Today I would like to get excited in blog form about how awesome Steven Mithen is, about how he might not have the smoothest prose in the world, but how he can hack his way through a subject with his unwieldly sentences while somehow delicately gather a million far-fetched strands into one elegantly proved proposition, like how the essence of modern humanity is our ability to use metaphors in The Prehistory of the Mind. I have an obsession with metaphors and simile that the book really pandered to.
For example, last night I dreamt that the F-word was sick so I had to go teach his English class. It was awkward because I was stoned, in fact still sucking on the spliff when I walked through the door. But it was alright, because the subject that day was metaphor and simile. I briefly explained the concepts to the class and decided to start the practical work with similes.
'You,' I said, pointing at a boy who'd looked like he'd been ready to dive into the trashcan when I threw my roach in there. 'Give me a simile about sex, using dogs.' He blushed. Oh well, I thought, at least this is just a dream and I'm not really humiliating myself and teenagers every day in the course of my job. 'Thrashing around like dogs in a duckpond,' he said suddenly and hopefully, and the class went from tittering to oooing and ahhing. Then I woke up before I could congratulate him on the alliteration.
I've been having odd dreams lately, easy to remember and easy to interpret, which is good; now that I'm too cheap for analysis it's reassuring to know I can still keep in touch with my beastly but awesome shadow and keep up an integrated self, to a degree. The strangest simile that came to me in a dream was just before Christmas, about how womanhood is like a shark thrashing to death on the grounds of an amusement park. The best simile I heard over Christmas was how some people had faces like bulldogs licking piss of a thistle.