“Tales from the Pit” #237
I’m just going to say it:
People think Red is an idiot thug because Red always acts likes an idiot thug, and is constantly portrayed as idiotic and thuggish.
I’m also going to say: emotion in general is not Red. There are emotions that are in other colours. Passion is Red. Strongly felt and explosive emotions are Red. There is a difference. For instance, guilt is White, and bitterness and envy are Black. These emotions aren’t Red’s. There is depth to the emotional spectrum, but that spectrum crosses all colours.
So let’s think about this. Red is supposed to be strongly felt passions of all types: things like creativity and artistic passion and at least one variant of love and so on. Unfortunately one of the most strongly held passions is anger, and if we look at the Red cards, anger is by far the emotion best represented in Red. You could argue that hatred is another strongly felt passion, but I would argue that genuine hatred is more Black. (Also, Hatred is a Black card.) In practice Red is the colour of anger and rage. The reason for this, supposedly, is that it’s very difficult to make cards based around things like art or inspiration or love or what have you.
Okay. I question that, given that there are cards directly about art, but let’s play. Red cards are about anger because anger is the emotion most relevant to fighting. That does not mean that Red has to be a stupid thug. You can be angry without being stupid. Balduvian Rage is not stupid. Rage Weaver is not stupid. Anger itself is not stupid. However, many Red cards are angry and stupid. For instance, almost any goblin. Red has always had this problem in that its marquee tribe is practically defined by its stupidity. Elves, soldiers, clerics, zombies, vampires, merfolk, wizards: these are all fine because they are capable of representing the values of their colours. (Maybe not elves so much, but Green has never made any sense.) Soldiers represent order, vampires ambition and parasitism, wizards learning and cunning, this makes sense… but I do not particularly see that goblins represent creativity, passion, or freedom. What do goblins actually have to do with Red? They’re… random, I guess?
Gah. This is a ramble. My point is basically this: if we are supposed to think that there is more to Red than stupidity, anger, and thuggish brutality, then Wizards of the Coast needs to rethink the way Red is represented on their cards. At times they’ve done this. The flame-kin in Lorwyn were great. I wish they’d replaced goblins in other sets too. I just don’t think you get to keep printing cards that consistently show Red as an angry idiot and then complain that people think Red is an angry idiot. Does that make sense?
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- 90svideos said: Blue should have interrupted Red a number of times during this speech.
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