Thursday, April 30, 2009

Color Blind

I am not color blind; I can see the difference between red, white, blue, or green. I get annoyed though when I am forced to make a distinction between pink and salmon. I have long hoped that those folks at Garanimals would market their signature line of matching separates in men’s clothing. Occasionally when I have been forcibly removed from the comfort of my home to attend some social gathering, my wife and daughter will amuse themselves at my expense. “What color is the living room in our house,” they quiz me in front of the gathering crowd. “Yellow?” I suggest. “No it’s sea foam-green (or whatever color it is), but that was a good guess.” This parlor game can occupy several minutes where I am cross-examined on the colors of the rooms in our house. It’s fun for the whole family.

The actual color of something is just not that important to me. But I do enjoy discussing how the names of colors can be used to describe someone. Someone can be green with envy; so depressed they feel blue; so angry that they see red, or branded yellow if they are afraid to act contrary to current popular opinion. I am sure that you can come up with your own examples. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Green is the new red, white & blue. Everyone is racing (in hybrids and Smart cars) to be thought of as environmentally friendly – or Green. Some companies claim to be greener than others. Cars, cooking, construction, almost anything can me presumably better if it is deemed Green.

Last Wednesday we celebrated Earth Day. I didn’t get any of the stuff I asked for. I wanted some cool fluorescent bulbs with instructions on how to properly dispose of them. Maybe if we could get Earth Day declared a Hallmark Holiday then we could start exchanging Green gifts. Well, at the very least take the Monday of that week off from work. We could shut down the economy in our quest to be seen as Green.

It’s hard to keep up on all of the latest trends without being a slave to fashion. My friend Jeff took his fuel-friendly motorcycle out of its stable for a little ride recently. But, because he’s a family man he wanted to include his wife and sons. So recognizing his patriotic duty to help kick-start the economy he bought bikes for everyone. He rationalized that this was the Green thing to do because his cycle gets about 44 mpg. But upon further examination he discovered that when all four of them take their bikes out for a family outing the accumulative mileage drops down to a meager 11 mpg (you may want to check his math). He’s thinking of buying an American-made SUV that gets about 18 on the highway.

The current trendy crisis is now called Climate Change (so named because it can cover the entire range of weather related issues). A few months ago it was called Global Warming, and a little over thirty years ago we were being warned of a coming ice age. Back in those dark ages scientists were documenting increased ice and snow cover and decreasing global temperatures. I am certain that we could point to current findings to offer a difference of opinion. But the truth is – convenient or not – sometimes people can be blind to everything but what they want to see. Things aren’t always black & white. There is often a grey area somewhere in the middle that is open to interpretation and debate. I can see that.

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