Tuesday, June 26, 2007

let them eat cake (fire?)

Okay, one more thing before I go. In a recent article in the NYRB, Max Rodenbeck leads into an exploration of Lebanon & its discontents with a quote from an unnamed Hezbollah spokesperson. It is as follows: "This country is like a cake. On the top it is cream. Underneath it is fire."

Meh? A journalist should be able to distinguish quotable wheat from compostable chaff. True enough, Rodenbeck is good enough to note that the metaphor is "clumsy," but then he goes on to unpack it anyway, pondering that while "Lebanon whets appetites with its gorgeous landscapes, clement weather, energetic people, and wonderful food, trying to consume too much of it tends to bring on heartburn" and that the "country's infernally complex ingredients seem chemically incapable of melding into a digestible dish."

Oy. Hyperextended metaphors taste like supermarket ice cream cake with that gel icing and filling made of capsaicin and wasabi peas.

An escape to gelato never sounded better! See you in July.