When I was young, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, things were different. Color had not yet been invented—everything was in black and white. I actually remember the exact moment color emerged. All the village peasants gathered excitedly in the living room of a wealthy landowner to witness the arrival of a new-fangled TV. Birth is usually accompanied by the color red, but in this case everything was illuminated in varying shades of green. No, I’m not colorblind, I can distinguish between red and green but this was different than any color I had ever seen. As the Bonanza theme song played, we all cheered as a Greenish-Hoss, Little Joe, Adam and Ben Cartwright came riding their horses up to the camera to pose. There are landmark times in your life you never forget—The Beatles hitting U.S. soil, JFK assassinated, the moon landing, the twin towers hit by planes, the night Donald Trump was elected president. Among those distinctive moments was my first glimpse of color TV.
You have to be pretty old to remember some of these things and lucky for me I am. My husband talks about getting older like it’s a disease. "I’ve got Old Age!” (This disease is one of the more prominent underlying co-morbidities of the Corona virus, and by the way, in late stages, all masks do is cover up wrinkles.) Another symptom of Old Age—The Disease, is that your mind begins to wander and you forget just where you were headed when you started writing. I’m working my way back there now.
Sure, seeing everything in black and white had its problems, and it’s no different today. If only we could grasp the liberating beauty of seeing the world in color! People, religions, cultures, personalities, ideologies. It’s all breathtaking to behold and worthy of gathering together to grasp the wonder of it all. Unfortunately, the gatherings today are often mobs of angry people, trying to force their color-blindness onto others.
Back in the day, when we wanted to insult someone, the worst we could come up with was “Coo-coo Head” or “You smell like pee.” We’ve come a long way, baby. What a difference a day (or two or three or four) makes. People have honed their meanness skills into an art form and the anonymity of the internet has helped with the progression.
One of my beautiful black daughters recently posted a picture on instagram of herself with her adorable little boy. Someone responded with the comment, “Half-breed Demon!” (It was written anonymously, of course, by someone with the name of Ashley Mc-something-or-other.) What depravity! Sadly, both my black daughters have endured racist comments their whole lives.
My son, who is a police officer has had people shriek, inches from his face things like, “Your family should be put in the gas chamber!” “You should die!” among other “ific” phrases—horrific, graphic or pornographic.
My gay grandson has heard or read comments such as, “You should just do everyone a favor and kill yourself.”
As I’ve mentioned before, we are a multi-cultural-religious-racial-ideological family. Every member is stunning in his or her own way. But every member has had to endure the worst society has to offer in some form or another. It makes no sense to me. Why would anyone choose to see life in black and white? As TV technology progressed, so did the vibrancy of color. At the same time the intensity of insults has exploded into more colorful, hateful language.
It’s difficult for someone with ”Old Age” to come to terms with the toxic, animus venom that is so routinely spewed. I long for the world to see how amazing and beautiful life is in full-blooming technicolor. Someday, hopefully sooner than later—in a galaxy not too far away, people will begin to see the preciousness of life in more than black and white. Witness the miracle of diversity in all its sensational glory.
Until then, you putrid, decaying, festering, spoiled rotten, bratty, piece of crap whippersnappers, clean up your act or I’ll tell your mothers to wash your filthy mouths out with soap! How's that for a colorful insult?