Thursday, December 04, 2014

Thumbs Up

As I sit here eating my daily chocolate with pop rocks in it*, I contemplate the important things in life. The serious things. And things that might often get overlooked.  One topic in particular is bouncing around on my mind and, like the pop rocks in my mouth, its deafening snap and crackle cannot be ignored. Today I am going to talk about something of a serious nature that, in my opinion, affects each and every one of us.  I know it's something you've been curious about and I feel the time has now come to discuss...  

*a real thing. blow your mind.

... the thumbs up.

The thumbs up sign is the unsung gesture, warranting far more attention than it receives. I am certain everyone has an opinion about it and I'd love to hear what you think.  But here's what I think:

Do i like the thumbs up? Yes, yes I do.  How do I use it? I use it sincerely, sarcastically, like Chandler,

subconsciously, you name it. I think we all understand what the thumbs up means: "Good job" or simply "good."  "way to go."  The "I feel positive about this" gesture. Let's not forget about thumbs down. A firm thumbs down can say enough for a lifetime. It's simple, direct, can be harsh at times, and straight to the point. But did you know there's more to it than that? And more than one way to go about a thumbs up or down?  Get ready for me to expand your thumb horizons.

1. My niece came up with this one and it is sheer brilliance. It's filed under "sarcastic thumbs up" but in a really effective and highly insulting way. What it is is the slow removal of approval via the thumbs up. You give the person the impression you're pleased but oh, wait--wait, NO.  You are NOT pleased. What they just said is not acceptable. You could go further to say it means your time is up and say your prayers.   It's drawn out and dramatic, with facial expression to match.  Here's a video to illustrate:

Just makes me laugh. Try it today on someone you highly disapprove of.

By the way, it's real hard to do a video selfie. velfie? I'm just sayin'.   #skillz. 

2. This is a variation of the thumbs up or down. It could be called the lazy man's thumb or maybe it's the cool guy's? Marching to the beat of a different thumber.  This is done by pointing the thumb directly down the center of your closed remaining fingers, instead of to the side. What it does is make it so you don't have to thrust out your elbow to give a thumbs down.  Sean, with whom it originates, demonstrates this technique.

How's your soup, Sean?

What if I took that soup away, Sean?

So Sean, right? So, you just stick your thumb up or down wherever your hand lies, elbow resting comfortably to the side of the body.  Maybe you're too cool to stick out the elbow and you're just like, yeah whatever, fine.  This is the Too Cool Thumb.  Looking at the above pic, it looks like it's a thumbs down coupled with a clenched fist which could give it an added menacing touch. Extra BURN! This thumbs down says I hate what you just said and you're going to get punched for it.

3. This last one was also invented by my niece. It is the snap + thumb combo.  What you do is snap your fingers and quickly throw up or down your thumb. If up, it adds a peppy, enthusiastic touch, as if to say, yeah! i like that! let's do it!  If paired with the down, it could mean, i like you, but that idea sucks!  Anna demonstrates:

Those are just a few examples of variations of a beloved hand gesture that may be offensive in some cultures.  Maybe it is our duty to use these variations on said cultures to see if we might not cross those divides that separate us, unifying us in brother/sisterhood and our approval/disapproval.

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