Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What Brown Can Do For You

Perhaps you’ve heard that parts of the Midwest are being overrun by cicadas. Or maybe this is only a hot topic in Chicago, where you think there’d be enough murders, fires, sports and traffic to fill a 20-minute newscast but apparently there isn’t.

Here’s what I’ve learned: Cicadas are edible! (High in protein, low in calories and taste.) Cicadas are noisy! (Giving leaf blowers a run for their money.) Cicadas are horny! (All they want to do is mate and reproduce.)

According to my suburban sources, cicadas also hiss when you swat them away from your head or try to keep them from crawling down your shirt. But none of our esteemed anchormen or women cares to report this little factoid. I guess the truth—that the insects are a disgusting nuisance—is not what we’re after here.

The latest bit of breaking news: A blue-eyed cicada has been found! This is a very big deal! In case you weren’t aware, most cicadas sport red eyes; the genetically mutant blue version is truly one in a million.

As a brown-eyed girl, here’s what I have to say about this recent discovery—who gives a flying f---? Or, to borrow a quote from Isaiah Washington, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

Why, why, why do we all go ga ga for blue eyes?

Yes they’re rare in humans, too. Only 8% of the entire world population has blue eyes. But being born with six fingers is a similar oddity and you don’t see people walking up to new mothers and saying, “Such a lovely little girl, what with that extra digit and all.”

I’m tired of Blue getting all the good press and Brown getting all the disparaging labels. Brown is boring. Brown is ordinary. Brown is dirt.

I say it’s time to put an end to this anti-brownite movement, which also encompasses hair color. (If there’s a blue-eyed, blonde-winged cicada out there, I do not want to hear about it.) Lest we forget, my fellow Brownies, we’re in the majority. It’s time to act like it.

First we demand quotas in the movies and on television. For every Cameron Diaz, we want to see three Julia Roberts. (Not literally, of course, because one is already too many.) Next, we start running attack ads. Enough with “blue as the sky” or “blue as the ocean.” How about “blue as the color of toilet bowl cleaner”? Finally, we attach a rider to the Immigration Bill: Finns, Lithuanians and Icelanders—predominantly blue-eyed peoples—move to the front of the line. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but as blue becomes more common, brown becomes more exotic.

I realize it may be a couple of generations before my plan bears fruit, but some day in the not too distant future, our great- great- grandchildren will hear, “My, what beautiful brown eyes you have.”


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