Bobby Jindal has published an OpEd in Politico today, Cliff Diving. In it, he says, “Today it’s the fiscal cliff, but that surely will not be the end of it; next year it will be the fiscal mountain, after that the fiscal black hole, and after that fiscal Armageddon.” The politics don’t really matter; Jindal is an evil little man—you know, a shining light of the Republican Party! But I don’t know what to make of that jumble of metaphors; it goes way beyond a simple mixed metaphor.
Let’s see now. You fall off a cliff. You climb a mountain. You are pulled into a black hole. And lots of stuff happens to you during Armageddon, but none of them have to do with falling off anything. I admit, the cliff and the black hole are technically the same from a physics standpoint: gravity. But given that Jindal seems to get his science from the Bible I won’t cut him any slack. What’s more, when used as metaphor, they are not the same.
Perhaps we can help out Mr. Jindal. Here are a few alternatives:
- Today it’s the fiscal Cliff; next year it will be the fiscal Diane, after that the fiscal Sam, and after that fiscal Norm.
- Today it’s the fiscal cliff; next year it will be the fiscal barranca, after that the fiscal precipice, and after that fiscal scarp.
- Today it’s the fiscal cliff; next year it will be the fiscal cliff only higher, after that the fiscal cliff even higher than that last one that was higher than the first, and after that fiscal highest cliff—the one that is even higher than the first three hence it being called “highest.”
- Today it’s the fiscal Cliff Watson; next year it will be the fiscal Cliff Burton, after that the fiscal Cliff Richard, and after that fiscal Jimmy Cliff, which is particularly bad because there are apparently more than one.
I hope that my readers can come up with more metaphors to help out Bobby Jindal. He really needs the help.