May 22, 2020

"A ghost was standing in a public toilet. I suggested that he go up in the sky and be part of the light."

"'I don’t want to do that,' he said./'Why?'/'Because I want to maintain my individuality.' I thought it was interesting that he would rather stand in the public toilet than join the light. Does he really treasure what he perceives as his individuality, or is he just simply afraid of making the move? Tell us what your story is in staying where you are now in life."

From "Acorn" by Yoko Ono, which I just read.

I liked this about the sun: "There are one thousand suns rising every day. We only see one of them because of our fixation on monolithic thinking." And: "All colours are imaginary except yellow. Yellow is the colour of the sun at its height. Other colours are shades of yellow in varying degrees."

59 comments:

stutefish said...

The older I get, the more respect I have for Yoko Ono as an artist.

Not that I care at all for her "art", but she's clearly putting in the work, and I respect that.

It probably helps that I was born too late to have any emotional investment in the Beatles or their breakup.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"All colours are imaginary except yellow. Yellow is the colour of the sun at its height. Other colours are shades of yellow in varying degrees."

You know that's nonsense?

https://science.howstuffworks.com/primary-colors.htm

gilbar said...

"All colours are imaginary except yellow. Yellow is the colour of the sun at its height. Other colours are shades of yellow in varying degrees."

Science!

Ann Althouse said...

To put it in context, that yellow thing is a multiple choice:

"Yellow Talk a) All colours are imaginary except yellow. Yellow is the colour of the sun at its height. Other colours are shades of yellow in varying degrees. —Dr. Song b) Yellow is the only imaginary colour. —Dr. Suzuki c) Every colour has yellow in it. —Dr. Lee d) All colours are imaginary. —Dr. Kato"

Ann Althouse said...

The term "yellow" is not defined, so there's no basis for "correcting" it scientifically. What is yellow to you?

Yancey Ward said...

All numbers are imaginary, except for 42.

Todd said...

I liked this about the sun: "There are one thousand suns rising every day. We only see one of them because of our fixation on monolithic thinking."

Actually no, we only see one of them because that is the only one we can see from this planet, in this solar system. Were we able to get very quickly to another planet in another solar system THEN we could see another.

On the other hand, quite a number of us can "imagine" a sun rise on another planet in another solar system, you can too if you try!

Yancey Ward said...

What is yellow to you?

Journalists.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Ok Boomer.

Achilles said...

I liked this about the sun: "There are one thousand suns rising every day. We only see one of them because of our fixation on monolithic thinking." And: "All colours are imaginary except yellow. Yellow is the colour of the sun at its height. Other colours are shades of yellow in varying degrees."


Sun worshipers have been saying that for centuries. Not exactly an original thought.

And she fails to actually think about what she is saying.

Thousands of suns are also setting every day.

And the sun releases all the shades of color, not just yellow. The "yellow star" thing has to do with the temperature the sun currently holds.

The thousands of other suns have a different "only real color" and range of imaginary colors.

tcrosse said...

Yoko Ono is the Yellow Peril.

Achilles said...

The term "yellow" is not defined, so there's no basis for "correcting" it scientifically. What is yellow to you?


Visible light with a wavelength of 565–590 nm and a frequency of 510–530 THz.

Todd said...

The term "yellow" is not defined, so there's no basis for "correcting" it scientifically.

Really?

Yellow is the color between orange and green on the spectrum of visible light. It is evoked by light with a dominant wavelength of roughly 570–590 nm.

Wavelength: 575–585 nm
Frequency: 521–512 THz
Hex triplet: #FFFF00

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow

JAORE said...

"The term "yellow" is not defined,"

I get it: "Artist" = freedom to do and think outside conventions. And we are to buy into this revelation to us lesser mortals or step aside.

But I'll recall this when you go on and on about word derivation.

Sure you can make words malleable. However, at some point you have stretched them to the point where the BS breaks through.

tim maguire said...

stutefish said...The older I get, the more respect I have for Yoko Ono as an artist

Many years ago (I forget when, exactly) The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame had a Beatles retrospective. Having been born in '66, I have no memory of the Beatles as an active group, and had no opinion on whether Yoko Ono is the villain of the story. The retrospective left me feeling like, yeah, she broke up the band. It made her look like an oppressive force that the other members had no choice but to flee from.

Yoko was a major contributor to the installation. Just throwing that out there.

mikee said...

I disagree with Yoko about the number of suns, and the color of the one that exists.
The sun is unitary, and the color is white-hot.

