Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Research Paper November 2011

Symbolic and Emotional Meanings of Green  
by Noel C. Thomas ART323

The color green is probably the most easily recognizable color to the human eye. It has a very wide hue range compared to other colors and is seen the most in our natural world1, second only to the blue of the voluminous skies and oceans. Colors play essential roles in how our emotional responses are influenced and triggered. While some colors such as red might cause agitation or hunger, other colors may cause one to feel more relaxed and calm.
Green is such a color, and studies have found that it is a close second to blue for being the most favored of all colors to look upon. The ancient Egyptians considered green to be a color of prosperity and renewal. The Egyptian god Osiris was often depicted with green skin. The pigments for green were originally made from malachite, a copper ore, and from a paste mixed from iron and copper oxides, calcium and silica2. From the earliest depictions of art, green has been an essential pigment. Here we will look at the meanings of green through symbolism, cultural differences, and emotional reaction, as well as popular phrases and iconic characters associated with the color green.

Emotional Values
Green is the most valuable color of the spectrum for peace of mind and tranquility. It is because we are surrounded by green in our natural environment, that we feel peaceful on a subliminal but very powerful subconscious level. Places where there are commonly high levels of anxiety such as hospitals and jails, will intentionally paint their walls with a light muted green3. It is common for performers to wait in a “green room” before taking stage in front of a large audience.
It is because of green‘s natural tone that we react positively to it. Green is widely accepted as the color of “Yes” or of being correct. It is the color of health and vegetation. When we see how healthy trees and grasses become, turning a deeper shade of green after a good rain, we connect that to our own sense of well-being. Generally speaking, green is the color that most reflects happiness and positivity, while alleviating depression and anxiety4.
Green has even been associated with academic progress. Studies have found that students reading through transparent green vellum had improved understanding of the material and faster reading  speeds5. This is thought to be due to the ease of the retina for adjusting to green rather than white. Optical scientists have found that the lens of the human eye focuses green light exactly on the retina6. You could say that green is the easiest color to see.

Symbols and Cultures
Green is a color with diverse elements. For the most part it is largely known as a color representing things that are good. It is associated with good luck and fortune, which themselves are associated with money and wealth, also being synonymous with health and growth. Green is the OSHA standard color indicating a safe area7, or a ‘Green Zone’. Green does take on other meanings in other cultures, so it isn’t necessarily true that green is met with approval from everyone. Most often green is widely accepted as the color of good and right.
In Japan, green represents youthfulness and eternal life. In Egypt it symbolizes hope and rebirth8. More importantly to an entire culture, green represents the Irish9, similar to their flowing and richly green hillsides. To the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, and the color green are all intertwined, along with the four leaf clover which is believed to bring good luck. Perhaps the culture which embraces the color green the most of all is the religion of Islam. Green is thought to be the Prophet Mohammed’s favorite color, and many Muslims will keep the Quran wrapped in green. Mohammed’s Apostle was believed to have had his face covered with a Hibra Burd after he died, which is a squared green garment. Supposedly Mohammed wrote about the color green and described paradise as a place where people wore green silky clothes10.
Green is not loved by all cultures however. In Indonesia it is a flat out forbidden color and unacceptable to wear. In some parts of South America it is considered bad form to wear clothing that  blends into the dense foliage of the jungles, so green and camouflage is frowned upon and considered the color of death. In North Africa green is seen as the color of corruption and the drug lifestyle11.
The most noteworthy opposition to green comes from China. There it is the color of infidelity, particularly when referencing a man wearing a green hat. In China, a man who wears a green hat is saying to the world, “My wife is cheating on me!” This stigma stems from a legend in which a businessman traveled a lot. While he was away his wife would entertain other men. When he would  return he would profess his love to her and she would make him wear a green hat. He thought the hat meant she loved him, but the color green was actually a sign of being lower class and all his neighbors would scoff at him, knowing what she was up to12. A green hat meant the man was a dupe.
Some green colors eliciting negative reactions tend to be yellowish greens which promote the thoughts of vomit and bile. Mustard-like yellows and khakis also evoke thoughts of military and war. Still, green is generally a pleasant color.

