Using a prop (HLD 77)

7 June 2020

I spent a little time this morning reading some commentary about American politics.

Ok, kind of. It was a discussion about the American President staging a photo opportunity session outside a church, holding a Bible.

Now there’s lots of other stuff in this story – about how peaceful protesters were forcibly cleared from the area, how he held the Bible upside down for a portion of the photo session, and the fact that he made no explanation of what he was doing and why, obviously hoping that pictures would speak louder than words. Very strange for this president who seems to like to throw words around with all the skill and enthusiasm of a stink bomb.

But I’m comfortable leaving the political analysis for those with more skill and knowledge – or interest – in delving into what this man does and why.

My interest is in the word PROP.

Do you know how many potential meanings there are for that word?? 

  1. A pole or beam used as a temporary support or to keep something in position, or a person or thing that is a major source of support or assistance. This meaning was particularly relevant to me as I made myself a lovely large hot cup of coffee before writing this bit of diarrhoea. Coffee is a major source of support and assistance in my life.
  2. Rugby – a forward at either end of the front row of a scrum. An earlier bit of diarrhoea talked about my lack of understanding of this game, but it stands to reason that a game that has hookers should also have props.
  3. To support or keep in position. For instance, my current use of the dog, propping me in place on the couch by use of her substantial 5kg body weight, saving me from having to get up and do something.
  4. A portable object other than furniture or costumes used on the set of a play or film. Aah – this is where the President of the US comes into the story. The Bible is a prop in his photo opportunity for selected media who obviously do not disseminate Fake News. 
  5. Some horsey reference that is apparently Australian, where the horse comes to sudden stop with forelegs rigid. This is probably where we get the ‘feeling a bit proppy’ phrase from, but I confess to not having enough equine terminology in my brain bank. A thousand apologies to my horsey friends.
  6. And finally it’s the abbreviation for a lot of things. Propeller comes to mind, but thankfully not literally! 

So where has this little meandering of my mind taken us this morning? It started with the use of a particular book outside a particular building, both of which were used to convey a message. But given there was no description as to the intended message, we can only guess.

I hope the use of the prop was meant to provide support or assistance, or maybe to keep the American people in a position or peace and harmony. But given the absence of horses suddenly stopping at the scene too, we can only assume the prop reference was similar to one in a movie scene where an actor playing a doctor has a stethoscope around his neck to convince you he knows what to do with it.

Although I do like to imagine a dozen burly blokes in tight shorts suddenly tackling him to the ground. That sort of prop would have been a great photo opportunity!

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