I do like a bit of contrast…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s nice cafe is the one where they don’t start sweeping up and crashing the chairs around an hour before closing time.

‘Of course, it’s all about contrast…’
‘Contrast, it’s such a part of life, it’s ubiquitous.’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘I know! What about it?’
‘Haven’t you noticed how noticeable it is?’
‘It might be to do with eyes.’
‘Hm… very contrasty eyes are – dark in the middle, surrounded by white, and then darker face material outside that, two of them… Very eye-catching, are eyes.’
‘Face material?…’
‘Mm… Ever wondered why asterisks are so noticeable?’
‘Not really.’
‘It’s because they are a very high contrast zone on the paper, they really do stand out, they radiate black, white, black, w…’
‘Yes, yes, I get the idea.’
‘Then there’s the spider on the wallpaper.’
‘Where?! I don’t like spiders!’
‘No, an imaginary one, high contrast you see, easy to spot is a spider on a pastel wall, difficult to miss.’
‘I suppose so…’
‘Spiders aren’t really designed for gallivanting about on painted walls.’
‘I suppose not…’
‘The moon is nice.’
‘Yes, it is.’
‘How’s the moon for contrast? Crisp sharp shadows, black and white, night sky, stars and planets sparkling against the velvet Stygian void.’
‘Velvet Stygian void?’
‘Mm, indeed… Music.’
‘Yes, that’s all about contrast too, except for Philip Glass of course, he’s unrelenting magnolia.’
‘Beethoven’s fifth, da-da-da daaa… contrast, notes and gaps. Just like a good spiky electric guitar riff with tiny slices of silence in it.’
‘You know, like the Kinks’ You Really Got Me – da da-da da da!… da da-da da da!…’
‘Sorry… and then, just the solitary drum beat to follow and answer the question so eloquently posed by the strident thrashing…’
‘Yes, alright, I think I’m keeping up.’
‘Like in painting and drawing; high contrast things seem close up, and low contrast things seem to recede into the distance, it’s so subtle. Aerial perspective through?…’
‘No, you ignoramus! Contrast!… X marks the spot!’
‘Does it?’
‘Yes, it always has. Oh the intensity of contrast as the black diagonals intersect, exciting the white paper into a frenzy of noticeability… X marks the spot so well…’
‘Well I…’
‘It’s the surprise at the end of a joke… the scream, or the crack of the pistol shot in the dead of night, the drip of a tap in a quiet white tiled bathroom, the speck of dandruff on a black wedding shoulder…’
‘Wedding shoulder?’
‘The black warning stripes on the yellow crime scene tape, the dark chip on the rim of the white bone china teacup, the solitary ship on an ocean of…’
‘Have you finished?’
‘Oh, stop it! No, listen, changing the subject, did you go and vote in the recent election?’
‘Why not?’
‘Can’t you guess?’
‘Lack of contrast.’
‘Both side are too similar – anodyne cardboard cutouts – supporting the capitalist growth based system – leading us all into the inevitable pit of consumer-driven pollution, war, and environmental doom…’
‘Yes, doom…’
‘Like a Stygian void?’
‘Possibly, but when we get there, there will be plenty of contrast – too bloody much…’
‘Okay, right, well, I’ve enjoyed our chat this afternoon.’
‘So have I.’
‘Same time next week then?’


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, brain, cafe, conversation, drama, drawing, green, humour, information, music, observations, seeing, thinking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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