My description is better able to be used in understanding the universe around us than is hers.
Her description allows one to use one's imagination to make more stuff up, for amusement.
Choose as your need requires.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"Yellow is the color between orange and green on the spectrum of visible light. It is evoked by light with a dominant wavelength of roughly 570–590 nm. It is a primary color in subtractive color systems, used in painting or color printing. In the RGB color model, used to create colors on television and computer screens, yellow is a secondary color made by combining red and green at equal intensity."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow

Whiskeybum said...

Scientific basis for the visible spectrum:

Wavelengths of visible light:
Violet: 380–450 nm (688–789 THz frequency)
Blue: 450–495 nm
Green: 495–570 nm
Yellow: 570–590 nm
Orange: 590–620 nm
Red: 620–750 nm (400–484 THz frequency)

LordSomber said...

Then comes a Yellow Day and Wheeee!
I am a busy, buzzy bee.

JAORE said...

Yellow is the correct name for the nose piece on a Fat Tuesday mask.

Yellow is the taste of grease while it's being poured into a jar.

Yellow is the first frequency able to be heard by a dog that can not be heard by a human.

What productive fun.

Lurker21 said...

Like so many other childhood stars, Casper the Friendly Ghost has had real trouble adjusting to adult life.

You don't even want to know what Wendy the Good Little Witch has been up to lately.

Marty said...

Dee thoughts by a perpetual teenager.

Ann Althouse said...

"The sun's not yellow. It's chicken" (Bob Dylan)

Ann Althouse said...

The OED said that "yellow" used to include some shades of orange.

chuck said...

Monolithic? Shouldn't it be "one thousand stones" rising everyday?

Clark said...

Jackoffery.

Not Sure said...

A ghost hanging out in a public bathroom? Obvious AIDS reference.

Fritz said...

Ann Althouse said...
The term "yellow" is not defined, so there's no basis for "correcting" it scientifically. What is yellow to you?


Stick to law.

Phidippus said...

Yoko Ono is getting older, but she is still an idiot.

SeanF said...

Ann Althouse: The term "yellow" is not defined, so there's no basis for "correcting" it scientifically.

None of the words are defined, so the entire sentence can mean whatever you want it to mean, in which case it's meaningless.

Phidippus said...

You know what is imaginary? Ghosts.

Phidippus said...

BTW, "color" properly describes an aspect of the human perception of visible light, not a fundamental aspect of light itself.

As I've mentioned before, your color TV screen emits no yellow light: Yellow is formed by simultaneously lighting up red and green pixels. There is no spectral yellow (energy in 570-590 nm) in there. Pause your TV some time and look at the screen with a magnifier if you don't believe me.

There are also many perfectly distinct colors that we can see that no single wavelength can evoke: magenta and cyan for instance.

You can take white light (real white light, such as the noonday sun which we call 5000 K white) and filter out only the blue range of wavelengths. The remaining light then looks yellow, although it has all the other colors except blue in it too.

And so on. Is black a color? Discuss.

BTW, Yoko Ono is still an idiot. And whoever told her that she can sing has a lot to answer for, I can tell you that.

Ann Althouse said...

Either you get the hang of it and can see this is a book for you or you should just walk away.

Bob Boyd said...

"A ghost was standing in a public toilet. I suggested that he go up in the sky and be part of the light."

"'I don’t want to do that...


Is that some kind of collectivist parable?

Rocketeer said...

Either you get the hang of it and can say with a straight face "yes, you're right, the emperor's new clothes are beautiful and enchanting," or you snicker that his ass his showing and just walk away.

amr said...

You literalists! When you hear "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" do you immediately challenge that with the wikipedia definition of "Happiness"?

I was born shortly before Lennon was shot.
While I appreciate who the Beatles were, I don't really enjoy their music (and I tried).
"Yoko" has been my stock answer for "favorite Beatle" for as long as I remember.
(And "The Beach Boys" my answer for "Beatles or the Stones?")

I've found Yoko's little text pieces like that to be some of the best of modern high art, things I mull over in my mind and come back to again and again. Minimal without being minimalist. When I saw her art show at the Walker Art Center in my early 20s, why oh why was I too afraid to pick up and bite that apple?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Oh no!
Oh no!
It's Yoko
Ono!!

Yellow lives matter

Yellow matter custard,
dripping from a dead dog's eye

tcrosse said...

The Tennessee stud was long and lean, the color of the sun and his eyes were green.

Bob Boyd said...

A ghost was standing in a public toilet. I suggested that he go apply for a job in a restaurant and be part of the working dead.

'I don’t want to do that,' he said./'Why?'/'It sounds terrible.'

I thought it was interesting that he would rather stand in the public toilet than wait tables. Does he really he really prefer standing in a public toilet or is he just a dead slacker? I went back to ask him, but he was gone.

