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#143027 - 05/18/05 04:08 PM Red state/Blue state
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
In case you were wondering (and I sure was), how this color contrast came into being (especially since red used to indicate "Communist"), here's Geoff Nunberg's take on it [/not starting or encouraging or wanting a political thread].


Color Wars

"Fresh Air" commentary, May 18, 2005, NPR


"Color names are the most elemental labels you can give to opposing sides -- they suggest deep and irreconcilable divisions that go deeper than differences over politics. You think of the whites and reds of the War of the Roses or of the Russian Revolution, or of the blues and whites of the Vendée rebellion against the French republican government in 1793 (well, okay, maybe not everybody thinks of that one). Or of the blues and greens of Constantinople, who began as the supporters of different chariot racing teams at the circus and grew into warring factions that pervaded the life of the Byzantine Empire.

By those standards, America's decision to divide itself into blue and red cultures is a pretty genteel affair, more on the order of a summer camp color war. But it's odd the way this has come on us so suddenly. The terms themselves go back a few election cycles. According to Grant Barrett's recent political dictionary Hatchet Jobs and Hardball, they first appeared during the 1992 presidential election,  when the networks decided to coordinate their electoral graphics using blue for the Democrats and red for the Republicans...."

for the rest, go to:
http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~nunberg/redblue.html


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#143028 - 05/19/05 11:13 AM Re: Red state/Blue state
Jackie Offline

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Thanks, Anna; that was interesting. I'd thought maybe the terms came from the maps showing election results, but apparently I'd gotten the cart before the horse. He's pretty good, isn't he (Mr. Nunberg)?
Blue, on the other hand, evokes fixity, coolness and reserve
Fixity?


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#143029 - 05/19/05 01:01 PM Re: Red state/Blue state
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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By those standards, America's decision to divide itself into blue and red cultures is a pretty genteel affair, more on the order of a summer camp color war.

But when you consider that during the US Civil War blue was the color of the Union and red was one of the main hues of the Confederacy, I dunno.

'Course, now, it's come full circle with Red considered by the reds as the "Patriotic" states, and Blue the rebel liberal outcasts (or sumptin')...ironic, isn't it?


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#143030 - 05/19/05 02:05 PM Re: Red state/Blue state
maverick Offline
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> gotten the cart before the horse

I think you got it perfectly hitched. When we discussed this before, I thought it was clearly established that it was a creation of the (color age) TV pundits, and used to be revolved even-handedly between the parties with no specific referent. Of course, language being what it is, people established their own connotations so now you're stuck with a colour scheme at variance with the whole civilised world... ;)


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#143031 - 05/19/05 02:57 PM One state, two state...
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Isn't that what Nunberg says in the second paragraph, Jackie? (Like Mav points out, at variance with the whole uncivilized world . Kinda like our Labor Day.)


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#143032 - 05/19/05 04:08 PM Genteel, indeed.
musick Offline
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ASp, let's see if someone can tell which "word" I think is the least appropriate...

****************

Calling one side "water" and the other side "earth" and the third side "air" would be A LOT more elemental.

...America's decision to divide itself into blue and red cultures is a pretty genteel affair, more on the order of a summer camp color war.

It's words grouped like these that keep me turning off these "air waves" because they are (most often (to me)) anything and everything but fresh. These, specifically, state first that "America" made a decision about this (I believe 'which' colors are for the most part meaningless... unless one would like to get into the psycological studies occurring before they solidified which may have brought up the use in the first place or possibly 'for what *reasons' the colors chosen above may or may not be appropriate based on those findings) and then says "the networks" made the decision?... Well, which is it?

... as this breath of fresh air[cough] also seeks to trivialize a relationship (or lack thereof) by simplifying its understanding and the intensity of which the sides are polarized by equating it with a "summer camp color war".

The speed at which polarizing information flies around the world has been multiplied exponentialy by at least all of the number of years the cited wars were *brewing. We don't need killing fields to define intensity, anymore (let's not go there). To insinuate that the networks speak for the public is most a regretable (and unfortunate) understanding of thier position(IMHO). Did they feel images of the donkey and the elephant (or the words) or both had fallen out of flavor?


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#143033 - 05/19/05 10:11 PM Re: Genteel, indeed.
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Did they feel images of the donkey and the elephant (or the words) or both had fallen out of flavor? Now that was a tasteless remark even for you, musick.



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#143034 - 05/19/05 10:42 PM Re: Genteel, indeed.
inselpeter Offline
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Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
Off the top and rocker, Red and Blue are primaries in the RGB color space TV uses, and I wouldn't be surprised if they give the highest contrast thereon. Since it's the map I guess we're watching--if we're wathching--all night, the graphic should be clear and easy to read. Maybe the blue is blue blood (is California a blue blood state?), but I wonder if blue doesn't just frame red better than red frames blue, at least as far as that urgraphic artist was concerned.

It's a thoughts.


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#143035 - 05/20/05 06:01 AM Re: Genteel, indeed.
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
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I dunno bout all this. I seem to remember that the color associated with each party had changed and I remember reading that they changed it each quadrennium for a while.


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#143036 - 05/20/05 06:47 AM Re: Genteel, indeed.
maverick Offline
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Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
Yep, me too Fong.

(> used to be revolved even-handedly between the parties with no specific referent)


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