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Green: My Doctoral Dissertation

The year began with a huge task at hand: all I needed was a subject to write about for my doctoral dissertation. Considering several, I dismissed them as too trivial and yet that’s what also made them interesting.

green-green3-1.jpgWorking with my adviser on appropriate topics, I had always been fascinated by the color green and how it has been portrayed in culture. Green, synonymous with Ireland, St. Patrick, the great and wonderful Oz, and of course The Guardians Of The Universe, bearers of the ring charged with the light of the Green Lantern. Every twenty four hours, the sacred oath was taken to empower the ring with green energy: “In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night, No Evil Shall Escape My Sight! Let Those Who Worship Evils Might, Beware My Power, Green Lanterns Light”. A strong connotation for a color that is also integral to chlorophyll, the substance of all plant life and a logical choice as the template color for my Blog, Eclectic Commons.

It was exposure to gamma radiation that turned Bruce Banner into the incredible hulk, also green, probably based on the assumption that gamma radiation turns things a shade of growani (old English for green), a result of its cellular metamorphosis. A logical scientific explanation considering that the Hulk was originally gray, but Verde serves well, the imagery of a primitive rage as the Hulk searches for self control and redemption, a significant metaphor.

1215_c64.jpgThe only thing that made Clark Kent mortal was exposure to the rays of green kryptonite, remnants of a lost world destroyed by a thermonuclear chain reaction and perhaps by the weight of its own karma. Borne to earth in a rocket ship sent by his father Jor-el to a planet with a yellow sun where he would have powers greater than mortal man. Here, the dangerous side of Green is explored as the audience of Smallville watches Clark’s life threatened by the symbol of ultimate destruction and mutation.

So many things are of emerald color. Imagine going into a store with blue money; a sure way to draw the attention of the FBI. Expressions such as “Green with Envy”, or “Green behind the ears” are associated with emotional attributes and experiences often when used in conversation. The list of references is long, a worthy topic for a doctoral dissertation: Interesting, diverse, and imaginative steeped in culture, but I had made up my mind, it would be written on the most fascinating of obscure topics I could imagine: The Japanese Labor Movement during World War II.