Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WTH Wednesday-In Everything There Is Beauty

Everything in the world has beauty. In some way or form. A child's first cry. The flash of gold at the very end of a sunset. Flipping someone the bird. Yes, even flipping the bird can be a thing of beauty IF you do it right. Last week I tweeted with a friend about what and what not is acceptable from a car. She claimed that yelling c**t was perfectible acceptable. I added that so was flipping someone off. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's in the DMV handbook. I was shocked when she shamefully tweeted that she had NEVER flipped someone off from a car. WHAT??? How was that possible? That's like saying you've never pumped your own gas or had your oil changed. I was shocked. So this is for you @smokinhotbooks. Flipping someone off is an art form. It speaks though no sound, no additional items required to perform, and it is almost universally recognized(no language barriers). Other countries do have similar but slightly different forms that are acceptable alternatives to the American version. From wikipedia: In the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the V sign serves a similar purpose. In countries where Spanish, Portuguese, or French are spoken, and especially on the Iberian peninsula and in Latin America, a gesture called the Bras d'honneur is equivalent to the finger. Italy, Poland, and countries under the influence of Russian culture (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine) also see the Bras d'honneur as equivalent to The Finger. In some African and Caribbean countries, a similarly obscene gesture is extending all five digits with the palm facing forward, meaning "you have five fathers" (thus calling someone a bastard).[18] In Greece, the five fingers are spread wide and the palm is pushed towards someone in a gesture known as the Moutza. The middle finger is still used though, and it is considered more insulting. In India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka the social circles exposed to the western cultures use the middle finger gesture in the same sense that it is used in those cultures. The same is true for most South Asian countries.[19]

Even William Shakespeare got in on the action. In the play Romeo and Juliet, Capulet's servant Sampson starts a fight by "biting his thumb" at Abraham, Montague's servant. This gesture can be interpreted as being equivalent to giving someone the middle finger.

The history of flipping the bird. Giving someone "the finger" can date its origins back over 2500 years. The first written record of the insult occurred in ancient Greece, where the philosopher Socrates made a crude gesture with his hand just after asking, "I drank WHAT???". Even back then, the bird was considered an aggressive put-down. When the Romans imported the art, music, and culture of the Greeks, the finger came along, too. Juilis Ceaser was said to have flipped Brutus the double bird off after his friend stabbed him in the back and killed him. During the Middle Ages, the finger went underground. It was still known, but the Catholic Church frowned upon its use, so the infamous middle finger nose rub and ear scratch were invented. By the early 20th century, the finger was the one symbol every man, woman and dog could understand. With the invention of the automobile, it could be delivered from behind the safety of glass & steel, and at great speeds. All the finger needs to deliver its punch is a clear line of sight. Even our government got in on the action. At a campaign stop for Senator Bob Dole in 1976, Nelson Rockefeller was heckled by protesters telling him what they thought of his Vietnam war policy by casting their middle finger votes. Never one to back down, Rockefeller flipped 'em off right back.

MarkScarola

Considering the Vice-president of the USA could flip off with impunity, it is no surprise that only a few months later, an appellate court in Connecticut ruled the finger was not legally obscene.

At the dawn of a new millennium, we can rest assured this once endangered bird is thriving. Today it appears in films(Titanic), books(Mark Henry's Happy Hour Of The Damned), school yards, and, network television(The Simpsons). Instead of shunning this "obscene" gesture, we must treasure its rich cultural heritage. We are living in the Golden Age of The Finger. Get used to it.

Now, on to gestures. If your going to flip someone off then you need to do it right. Nothing is more embarrassing then ineptly flipping someone off. Here is step by step pictorial to help you achieve perfect form each and every time. *courtesy of www.ooze.com So please read, commit to memory, and PRACTICE. Because most people don't whip out an little cheat sheet when flipping the bird. It's beauty is in the the spontaneity. Here are some additional pictorials to help you "flip" to the proper occasion. For the "show off" Being discreet Let those kids know what you think of them. From the car Incognito from the car And remember... ALWAYS have fun with it. :) Now back to our regularly scheduled program. :)

5 comments:

Lily of the Darkness said...

HAHAHA I love the kid with the bird - reminds me just a tad of my G bob.

Gigi's Consignment Closet said...

Lily-Kids are great aren't they?

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

Hehe..I love the history of the finger - who knew that there has been a universal symbol of you suck for so long!

Smokinhotbooks said...

I've learned so much today. Next time when some effer cuts me off on the 405 freeway I will flip the bird & hope no one shoots me.

Gigi's Consignment Closet said...

Heather-I was amazed at how long people have been flipping the bird. Just amazed.

Smokinhotbooks -I'm so glad. :) Practice hard and soon you'll be a pro at flipping and driving. :)