Sunday, June 20, 2010


Summer is just about here, and it shows. The air has been as hot and hazy as July. In looking at the weather reports, it appears this trend will continue unabated for the rest of the month. Thunderstorms are supposed to clear the air, but they frequently don't. I can't do much on hot summer days; the wet, sponge-like quality of the air soaks up my ambition with it. Even if I have some ambition, I can't think straight much of the time. It makes focusing on projects difficult.

I am one of the handful of people left with a MySpace account. I signed in today, and I'm always confronted by the inane ads they have for different bands and what appear to be television programs. Today's popped up: "Meet the Wests ; a family with different values." Then the family, dressed in dark colors, suddenly turned orange (meaning their clothes, they didn't suddenly get fake tans). Then the name changed from "Wests" to "Scoundrels".

I puzzled over this ad. Why does wearing orange make you a scoundrel? Was the ad-maker Irish Catholic? Did they work for Anheuser-Busch? More non-sensical color coding. Recently, Stephen Elliot of the Rumpus posted a Twitter update that asked why we were at "Threat Level Orange" again. I suspected that perhaps it was a sign that Fall was around the corner, but current weather conditions disprove that theory. Then I saw that a bunch of Dutch women were arrested at the World Cup games for wearing orange. It was believed that they were given the dresses by a Dutch beer company, who were clearly guilty of trying to advertise for a real beer at a game where there was, lamentably, only Anheuser-Busch products. If they'd snuck in any actual Bavaria Beer, I would have seen them as heroes. But advertising a beer that you can't have may have been a form of torture, so maybe the World Cup people were right. Don't remind everyone that they're drinking Budweiser and Busch, when they could be drinking beer that actually tastes good. Interestingly, drunkenness at the World Cup is down this year. Can't say I'm surprised. If someone told me I could drink water or Budweiser at an event, I'd opt for water, even though I hate drinking water.

So, orange is now associated with Protestantism, terrorism, rogue beer companies, and a family of "scoundrels". Does it really deserve that kind of reputation? I've always associated orange with Fall leaves, sunsets, pumpkins, bonfires, and creamsicles. Psychologically, orange is supposed to elicit enthusiasm, energy, and warmth. I've always thought it was a moderate color, tempering the intense effects of the color red with a sunny yellow. Symbolic shifts in the psyche happen slowly, and I wonder if this will be another one. I kind of hope not. But maybe it's just seasonal; we're entering the heart of summer, which in Celtic mythology is the time of the fiery eye of Balour, which is a mythological representation of the sun. When Balour opens his eye, a great fire burns up everything it sees. Coincidentally (or not), the sun is also entering a period of solar storms--which means solar flares have the potential to disrupt many things here on Earth. Weather and climate agencies say that knowing about the solar storms helps us mitigate the effects of them on our planet. But it might make people unconsciously wary of fiery orange.

1 comment:

Sam said...


Brigid your blog is fantastic

THANKS metrogyl.