1120: Blurring the Line
|Blurring the Line|
Title text: People into masturbatory navel-gazing have a lot to learn about masturbation.
A metaphor is a comparison which may be used to emphasize, explain or embellish a point, as seen in this comic when Cueball likens himself to Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is a famous basketball player who is well known for being one of the very best basketball players.
White Hat is analyzing a movie about movies when Cueball compares White Hat's description of the movie to masturbatory navel-gazing, a comment combining two expressions used to refer to a pointless activity or effort, but also specifically self-referential activity. "Mental masturbation" and "navel gazing" are relatively common terms to dismiss work that is regarded as self-indulgent, overly introspective, and self-referential. Calling navel gazing, or introspection, "masturbatory" is a metaphor speaking of it in terms of the physical act of masturbation.
White Hat then defends the movie by saying that it is about blurring the line between metaphor and reality, commenting that Cueball doesn't understand art. To this Cueball retorts by likening his ability to meld metaphor and reality by using a metaphor comparing himself to Michael Jordan. He then proceeds to actually blur the line by throwing a basketball at White Hat. This can also be understood as another reality metaphor, passing the "conversational ball" to White Hat, or acting like Michael Jordan by playing basketball.
The last frame is also a graphic illustration of blurring the line between metaphor and reality, where a much more "real" depiction of a basketball intrudes into the colorless stick-figure world which serves as an abstraction of our shared reality.
The title text blurs the line between metaphor and reality by dragging both metaphors in the term "masturbatory navel-gazing" into reality and pointing out that literally staring at your navel is not going to be very effective at physical sexual self arousal, which is the goal of masturbation.
- [White Hat and Cueball are walking.]
- White Hat: ...No, but see, it's a movie about movies.
- Cueball: Sounds like masturbatory navel-gazing.
- [Close-up of White Hat.]
- White Hat: No, it's about blurring the line between metaphor and reality.
- White Hat: You just don't know much about art.
- Cueball: Seriously?
- [White hat and Cueball are standing.]
- Cueball: I know all about blurring the line between metaphor and reality. I'm the goddamn Michael Jordan of blurring the line between metaphor and reality.
- [White hat now standing alone in the panel.]
- White Hat: ...Huh?
- [Basketball appears from nowhere and hits White Hat in the head.]