We live in a California dominated by one party. We live in a California where there is no real significant divide on big issues. And we live in a California with a weak political and media culture.

So the big battle right now may be about words. And colors.

Are you going gold? Or brown?

The subject is lawns, and landscaping. Water and drought are the context. And the stakes are high, given that this is the Golden State and we are ruled by a Governor Brown.

Which color are we becoming?

Listen for the words in the media. Straight-forward reportage often talks aobut people letting their lawns die, or go brown. But propaganda has spun this as letting your grass “go gold.” As if the grass were retiring – just like you might do someday, in your golden years. “Gold is the new brown,” Reuters recently reported.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with brown. As UCLA’s Stephanie Pincetl pointed out in an essay last fall, California may merely be in the process of returning to its drier, browner – and far more colorful – past.

Brown is beautiful all by itself. You don’t need to go gold.