A Gloomy And Colorful Story

Oh, to be back in the hippie era, that golden time when I was young and when open minds and open arms were, for many, the order of the day. Alas, it is long gone. Now, here in the USA, there is an abundance of folks who are anything but welcoming. In fact, one of their primary missions is to deprive others of basic rights required for democracy to survive, let alone prosper. I find that truth hard to believe and even harder to understand. A sad example occurred in January: the banding together of every Republican Party member of the United States Senate to doom the passage of a bill that would have helped protect voting rights. Would any reasonably moral and honorable person vote against such legislation? They wouldn’t. Those senators, troublingly, are nowhere near moral and honorable.

The gloomy morning in question.

Yup, gloomy describes the state of affairs in my country. And that word also describes the recent morning (a few days before the voting rights bill met its demise) that sparked the writing of this story. Grey as hell, not to mention damp and chilly, it was bringing me down. So, I hopped into my car and drove to Willow Grove Park, a three-story indoor shopping mall near my home in the Philadelphia burbs. I was in need of a barrage of color jolts not obtainable, for the most part, within my house, where earth tones and soft blues predominate.  Not that I have anything against those hues. Au contraire. An overly tense f*cker, I’d be even more on edge without their calming influence.

I made the right decision, as the mall turned out to be precisely what the doctor ordered. I walked around for 45 minutes, happily permitting window and merchandise displays and an arcade popping with multi-hued energy to brighten my mood.

Bold yellows, reds and oranges, exploding at elite levels as only they can, were all over the place. At one store’s windows, pink and lavender, working together in sweet harmony, seriously caught my eye. And I was captivated by the inner and outer glow of handbags that, two minutes into my trek, I spotted on a table in Bloomingdale’s department store. Three in cherry and two in green, the accessories projected a self-confidence that I was in awe of. Shit, I’d be delighted to be half as cool and enticing as they are.

Colors are powerful, for sure. They influence our thoughts and emotions, our very states of being. And sometimes they inspire the creation of excellent music. The world would be a lesser place, for instance, if Little Green, a song by Joni Mitchell, were not in it. The same holds true for Elton John’s and Bernie Taupin’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Those tunes reside on the melancholy side of the spectrum. What I’m in the mood for right now, however, just as I was when I headed to the mall, are some strong jolts. What’s more, I want the jolts to emit lots of steam. Overly tense f*ckers need stimuli of that nature now and then, don’t they? Damn straight they do.

Well, there is no shortage of recordings that deliver the goods. One of the best is Little Red Corvette, by the late, great Prince. Released in 1983, it recounts an encounter with a lady who loves to give and to receive.

And then there’s Devil With A Blue Dress On, written by Shorty Long and Willam Stevenson. Most folks, including me, are unfamiliar with those composers, but nearly everyone has heard the recording of their song, from 1966, by Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels. It gets my juices flowing every time I hear it. By the way, Mitch and the boys mixed Devil With A Blue Dress On with Good Golly, Miss Molly, two songs seamlessly becoming one.

The party’s starting! Here are the tunes. Feel free to comment on them, politics, democracy, colors, or anything you like. Till next time!

154 thoughts on “A Gloomy And Colorful Story

  1. andrewcferguson February 5, 2022 / 9:19 am

    Well done for using colour to jolt yourself out of understandable blues! For Prince, you could also have ‘Raspberry Beret,’ as well as ‘Purple Rain;’ he was such a genius, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was synaesthetic.

    Hang in there, buddy – as said above, the UK Government is about as bad as the Republicans, but the wheel will turn again. The 90s weren’t the 60s, but they were one hell of a lot better than the 80s!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 5, 2022 / 1:14 pm

      I can rely on you to introduce me to words I didn’t know about. I just googled synaesthetic. Very interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa at Micro of the Macro February 5, 2022 / 12:59 pm

    Good for you for getting out and absorbing the bright palate! I was a huge Prince fan. I also like the Stones’ Paint it Black. And Coldplay’s Yellow. And Green Grass & High Tides by the Outlaws. And what about Clapton’s Bell Bottom Blues? Fun post to pull us out of the current dreariness of US politics. Enjoy the weekend, Neil! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 5, 2022 / 5:28 pm

      Hey there. Speaking of the Stones: Ruby Tuesday is another good song with a color in the title. Take care. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan February 5, 2022 / 3:35 pm

    Ah, so happy to meet you via WordPress!

    I’m heading to Philadelphia in April for a Nursing conference – this post helped me get excited about it.

    Of course, being a healthcare worker, following the rules, putting on my mask for 8 – 10 hour days, obsessive handwashing, blah blah blah, and seeking bright moments during this long long period of dismal realities.