The Green Man

The language of green is spoken through charms and stones. Most recognizable is the Shamrock, or four leaf clover. This is a good luck charm and rare as it may be, some lucky people do find them. Dollar signs are always portrayed in green. Emeralds are green, as is Jade, a stone of great symbolic value in China. To the Chinese, Jade is a gem of royalty, and the deeper the green, the more precious the stone13.
Green is the color representing the heart chakra, called the Anahata14. A chakra, according to Hindu and Buddhist texts is a revolving wheel of energy embedded within each living being. People are said to have seven chakras, and the fourth is the heart chakra. This is believed to be the source for a person’s empathy, and compassion. It is connected fundamentally to the respiratory and circulatory system. It is believed to be the chakra that bridges the spiritual and physical worlds.

Symbol of The Heart Chakra

The mention of green is found in many texts and slang phrases. We hear that if a young person is a little green, then that implies that he is inexperienced, likened to fruit that is not yet ripe. He’s a lean, green, mean machine would describe an athlete in top shape. ‘Moving on to greener pastures’ has been used as way to say that a person has changed direction in pursuit of something better, such as a higher paying job or different baseball team.
Heard most of all is the term, ‘Green with envy’. This means that someone is very jealous of what another person either has or is experiencing. This is a negative connotation for the color green and it is not entirely clear where the saying originated. Mark Twain wrote the term in his book ‘A Connecticut Yankee’ as: “It turned Brer Merlin green with envy and spite, which was a great satisfaction to me.”15 Edgar Rice Burroughs also used the phrase in his book ‘The People That Time Forgot’: “The trophies that these Kro-lu left to the meat eaters would have turned an English big-game hunter green with envy.”16 It is not certain how this term came about, but I would figure that it has to do with the color of someone who is sickened by something. In this case, it would be something unseen. The Greenback is also slang for money. This is traced back to the currency that Abraham Lincoln issued during the Civil war, called Greenbacks. Someone with a green thumb has a
talent for getting plants to grow. The terminology goes on—green as grass, green around the gills, and green energy. ‘Go Green’, means to pursue habits and buy products that are environmentally friendly.
There are many characters which are known for being green, or associated with the color. Kermit the Frog of Sesame Street was green, and he would sometimes sing about how it wasn’t “easy being green”. The Incredible Hulk is another character who is green from head to toe. Perhaps he would have been less angry and more calm had he just looked at himself in a mirror. The Green Giant is found on cans of green beans, and he looks like a man with leaves growing all over him. Osiris from Egypt was always colored in green and was called ‘The Great Green’17. Other green heroes are The Green Lantern, Peter Pan, and Robin Hood18. The Celtic legend of the Green Man becomes a recurring theme in literature, and his face is depicted in churches around the globe with a beard of leaves. Green is often attached to characters of valor and generosity.
Green also has been the subject of songs. Besides Kermit the Frog’s melancholy hit, there is ‘A Certain Shade of Green’ by Incubus. We have ‘Forty Shades of Green’ by Johnny Cash. There is also ‘Ballad of the Green Berets" by Barry Sadler. The list is longer but why name them all. The rock band, Green Day is named after the color, and we can’t forget the television show Green Acres with its catchy opening tune. The culture of green is found everywhere, especially in art, music, and literature.

It is apparent that green is an important hue, if not the most versatile. Green surrounds us every day, and we connect to it in ways that are profound and unique. No other color is found so often in our earthly surroundings. It is indicative of a healthy environment that fosters growth. Whether it is for better emotional health or positive affirmation, green is the color of progress. Perhaps the Green Party is on to something. If anything, they chose an excellent color to represent themselves with. Who can argue with green?


