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Quotes: Faux Symbolism
The rats symbolize obviousness!

Shatner mentions that the climbing stuff at the beginning represents the Star Trek philosophy of striving to get higher. Well, thatís how it comes across. I think he might have been high on something during this.

I honestly have no idea about this movie. I have been trying to examine this movie for the past week and even reading other analysis of the film and I still canít really say what it is about. Von Trier never wants to make his themes or symbolism painfully obvious, but here it almost seems to me like heís gone too far in that direction. The movie is so vague that it can almost be interpreted in any way you want it to. I have read analysis which call this misogynist (and with reasoned arguments) and some that say it is anti-misogynist. I have read some that call it anti-Christian, while others talk about subconscious themes of Christianity in the form of temptation and sin. The most plausible one I see so far is just that it is Von Trier working out all of his psychological bullshit.

Well, the guinea pigs play a central role in the metaphor for David's life as an albino, because he kills all the guinea pigs with his fists.

Dora: Oh, there's TONS of deep meaning there. The pinup girls represent your feminine side, and the dinosaurs represent the oppressive, male-dominated society you were raised in. The wizard and the robot represent the struggle between superstition and technology.
Marten: And the bomber dropping kittens?
Dora: I like kittens.

Kane says it's symbolic and important, but I'm never certain whether he's serious or spinning nonsense to be mystifying.
LEGION, Tiberium Wars

Not everything is a metaphor!
Candace, Phineas and Ferb

Stan: More and more of us are against this book every day! The author is cruel and offensive! And for these reasons, we demand this book be banned from all schools, stores, and libraries! This book is nothing but smut and vulgarity purely for the sake of smut and vulgarity!
Assemblyman 1: That's just because you're too young to understand the underlying themes.
Cartman: There are no underlying themes! We know that for a fact!
Assemblyman 2: You just fail to understand what the author meant.
Kyle: The author meant to be as gross as possible because it was funny!
Assemblyman 3: No, no no, that's such a simplistic view.
Stan: Goddamnit there is no deeper meaning in this book! Read it again!
Assemblywoman 1: Oh, so you're suggesting that the author just arbitrarily made fun of Sarah Jessica Parker for no reason??
Kyle: Yes!
Assemblywoman 1: But what would be the point?
Cartman: There is no point! It's just because Sarah Jessica Parker is fuckin' ugly!
Assemblywoman 2: No writer would take the time to make fun of Sarah Jessica Parker just because they think she's ugly.
Stan, Kyle, Cartman: Yes they would!
Assemblywoman 2: It is because Miss Jessica Parker is a metaphor in the book for oppression felt by the lower class.
Stan: What?? Dude, that is not in the book at all!
Assemblyman 2: Boys, this book is an important look at how liberals are hurting this country.
Stan: What?
Assemblywoman 2: Wait, Scrotie McBoogerballs is the most conservative-hating liberal in literature!
Assemblyman 2: What book did you read?!
Stan: There's nothing about liberals or conservatives!
Assemblyman 4: Ohohh yeah, then why did Sarah Jessica Parker's buttcheese end up in Scrotie's milkshake?
The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs, South Park

Goddammit, will you people stop reading into stuff that isn't there!!
Stan Marsh, South Park

Really? You're throwing in a cloth with Jesus' face on it? I can just see Tarsem dancing in the background shouting "Ask me what it means! Ask me what it means!"


"Lazarus Heart was a vivid nightmare that I wrote down and then fashioned into a song. A learned friend of mine informs me that it is the archetypical dream of the fisher king... can't I do anything original?"
Sting, liner notes to Nothing Like the Sun


Paul: It's one of those things where you have to have faith that Nick Spencer on that book has a plan, as opposed to what we all know was clearly going on with LOST, which was they were just making it up as they went along. "What happens if then a donkey wanders into the room, and... there's a Nazi?"
Al: And everybody's sitting at home going "What does the donkey symbolise? What is the donkey? Is the donkey the devil? Is the Nazi the devil? Is the Nazi the donkey?"
Paul: "Who's riding on the donkey?"
Al: "Is it a Jesus metaphor? Are they trying to say Jesus was a Nazi?"
Paul: Everything's a Jesus metaphor.

