Thursday, October 15, 2009

Furniture Metaphors

metaphor, euripides, gay, marriage, same sex, homophobia, homosexual,
Euripides, our friend at Self Evident Truths proposes the following metaphor to explain why same sex marriage is bad: Dressers made from two trees are better than end tables made from one.

First of all, I assume he means that the dressers are made from two different species of trees, rather than two trees of the same species, because marriage never involves one person. In response to that, I would like to point out that making furniture from two different species of trees has to do with the look of the furniture rather than its strength. The strength of furniture has to do with how it's constructed. You may want to combine two different color woods, or woods with different grain patterns to create a specific artistic effect, but that wouldn't make anything stronger. So, metaphor fail on that one.

Once upon a time there was a cabinet maker. He produced fine, wood cabinets for the people of his village and they all came to him whenever they needed a cabinet for their home. He took great pride in producing cabinets, using wood from two different trees and fitting the crafted pieces together into a seamless union. His cabinets had many drawers and room enough to protect the things the villagers needed to store. The cabinets were strong and useful, built to last a lifetime.

Many villagers were glad to have a useful and beautiful cabinet in their home. The villagers used the cabinet's drawers to protect their possessions from dirt and bugs, filth and corruption. With care, a cabinet lasted a lifetime, protecting the villagers' possessions and making the villagers happy.

He uses the word "cabinet", which to me is what I have in my kitchen, attached to the walls, which perhaps this is just a regional difference in the way words are used, but to me, he's talking about a dresser or wardrobe, and it is what is pictured in his post.

I assume the "possessions" in question are either love or children. I can't quite tell. I also can't see how a properly made dresser would protect from "corruption", or how marriage protects from dirt or bugs. Oooh- maybe "bugs" is code for AIDS. Fail again. In Africa, AIDS is a disease of heterosexuals, many of them married. I'm still not sure what "dirt" is in this metaphor, though.

Yet, over the years, the cabinet maker discovered that many of the villagers didn't properly care for their cabinets. They no longer realized that even the best-made cabinets needed care and protection. Instead, some villagers left their cabinets exposed to the weather, to dry and crack. Some left their cabinets exposed to rot and filth. Termites ate away at others. Neglected, many of the cabinets broke to pieces. Some villagers even destroyed their cabinets outright in fits of anger or abuse. Some left their cabinets empty and unused, then threw them away because they could find no use for them.

Many villagers, whose cabinets decayed, blamed the cabinet maker for not building the cabinets strong enough. Even more villagers blamed the cabinets themselves, thinking that cabinets weren't worth the price and care needed to maintain them. Of course, the corrupted and broken cabinets weren't the cabinet maker's, nor the cabinet's fault. Neither were responsible for the villagers' neglect or abuse.

The cabinet maker shook his head in sad bewilderment at the villagers who blamed him or his fine cabinets. In neglecting or abusing the cabinets, the villagers blamed everyone but themselves.

So, how many people think dressers are outdoor furniture? Have you ever seen a dresser in someone's front yard? (If yes, I want to know what else was in the front yard. I'm guessing engine block.) Also, termites rarely eat furniture, but that's not really neglect, unless Euripides lives in an area where checking your furniture for termites is common practice. Who is exposing furniture to "rot" and "filth"? What does that even mean? Are they storing garbage in the dressers? Who does that? Who breaks their furniture and then blames the maker? Does anyone think furniture is rated to withstand baseball bats?

These villagers are either stupid or psychopathic.

Then a new "cabinet maker" comes to town with his newfangled "cabinets": end tables made from one tree! How many trees does it take to make an end table, anyway? I mean, has Euripides even seen an end table? They're not very big. Depending on the tree, you could probably make several end tables from one tree. Does anyone put an end table to the same use as a dresser? Well, no. They're different things for different purposes. In fact, most people own both a dresser and an end table, which is where the metaphor really falls apart.

