Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rainbow Day

According to the Isihara test (above, if you can see the 6 you're normal) I suffer from garden variety red/green colourblindness. This means, amongst other things, that I am unable to fly fighters for the Royal Air Force, or to distinguish between certain shades of green and yellow. Colourblindness is a misnomer, evidently. It's not that I don't see colours it's just that I see them differently, anomalously, to use the opthamological term. I came across this quote when reading about the subject:-

From a practical standpoint... many protanomalous and deuteranomalous people breeze through life with very little difficulty doing tasks that require normal colour vision. Some may not even be aware that their colour perception is in any way different from normal. The only problem they have is passing a colour vision test.

I am deuteranomalous people. One in every twenty white European males. You'll see us in Top Shop juxtaposing hopelessly ill-matching shorts and shirts and thinking we're Fonzie. We're a happy-go-lucky bunch, because the only problem we have is passing a colour vision test.

I mention this excuse for a genetic defect because tomorrow, at my daughter's school, they are celebrating "Rainbow Day". I assumed that this was some kind of multicultural festival. The school is a model of multicultural interface, with the colours of the world all getting along in prelapsarian innocence. My daughter then explained to me that she was "Fry", and would have to wear purple. And that some other members of her class were "Lister". She didn't know what colour they had to wear. So it seems that Rainbow Day is a colour-coded celebration of Eminent Victorian Quakers. This was confusing enough a concept without me having to deal with the purple business.


See? No purple. Or is purple a blanket term covering all those high-frequency colours? I asked my wife. Her response was unhelpful. "Purple is purple," she said. "And our daughter doesn't have any purple clothes."

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