The color yellow causes insanity. It’s a scientific fact. And if you think I’m exaggerating about that, well I am. But only a little.
Babies also cry more in yellow rooms. What does that mean? I’m not sure, but if you don’t want your baby to turn into Jeffrey Dahmer or Lindsay Lohan when they grow up, I’d advise re-painting the room.
While researchers who’ve chosen to spend their lives studying color (for some reason) associate plenty of positive characteristics with yellow, they’re also quick to point out plenty of negatives. Like that-20-year-old-divorced-deadbeat-dad-who-keeps-hanging-around-your-15-year-old-son kinds of negatives. Like ‘get-that-yellow-away-from-that-g—damn-baby-I’m-trying-to-think’ kinds of negatives. Like ‘all-the-cats-in-the-neighborhood-keep-disappearing-and-I-think-it-might-be-that-emo-kid-who-just-moved-in-down-the-block’ kinds of negatives.
Root rot in plants, leaf drop, jaundice in humans, urine (which you shouldn’t drink), pus, rotten milk, that peeling bumper on your Chevy Corsica, banana-flavored anything, your ex-boyfriend’s goldfinch Mazda with the sawed-out muffler, the newspaper stacks in your agoraphobic neighbor’s deathtrap apartment—all these social and pathophysiological landmines either have an indirectly negative effect on health and social status (i.e yellow snow, nicotine-stained wallpaper, “sunshine”-colored eyeshadow), or are just out-in-the-open toxic for you.
It’s a fact.
Honestly, yellow has no more perceived negativity around it than the other primary colors, if you put it to thought, but there’s just something about it. Something deeper. Something seedy, duplicitous—a xanthic casuistry, if you will. I’m just making that term up, but seriously—come clean, yellow. Trying to be bright, pretty and cheerful when all you’re doing is gaslighting us into thinking this relationship is perfect and we could never do any better with, like, eggplant or whatever.
Like by your association with crap journalism. Yellow journalism, to be precise. (Thank you, America, for taking a once-useful thing and making it the equivalent of a backwoods carnie huckster, or sandwich-board prophet/street corner preacher/sex cult leader who feeds people’s fears, insecurities and need to feel inferior by continuously and assertively broadcasting the worst things about the world at the highest possible volume.) By the time printing presses attained certain speeds and efficiencies, wood-based paper became the norm and a general liberalization of society made people more literate, the death knell for newsletters and pamphlets as pure, valuable sources of information on trade, politics, diplomacy, literature and gossip (of course) was already being clung. Around the end of the 19th century, a few decades into the Industrial Revolution, everything was being revolutionized by and for Industry. “News” was no exception.
But that’s old news by now. New news being once industry-paid-and-owned for its low-level services and having risen to the level of industry itself is a story as old as industry. Andrew Carnegie; Charlie Bludhorn; Oprah; the Starbucks, Oracle and John Paul Mitchell guys; George Soros; John D. Rockefeller—they can all attest to that. I hear they tweet a lot on Slack in their Telegram channel on Discord somewhere in the dark web Metaverse. And also have several reserved suites down in Hell’s 4th Circle. You should hit them up.
What I want to get at isn’t the who or the why or the…which, I guess. It’s the what. The hell? Am I looking at? Day in and day out. Over and over and over again.
That is, the reason, I suppose, why crap journalism and clickbait and Fox News really exist today. Because people tune in to them. Because so much of the news is not only horrifying and repetitive (what one outlet publishes being published by nine others), but even the new stories are about themes that have been happening for thousands of years. War? Political malfeasance? Murder? Authority’s habitual line-stepping and skull-busting? Oppression? Money before people. People, themselves, before other people? I tune into national and world news on a regular basis, and have come to realize that I’m repeatedly fed not only the exact same story from a dozen different snake oil peddlers, but the stories I’m being fed are as old as history. More or less. People are f—ing sick of it. Deadened by it. And so am I.
But news organizations still need you to tune in. So: yellow journalism.
Not to take any of this lightly in the least, but submitted for the consideration of the jury:
War in Ukraine? World War in Europe. Twice. Kind of recently.
Police brutality everywhere in America (but mostly against people of color)? Police brutality against communists, veterans, strikers, slaves and Mexican-Americans in America, 1700 onward. And remember that Tiananmen Square thing in China? Same thing.
Martial law in Myanmar? Martial law declared 68 times in America since a little before the country’s founding.
China taking over the South China Sea? The Monroe Doctrine. And all the bullshit little corollaries it spawned, and actions it continued to justify. Like Manifest Destiny.
Mass protests? Mass protests.
Bullshit politics? Bullshit politics. (You’ll have to just trust me on this one.)
Assholes targeting and killing people of color in a neighborhood supermarket, or something similar? See the police brutality thing. And then add in a little anti-union vigilantism and the Ku Klux Klan, going back a couple hundred years.
Random shooting at a party, concert or nightclub? This one’s relatively new, in that people who have committed and still commit acts of what fall under the category of terror usually always have some kind of agenda they’re trying to publicize or manifest. “My race is better than yours,” “my god is better than yours,” “my gender is better than yours,” “my political party is better than yours”—as silly as these may seem, they’re all solid reasons for violence in the eyes of people who commit atrocities against one another. It also goes without saying that mental illness can be a highly potent poison in the well of mind, as well, and I suppose nothing else needs to be said about that. Except: make it easier for those minds to acquire lethal weapons of any kind, and you are seriously, seriously asking for trouble.
But as long as news stays a business and as long as the ad nauseam of history continues to add to itself and nauseate, as far as mass media is concerned, the yellow in yellow journalism might just as well stand for gold.