Metaphors can be complicated, but sometimes a situation will arise that is so bizarre or surprising on a cosmic level that it simply has to mean something. It’s certainly possible that we’re all just blindly following a predetermined path and nothing in our entire lives really goes beyond the surface, but all of those Twilight Zone episodes really seemed to hammer in the idea that everything in life has a deeper meaning or lesson that we should take away. Of course, sometimes it’s just hard to figure out what that deeper meaning is.
That brings us to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which celebrated the beginning of the Republican National Convention by setting up a camera in front of a condiment station in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena and live-streaming America’s top Republicans putting stuff on their hot dogs for two hours. On the one hand, it’s the kind of low-level absurdity that’s funny because of how stupid it is, but on the other hand, it is weirdly fascinating to see all of these people doing the same thing in slightly different ways. One guy will put too much ketchup on his hot dog. Another will do too much mustard. One guy will take a bunch of napkins. Others won’t take any.
Then there’s the idea of the condiments themselves, which could be metaphors all on their own. What is ketchup? What is mustard? What are hot dogs? While we’re at it, what is this whole election? Are we the people, choosing which condiment/candidate to put on our hot dog/White House? Or are we the hot dogs, and the lobbyists and corporations are the people choosing the condiments/candidates? Whatever the deeper meaning is here, we’re definitely on to something with condiments/candidates.
You can watch the non-live version of The Late Show’s condiment video below, but make sure you sit through the whole thing. It gets super trippy after an hour.