Thursday, December 4, 2014

Marsala: we’re Republican, but not too Republican...

If you’re a relatively new reader of this blog, you may have missed a silly annual feature I did for several years: the Pantone Color of the Year post.

I stopped doing it in December, 2011 (which would have been the 2012 color) because some comment box ridiculousness led to me questioning whether I should even keep blogging, and I hadn’t written the Pantone post yet that year.  By the time I resumed blogging the Pantone post would have been outdated, and somehow I never got around to doing it in 2012 or 2013 either.

But this year it seems like a good idea to go back to this lighthearted and fun--very tongue-in-cheek, by the way--“analysis” of what Pantone’s color pick means for us this year.

This year’s pick is Marsala, which the Pantone site describes this way:
Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.
Of course, when I see this particular shade of reddish-brown or brownish-red, it says something else to me.  It says: “We’re Republican--but not too Republican.”

Oh, sure, for the first time in quite a while we’re going to have a Republican-controlled Congress. But how Republican are they?  These aren’t, by and large, the fiery-red patriots of the Tea Party who tried to make something out of conservatism (whether what they tried to make of it was actual conservatism is a conversation for another day); these are the moderate Republicans, the country-club set, the “Chicken Marsala on Every Plate” Republicans.

These are the Republicans who voted for Obamacare so they could, along with Princess Nancy, find out what was in it--and then they found out it was expensive, especially for their CEO pals and cronies (GOP’s unofficial motto: we put the “crony” in “crony capitalism...”).  These are the Republicans who are quite willing to be outraged about amnesty so long as they don’t have to do anything to stop the floods of cheap undocumented labor from coming into our country, because some of these same CEO cronies expect to be able to indulge in a little domestic offshoring from time to time to enrich the bottom line.  These are the Republicans who get nearly as much campaign cash from wealthy liberals as they do from wealthy conservatives--they’re completely inclusive when it comes to the color green!

But Marsala isn’t just a good color to wave as a banner over the incoming 114th Congress.  It’s also a good symbol of the “jobless recovery” and the economy so vibrant that Sears is planning to close double the number of stores it originally planned to shutter, while the retail sector holds its collective breath and hopes that the dismal Christmas opening sales won’t set a trend for the whole season.  When you’ve been told that the economy is in great shape and that the country is doing really well, it’s sort of a wake-up call to realize that people who are unemployed or underemployed while the basic costs of living have gone up are people who don’t have much to spend on Christmas gifts.

So maybe Marsala could be called “Black Friday Red,” since Black Friday isn’t putting as many companies in the black, economically, as it used to.  As a nice, dim red, Marsala shows that companies aren’t totally in the red--but they’re not in the black, or in the clear, either.

As if Marsala weren’t already a fine choice what with “Not too Republican Red” and “Jobless Recovery Red,” there’s a third possible significance (however unintentional) to this year’s Pantone choice: China has now officially passed America as the number one economy in the world.  Yes, America is now number two.  And maybe it’s just me, but I think Marsala is awfully close to being the color used in this particular logo.  We can call it “Bank of China Red,” if you’d like.


LeeAnn said...

More Sears stores closing is not a good sign for the middle class. The people who have money to spend don't want to spend it at Sears. Though honestly, I haven't bought much there in a decade; the selection is dismal. The only reason to go in has been to return Lands End items. I wonder if they could increase sales by remodeling into a more old-fashioned/retro style department store?

When I read "Marsala" I think of bland mushroom sauce on an overcooked steak at a bad diner.

James Kabala said...

Actually no Republicans in Congress voted in favor of Obamacare.