Posted by: Mark Nielsen | March 25, 2011

Permanently Purple

  Deep Purple plays “Smoke on the Water” live onstage in Japan, 1975

I threw a little caption under a purplish lavender flower photo for Thursday’s blog. It said “I’m purple to the core.” When I wrote it, of course, I only had my alma mater Northwestern’s deep purple in mind. (Smoke On the Water, anyone?)

It was only afterward that I considered the more philosophical or political possibilities inherent in the color purple. (Whoopi anyone?)

Consider the association of the color with bruising on the skin (for honkies like me, anyway). Or the color’s association with Lent, within Roman Catholic and other high church traditions. I think it’s also considered one of the colors of kings.

And then there’s the fact that if we were mixing pigments, we’d need both red and blue.

Politically, I think that mix is a good one as well. Certainly true of me. I will admit to leaning left a bit on economic issues and way left on security and foreign policy. On the other hand I am all for making government spending more efficient and intelligent, and I skew to the right on a number of lifestyle and “values” issues. I’ve rubbed elbows with too many well-intentioned, compassionate, and principled conservative evangelicals to just dismiss them outright.

So I guess that makes me purple. Is there a party out there for someone like me? Green’s already been claimed, and I look awful in Tea Party brown.

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