Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What a Shocker of a gesture

It looks like it's taken some front page gesture news to shake me out of my lethargy and get back into the swing of posting.

Over on The Age website this afternoon Jarryd Blair made a public apology following a 'hand gesture' that he made while his team were being photographed following their pre-season cup win. You can read the story here. Obviously events in Japan mean that it didn't stay as the main story for long - but longer than any other gesture related events in recent times.

The story centres around whether it was an offensive gesture or not. The offensive gesture in question is colloquially named as the 'shocker' which, if you're not too faint-hearted you can read about the meaning of here. Which, if you read it, gives some idea why people might have found it offensive.

But there are some questions - such as whether he was really making that gesture. Blair's thumb is not curled back and his two fingers aren't quite brought together. His apology conveniently sidesteps mentioning whether he knew the offense caused by his gesture, instead labelling his own actions as merely "careless and inappropriate."

But lets assume that he did intentionally pull that gesture, I'm sure the large majority of people would have been oblivious. This is an emblematic gesture, and like the 'peace sign' or rotating your finger near your temple to indicate 'crazy' the meaning of these gestures is only apparent if you already knew it. As far as the rest of us were concerned he's just doing a bad impression of a heavy metal music fan.

The irony is that the prudish folk who made this an issue by forcing an apology from Blair have made the event into a news item and drawn the attention of people who, like me, were happily ignorant of this little gesture until today.

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