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June 29, 2007

Our Enlightened British Cousins: Kill The Redheads!

The hilarious South Park episdode aboout Cartman's hatred of "Ginger-Kids" was funny because it was so absurd.

Or so I thought. Sure, as a kid I heard the ludicrous wives' tale that redheads were natural-born arsonists -- fire is red(-ish), their hair is red(-ish), do the math (and Google it!) -- but I really never had any inkling people took this crap seriously.

Well, in England -- and I'll bet in Germany, too, with its long tradition of witch- and Jew- hunting -- it's a very real phenomenon:

The e-mails from the choir built up to a great clamour in the days leading up to the Overture Weekend – the grand-scale reopening celebrations of the Royal Festival Hall earlier this month. “Have you heard . . ?” “Can you believe it?” “Talk about timing . . .” This was in response to the news about a family in Newcastle who had suffered three years of abuse – smashed windows, graffiti, physical attacks – forcing them to decamp from one council estate to another on two occasions, now pushing for a third move, and all on account of their red hair.

One of the more arresting details was that a council officer had apparently discussed the possibility that the family invest in a few bottles of hair-dye. As a ginger-ninja myself, I was appalled at the idea that the solution to being bullied was to change yourself rather than to correct the behaviour of your tormentors.


There is something weirdly Zeitgeist-y about gingerism – witness this week’s news about the ginger-haired waitress, Sarah Primmer, from Plymouth, who was awarded £17,618 after suffering “lewd and embarrassing” comments about her hair – but I was totally unaware of this when I was first smitten by the auburn theme.


The idea [of doing a "Ginger" chorale] came out of a flippant conversation in which we were discussing how to market his talents and I said something along the lines of “So what’s your unique selling point? Who’s going to be interested in a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant ex-public schoolboy? – the only thing in your favour is that you might be considered ‘different’ because of your hair colour.”

Note the strawberryish, very nearly Ginger, quallity of Drew Barrymore's hair here:

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posted by Ace at 01:29 PM

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