Saturday, March 29, 2008

Blue hot, hot, hot

In Treatment has now concluded. I enjoyed it all, as I wrote when it began, from the rich characterizations to the subtle, solid acting.

Discussion of all manner of details was in full force throughout at Sepinwall’s, where someone brought up the languid deep blue/white lines of the opening credits that represent the noise wave machine in Paul’s office.

Those neon, wavy lines against the black background: they remind me that blue is a hot color for me. Not hot as in desirable-—hot as in temperature.

There are office water coolers that offer both hot and cold water. If I want hot water, say for tea, I go for the blue handle. And then I remember that red means hot. Some 2-handle water faucets use the red and blue signifiers, and I never override my brain fast enough to go to the red directly for the hot water. I’m feeling the cold come out of the blue before I realize what I’ve done. Again.

Color theory, color associations—they relate to fairly primal and basic ideas. Fire itself looks red; the cool ocean looks blue. Right there, the system seems to be easily in place.

But not for me. They are firmly swapped for me.

Yet another detail of life that put me out of step with the “way things are.”

Because of the In Treatment opening credits, I got curious about color theory to see if I could learn anything about my life long color dyslexia.

And that’s when I found this statement in Wikipedia about black bodies:

“It is interesting to compare the traditional association of color with temperature with that of a theoretical radiating black body, where the association of color with temperature is reversed. For instance, the hottest stars are blue and the coolest are red.”

And there it was. Extremes. Learning that nature herself reverses the red/blue color association in the fringes of her extremes was informative and comforting to me.

I have struggled with extremes my whole life, on many levels. Tsunamis of emotion or complete numbness. I have no understanding or ability for anything in a middle ground.

The next time I end up washing my hands in cold water, or my tea bag gets splashed with cold before I switch over to the hot spigot, I will understand why. My basic instinct connects with nature in her extremes, where blue is hot, and red is cold.

And it’s all because of In Treatment. Not bad for tv watching.

Chagall knew something about blue hot. He used it to cast one of his canvases of him and his cherished Bella as blue hot lovers. This I understand.

5 comments:

Me, A said...

Chem Lab

Bunsen Burner

Blue is hottest part of flame

Red it still hot, hot, hot!

M.A.Peel said...

Yes me, the bunsen burner is still in the extreme--hotter than fire.

Mangonel said...

Oh dear God. You put TAP WATER on your teabag?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Boil the kettle, and that way not only will you be sure of getting it right first time, you will actually get a cuop of tea that tastes of tea.

(The above is known as Cultural Imperialism. Feel free to shoot me. Or do that Boston Tea thing.)

(Except, of course, you may very well enjoy a cup of tea made with tea and some Boston Harbour water.)

(I'll shut up now, I seem to be getting worse.)

M.A.Peel said...

A beat-down over tea! I can respect that.

M--these office things that have spigots for cold or hot water use filtered water, so it's okay. But proper tea, made at home, always uses properly boiled water from the kettle.

There was just an article in the New York Times about the amazing number of serious teas served across the city.

And--FYI--New Yorkers, as a rule, don't pay much attention to the brethern to the north (although grudgingly admit the value of that tea-in-the-harbor thing)

kathleenmaher said...

Sounds like you're more attuned to cosmic existence, M.A., than U.S. market research conclusions.