Justice In The Power Of Our Hand

Judge. Jury. Executioner. That’s why the ‘bird’ is perfect. It gives us the power to be all three — and it feels so great. It’s the perfect pick-me-up to dealing with the shitty people we encounter during our day.

Think about it. When a flip takes place, we’ve decided there was a crime, who did it, and then punished them for it. It’s immediate. Nice.

Flipping the bird out a car door

Make no mistake, this simple act is not just scaled-down DIY justice, it mimics a violent action. When the longest digit is extended and thrust upwards, it represents the motion of a knife being jabbed into an enemy. The blade is held by a violent ancestor who lives inside us. It’s The Beast’s Law, a simple eye-for-eye response to stab an offender in the gut, quick-smart.

Criminal Law is so unsatisfying. It’s painfully slow. Eye-for-eye payback is dulled down to financial remuneration or jail time. It takes months, sometimes years to get it. Unless it’s a life or death situation, there’s never a time when snappy, instinctual justice between two people is permitted. Even when that happens, Law decides what life and death are. The wrong person could go to jail if its outcome goes the wrong way.

Finger flipping is immediate but totally harmless. Thank God. A finger won’t draw blood, but the anger that raised it is real. The intention to jab it into flesh is pre-programmed into our DNA. Make no mistake, something dark drives that finger. Evil is inside us. Yes, it is.

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 our hands and away from the prehistoric creature that dwells deep inside all of us.

If finger flipping isn’t satisfying justice for the kind of crime you frequently encounter, there’s always SEETHINGS to see how far that inner darkness goes.

 -Michael Forman (Author)

Five women’s bodies are discovered after the nights of thunderstorms. Their spouses are suspected of the crimes, but it becomes clear that someone else is responsible. There’s no blood and few clues. A storm photographer who specializes in taking pictures of lightning may be the only witness.


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