situation, it is people--citizens, human beings--who can choose either to let arms control fail, and thereby sanction an ever greater buildup of pressures along the fault line, or to begin immediately, at what may be the last possible moment, to dismantle the nuclear stockpiles and ban further technological development and testing, and thereby move to lessen the pressures on both sides of the fault line. The world needn't let itself be lulled into accepting a fatalistic metaphor that presents as triumph the salvaging of three babies from an unspeakable catastrophe and suggests that this is all it should hope for. 20
Skill in the analysis of metaphor involves seeing in whose interests a particular comparison is used, whether the comparison is apt, and why these two matters are brought together for comparison. This skill is one that can be developed and should be a basic conceptual tool in the time of the sign. I believe these matters can be explained to people to help them think more clearly about their own positions. I have seen young people learn to rename reality, adopting a new language to take them out of the language game of, say, the militarists in our own country who name weapons of destruction as peacekeepers. Also, if I am conscious of my own metaphors and am willing to talk about them as well as about the importance of proper naming, my students come to imitate my behavior. Model nonsexist language for students, and many will come to see the point and be more discriminating in their own speech.
Understanding the connections between the images through which we see and the images we see, and then working at interpreting both sets of images, promises to open up many angles of cultural analysis and a dynamic cultural agency.