The Forum: Flipping the bird not civil

December 2011 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

In Silver town, there has been much controversy recently about bird flipping and the alleged giving of birds and it’s not about Thanksgiving Day, although many birds will be flipped and given on that day. Because the reference alluded to by this expression is so beyond the pale for polite society it has become known colloquially as the “Bird.”

The Bird is a popular form of body language if you didn’t already know. Usually delivered at a safe distance, often from a barely open moving car window, The Bird is a way of saying, “you stink” or worse.  The Bird, on occasion, can elicit a vigorous response from the recipient who naturally does not like to be told that they stink.

Giving “The Bird,” to someone or “Flipping them The Bird” is similar to what the red cape is to the bull, which for some reason makes the bull mad as hell. Of course there is possibility that the bull might be colorblind and not react.

“Flipping The Bird” has no place in civil society and should be reserved for only the most extreme of circumstances when all other forms of communications fail, I can’t imagine what that might be.

We try to shelter the children from this crudeness but somehow they learn. By the way – if you are over 18 and watch the movie The Beverly Hillbillies you will see this vulgar gesture as they drive down the Los Angeles freeway in their old truck chugging along, piled high with furniture.

Some guys drive by waving a pistol threateningly, Jethro waves back and proudly shows them his shotgun and they speed off.

Another driver honks and flips them off for driving too slow. They, in their neighborly simplicity see it all as a greeting and call it a “California How De Doo.”

Michael Finkelstein

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