    This brightened my day😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 5, 2022 / 5:50 pm

      Hey there, Susan. I have a lot of respect for nurses. I volunteered for ten years in a hospital. I worked with many nurses there. Yours is an important job.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joni February 6, 2022 / 1:01 am

    I enjoyed the Kodachrome colors….Paul Simon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stargazer February 6, 2022 / 12:43 pm

    Bright colours can definitely help put a positive spin on the day. Ideally in nature, but if that isn’t feasible, the local mall will do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ckennedy February 6, 2022 / 9:18 pm

    Love the colors you’ve captured here! This weekend, Nate and I had a great time window-shopping in a nearby city–the windows of shops are often so colorful. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam Lazos February 8, 2022 / 1:30 pm

    Quel color!! Perhaps we can give Congress some color therapy and help them get back to a kinder gentler time, Neil. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 8, 2022 / 3:47 pm

      Way too many of the Republican members of Congress do not believe in equal rights for all. They are very bad news.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos February 8, 2022 / 6:11 pm

        Someday we’re going to have to have a beer and discuss this, Neil. This whole bunch of bull 💩 with the RNC censuring Cheney and Kinzinger is so far off the deep end I can’t believe it’s happening here I’m the US. I don’t even like Cheney (and I really didn’t like her dad) but God bless her for taking these fools on. 🤪😳🙄

        Liked by 1 person

  8. rkrontheroad February 8, 2022 / 2:35 pm

    I’m with you, sad and truly astonished by the bloc of naysayers to democratic processes. Still hoping at some point, there will be more individual minds that break free. Scary these days. Glad you found places to take you out of the blues. Although music is one respite, my usual place is a walk in nature (never shopping!) but whatever works!


  9. Michele Anderson February 9, 2022 / 6:45 pm

    I’m for color therapy, or any kind of therapy if it gets us by these trying times. I’m looking forward to summer and getting out in nature. The beach always puts me back in balance, and I so need that now.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. denisebushphoto February 11, 2022 / 11:36 am

    I’m all for color on a gloomy day to boost your spirits. Your post went in a different direction than I was expecting. With all your mentions of the gloom in the world I thought you were going to say something about materialism or consumerism. I know people who buy to make themselves feel better. I haven’t been to a mall since leaving NJ. Very thought provoking post and great images too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2022 / 5:02 pm

      Hi, Denise, and thanks for adding your thoughts. As I type this, I’m admiring today’s weather. It’s anything but gloomy. Amazingly, it got up to about 62 degrees Fahrenheit, which is awfully warm for mid-February in my region.


  11. cigarman501 February 12, 2022 / 10:04 am

    Great songs. Here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge we are experiencing a taste of Spring. The high today is to be 70 but winter returns tomorrow. I grew up in the South, I was a teen in the mid Sixties. Hippies weren’t too welcomed in that part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rangewriter February 13, 2022 / 12:34 pm

    Color is a vital part of human existence and always has been. I sure don’t look forward to what appears to be the making of a one-color country. A government run by a sole party, no matter if its red or blue, is a country doomed to totalitarianism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 13, 2022 / 3:01 pm

      The GOP is intent on ending democracy as we know it. They eat shit. They are bad, bad news.


      • rangewriter February 13, 2022 / 4:03 pm

        Yes I live in a red state, which is growing redder by the minute. What is happening to public education is heartbreaking.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. alhenry February 13, 2022 / 6:01 pm

    I think this catches me up (finally!) with your posts, Neil. I hope there’s some kind of prize for that LOL. After a delicious 3 weeks in Barbados, where Covid is not a political football (testing centers everywhere and temperature checks/contact tracing at all public venues),and the country just re-elected a progressive WOMAN who has done much to protect/better her country, I can understand what drove you to the mall. If you can just hang on another 6-8 weeks, the flowers will start to come up. The earth will green. The days are growing longer even as I write.

    Liked by 1 person

      • alhenry February 13, 2022 / 8:44 pm

        I hear you, and it’s a serious weight. I just think we need all the strength we can get–and hope. For me, the coming of Spring is a lot of hope.Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. ellie894 February 15, 2022 / 2:21 pm

    Little Red Corvette is Always a great song!
    I had never heard that version of Devil with a Blue Dress. You’re right, they do a fantastic seamless job of blending the two songs together. 🎶✨

    Liked by 1 person

  15. D. Wallace Peach February 22, 2022 / 2:05 pm

    Ah yes, the country is going down the sh*tter, Neil. The Republicans voted against the very foundations of our constitution and country. They gleefully want democracy to fail its 250-years experiment. The colorful displays at the mall sound like a great antidote to the gloom. I’m glad you got out and enjoyed the mall, ready to fight another day. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 22, 2022 / 4:19 pm

      I don’t know what the deal is with the Republicans’ mindset. A big part of their perverseness might stem from ultra-conservative religious upbringings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach February 22, 2022 / 6:05 pm

        I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine. I guess they just want to win at all costs, and will destroy democracy to do it. I don’t think they’ve though it through.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. trishafaye February 26, 2022 / 10:47 am

    Love all the brilliant spots of color you shared with us from your stroll.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ParentingIsFunny March 3, 2022 / 7:22 pm

    I’m glad it worked out, and hooray for colors! (Blue is my fave, but, yes, a splash of lots of colors in a good mood boost.)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Linda Pearce Griffin March 15, 2022 / 8:25 pm

    Your comment on my blog led me here. Thanks for that! I’ll be following. We have similar political views for one. And I appreciate your taste in music so there’s that, too. Perhaps Color Therapy would be helpful for the Repubs – they are splashing too much red everywhere. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 15, 2022 / 10:21 pm

      Hi, and many thanks for adding your thoughts. In a minute I’m going to head to your site and hit the Follow button.

      Liked by 1 person

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