Wednesday, November 14, 2007

seeing red

I first knew of these words ('seeing red') as indicating communist inclinations. And if you do a search, you’ll find others documenting this interpretation as well.*

But later, I heard it more as expressing anger. I remember someone speculating that the expression may have come from the fierce attitude a bull has toward this color.

Today, I’m more in line with the second interpretation (though the first is probably closer to the true one).

Blood boiling – that’s my image at the moment, even though blood is, well, blue.

I'm not used to seeing red these days. Calm, in my opinion, has supreme value. And so looking for calming devices becomes a daylong project.

A nice note from a DNR rep was a nice distraction [re: the Ocean post below on the Badger State Trail. And by the way, I now consider it my mission to publicize the trail. Because they’re missing a crucial link into Madison, damn it, and need support to get it done! Oh, knock that ‘damn it’ out. That’s too red. But do click on the DNR link that I subsequently included in the post -- it gives you directions and you need directions, because it starts south of Fitchburg and Fitchburg is exasperatingly, infuriatingly sprawly. Okay, okay...]. Calming notes. Let me think. Ah: George’s comment to the post below. So good for the soul. And I can't forget the chatty phone calls from loved ones. Pure tranquility and peace.

And walking home, I made sure to look at red not as fire and rage, but as something beautiful, with style,

002 copy light to my new, favored café,

005 copy

...or good eating possibilites at home.

007 copy

So there.

* Here’s one:
The phrase "seeing red" is from none other than former Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer of the infamous
Palmer Raids.

When Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, in late 1919, submitted to the Senate
a lengthy report on the Investigation Activities of the Department of Justice,
he warned that America stood at Armageddon: Bolshevists, anarchists, and
seditionists were besieging the nation. As part of their diabolical plans,
"practically all of the radical radical organizations in this country have
looked upon the Negroes as particularly fertile ground for the spreading of
their doctrines. These radical organizations have endeavored to enlist the
Negroes on their side, and in many respects have been successful." As a
consequence, "the Negro is seeing red." (Kornweibel,
Seeing red:
federal campaigns against Black militancy, 1919-1925
, xiv)