Why Parableman?

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I've only once or twice explained how I got the name Parableman. Last week I went to a dissertation defense that reminded me of my secret origin, so I'm going to use that as a roundabout way to get to explaining the name. There was a very strange moment at this defense. I just have to say that it's really funny to hear an octogenarian philosopher utter the words "Your mother's a whore!" to a devout Catholic in a suit. It's even stranger given that it was a committee member addressing a question to the candidate who was defending. Indirect discourse is so fun when you ignore key elements of the context. One of the committee members was even visibly shocked to hear that exact expression coming out of his mouth, but in context it was part of a perfectly legitimate question.

What shocks about this is when you ignore or bury the context. I didn't just explain why this professor was uttering that expression. Telling you that he said it to this upstanding Catholic guy in a suit at a dissertation defense is extremely misleading. It was just such an incident that led to my recognition as Parableman. Back in college I said a whole bunch of true things about someone to some friends of both of ours. I left out some crucial information, however. If I'd done it in a different tone it would clearly have implicated some false information that wouldn't have been good, but I used a fairly cryptic and mysterious tone that clued them in pretty quickly that I was hiding something and not exactly suggesting what the information might otherwise have suggested (so it wasn't really slander by implication). They thought this cryptic approach was worthy of the moniker Parableman, and they proceeded to write an entire song about me to the tune of Particle Man by They Might Be Giants. I wish they'd written it down, because it was actually pretty good.

So it has nothing to do with parables, really. It's just that I said some cryptic things. It wasn't exactly out of character to do that, but it wasn't really anything to do with parables. Isn't it disappointing to find out that the Parableman got his name in a way entirely unrelated to anything that could accurately be called a parable?

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Isn't it disappointing to find out that the Parableman got his name in a way entirely unrelated to anything that could accurately be called a parable?

I'm devastated. (not) ;-)

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