Every Instance of Figurative Language in Uber Investor Shervin Pishevar’s Bonkers Statement About Travis Kalanick

By
Shervin Pishevar. Photo: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amid the hiring of a new CEO for Uber — current Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be taking over the role — Benchmark Capital, a major Uber investor with a seat on the company’s board, is suing former CEO and Uber founder Travis Kalanick. The suit alleges that Kalanick committed fraud and breached both his fiduciary duties and his contract. Today, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar — who was named in a now-settled lawsuit over at Hyperloop One last year, which alleged that he’d dated the company’s PR person and given her a significant raise — penned a truly, let’s say, literary statement defending Kalanick and railing against Benchmark. (TechCrunch reports that the statement was sent to Kalanick’s legal team to “inspire them.”)

From Pishevar, via TechCrunch:

Let us take this pause in this moment, when we find ourselves swimming in the crucible of one of the grandest business and moral battles of our generation, and find strength in each stroke of our proverbial digital pens, that we wrote with the indelible, eternal and permanent ink of righteousness. We write with the souls of thousands of lives saved, the lives of millions of jobs created liberating multitudes of drivers from the shackles of servitude to iniquitous taxi cartels of corrupt cabals that choked cities with their pollution of air and morals. We write with the spirit of Bonnie Kalanick, who raised her son with deep unconditional love and unfading faith in his ability to do good for the world. Whose tragic and untimely death was used against her son at his most vulnerable, unspeakable time of pain. They chose to strike at a moment of a devoted son’s retreat and leave of absence to mourn the absence of the inviolable love of his mother. In doing so, they joined the very corruption her son had devoted such fervent passion to fight. In her memory, we devote our actions to a just cause; to defend what is right and to protect the interest of not only shareholders but most importantly the far more important stakeholders of employees, drivers and customers whose lives have been forever altered by the abiding faith and fervent hard work of Travis Kalanick and the Uber team. Their allegiance was met by this unholy alliance of perfidious greed devolving rapidly into the audacity of vituperative unparalleled predatory rapacity.


Let us strike tomorrow with the full and fulsome courage of our convictions. Let our just cause give pause to those who would ever dream of ever emulating the shameful shenanigans of these sanctimonious hypocrites who fling filings and letters de haut en bas; when it is we who have the higher moral ground and our letters and filing will hail down upon their platforms, exposing them as bitterly barren barons of moral turpitude. And as the summer sets, we let us be steward of truth who in unison proclaim: fiat justitia ruat caelum.

Pishevar’s statement is a baroque masterpiece. Let’s count through the instances of figurative language, shall we?

1. Swimming in a crucible … of a battle? “When we find ourselves swimming in the crucible of one of the grandest business and moral battles of our generation.”

(For those counting, this is, at least, a triply mixed metaphor.)

2. Pen strokes. “Find strength in each stroke of our proverbial digital pens.”

(This is how I’m going to describe my job as a blogger the next time one of my parent’s friends ask what I do for a living.)

3. Righteous ink! “The indelible, eternal and permanent ink of righteousness.”

4. Taxi shackles and moral pollution. “We write with the souls of thousands of lives saved, the lives of millions of jobs created liberating multitudes of drivers from the shackles of servitude to iniquitous taxi cartels of corrupt cabals that choked cities with their pollution of air and morals.”

5. An unholy alliance. “Their allegiance was met by this unholy alliance of perfidious greed devolving rapidly into the audacity of vituperative unparalleled predatory rapacity.”

Okay, this one is less metaphor than it is tongue twister. Please say “audacity of vituperative unparalleled predatory rapacity” ten times fast.

6. Flinging filings! “Let our just cause give pause to those who would ever dream of ever emulating the shameful shenanigans of these sanctimonious hypocrites who fling filings and letters de haut en bas.”

7. Enemies exposed as … barons? “Our letters and filing will hail down upon their platforms, exposing them as bitterly barren barons of moral turpitude.”

8. Stewards of truth. “Let us be steward of truth who in unison proclaim: fiat justitia ruat caelum.”

Later on Wednesday, Pishevar told CNBC that he is excited by the prospect of Uber’s new CEO. “His [Khosrowshahi’s] family is also really a crown jewel of our community,” Pishevar said. (Both men were born in Iran.) “Many, many of his family, his cousins, have been contributing to our country, to America, in such amazing ways. And we are all very proud that he has accepted and joined to lead Uber into its next phase of growth.”

Annotating the Many Metaphors in this Bonkers VC Statement