1) Smith, Kate. "All About the Color Green." Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. Amazon, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
2) "Ancient Egypt: the Mythology - Colors." Ancient Egypt: the Mythology and Egyptian Myths. 1997. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
3) Edge, Kortney Jo. "WALL COLOR OF PATIENT’S ROOM: EFFECTS ON RECOVERY." University of Florida
Masters Thesis (2003). Print.
4) Smith, Kate. "All About the Color Green." Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. Amazon, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
5) Cherry, Kendra. "Color Psychology - Green." Psychology - Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators &
Enthusiasts. The New York Times, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
6) Morton, Jill. "The Symbolism of Green." A Guide to Color Symbolism. Vol. 1. COLORCOM, 1997. Print. Color
7) Same as 6
8) "Cultural Color." Color Psychology Will Empower Your Life. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. http://www.empower-yourself-withcolor-
9) "Color Symbolism Chart by Culture." Web Design - HTML XML - Web Development - Web Site Design. 30 Apr.
2010. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. http://webdesign.about.com/od/color/a/bl_colorculture.htm
10) Beam, Christopher. "Islamic Greenwashing." Slate. The Washington Post Company. Web.
11) "Cultural Color." Color Psychology Will Empower Your Life. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. http://www.empower-yourself-withcolor-
12) Wong, Wendy. "Green Hats and Adultery." Language Trainers Blog. Language Trainers UK, 3 Feb. 2009. Web.
13) Hughes, Richard W. "The Myth of Jade." All About Gems. International Colored Gemstones Assoiciation, 2011. Web.
22 Nov. 2011. http://gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content
14) Smith, Kate. "All About the Color Green." Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. Amazon, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
15) Twain, Mark, and Trina Schart Hyman. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. New York: of Wonder, 1988.
16) Burroughs, Edgar Rice. The People That Time Forgot. London: Tandem, 1975. Print.
17) Encyclopedia of Ancient Myths and Cultures. London: Quantum, 2003. Print.
18) Icke, David. "Chapter 8/Same Face, Different Mask." The Biggest Secret. Scottsdale, AZ: Bridge of Love Publications
USA, 1999. 156-82. Print.

Mother Paint

It was a densely foggy morning today. I opened the store and had a very busy half shift before ducking out to the art store  for some more acrylics. It is getting near the very end of my color theory class and I was in sudden need of more paint. We are doing our final assignment on process colors which is another word for CMYK, the  equivalent of print colors. I needed to pick up some alternative hues for my pallet. I gained a lot of insight watching my instructor mix these brilliant yellows and hot pinks with tiny dabs of black to get just about any color we could ask for. Until now I had approached color from a primary red, blue, yellow and white angle. Now I've seen how process colors work and I can't help but notice how much cleaner the violets and greens are turning out with these new elements. We are even incorporating something called "Mother Paint" into this assignment. Mother paint is a sludge of different colors mixed together to create a hazy gray non-color which can then be used to dull or mute the colors of an entire piece in a uniform manner, almost like a photo filter. This is a technique that enables the painter to control the chromatic value of an entire work of art in a very consistent manner. All the Mother Paint is stored in a small jar where it stays wet until ready for use. Beyond that I have almost finished my Power Point presentation which is looking fantastic. How can you go wrong when everything is green? I really like the way no one in my group wanted to get together outside of class to work on this project. That's the spirit. Still, it makes things easier for me. I can do a PP and filibuster to the class for five minutes to finish my AA. No problem.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Psychoactiv @ The Halftime - Carmichael CA May 16th, 1990

 Time again for another Pyschoactiv gig. I don't particularly remember this night but I was pleased to see a long set with a few goodies. The quality of the recording is actually much better than some of the others. Must have been the size of the room. You can hear a pin drop in between songs. I'm pretty sure we were playing to an empty bar. Still, Solar Child and Mad Rover are a lot of fun.

