METALANGUAGE AND METAPHORS AREN’T JUST WORDS WE HEAR.
How could it come to this ? how could my mind ever come to this level of a breakdown?
Yanis Varoufakis, certainly is what we could call a Greek philosopher and a pop star, aware of fashion and aware of the world. A hell of a smart guy, after all, there’s hell of a lot of Plato, Sofocles and Diogenes in him. Or maybe I’m just projecting. But then again, who isn’t?
But how and why did I think of him?
Well, maybe because I still think (rather naively, perhaps) that, as long as there are two intelligent people on this planet, capable of sitting down and able to talk (instead of shouting and beating each other up), the world has a lot to gain and gain a lot.
Yes, I woke on this Sunday morning, after another bout with my withdrawal from antidepressants and decided to ignore the Trump infested news. I put on a YouTube video of the twenty best knockout matches ever, won by Mike Tyson.
I love Tyson. And I’m not alone.
After being vilified by the media for being an ignorant, a bully and so on, he did a complete 360 degree turn around and became a witty, self deprecating pop star and stand up comic capable (more than capable) of laughing at himself.
These first impressions of ‘a monster killer’ are hard to break. But they were easily broken on the day when he was visited – whilst in prison – by John F Kennedy Jr. back in the late nineties.
There is a club and it’s called “Notoriety”. There is no entry door but there certainly is an exit door. One day, without prior notice, you’ve expired. But nobody ever tells you. This Exit door is simply shut in your face. Phones are no longer answered or …emails are not replied and you simply wonder if you’re still alive. You look at yourself in the mirror and all you see is a faint image of yourself and it is then, and not before then, that the clock gets stuck at midnight (or at noon – equally frightening).
“One becomes a prisoner of one’s own past” I heard someone say about Prince just after his death about two weeks ago. Lord ! Do I identify with that! Do I ? What a weight to carry! Your own baggage. A hell of a weight. And a wait !
And yet….. there are those who can simply ignore all of that, do a U turn and keep on moving swiftly and gently through the small and windy roads of old spiral town, like Parma or Venice or like the streets in a Jorge Luis Borges book.
So, when Yanis Varoufakis spoke, it immediately made me think of pop icons like Tyson and those who are open to dialogue, no matter which dialogue. It made me think of Andy Warhol or Susan Sontag and even, Julian Beck, an actor and philosopher and author / director whom I knew closely since I was the last one and only one to have directed him outside of his Living Theater in a Beckett premiere, “That Time”, as he was close to death.
This is when I discovered what METALANGUAGE, Yes, Metalanguage, the ‘thing” which transformed my theater and put it all into perspective into the here and now and all its tangents. The outer circle and the inner circle all seen from a third perspective.
This occurs when we’re finally able to see our own death and play with it , just as Julian was. After all, we did the play as Julian had been diagnosed with an irreversible full blown cancer at the age I am now, 61. And, coincidentally or not, Beckett’s “That Time” is all about a “person” listening to his voices in the past in three different eras of his past , A, B and C, dying as he listens. And Julian was on stage, dying as he listened.
It takes guts and humor. It takes that club, Notoriety. It takes a heart wrenching Cartesian perspective that our Greek Finance minister has, Tyson has, Obama has but, all in all, not many other people do.
It takes the understanding of this hard to get concept called METALANGUAGE or METAPHOR that we so often hear people mention but, I bet you a million bucks. Only a very few, really know what it means.
New York –
May 8, 2016