Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Flipping the bird

How offensive is it to be 'flipped the bird'? Personally I'm not too bothered, there's often no vigour associated with it, kind of a lazy "I just don't care; jog on". It's certainly not as offensive as someone giving you the rods, something a little more violent about those.

But then I would think that as I'm a fully paid up member of the thought police (Still awaiting my warrant card) if you want to find out what the honest to goodness tax payers think of flipping the bird you need to go to the arbiter of public standards  - Our Lady the Daily Mail. Amen.

Luckily today's Mail has two stories about giving folk the finger (Not in a good way you understand) so we've double the sample size to base our findings on. Let's jump in.

The first story involves a woman, a bus driver and a missing 20p. I don't think the details are that important needless to say it ends up with a shocked woman staring at a single middle finger.

Blimey that's not very nice is it? All she did was scream at him for the duration of the bus ride, he really should man-up and take it on the chin, after all he's got that plastic screen thing protecting him from her spittle. The tone of the piece makes it very obvious that we're not to be impressed by the driver's actions - it's not big and it's not clever. But more importantly what do the readers think? Let's have a look at the top 6 rated comments.

Oooh people aren't very happy with him, and bus drivers in general it seems. So 'Flipping the bird' seems to be nasty. Let's confirm this with digit disgust story number 2.

So this unhappy Russian newsreader seems to have developed manual Tourette's syndrome which means every time she says "Barrack Obama" she has to unfurl the third finger, on the news, in front of 120 million current affairs loving Russians. So does showing off and acting clever in front of twice the population of the UK anger the Mail's loyal readership as much as a pissed off bus driver?

Apparently not.

So there it is, inconclusive evidence on the offensiveness of the bird. Flip it to an angry woman on public transport and it's bad, flip it to a leader of the free world and it's funny. However please keep in mind if you ever meet David Cameron on the bus all bets are off we just don't know what the etiquette is.
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