It came in an email from my son, who was quoting his friend, Nick:
"I'm so glad that Russia invaded Crimea. Otherwise, I wouldn't have metaphor material to explain how much March totally fucking sucked."
I am not privy to what is happening in Nick's life that invites a comparison to the Russian invasion. (Or threatened invasion, or planned invasion, or "peace-keeping force" - whatever. We've seen this movie before. I think I know how it ends.) What I find interesting here is the proposed use of current events and - similarly - popular culture as a kind of source material, which is vastly preferable to just getting depressed.
For me, it ushers in a whole new way of looking at the world. For the last four years, I have tended to regard world events as potential blog posts. Now I can use them to build my metaphor repertoire, which takes much less time and effort.
A brief review of the grammar involved, from Merriam-Webster Online:
Metaphor - A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money).
It is, by the way, very important not to use the words "like" or "as" in a metaphor. If you do, the figure of speech is called a "simile". I remember that from my 6th grade English class.
Example of a simile: "That's as redundant as a butt implant on a Kardashian."
Example of a metaphor: "The housing market was a media-fueled, ever-increasing Kardashian butt, just waiting to collapse."
Get it? Although the housing-market/Kardashian-butt metaphor may be a false one, since Kardashians have magic potions and shamans that will forever render them suitable for the cover of People Magazine.
One very famous metaphor is from Shakespeare's "As You Like It":
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances..."
Now let's try it with a (sort of) current event:
"All the world's George Washington Bridge;
And all the men and women drivers merely citizens who sincerely regret ever voting for Chris Christie;
They need to pee, and so search for exits..."
Wow. What doesn't that describe?
A metaphor can be thought of a way to express universal experiences, without using culture-specific references. For example, my son (obviously inspired by Nick) texted me:
"Today was a Crimean invasion kind of day."
And I knew exactly what he meant.