High Demand For Bland
Something that fascinates me is the high demand for things that are bland. With so many options available to us, we still seem to gravitate towards the dull and the boring. The demand for blandness seems to have reached a new high.
I don’t understand the preoccupation people have for owning black cars. Firstly, we live in a country with intense sunlight. Black absorbs heat. Therefore, a black car will get hotter than other cars. To choose a car colour that maximises the impact of the harsh Australian sun makes little sense. Secondly, black is the same colour as most roads. This impedes visibility, making it more likely for another driver to pull out on you, increasing your risk of being in an accident. Thirdly, black is the same colour as most hire cars. If you are being driven by a hire car driver, then there is a certain amount of prestige that accompanies this. Unfortunately,most people with black cars don’t have drivers. They have to do the driving themselves.
The popularity of grey as a choice in car colour also puzzles me. If there is any one “most boring” colour, it would have to be grey. Think of how miserable just one week of grey, gloomy, wet weather is. We can’t wait for the vibrant blue skies to return. Strangely, we choose to drive around in grey cars. In an attempt to make grey interesting, we substitute words such as “charcoal” or “silver”. We may as well use descriptive words such as “mud”, “dirt” or “drab”.
Probably the most common car colour is white. Plain-ol’-white. Can’t-go-wrong white. Nothing-interesting white. Never-fade white. It’s the same colour as an artist’s canvas before he or she starts to work on the painting.
I was taught that black, white and grey aren’t colours. They are shades. This means that most of us choose to drive colourless cars. We seem to have a fondness for the plain,dull and uninteresting. Does this cross over into the rest our lives? Are most of us leading plain, dull and colourless lives?
Our Preference For Bland Music
I love drinking un-homogenised milk. The cream is at the top. If you want it mixed up, you have to shake the bottle. The milk tastes better. It is less processed. Yet, it is difficult to buy. The majority of people seem to prefer homogensed milk.
A broad definition of the word homogenise is, “to make it all the same”. With milk, this means to make the cream and the rest of the milk all the same. This is done by reducing the size of the fat globules.
In our current society, there seems to be a propensity “to make it all the same”, from cars to clothes to music. And, just as I am puzzled by people choosing grey cars, I am equally perplexed by people choosing to listen to “grey” music. Music can be so exciting, yet dull music has an overwhelming popularity.
The Popularity Of Bland Music
Walk into most establishments either serving food or selling clothes and you’ll hear the same computer generated drum loop. It’s the same drum loop you hear when someone drives past in a car with their stereo blaring. It’s the same loop that you hear when you sit next to someone on a train and their headphones are so loud that they spill into the carriage. So boring yet so popular. People love bland.
Walk into a bar or pub that advertises “live music”. You know in advance what you are going to hear get because everything is the same. There will usually be a guy dressed down in grubby clothes playing the guitar. He will most likely be using some kind of loop pedal to set up some kind of repetitive beat before each song. He’ll be sitting on a stool and he’ll have an ipad attached to his microphone stand. There will be nothing unique about what he does and no one will be listening to him. He’s employed to be wall-paper and be part of the generic vibe. If it’s not bland and meaningless you know you won’t see him back next week.
Let’s Put Colour Back Into Our Lives
We don’t have to lead grey lives. We are surrounded by vibrant colours. It’s simply a matter of choosing colour over grey. Think back to the 70’s. Clothes were colourful. Music was colourful. People’s lives were colourful. We also had a more even distribution of wealth across the world.
What’s your preference?