As a redhead with a blog about the fairer-skinned people, I am usually forwarded articles, photos and videos about carrot-top content. Par for the course, I received the heads-up that musical provocateur MIA made a video for her new single Born Free that deals, graphically, with ginger genocide.
The first time I watched this 9 minute video I was flooded with conflicting emotions about the images I was seeing. But more than anything . . . I wanted to watch it again.
The video was clearly filled with graphic images that evoke very different emotions from each person that views it. But I was especially interested in what other people were saying about this controversial mini-movie. A movie so “graphic” that YouTube pulled it less than a week after it was uploaded online.
The internet is filled with articles and blogs debating if this was a political statement or a well-crafted album sale catalyst. Some think that the use of redheads as the persecuted is hilarious while others find it insulting. But no one is left without some reaction to the shaking camera following SWAT officers rounding up redheads and abusing, maiming and murdering them in internment camps.
Some of the critics of this video have claimed that the violence is “beneath” MIA and unnecessarily gory. While I appreciate the varying sensitivities of people and visual imagery, I challenge them to think about when the depiction of genocide and maiming of a group is necessary? I think that Born Free is challenging the definition of who the enemy or the persecuted can be.
Could some view this depiction as preposterous because the wronged group is categorized by hair color? Could it be because they are white? Would people feel the same if MIA chose Jews or Muslims or Japanese people? Is it really that absurd when you look at the history of genocide and discrimination?
The images that director Romain Gavras chose to use to portray the total militarization of Los Angeles with the war on red echoed the public outcry against the Draconian law proposed in Arizona and offered and unapologetic look at what irrational panic the public gets caught up in when fear is inserted into the marketplace.
I see this video less of a graphic mockery of police-state action and segregation and more of a cloudy mirror being held up to the ease with which governments and people use moral panics to dehumanize groups of people.
I encourage people to view Born Free and judge for themselves.
So I was surfing through the interwebs in search of redheads discussing their pride on St. Patrick’s Day and came across some really great blogs/columnists that I can’t help but support.
The first is a redhead on the Roanoke Times staff by the name of Lindsey Nair. She wrote this article about her new love of Guinness. I might have to follow this carrot-top and see what else she churns out.
Then I found a blog (Raising Redheads) written by a redhead, Ramee, who is chronicling her pregnancy (of a possible redhead) and the upbringing of two copper-top toddlers Nora and Braden. Her heartfelt blog is compelling to read and I’m sure my mother would have loved this type of outlet when raising her redhead.
But one of my fav’s thus far is RubyMutant: This is Ginger Nation. Written with all the humor and flippant style that a redhead can truly enjoy. I recommend checking out her points of view on redhead history and fabulousness.
I also found The Quirky Redhead, Redhead Fashionista and Redheads and More Redheads.
I was reading a blog on CNN posing the question of why men love scarlet misses. The unique aspect of this article was that it was written by a man who admits his attraction to the copper countesses but that he has never been successful in courting the ruby ladies.
I’m not sure if I can closely follow anyone who writes in such a personal voice with no experience in the field, but that doesn’t mean I won’t agree with his stance now and then.
I have to admit that he is right when he states that it is far easier to find a man who is enamored of a red haired female more than finding a woman whose heart skips a beat for ginger gentlemen. It is an unfair divide but one that is constantly reinforced every time Carrot Top shows up on a Google feed or a Friers Club Roast.
But I hope that some people like Damian Lewis and Prince Harry give the other red men some hope that they can be labeled a heartthrob.
Go out there gingers and be the object of everyone else’s affection.
A fellow ginger and journalist maven, Emma, pointed me in the direction of this photo that brings ginger love to a whole new level of supremacy. This person clearly has a clairvoyant gift that pushed them toward this permanent inking of the future of the ginger race. I only wish that I had enough skin to etch my blog on me (but that might cover up much of the ginger charm and glory and I couldn’t risk that.)
I am an avid supporter of those who wish to memorialize the glory of the coppertops and will happy post anyone else’s tributes to the fairest people I know.
Birth of Redhead Day
BBC photo of Redhead Day
Imagine my surprise when I heard that there was a gathering of 3,000 of my people and I was without an invite. Granted it was in Europe and with this short-notice I would have most likely would have responded with a sad: No.