Thursday, December 13, 2012
HGTV’s “Color Splash” has been on the air since 2007 – transforming bland spaces into festive rooms thanks to the innovative use of color. It’s often over the top, but an amusing distraction. I don’t think host David Bromstad has ever used Tangerine Tango, the 2012's color of the year. 2013 is the year of emerald. Pantione determines the color for each year – they are (per their site) “…known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.” Who knew? Color me educated.
Green M&M’s became developed a mythology that they were an aphrodisiac. Green is also known as the color of envy and jealousy making it an interesting juxtaposition with the candy legend. In fact, color has an entire psychology around it. Studies have also been done on the impact of human behavior as it relates to color. Given the identical set of information, people react one way if something is set against one color versus another.
In the days of black and white movies – the good guys were distinguished by their white hat, and the not so good guys always wore black. That visual way to reinforce a characters role in the story actually has continued in modern filmmaking.
Characterizing one’s political opponent as evil just put Americans through a two year, multi-billion exercise. With 51% of the vote, President Obama successfully painted Mitt Romney as the scarier proposition. The election seemed to be about who would be worse for the country – not whose vision or policies would be best.
While President Obama won the election – the Republicans continue to demonize. The idea of coming together and compromising has been a rhetorical nicety, but the practical application of the concept hasn’t yet materialized. Winning is more important than governing. With the media’s inability / refusal to report and discuss nuance they’re able to keep the simple narrative of good-bad alive. Complex issues are reduced to simplistic sound bytes and surrogates from each side are sent out to parrot the lines across the media landscape. This is not the way to solve a $16 trillion deficit – that under the most rigorous Republican proposals will be $20 trillion by the time Obama leaves office, and likely more.
That’s me painting Democrats and Republicans the same color: red. As in red ink. As in what happened to even the dialogue about a balanced budget – about the United States of America not spending more than it brings in? Good stewardship of this amazing, prosperous and vital nation must include real fiscal responsibility – as in a balanced budget and a debt reduction plan. How did this concept become extremist? Spending the country into bankruptcy – that’s far more reckless.
It would be nice if the world was as black and white – and people were either just good or just evil as the entertainers and politicians try to portray. We are a conundrum of complexities and contradictions. We are, in short, gray…not in the dull, lifeless sense of the color – but the equal mix of white and black. Wouldn’t it be nice if our politics actually reflected who we are?