Black and Blue and Read all Over

  • The Look.


    The look in this photo of our cat is the one she gives us when we’re talking about things which humans talk about and the wisdom of the cat is something which we’re lacking and missing because we’re caught up in the foolishness of being human (or so says the cat), in our talk and everything that means to us.

    This look is similar to the one I gave Stephen this morning when he mentioned ‘that dress‘ which is the focus of many humans online at the moment.

    If you just rolled your eyes or gave a look similar to the one that our cat has in the photo to my words ‘that dress’ as you read them, then you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know what I’m talking about (and your expression is one of a question mark), then be thankful for it – ‘that dress’ is a trending talking point which is both fascinating and tedious, depending on your personal perspective.

    Is that dress black and blue or gold and white?

    I was bored of the issue (having researched it the day before until I reached saturation point) by the time Stephen mentioned it. I did apologise for my attitude, as it wasn’t a particularly productive or attractive one.

    For him the issues which ‘that dress’ posed were new and tied into his work as a professional. The issue of colour is one which rears its head all the time when you work in design. In theory a Pantone book should solve this, but it doesn’t always do the trick. We don’t always agree on colour or anything else, but colour is something which at times is so personal that it is impossible to get your concept of it across to another – another whose job it is to create your personal take on it for others.

    We don’t all see what others see. We all know this, but knowing it doesn’t solve the disparity and the problems it causes.

    Creative differences don’t always create.

    Sometimes they do and it is wonderful.

    However sometimes it can descend into an issue which never gets resolved.

    Is that dress black and blue or gold and white?

    Does it matter?

    It’s an intriguing conundrum for many reasons, one of which ties into promoting a product, idea, a business, a venture, or even a blog like this one.

    There are lots of people offering THE magic formula for instant success (especially online) and reward, but does it really work. It may have worked for the person selling it, but will it work for you?

    I’ve been blogging and interacting in social media for a few years, and my personal experience is… most success online is a fluke. You accidentally hit a nerve or tap into something popular just as it is becoming popular. Trying to do that deliberately is much harder than doing it by happenstance.

    The story behind this viral attention-getting dress is not one of someone seeking attention – at least not as they tell it. Someone just shared something randomly online… and now we’re all focused upon it. Their problem became our global online problem. Even Adobe weighed in on the issue, as have many celebrities and news outlets.

    One of my issues with this dress and it’s ever-expanding story (which is why I had a rather bad attitude when Stephen shared it with me), was that it bumped a story of political and human importance off the headlines of a news site I visit. A blogger was killed for sharing their opinions online, but somehow that was less relevant to the news and popular consciousness than the colour of a dress worn to a wedding and everyone’s opinion of the actual colour of the dress.

    Humans are weird. That’s a given. We also distract ourselves from the chaos of the world using things which can appear trivial. But in the trivial lies the important.

    Cats know that, that’s why they give us that look.

    Is that dress black and blue or gold and white? Does it matter? It’s read all over, perhaps that’s the colour we should be focusing upon.

    What do you think?

  • 2 thoughts on “Black and Blue and Read all Over

    1. It is a fascinating subject. No, not some strangers wedding, the way we all view colour differently and how the proximity to other colours changes this view. I first saw ‘the dress’ picture on its own against a white background and I swore it was an off white and gold dress. Then I saw the picture again, alongside another picture of a dark blue and black dress and clearly the original picture was now also of a blue and black dress, albeit it a pale one. Same picture. Different context. Different colours.

      There is a much deeper lesson to be taken from this that goes way beyond a bridesmaid’s dress. The question isn’t really, what colour is the dress, the question is, what is colour, what does it mean to us and does it really exist or are we all living on a holodeck filled with the colours of our own invention?*

      *This message was written in a sans serif typeface utilising the non-colour black. What you see is your problem not mine.


      • Fairly certain the font you’re using for your comment is comic sans.

        You and I could argue for hours about this and never reach an agreement, but we’ll get a lot of creative inspiration from the conflict, and insight into each other’s perspectives on colour and other things. Not sure what purpose that serves but it is fascinating.

        It was black and blue from the moment I saw it, albeit the photo made both black and blue really washed out, but not to the point of being gold and white. Although I can see how it could verge on that, it’s just never going to be that as far as my eyes (and brain) see. TBH, the first thought I had about the dress was not about the colour and was not a flattering one.


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