Snakes and Pipes

We slept in late this morning. That is unusual around here because the dogs normally will demand attention by seven. Today we made it to nine o'clock. I am on day four of a five day hiatus from work but things haven't been as dull as I expected. Yesterday's dinner was very good, although it ran late and I felt like there was a rock in my gut all night. Today we ventured up to FoodsCo to get the groceries for the next two weeks. It's a short month for both of us, so we were very strategic about what to buy. The best deal was six pounds of pork butt strips for slow cooking at only eleven dollars. Tonight we will be whipping up some of the home favorite Cowboy Soup. Till then we tidied over with some turkey sandwiches from last night's feed, complete with home made cranberry sauce.
Things took a dramatic turn when Erika was doing the dishes. We had been puzzled for the last month as to where the leak under the sink is coming from. The sink was filling with water so Erika threw the switch on the garbage disposal. Immediately there was a blast of water underneath the sink. To our dismay, the leak is coming from inside the disposal its self. This is a bad thing because I was hoping it would be a simple connection link which can be fixed with Flexx Tape. Now instead we have to replace the entire disposal.
To make matters worse, the sink stopped up on both sides. I tried unsuccessfully to plunge the clog, but it only seemed to get worse, as black sludge and sediment began to creep up from the depths of the drain. I went to the shed for my least favorite of all tools, the manual snake. It was coiled in the corner, covered in dust and webs. I unraveled it, pulled the end into the kitchen and found in a short minute that the anatomy of the disposal would make it impossible to snake from that end. I went back outside and found the clean-out under the kitchen window. I had never used it before, and it took a long time to loosen it up enough to twist off. I inserted the snake and pushed it around in circles until it found its way upward toward the sink. The smell was atrocious and the walls of the  clean-out appeared to be a slimy black. The snake seemed to stop for a moment as it met something solid. I gave it a good twist and a push, and then the sound of free flowing water came forward. I was very happy to bypass the need of a plumber which would definitely break the bank.
The painting project is on hold until I can get a gallon of primer. That faux finish is not going to cover and I don't see it getting finished tomorrow. Better luck next week. There are still many days off ahead.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Paint, Thanksgiving, and Illustrator

Today is Thanksgiving, and so far my appetite is strong. We are going to Uncle Jason's pad for dinner around four. The kids will all be there, but Trudy and Kevin couldn't make it down from Mariposa due to the crappy weather.
Yesterday I began to paint the master bedroom walls with our HGTV product, but I only finished two of them. There was a lot to prepare; some patchwork and caulking had to be done as well. By the time I was painting it was getting dark in the room and our lamps don't make good light to paint by. Doing any kind of work today is out of the question unless it involves chewing and digesting. So tomorrow I will pick up where I left off. Shifting the furniture around in such a tight space makes it very challenging and slow moving.
On the bright side, I have managed to attach my arse to couch for over nineteen hours. You have to admit, that takes talent. I stopped painting at six o'clock yesterday, couched myself in the living room, and I haven't moved but to use the restroom. The bedroom was too rearranged to sleep in. If we weren't going to Thanksgiving dinner in a couple of hours I would go for the full twenty-four just to have something to brag about. You have to love having too much time on your hands. No really, you have to.
I was able to get something done during that time. I revisited Adobe Illustrator for the first time in over three years. It all came back to me and I remembered how much I like to create digital art. I rotoscoped a picture taken of me wearing my Elvis sunglasses in Las Vegas almost ten years ago. Behold! Above is my first illustration in years. I call it Clayvis.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I will avoid using extreme terminology such as fascist, or police state, or fascist-police state, because I know such words are a turn off to the common free thinker. These words smack of tired, paranoid delusions which seek to ramp up fear in the gullible, and they are cause for dismissal most of the time. So for now I will avoid calling a spade a spade, and offer my comment pertaining to the civil discourse in our country.
Currently income disparity is at its most grotesque level since ever, which we all know. Credit is locked, causing a shortage of exchange, making it impossible for economic activity to prosper. For the most part, this dark blanket of stagnation has locked us all down for more than four years. Many people have experienced the worst grief and loss second only to the death of a loved one. Those who haven't are scared to death that their own house of cards may fall at any time. Not only has this caused a prolonged state of fear in the national mood, but it has fatigued the minds of otherwise sharp individuals.
Most people find themselves in dire situations through no fault of their own. Many had decent jobs, and most had no reason to suspect it all would suddenly end. Today there are people with Masters degrees who cannot find work. I do not have anything near a Masters degree, but I did have a good paying job for eighteen years. That job enabled me to build an excellent credit rating and take on a mortgage for a humble home. People will say the crash was in the fall of 2008, but I know the economy was tanking for years before that, and finally the glass bottom fell out. I noticed in 2005 that I was being laid off occasionally, a Monday here, a Saturday there. Later it was common to only work three days in a week. Making $200 a day made it possible to stay alive on a three day week, but it was apparent that our best days were behind. Eventually it was bad enough that I had to push for a career change. I settled for a part-time job, having no idea that there would be zero growth over the next four years. Over the course of this period I nearly lost my home, I've had liens placed on my house by the city and county, which is worth half of what I owe for it. My credit card accounts have been removed and collections agencies call me and my wife morning, noon, and night. I wait daily to see where it goes from here, knowing that there isn't really anything I can do about it. If a judgement is placed against me I don't worry about it, because the burden is on them to get their money, and this wallet is empty. The irony is, leaving my old job was still the best thing I could have done. There is no old job to go back to, because that small company is still floundering from a shattered housing market.
So there is no argument against the anger and frustration of those participating in or supporting the 'Occupy' movement. I know a great deal of people who understand that there are fundamental problems in the current econo-political system, but they loathe the occupiers and dismiss them as douche-bags and hippies. They say the movement will fail because sooner or later someone must take charge and then corruption will ensue, thus repeating history and so on.
Cities are complaining that the movement is costing them millions in extra security, when most are over vamping their forces, and going overboard with their batons and tear gas. I heard someone say once, "If you want to know who started a riot, just look at who came dressed for one." This holds true today, and the reason I am saying all this is that first, I have noticed an awful lot of police in riot gear on the television these days, and my own fatigued mind is getting used to it; even starting to except it. Much the same way I learned to except that we are always at war abroad. Secondly, whether you are behind the Occupy movement, or if you just wish it would go away, some part of you must be uneasy about the irrefutable truth. That if the people of this nation do stand up to power because their votes don't cut it, they will be met with brute force from law enforcement, and silence from those who should have their backs. This concerted effort between 18 cities across the country to forcefully evict the occupations is a boot on the face of the disenfranchised. You cannot turn away from it because it is real, and it is happening here, there, and even far way in places like Japan, Egypt, and Australia. The people are awake now, whether the occupations last or not. They will not be silenced with mace and clubs.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


