Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Cocktail Party: A Yummish Response to Tea-Baggers, Switch-Hitters and Other Mad Hatters

The Yummish Council recently held a meeting to discuss the weighty issue of politics in the media. Actually, it was something more of an intervention – something about the way I mainline talk radio destroying my kidneys by causing an overproduction of bile. (There was also a side discussion about how best to pry the mug of hot caffeine out of my Vulcan death grip. Unfortunately there was little significant progress on that front and the Council eventually had to settle for a still reasonably Yummish compromise. While it proved infeasible to remove the mug entirely, they discovered that it is possible to quickly swap the mug for a glass of wine or a frozen margarita, a la Indiana Jones. Score: Me 2, Kidneys 0)

The Yummish Council first wanted to make it quite clear that The Yummish are in no way opposed to people being informed about the world in which they live. Being aware of the world around you is a fundamental Yummish value and is instilled in us from a very young age. How can you appreciate the depth and breadth of Yummish experiences available to you otherwise? If the Yummish Council had its way, in fact, more people would be well informed and actively engaged in this act of survival we call self-governance.

The problem, as the Yummish Council sees it, is not a matter of primary elections, but primary hues. We must end this blatant and disturbing abuse of color now! Every day our eyes are assaulted by unsightly maps tinted in clashing colors - raging red, beatnick blue and perplexed purple. These images are disturbing to the Council, not just because they foster and further artificial divisions between us and suffocate any hope of shared Yum, but, frankly, because they aesthetically offensive. In a world of infinite digital color and soy based ink, why are we limiting ourselves to fewer options than offered up by even the smallest package of crayolas?

The more the Yummish Council explored the issue of pigment abuse in the media – meaning we sat in front of the tube flipping between cable news outlets, while surfing the NPR and Huffington Post websites and tweeting about True Blood (Team Sam, BTW. Infinite possibilities. Think about it.) --
the more hopeless we became. Everyone seemed to be shouting all of the time, even in print. We got the distinct impression that, with everyone talking at once, there was no one left to listen.

After making the always-wise decision to turn off the television, close the browser and change the radio to the classical station, The Yummish Council decided to share a bottle (or two) of wine, to help unclear our heads. In pouring the wine – a cheap Chilean merlot, but it got the job done – I became aware of its color. Held to the light, the true color was closer to purple. Oil on the glass left by my hand acted like a prism and as I turned the glass, the light broke out the rich indigo, the vibrant crimson, the almost black-greenness that made up the color the bottle described simply as “red.”

Nothing as complex as a human being can be represented by a single, flat tone. I, for one, could never define myself with just a single color, let alone a single hue of that color. I want pale blue for the sky, bright green for the hills, hot yellow for the sun. I need shades of grey. I am curious turquoise.

Like even my cheap wine, the more attention you pay to a person or an issue, the more you nuance you discover. So inspired, and possibly slightly intoxicated, the Yummish Council created the official political arm of the Yummish Movement – The Cocktail Party.

In future weeks we will be discussing The Cocktail Party further, laying out our policies and agenda. However, given that it is Friday afternoon and I have yet to prepare for tonight's Yummish Devotional (read: I need to go to Trader Joe's for more cheap wine), this will have to suffice as an initial introduction to/apology for the cause.

Today's Yummish Exercise:

Enjoy a Cocktail with someone then ask them their favorite color.

Next: Cocktail Party On! 

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