Ein Beitrag zur Metapherntheorie.

Beschreibung einer fiktiven Filmszene: Zwei Gangster sind dabei, ein Pärchen - Bob und Toni - fetrigzumachen, da Bob angeblich ein Kilo Drogen für sich abgezweigt hat. Die Suche im Haus des Dealers führt zu nichts, wesegen der eine der Gangster, Errol, zu seinem Kumpen Mr. Snuff sagt: “It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.” Daraufhin entspannt sich zwischen den beiden folgender theoretischer Diskurs:

Ben Elton


New York 1996

A comparison which irritated Mr. Snuff not a little. ‘And I’m saying it’s a dumb thing to say,’ he snapped unkindly. ‘There ain’t no haystacks any more. Leastways, not in the experience of the average individual.’

‘That’s just being pedantic,’ said Errol.

‘Listen, man, if the stone-cold truth is pedantic, then I guess that’s what I’m being, because I’ll bet if you was to ask every person within one hundred miles of where we’re standing if they’d ever seen a haystack, let alone left their works in one, they’d say, “Get the fuck outa here, motherfucker.”’

Errol spotted the point of confusion. ‘It don’t mean no works,’ he said.

‘Say what?’

‘The needle which is referred to in the expression “a needle in a haystack” does not mean no drug paraphernalia. It means a needle for sewing.’

Mr Snuff seized upon the point like the practiced debater he was. ‘It don’t matter what kind of needl we’re talking about here, you dumb motherfucker,’ he explained. ‘The point is that no one is going to lose it in no haystack. You need to bring your metaphors into the twentieth century, man.’

Bob, still hanging from the chain, groaned a little. The two gangsters ignored him.

‘How about if you was to say it’s like trying to find a line of coke in a snowdrift? Now there’s an image a person can understand.’

Now it was Errol’s turn to be contrary. ‘No, man, that’s bullshit,’ he said angrily. ‘The whole point about a needle and a haystack is that theay are very different things, and althought it would be difficult to locate the former within the latter, it would not be impossible. Cocaine and snow are basically identical. You could never tell one from the other. One concept is improbable, the other is impossible - which is an entirely different thing.’

‘Less you snorted up the entire motherfucker. You could sure tell them apart if you was to stick them up your nose.’

Errol laughed. It was a relief for both men. The discussion had been in danger of turning acrimonious, but now the tension was broken. For the two gangsters, that is; for Toni and Bob things remained stresssful.

‘That’s right,’ Errol conceded with a grin. ‘If you snorted up the entire snowdrift, when you got to the stuff that made you talk bullshit at three o’clock in the morning, that would be the cocaine.’

Mr Snuff, having scored such an effective point, was in the mood to be generous. ‘I don’t want to make no Federal case out of this,’ he said kindly. ‘I just think that language ought to reflect the lives of the pople who are speaking it. Not some rural bullshit like needles and haystacks or ... or ... the early bird catches the worm. I don’t want no fucking worm, man. What is more, if I had a horse, which I don’t, I wouldn’t waste no time taking the motherfucker to water when it wasn’t thirsty in the first place.’

Needle in a Haystack

Ein Beitrag zur Filmtheorie.

Der Held des Romans ist ein Oscar-Preisträger, Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor. Während seines Studiums hatten seine Komilitonen einen anderen Filmgeschmack als er:

’ ... - who had all been into Kurosawa while he was into James Bond. ‘Of course The Magnificent Seven is a better movie than The Seven Samurai ,’ he used to say. ‘For one thing it doesn’t have subtitles.’

Die sieben Samurai (Kurosawa 1954)