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The "Solution" Metaphor, And What It Precipitates

When something is described as a "problem" modern American man -- along with others in this U.N.-conferencing and busily resolutioning world -- immediately thinks there must be a "solution." Many things are not susceptible of "solution" in the sense of puzzle-solving, final resolve. Did World War II forever cause Fascism, or antisemitism, to disappear? Did the outcome of the Cold War, and Gorbachov's reforms, and Yeltsin's drunken-stupor breakup of the Soviet Union, cause communism to disappear? No, but at the moment they are manageable. Was Dickensian capitalism modified, or is it coming back, with a vengeance, in China? And what about Islam, with its immutable texts and tenets, and the amazing large-scale presence of Muslims now allowed, voluntarily, deep within the Lands of the Infidels, after 1350 years of Islamic aggression, tamed or tamped down only when the other side was irrefutably stronger? Is there a "solution" to that problem, or only steps taken to ameliorate the situation, and to deprive Islam's adherents of the wherewithal (weapons of mass destruction) to do great damage, and to halt and reverse the Muslim presence -- a permanent danger -- in the Lands of the Infidels?

As to that word "solution" -- it might be taken in a different sense. The "solution" in which something potentially solid, something that could precipitate out, is held. And there is that possibility of what is in solution, at some point, for reasons that would in each case have to be analyzed, precipitating out.

This very discussion of the word "solution" and indeed, of how metaphors affect us, can be found in the book on Metaphors by George Lakoff with someone else whose name now escapes me. Lakoff, who has written on the capture of language by Republicans, and urged the Democrats to go and do likewise, but better, would, were he reading this site, I suspect be first amused and intrigued, but also confused. For in the environment he is used to, and possibly cannot sufficiently distance himself from (or perhaps he can, perhaps I'm dead wrong), a site such as this has an easy label immediately and permanently affixed to is, something in the "conservative" or "right-wing" line, and that label sticks, even if it bears no relation to the reality. This site has provided the most ferocious, relentless, and unanswerable criticism of the war in Iraq, for example. But it is also a site that offers the most ferocious, relentless, and unanswerable criticism of the Total System that is Islam. And there are too many people, of the kind normally likely to be familiar with Lakoff's book on Metaphor and how metaphors do more than express but also mold our understanding of things, who will like the first, but deplore -- without investigating the nature, and therefore the menace, of Islam -- the second.

Tant pis., one might be tempted to answer. Except, of course, that it is all of us who are affected, in the Bilad al-Kufr, by the inroads of Islam.