Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fist jabs and gang signs

Apparently the NFL is reviewing tapes of players who are ostensibly acknowledging gangsters with gang signs, which I think is totally bogus. If you want to get them on something, what about the gang called Heaven, where more often than not, athletes of all stripes will point to? It is not as if people are ordering assassinations via professional sports on network tv. They're probably just saying hi.

But I have just developed a theory as to why whitey is so scared of black hand gestures.

Now, NFL-stars' affiliation with tawdry groups of delinquents notwithstanding (eat your dog out, Michael Vick), "giving props" on the political dais or the football field, is not something human adults ought to be babysat over.

It's condescending.

But whitey is scared of them because we're so fascinated by them. I myself used to want to be fluent in American sign language till I learned it wasn't just pointing at things and spelling entire sentences. Anyway, whitey has given birth to some of the most salient semifores of contemporary culture:

Exhibit A: Calling baseball pitchesBaseball's actually a great example of our acute sensitivity to hand gestures. You fuck up a hand sign and your team's screwed, or the pitcher's called on a balk. Also, a catcher pointing at his scrotum in any other circumstance, or a manager stroking his shoulders like The Macarena, would both be signs of another game entirely. A game I call Loading Bases With Balls.

Exhibit B: The Peace Sign
This hand gesture is dear and close to my heart, as it has so effectively taken over the Japanese handscape. But when black people make the gesture, horizontally, they're gangsters. (Shaking head)

And what about Exhibit C: The punk rocker sign?

Millions, dare I say billions, of people use the hand gesture every day without knowing it actually means you've just had two abortions in back to back visits to the country doctor.

Ok, maybe that's not what it means, but such speculation is as foolhardy as anything The New Yorker would ever joke about (btw, I read the controversial issue in question from stem to stern last night, and it's unfortunate how upset people are about it because the issue might be hands down, the best one I've ever read).

And of course, there is Exhibit D: The Bird.
Man, if Bush can flip the bird doggy-style, Obama can dap his lady, and the 'roid machines can finger all the gestures they want.


Anonymous said...

I'm not going to lie, I totally knew it meant "you've just had two abortions in back to back visits to the country doctor." That's why I that one exponentially more than the peace sign.

Deborah said...

My Japanese students were astounded to learn that the peace sign was born as part of an anti-war movement. As for your comments on sign language, ending up with our lamer-than-lame duck prez--Yeah! Personally I thought Barack and Michelle were downright cute with that little bump. The conservatives will do what they can, but they are going to have one hell of a job making those two look inappropriate--even if they ever are actually--inappropriate.