Red Is A Bad Color

(Provided you’re not colorblind)

Red is a bad color.  It’s a color that we Americans (and likely other countries as well) associate obedience with.  Stoplights and stop signs are red.  Firetrucks are red too; you see a firetruck barrelling on down behind you, what do you do?  You pull over, let it by, as much as you can, anyhow.  You see red and blue flashing lights?  Let’s face it; you’re in deep shit.

Even Santa Claus is part of this trend.  You gotta be good to get presents; you gotta be obedient, follow the rules etc.

In elementary school, some of the classes had this point system that they used as a disciplinary means.  If you were doing badly, you got a red card and everyone knew what that meant.

Sunburns are red too.  And they hurt as a result.

Blood too. You don’t want to see your own blood.  You have to obey the rules of your body too.  Hmm, except that works kind of backwards with girls . . . meh.

CVS – a pharmacy sort of place around here has those letters in bright red on their store.  The main point of that place is so you can get medicine to make you feel better.  That’s what they say anyways–and what we believe, usually.  If you don’t go in there occasionally to get the things you need, you feel worse.  You have to obey the red.

In that case, you could argue that obeying is a good thing and not a bad.

But in my world, as an aspie growing up in a school system more focused on rich kids and jocks, obeying was the very worst thing of all.

They make you think that if you follow the rules, you’ll get the reward for your obedience.

They lie.

It was never good enough for them, because they don’t tell you about the unwritten rules.  They don’t mention that the hidden privileges of others tends to get in the way of your having perfect obedience.

Details, right?

I make my own rewards; I follow my own rules.

I go my own way.


I have synaesthesia.  It causes me to see numbers and letters in color.  Those different colors don’t change over time; 7’s are always purple, S’s are always green.

M’s are always red.

Ultimately, I only obey ME.

You can make what you want of that, but let me add this onto all of that above.  Perceptions are not set in stone.  Bad is only a word.

I am not bad, but there are those in my past who would have liked me to have believed it so.

~ by lastcrazyhorn on June 7, 2009.

10 Responses to “Red Is A Bad Color”

  1. Roses are red. They have thorns, but they are also beautiful. Red is what we make of it.

    Keep writing. I will keep reading.

  2. Fascinating post. As always. 🙂

  3. I don’t blame you for hating red. I hate it, too. I get emotions out of colors–lots of people do; it’s so common I doubt it qualifies as synesthesia–and red, to me, has always been a sort of overwhelming, out-of-control hostility.

  4. When I was a little girl a boy asked me what my favorite color was and I told him red. He said that red was the color of the devil. After that my favorite color was blue. It’s only recently that I have decided to embrace my true favorite color again. Actually, I can’t say I have a strong feeling for any primary color, as I think they are all pretty awesome, but red is pretty great in my book. For me red is the most beautiful color in nature. Red flowers, red insects, red leaves, red fish. I appreciate your point of view and find the differences in our perception interesting. Do you have a favorite color?

  5. There’s so many songs i like that are in shades of red…

  6. and green is my fav color….so that is a good thing 🙂 right? 😆

    I love this post!!

  7. I really like red. Along with black, it is my favorite color.

    I don’t see obedience in red — I guess, if I see or hear anything, I hear a song, rising and terrible-in-a-good-way.

  8. […] It’s probably that last point that is the most motivational, as there seems to be a positive endorphin boost for making red tests green (bonus rubygem: redgreen – make your tests red and green from the command line) but there doesn’t seem to be any natural reward for making new unit tests. Usually the tests start out red, which is conditioned in my mind to be a BAD THING. […]

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