The week of the red onesie

2014-08-24 06:00

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If I was the colour red, I’d sue Valentine’s Day for defamation. There’s so much more to red than roses and silly balloons.

Let’s talk about red. Neighbour to orange on the colour wheel, red dabbles in purple with stakes in pink and brown too.

With a wavelength of roughly 700 billionths of a metre, red light has more spring in her step than her shorter-gaited peers yellow and blue.

A scientific exclamation mark; red isn’t so much a wonder of nature, more an indication that nature is wonderful perhaps?

Red is the colour of Marilyn Monroe’s lips and Russia’s political hangover. Red is the common denominator that sits under our variously hued skins. She is the colour of life ebbing away, of courage, of cherries, of danger, lust and the devil.

She is 30% red-emption and integral to the fairy-tale of the caped girl and the wolf. It is believed that red cars are stopped more frequently for speeding and that red heads are fierce.

Barry Roux frequently wears red ties. “Red conveys authority. You never see lawyers wear, say, yellow ties,” the Pretoria court artist who looks like Steven Seagal told me.

Red answers to crimson, scarlet and ruby (when she’s feeling frisky). She is associated with visibility and extroverts. She is the secret inside watermelons.

This week red poured through Parliament, obstinate and unflinching, turning heads and basking in the astonished gaze of the National Eye.

Inside the National Assembly on Thursday, where apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd died in a pool of red on September 6 1966, she rattled our democracy and barked up its crumpled skirt. A red letter day?


It was the week of the red onesie.

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