Giving someone the bird used to mean something. It should make the receiver feel stupid, ashamed, aghast, angry, and weak; the giver powerful, secure, and bad ass. But now, giving the finger just makes you look like a giant douche.
Like the douchebros you see above, particularly the one waving the bird in the center of the group, giving the finger–in a photo particularly–has lost any of the edginess it used to hold. Rather than making you look like a bad ass rockstar saying “fuck you!” to authority and convention, you just end up looking lame.
But why is this? It’s not because the bird has changed; rather the acceptable nature of it has changed. It’s no longer all that offensive because everyone does it.
When people like Avril Lavigne, the awkward chick from Twilight (otherwise known as Kristen Stewart), and Biebs are giving the finger, it loses its edge. I’m no longer thinking, “Dang, that person is a total bad ass.” I’m thinking more along the lines of, “Doesn’t Biebs talk about loving Jesus? Why is Avril Lavigne trying so hard to be cool? God, that Twilight chick is even more awkward when she’s trying to look tough…”
So to you, guy lurking in the back of photos trying to look cool: lose the finger. You’re ruining it, along with these douches, for people when they really need to use it. Like when some gross dude hits on you, or when someone cuts you off in traffic, or when someone nearly runs you over when you’re crossing the street. These are times when the finger works, because it’s directed at a person you feel animosity toward, and it says, “Hey–Fuck you.” And it is appropriately deserved. You can’t just do it in a picture and have it mean the same thing. Unless you’re Keith Richards or that soccer baby.
Because you’re either older that dirt and you amaze me by even still being alive, which means you gave the proverbial finger to death himself, or…
you’re the youngest, angriest Dutch soccer fan alive.
So put your hand down and quit ruining the best possible way of expressing silent indignation for the rest of us.
And, oh yeah, this one’s for you: