Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's a Conspiracy!

Most conspiracy theorists are concerned with overtly political machinations such as US complicity with, if not responsibility for, the 9/11 attack, or the building of internment camps, and the escalation of violence because cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed were published.

Although I take all that with a grain of salt, I have run into something that has me puzzled and has no apparent connection with politics at all.

The oddities I've run into have to do with color in kitchen decor and a new theme in tv programming.

In preparing my dad's house for his return after having had a stroke and spending time at the nursing home for therapy, I've been purchasing items for the kitchen to bring it up to my standards. A color theme I noticed for kitchen utensils at Cooks & Co. is red, white, navy blue, and black. There is also the largely binary theme of black and white in many countertop kitchen appliances. The larger kitchen appliances is also mostly black and white though it now includes stainless steel and still has some almond. But the avocada green has completely dropped out and the new color, especially in Kitchenaid appliances is red.

Ten years ago there used to be a variety of colors especially in Rubbermaid products where container lids were country blue, cobalt blue, and hunter green. I happen to miss the soft country blue and I would have really liked a sage green. Now all I can find is white. Even the almond color has dropped out. Dish drying racks are also predominantly white with maybe a black or red for at least some variation.

I find this trend in kitchen colors, white, red, black, and an occasional navy blue, interesting. And this is where the conspiracy stuff comes in. There are three predominant combinations: red, white, and blue; black and white; and red and white. White and blue is also possible but the items available in blue are quite limited making it a less likely pairing in decorating the kitchen.

From the conspiracy angle, red, white, and blue represents America. Black and white is the kind of thinking that goes on in the country. The red is for blood particularly for 9/11 and in Iraq.

In know these are easily dismissed since these are common colors and we're talking about kitchen items for pete sake! It's the vagaries of the "market" at work you fool!

I'd just like to point out that marketing is a multi-billion dollar business and what better way to influence people's minds in the most subtle, non-hackle raising way than kitchen decor. Unless, you are like me and you want a color you can no longer get that used to be available.

The other odditity came in a passing thought about a TV show talking about mummified bodies discovered in Irish peat bogs. The thought was like a compressed file that unzipped itself and a spate of other such programs flashed by. The Anasazi, the Aztecs, and now the Celts. The theme these recent programs all have in common is the idea of ritual human sacrifice or the bludgeoning of people in war.

When it comes to this topic I tend to be rather leery about the manner that "evidence" is presented. And as I sat on the pot this morning the unbidden thought came that perhaps the one peat bog body the show went on about so much just might have been the result of an accident rather than blood-thirstiness.

Wars and killing are indeed a major part of human history. But like the narrowing of color choices in kitchen decor, I find the lack of any other possible explanations to be as telling as what is being presented. It paints all of humankind as craven, blood-thirsty killers who have nothing better to do with their time than find new ways and reasons to kill people, even in their own tribes. Just think of the way cannibles have been presented in the past. As it turns out, they are not craven at all. Instead, it is their highest form of honor for the dead rather than merely letting them become worm and maggot food. I'm also really sick of shark week and the portrayal of the animal kingdom as the binary world of predator and prey, rather than the truer world of cooperative and social relationships.

These are both just passing thoughts about the subtlety of marketing and TV programming. Your mileage may vary.