersonal dealings are out of the way for the most part, and when we don’t make shortcomings a focus, they don’t become one. we can all still learn from him. and those whom he learned from. lineages aren’t only found in nuclear families, and he spawned a base for thinking that a whole lot of us used to see the forest for the trees. let’s hope with his public absence we don’t lose that. presumably, he won’t let us.

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