According to the stranger, as soon as he set up shop to sell his new cabinets, the villagers certainly would not want any other kind.

That's ridiculous, too. Why would a heterosexual couple not want to get married because a homosexual couple could get married? Or does Euripides assume that every human being on the planet is secretly gay, and we're all just waiting for same sex marriage to be legal, and then it'll be a big gay planetwide party? That says more about you than anyone else, my dear.

What follows is a ridiculous passage in which the original cabinet maker is sued and charged with hate speech and "unconstitutional acts" for pointing out that end tables are not dressers. Uh, yeah. Look, as long as Fred Phelps and his merry bad of morons are allowed to do their thing, you don't have to worry, Euripides. Unless you're planning on doing something worse than Westboro Baptist already does, which would amost certainly involve throwing poo.

Metaphors: ur doin' it rong.


  1. You know, my dresser was my father's when he was a kid. Up until I moved out of my parents' house my desk was my father's, too. So we're talking sturdily-built, sixty-odd year old wood furniture. I haven't done anything to care for it beyond not hitting it with baseball bats and not leaving it out in the yard.

    I suppose it could stand a new finish or something, but it's a wonderful old dresser that I'll probably be able to hand off to my own (theoretical) children in twenty or thirty years.

    Also, it's not an end table. But I don't know how many trees died to make it.

  2. You should also point out that the people "destroying their cabinets" are the ones that claim to love the cabinet maker the most.

    Divorce rates:

    Religion/% have been divorced
    Born-again Christians/27%
    Other Christians/24%
    Atheists, Agnostics/21%

    Denomination (in order of decreasing divorce rate)/% who have been divorced
    Non-denominational **/34%
    Mainline Protestants/25%

    ** Barna uses the term "non-denominational" to refer to Evangelical Christian congregations that are not affiliated with a specific denomination. The vast majority are fundamentalist in their theological beliefs.

  3. I made a mistake of engaging in a discussion with Euripides and, after he attacked me for changing the subject with my "leftist mantra", he went on to give an example that had little to do with the subject at hand but supposedly proved his point. And here's this metaphor. A metaphor that doesn't work and doesn't make sense. How do you even begin comparing people to furniture, I'm not sure.

  4. If you continue the metaphor in Geds' case, then his marriage will be a continuation of his father's marriage, hello, Oedipus, and then he'll pass that marriage on to his children.


  5. Freaky.

    You know what's even freakier? I forgot that's what the metaphor was about in the first place. This is what you call omnifail...

    Oh, and in case you need to understand what that last word means, here's a helpful excerpt from a Yahoo News article:

    But it ignited a firestorm when it included the tag "pepsifail" on its apology this week. Twitter users use tags to mark their posts and track conversations. That tag linked the Purchase, N.Y.-based company — not just the Amp brand — to the situation and implied the company did something wrong by called it a "fail."

    Of course "omni" means "all-encompassing," so in this case the use of "omnifail" implies that the metaphor fails in every possibly way...

  6. Silly PF. Dirt is a metaphor for SIN. Silly, silly PF, not seeing the obvious. o_O

  7. Oh, and the other day, I decided to draw with charcoal only instead of with colored pencils, and instead of a drawing I ended up with an end table!

  8. Anti-gays are really bad at metaphors. I think it's in their genes or something. Worst of all, they often think they're being "clever."


    I don't even feel like MST3King it, it's just so much fail.

  10. Great blog, I saw this site with some useful info on Outdoor Furniture, Hope it helps.

  11. i own an antique dresser. it is a bit taller than i am. it is made all out of the same wood (there may have been more that one TREE, but it is all the same type of wood)
    further, my mother owns two full bedrooms sets, one that's over a hundred years old, one thats about 25 years. BOTH of these bedroom sets are made from a single type of wood.

    on the other hand, i have an end table that is made of THREE types of wood AND marble.

    does that mean my end-table is in a poly relationship set in stone?

    (sorry lol)

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