Judge. Jury. Executioner. The ‘bird’ gives us the power to be all three — and doesn’t it feel great to be all of these at once? It’s the perfect pick me up to dealing with the shitty people we encounter in our daily lives.
Think about it. When a flip takes place, we’ve decided that there was a crime, who the guilty party was and then delivered them a sentence. An encouraging ‘F*ck you!’ often accompanies it, rounding out what is an exquisitely brilliant autocratic punishment.
Make no mistake, this simple act is not just a scaled-down model of what is dictator-styled justice, it also mimics a violent action. When the longest digit on the upward hand is extended and thrust upwards, it represents the motion of a knife being jabbed into flesh.
The blade represented is held by a violent ancestor who lives inside all of us. It’s The Beast’s Natural Law, Our Law, simple eye-for-eye instinct to inflict pain on the one who causes pain in us. Criminal Law stops most real knives from reaching real flesh. It intervenes by sorting out victims and perpetrators, as well as dealing out equitable amounts of justice to both. While doing this, it stops fingers from holding real blades. It inhibits Our Law. Essentially, Criminal Law drives instinct back down. Even if it’s a life or death situation, there’s never a time when instinctual justice is permitted. When that happens, Law decides what life and death is, not an individual wielding a bloodied knife.
Finger flipping is harmless. Thank God. One finger won’t cause much damage, but the anger that raised it is still there. The intention to jab it is real. Make no mistake, evil drives that finger. There is evil inside us. Yes, there is.
Law has one serious shortcoming. It’s slow. That’s why this wonderful second option exists. A metaphorical fist-dagger stabbed into a perpetrator’s solar plexus at the time a crime occurs fixes everything. They get pretend-jabbed and imaginary-blood is spilled. Justice and harmony is restored immediately. It’s fast. Fulfilling.
So the next time you flip, give a thought to the passion behind your finger gesture, its ancient origin and the necessity for Criminal Law to keep real-knives out of your hands and away from your inner desires.
If finger flipping isn’t satisfying enough for you, there’s always SEETHINGS for guidance and encouragement.
“Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language, and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.”– Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’.