So today went by too quickly for me. Somehow I was unable to finish everything I set out to do. I was distracted for a while by trivial nuisances, but in the long run things evened out. What was most important to accomplish I did, but my secondary goals were neglected, not for lack of trying. This always happens. The day is young, but out of the blue situations arise which call for my immediate attention. Before long, substantial chunks of time have passed, and catching up  is the new game. Like a creeping insect sneaks the dark, while the hour runs late and it's time to put down the pen and hammer.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Isabella's Birthday

Today is my niece's ninth birthday. She loves to go to Mimi's cafe whenever she can, so tonight she will indulge. Her favorite dish is the corn chowder, while I am a fan of the French Onion soup. Later we will pass on the HP Netbook that Erika has been using. She recently acquired a Sony Vaio laptop through the contest she won at work, so between that and the Galaxy Tablets, we have more internet access than we know what to do with. Bella will be thrilled to get the netbook and she is already technically savvy enough to use it. I know I never got anything as cool as a netbook computer when I was her age. I remember getting excited about the Rubik's cube, and the first Atari video game was in the near future. On top of this she is getting a cool digital video camera which she will love. This I know because whenever she comes to our house she runs around with ours for hours. The last time after she stayed over night, I found nearly thirty short clips of her goofing around. Now she will be able to make all the movies she wants until she either becomes famous, or gets bored.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Never Going Back Again

