Beauty Pageants, Cognitive Theory, Inner Beauty, Metaphors, Mind, Movies, Mr. Frost, Power of the Mind
The mind is a strange place.
Unless it’s not a place at all; maybe it’s a cabbage.
I don’t mean that it has wings or anything, but maybe it’s filled with pretty little guppies. Vampires, I mean. Vampire guppies! Yes, the mind is filled with vampire guppies. In that respect, it is very like a cabbage.
George Lakoff says it’s a container of sorts. That’s not exactly what Lakoff says, or even remotely like what he says, really, but I’m feeling a little left of my own mind today, so that’s the best that bastard is going to get from me right now.
Unless it isn’t.
I get confused sometimes.
What do any of us know about that sort of thing? It’s all cabbages and containers anyway, and sometimes a pill bug in a pear tree.
Don’t look at me like that; you have your tropes and I have mine!
Puts the term objectification in a new dark, doesn’t it? Cause sometimes you have to reinvent your subject in order to talk about it, which seems to be what most of us do when we want to get mental. That’s when we dip in the metaphor closet and bring back a fishing hook.
But sometimes these metaphors of the mind take us downtown when we are trying to head out to the lake.
Like when people start talking about ‘inner beauty‘ and such. Folks fiddling out that tune are usually trying to tell us they care more about mental stuff than they do a pretty smile or a chiseled chin. For my part, I usually figure it means they can’t value a thought until they’ve imagined it in the form of a pretty face.
Failure, thou art ugly to the bone!
Course there is always the ‘power of the mind,’ which passes for praise in some circles. What’s so good about the mind, you may ask? Well apparently, it’s so good it can almost do what we normally do with a muscle. Think Uri Geller with a spoon, or better yet think of any range of movies where a character begins to impress us with his brilliance, and then (because some of us are too dim to be impressed by impressive reasoning skills) they start moving the physical world about with their great mental powers. Then we go ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’, because that’s a really cool mind that can move things all on it’s own. Way cooler than one that just does damned cool mental stuff.
Remember the movies Powder and Phenomenon? Neither one of the main characters in those movies would have been quite so interesting without telekinetic powers?
…Unless they would have.
Or think of Mr. Frost, another movie improved by the powers of the mind. The premise? A guy in a Lunatic Asylum says he is Satan; says he has an evil plan involving his Doctor. Something about an act of faith, or at least a crime of faith. But is he really Satan? Damned smart, that he is; knows things he shouldn’t. I mean, he really shouldn’t know that stuff, and that’s damned creepy. Could this evil genius really be who he claims to be? It’s damned mysterious!
…until supernatural powers make an appearance.
See, Satan’s mind can make things happen without the help of a body; it just has that much force. And that makes the movie much more interesting.
Just like mayonnaise on wonder bread.
But seriously, how cool is that? The mind is so damned impressive that sometimes it can do, …um, what a body does.
That’s a damned good cabbage! Unless of course it’s more like an axe, or an axe stuck in a cabbage, but that image really only applies on Mondays, or on that odd day we get on leap years.
…if you go swimming I mean.
Can you dig it?
Cause sometimes mental stuff is deep, which is better than those days when it’s shallow, and you know damned well that means deeper is more mental. So, maybe the mind is a bit like a ditch; and a really impressive mind is like a great big hole in the ground. which brings us back to those container metaphors Lakoff writes about.
Or maybe deep thoughts really mean super high water pressure?
Speaking of water polo, does anyone else love beauty pageants?
Yeah, not me either.
But what I really don’t love is the question and answer parts of them. You know, 60 seconds or so to wax philosophical on one of the world’s great problems? Just once I’d like to hear one of these girls respond with “Get real!”
“Grow up!” would also work.
Sometimes a mind is a wonderful accessory.
It’s a fine line between smart and cute. At least it is within one hour of a bathing suit c0mpetition.
Anyway, it’s like I said. The mind is a terrible thing to paste.
I didn’t actually say that of course, but I wouldn’t have anyway, and it’s beside the line. The plane is that this mind is a thing (or more like a non-thing) that folks have a hard time describing. So, we trope it up one side and down the other, just like a long bow. We do this for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes we do it to show how much we love this non-thing of a guppy-filled cabbage.
And sometimes we just end up showing how we really don’t.