“Terry and I worship an unconventional deity. The power of another dimension. Now you are not going to read about this dimension in a book or in a magazine or in a newspaper because it doesn’t exist anywhere except in my own mind. Through our ceremonies and our rituals we have witnessed, firsthand, the awesome and vibratory power of color. We experience it as alive and constantly shaping our experience. And we believe that this saturated energy is the basis of all creation.”
– Jane Lynch as Laurie Bohner in A Mighty Wind (2003)
Every spot on the visible spectrum has its stigma, but it’s really not easy being Green. Not ever and especially not now. What other color (race stuff aside), is on the tip of everyone’s tongue more than Green? Poor Green’s got the weight of the warming world on its shoulders! Never mind that Green’s the color code word of choice for 420 friendly folks (for obvious reasons). After all, that’s what makes the end of April so much fun. (If you’re confused, here’s the CliffsNotes-of-sorts: April 20 is kind of, like, Potheads’ most sacred international holiday. It’s bigger than Bob Marley’s birthday. Chronic Christmas, if you will. And paired with Earth Day on April 22, it’s the impetus of our annual Green Issue. The fact that it happens to fall on Adolf Hitler’s birthday is, I believe, coincidental.)
Look, I love irie, rah-rah save the world shit as much as you do. And I think Green’s doing a great job of representin’ all that. But even with its springtime spotlight, I don’t think this color’s getting enough respect. Green’s gallimaufry goodness goes further than even justice for the emerald Earth and hope of legalizing ganja.
Green means go, greed, evil and envy. Optically, it’s at the center of the visible spectrum and opposite magenta on the color wheel. Spiritually, it’s a symbol of Islam and the 12-petaled hexagram of Hinduism’s heart chakra. From camo to olive branches, Green means war and peace. It is copper crust and medieval lust; shamrocks and snakes; growth and decay…
So this weekend, I’ve decided—after toking and taking my bottles n’ cans to the big, green recycling bins—I wanna celebrate Green in extra ways. Obscurely (as is my forte), if possible. I’ve listed a few of my favorite (sort of) green things—you know, just in case you want to play-along, too:
1. [CULT CLASSIC] Clue (1985; Paramount). Starring Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull and Lesley Ann Warren. Written by Jonathan Lynn and John Landis. Spoiler Alert: This masterful flick’s at the top of my list because Mr. Green’s the mischievous hero.
2. [GOLD ALBUM] Al Green Explores Your Mind (1974; Hi Records). Al Green’s eighth album. Contained the original version of “Take Me to the River” (famously covered by Talking Heads in 1978), one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
3. [FANTASY NOVEL] Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (1957). In the strange, sweet summer of 1928, a 12-year-old boy growing up in pastoral (albeit fictional) Green Town, Illinois, confronts life’s seasons, magic and mortality.