Two days ago I had the most bizarre customer service experience on my way to work. Even more strangely, I was the customer. I had pulled into the local small gas station on Northgate Blvd. on my way to the store, around 7:00 a.m. I usually will patron this small, teal colored station, which will remain nameless, because it is closest to my house and is less crowded than the Chevron closer to the freeway. I swiped my card in the machine as always, pushed the octane button of my choice, and squeezed the trigger in anticipation of sweet gas. But no gas came. I looked at the meter and saw seven cents was charged. I continued to squeeze the handle, press the octane button a few times, and then figured that the machine had never cleared when I swiped my card. I put the handle back on the hook, re-swiped the card, waited for authorization, and returned the nozzle to my gas tank. As I began to pump the gas a short lady of Asian origin in  her fifties or so, came running out of the station, flailing her arms and telling me sternly that is was  not necessary to run my Visa twice.
"You don't slide card twice!" she exclaimed. "They charge me money! You cost me money when you slide card twice!"
I was laughing in shear disbelief. I told her in my most polite, I'll respect you but you're fucking crazy tone that the machine had not cleared and it would not dispense the gas.
"No, it was pumping!" she began to yell at me. "You didn't wait! I saw it pumping from the computer!" I was completely blown away. "Visa charges me money for each time you swipe card!"
"Well, next time I will drive up the street to the Chevron where the machines work properly," I offered. She was actually very keen to that.
"Nothing wrong with the machine. You don't pump right!"
I flashed for a moment into an alternate reality. (I have many, and I find myself hiding in them more frequently these days.) Here I saw myself in my own situation where I serve many customers daily, but this time I was hollering at them for not putting the brushes back on the hook with the labels facing outward, and scolding them for leaving sugar sprinkles by the coffee machine. Wouldn't that be fun for a day? But certainly it would be bad for business.
I assured her that this would be the last time she would see me at her gas station, and she nodded in agreement, more than happy to see a regular customer go somewhere else because he put a few cents on her Visa bill. I think about how often we let customers cost our business money by changing their minds about sheen, or not picking up orders they call in for. But we always give a smile and a helping hand to them regardless, even the ones who owe thousands in bad debt. All because we understand the value of future business, and leaving bridges unburned.
I kindly informed her that she was the rudest lady I had met in a long time, and that never had I been treated so poorly by an establishment. I actually had, years ago been reamed by a manager at a Subway shop for crumbing dried texture on his floor, but that is another story. Lastly I said, "Goodbye. I have customers of my own that I need to take care of." She waved me off, saying, "Yes. Go." So we kindly agreed to part ways, and now I know where not to go the next time I need a fill. I only wish I could have caught it on video. It was pure comedy, and I laughed to myself all the way to work.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Is it Even Possible to End the Fed?

For some time now I have been reading a lot about the Federal Reserve and its misunderstood identity. I have seen many signs at protests, Occupy rallies and Tea Parties alike. They all demand an end to 'The Fed', or at least a complimentary audit. There are many ways of looking at the Federal Reserve, and I do not claim to be an expert. What I do understand is that the Fed was put into place to regulate monetary policy, interest, control inflation, and to mitigate unemployment. What I have also come to understand is that the Fed is not a government agency, simply meaning there is nothing 'Federal' about it. While it's Board of Governor's members are selected by the President, the President has no real control of the policies which ensue from his decision. In fact, there is no true Federal Reserve oversight possible except through the empty legislation of Congress, which is a non-starter. I have also come to understand that money as we know it, is actually just a receipt from the Fed, which must be paid back to the Fed, with interest, through taxation. So if the Federal Reserve is really just a club of private banks, and they make the money, and loan it to the government that has no true control or oversight of the Reserve's policies, then of course neither the President, Congress, nor the Court have the ability to end the Fed. No one has the ability to end the Federal Reserve system now that it is the life support of our economy, for better or worse. We are seeing today what unchecked power leads to, especially when this power's sole reason for existence revolves around money, the true root of all evil. People right and left are calling for an end to the Federal Reserve, but are we too dependent upon it? Do we know another way? Is it even doing it's job anymore, and can it be replaced with a better institution? John F. Kennedy sought to circumvent the debt based, interest laden Reserve Note system with silver backed U.S. currency, in a one man effort to reverse the gears of a machine that he knew was undermining the true purpose of the United States, and selling short the lives of future generations. We saw how well that worked out for him, and we learned who really is in charge here, much the way we saw who was in charge of the B.P. oil disaster. It is  clear that president's will  come and go, but the banks are forever.

I always say, "Sometimes it takes a cartoon to illustrate the point." This one gives us a little history about money, how it was created, how it is created, and who really calls the shots.

Also, let's not forget that JFK was fully aware of secret society networks, and was not afraid of going public with his whacked out conspiracy theories. Odd how he became the center of the mother of all conspiracies.