simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: "Who See the Red"
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Monday, 28 January 2008

"Who See the Red"

Historically, online netiquette has viewed the use of ALL CAPS as shouting and therefore discouraged its use - at least when used for entire sentences or longer - a phrase or word can be used for emphasis.
I find the color red to be a visual analogue. This red Charger, on a bleak, overcast day, really shouted out as I walked by. My first reaction was "wow"! My second was, "is this blog worthy"? My answer was "sure, just figure out how to spin it" After all, we're in an election year, when the art of the spin is at its zenith.
Red is a primary color and is the longest wavelength the eye can see (anything longer is infrared.) Its associations and symbolism are staggering. It has represented energy; emotions including anger, passion; love; courage, sacrifice and blood (which is why so many national flags use red); warning, danger, emergency (e.g. stop signs); sin and lust (e.g. the Scarlet Letter, the red-light districts of prostitution and brothels, Satan's wardrobe); beauty (red roses); the sun and warmth; red ink or being in the red. In various cultures, red plays a prominent role, such as in China where its use and associations are myriad.
A person that owns and drives a red car is certainly making a statement - whatever that statement is, it's not about modesty or discretion. There is a commonly held belief that red cars are involved in more accidents and that drivers of red cars get more speeding tickets. Whether this is an urban myth or not is debated, but the belief certainly speaks to the perception of the red car owner by others.
So, what does this have to do with NYC? I'm surprised that red is not the official color of New York or not used more. After all, what city could better be thought of as one that SHOUTS money, power, biggest and best. According to the patter of the con men playing three-card monte on the street, red can even make you money (good luck trying to win): " Who see the red? You win my game, I don't complain. Red'll put you ahead, black'll set you back. Who see the red?" ...


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