No, I checked the stalls, he wasn't there.
I don't know. How should I know? He was a fucking ghost. He went to join the light for all I know.
Dude, I haven't eaten acid since I was in college.
Look, just forget it.

fleg9bo said...

She takes all the red, yellow, orange and green
And she turns them into black and white

Nichevo said...

Thanks Rocketeer.


Ann Althouse said...
The term "yellow" is not defined, so there's no basis for "correcting" it scientifically. What is yellow to you?


Yellow is what Pantone says it is.

For the Lord's sake, Ann, stop trying to be original. You're not good at it.

D 2 said...

Barenaked Ladies sang about Yoko Ono and Brian Wilson in the 90s. A question to all the budding Toktok singers (or whatever platform you guys are on now, instead of busking the street corner) who read Althouse:

Would you guys write us a catchy song about Courtney Love or maybe one about Gordon Gano for us?
No? Ok then.

(I’m just laying bait to see if any of you assholes want to stop arguing about Trump for one minute and find a better analogy to Yoko and B Wilson from the alt rock leading on to grunge era of 25-30+ yrs ago

Unknown said...

Time to make a tag for yellowism?

https://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/10/then-we-heard-sound-of-pen-but-by-time.html

Why does yellow seem to be particularly capable of domination?

D 2 said...

An adolescent in my family likes the Beatles, and shared the instagram series of reporters asking the Beatles questions and the Beatles giving snarky answers.

My favourite is
Reporter - John what is your favourite type of girl?(this is from 64-66 era)
John - my wife
Reporter - ok, George, what is your favourite type of girl?
George - Johns wife.

I had to tell the adolescent about Clapton and how that joke now has a deeper resonance. One might even say, a poetic resonance if I can use that term yellowishly.

tcrosse said...

Once the NYT asked a bunch of Canadian ex-pats what they missed most about Canada. One artist said she missed the 'u' in 'colour'.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

When you hear "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" do you immediately challenge that with the wikipedia definition of "Happiness"?

Actually, I think about going to the range.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Red is grey and yellow white.
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion

JMW Turner said...

Yeah, she broke up The Beatles all on her own...it's has nothing to do with John's childhood of rejection by his parents, or his sharp tongue, or Paul's massive ego that led him to wrest control of a careening enterprise that lost it's closest thing to an adult in the room when Brian Epstein died, nor, did George's shifted focus on a spiritual life,undermining a vital leg of this team, nor did Ringo's transition from The World's Luckiest Drummer to an amiable celebrity-movie star being one of the first demonstrations of Life Beyond The Beatles. No,she pulled down a healthy, focused, band of young men who as a collective of engaging personalities and exceptional talent, had no other options but be those lovable mop tops.

gspencer said...

They sound a lot like Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.

And Jack's a lot better than you know who.

https://www.pinterest.com/chrissymfrey/deep-thoughts-snl/

Lance said...

You Can Be My Yoko Ono

William50 said...

Yellow is the color of my true loves hair
In the morning when I rise
In the morning when I rise
That's the time
That's the time
I love the best

Jake said...

I prefer the The Beatles.

Banjo said...

It's very easy to fake an admiration for a fake like Yoko. I'm not saying Ann is a fake. She's very smart, but Yoko? No. Please move on or you get a long burst of taser.

Fernandistein said...

"Uyrmas mec ni auefun uyrdi cræftum, ða ði geolu godueb geatum frætuath.

Worms did not weave me with the skills of the fates, those that decorated the yellow cloth garment.

The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics says that light from that garment had a wavelength of 575 to 585 nm.

Josephbleau said...

Yoko’s pertinent question is, is it better to be an individual, or a part of a glorious unity? Is it better to assimilate. If resistance is not futile, which do you choose.

Josephbleau said...

Regarding television and RGB elements. There is a difference between spectral color as emf radiation and perception of color by retinal cones connected to brains.

Josephbleau said...

Yoko does show bias, if I were an individualistic ghost I would stand on the beach at St. Tropez rather than in the crapper.

Char Char Binks said...

We’re tethered to life’s toil; let that go and we give up the ghost.

Kirk Parker said...

Hey all you guys going "science" -- care to explain why "yellow" covers a spectrum with a range of 1.035, whereas "red" covers 1.21?

There's no "science" in what names we give certain spectrum bands, nor where we place the dividing lines; that's just arbitrary, ordinary human naming and describing.

(No, this is not meant in any way as a defense of Yoko; regarding whom I will take a back seat to absolutely no one in despising, expect perhaps the aforementioned Barenaked Ladies.)