I am not a fan of opacity. I support translucence.

Tonight I made an executive decision that my beverages should not ever be opaque. This pretty much rules out milky shit (and bubble tea and horchata and that is just fine with me.) I will make an exception for camel colored coffee beverages. And fruit shakes in SE Asia. Other than that, light should be coming through. Of course, translucence does not guarantee success, as demonstrated by the Harafoush cocktail we ordered tonight on a dare (and did not consume) at Habibi. [The recipe? ALL house spirits, Midori, lime juice.] We tasted it. It was awful, in spite of an attractive color and obvious translucence.


After extended contemplation on the merits of required translucence in beverages it became clear that actually, in general, translucence would be a preferential characteristic in people (not necessarily literally, though I did love the Visible Man/Woman when I was little), business and most interpersonal interactions. It seems like it would be an overall general improvement.

The determination was made that opaqueness and dullness were not synonymous, but that being opaque had more to do with being duplicitous at worst and inducing regurgitation at best. Or wait, maybe I have that backwards. TEither way, translucence is prettier, lighter, sparklier and more open to possibility than that which is opaque. Opacity indicates the degree of difficulty in perceiving or seeing through something, as well as blockage and the impossibility of disambiguation while maintaining integrity. Conversely, translucence suggests lucidity, clarity and transmission of light, while not being transparent which is also sucky (mutual exclusivity = L-to-the-a-m-e).

According to Erickson and Kellogg, social translucence has three characteristics: “visibility, awareness, and accountability, which enable people to draw upon their social experience and expertise to structure their interactions with one another.” Currently, the trend is moving away from translucence – even though it seems like the opposite is true. Consider the main ways we choose to relate with each other: blindly. That is opaque, possibly transparent, but often missing some of the characteristics mentioned above.

This conversation made me think of the Miranda July film, Me and You and Everyone We Know. What we see and are allowed to see… July has a great perspective on this, far beyond the literal and her characters are radiant.

So, while rules can be tedious and lead to all sorts of problems with disambiguation… I think the translucence over opacity rule is a good one to adopt. At the very least, I would much rather transmit light than the alternative. And milk, like Crocs, really – never a good choice past the age of six.


About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Movies, Perception, Philosophical Underpinnings and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I am not a fan of opacity. I support translucence.

  1. An Imperfect Servant says:

    I totally agree with you on the translucence concept. The trick is to stand fully in the light of truth and not fear your flaws.

  2. Will says:

    Helloooo, I love Cabernet!

    • Amanda says:

      Ahh… as do I, would you consider it opaque? Like Guinness, I believe it does transmit light (you may have to try harder but it is worth it…) Perhaps that is the missing element in the conceit – sometimes it is worth the effort of looking to see the light.

  3. Anna says:

    I’d hate to see a good bloody mary go by the wayside just because it’s not see-through…

    • Amanda says:

      Ahh… yes, as with things like English Language… so many exceptions to the rule. I suppose that is the best kind of rule really.

      However, if push came to shove I bet I could demonstrate the translucence of a Bloody Mary, and if I were stymied… I would add more vodka – problem solved!

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