Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Ginger Man & Red Hair

JP Donleavy's Sebastian Dangerfield inspired me back in the '60s when I first read it with its rollicking randy Irishness. Up there with Portrait of the Artist in my 'umble view.

All this random "musing" was spurred by the piece last night on Nightline & then later on the Afterhours News at 2AM concerning people with RED HAIR, which the British call "gingers." There is a strong prejudice against red-haired people, which the ABC piece obliquely mentions might be due to the high ratio of Scottish and Irish genes in the Brit genepool. The old Sassanach/Celtic civil struggle continuing under the sheets.

Of course, even Prince Harry has red hair, as did his aunt Fergie, wildly popular in the USA but frowned upon by the lugubrious Saxon Teutons who comprise most of the snobs in Britain's elites. Harry is called "ginge bullet magnet" by his soldier-mates.

But it's useful to recall that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are of Scottish descent, and Sunny Jim Callaghan & Harold Wilson and a drink-sodden lush named Brown in the mid seventies were all Celtic in background, and some were even of Irish blood---Tony Blair converted to the Papist faith just as he left the Prime Ministership.

The old tug-of-war between Low Church puritans and High Church lushes continues in British life, and the prejudice against redheads simply masks a deeper rivalry between the old Celtic mythology of King Arthur and the triumphant Saxon/Danelaw which makes Britain a northern European nation.

All of which I discovered while living in France, where the Gallic strain is the most anti-English [not British] in that nation.

And the largest percentage of redheads I encountered in the Old World was not in Europe, but driving through southeastern Turkey in the old Anatolian area of Galatia, famous for St. Paul's letters. Plenty of gingers here, remnants of the Celtic expansion which conquered Rome in 390 BC and Delphi, Greece in 273 B.C. Some tribes made it to the edge of the Levant, and their descendants still sport the reddish hair and beard that Irish and Scottish do a thousand miles west.

Don't get me started on Arthur Koestler's Thirteenth Tribe and the Turkic Khazars who converted to Judaism. That's been in and out of the Jewish Encyclopedia more times than pictures of Trotsky were in the old Soviet yearbooks!

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