Aoba: Another cross attack!? Why!?
Maya: Because it's... deep?
Gendo: Ah, don't start start that tired argument again! It was added because the director thought it was shiny, so just move on and continue the operation.

"If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it didn't."

And you listen to the music,
and you love to sing along,
and you want to get the meaning out
of each and every song,
and you find yourself a message,
some words to call your own,
and take them home.
Bread, "Guitar Man"

"Hey man did you
write that for me?
It seems like it,
it spoke to me."
You made it up,
you made it up,
you made it up,
you make it up.
Starflyer 59, "M23"

"I don't know what it's about. I'm just the drummer. Ask Peter."
Phil Collins, when asked about the meaning of Genesis' Concept Album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

"Some thought there was some greater symbolic meaning behind this infamous comic, and a couple of readers actually analyzed it as a representation of my feelings of women being inferior. Honestly, I just wanted to put Dominic in a He-Man harness because I thought he'd look silly."
Michael "Mookie" Terracciano

"Suppose you are studying Moby-Dick. Anybody with any common sense would say Moby-Dick is a big white whale, since the characters in the book refer to it as a big white whale roughly eleven thousand times. So in your paper, you say Moby-Dick is actually the Republic of Ireland. Your professor, who is sick to death of reading papers and never liked Moby-Dick anyway, will think you are enormously creative."
Dave Barry, "College Admissions"

Oh no! They take it too far.
Now all the greatest love songs
Are secretly about heroin.
Lemon Demon, "Being a Rock Star"

"Why in the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second rate Freudian evaluation on my lyrics when 90% of the time they've transcribed the lyrics incorrectly?"

"This game - discovering feelings that writers didn't know they had on the basis of things they didn't say - is great fun, and anyone can play it. (There's is a bit-part player in "Prince Caspian" called Mrs Prizzle. Well then, the fact that Lewis chose this name proves that he had an unconscious desire to spank women using the penis of a bull. See how easy it is?)"
Lipstick on My Scholar, by Andrew Rilstone

You know, I always thought that your short hair was somehow symbolic of your character growth.
Me too! I guess it was just a crappy haircut.

"No. That's not how English class works. What we CAN do is pretend the book is a towering riddle of symbology designed to obfuscate a central theme so simplistic that it can be expressed in a single paragraph during a one-hour midterm."

"Every fiction should have a moral; and, what is more to the purpose, the critics have discovered that every fiction has. (...) In short, it has been shown that no man can sit down to write without a very profound design. Thus to authors in general much trouble is spared. A novelist, for example, need have no care of his moral. It is there—that is to say, it is somewhere—and the moral and the critics can take care of themselves. When the proper time arrives, all that the gentleman intended, and all that he did not intend, will be brought to light, in the "Dial," or the "Down-Easter," together with all that he ought to have intended, and the rest that he clearly meant to intend:—so that it will all come very straight in the end."
Edgar Allan Poe, Never Bet the Devil Your Head

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

"Now they're trying to come up with meanings for Beatles songs. I never understood what any of them were about, myself..."

In creating Elsa, Disney formulated a storyline that is richly applicable to dozens of different alienations and iconoclasms, any one of which can lead to social stigma, but which can also yield rich creative fruit and be a light unto the world. It is not reducible to just one, and never should be, but applies across many circumstances and conditions.
By making Elsaís metaphorical significance so fluid, she is widely relatable to many individuals in a host of different ways.
— A blogger discussing Frozen

But by making its story specifically about magic powers, Frozen takes the idea further. The snow and the ice are effective as CGI elements, but theyíre also emotionally resonant, because it all relates back to Elsaís inner despair. And her powers ó her shame and fear of them ó could be read symbolically, too. Symbolic of what? Well, what have you got? Itís all vague enough that the allegory could really be for anything.
— Another analysis of the same movie

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