We have come to the letter "Z" in Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. Our blogs are ZINES, or publications that are self-produced. " Rogue Artists" is my zine, and to honor Z, I have a ZANY guest essayist today. She is my BFA (Best Friend Artist) and her name is Diane Loving.
Diane and I have been friends for 10 years. We have done a lot of mischief in all that time, and probably should be serving time for some of the pranks we have pulled off, but the art gods have protected us. You can read a short biography of Diane by going here, but make sure you have some clean underwear handy. You can also read a birthday poem I wrote for her here.
Diane is a filligree artist who has published many books filled with her wonderful black and white art, and her uplifting words of joy, support and concern. The bust below, created for Breasts for Life, a fundraiser for Susan B. Komen, hangs in my studio.
Diane teaches Art History, and her reputation packs her classes every semester. Diane has never met a famous artist whose history she does not know, and love.
Here is her ZANY essay:
JUST GIVE THEM THE FINGER
In order that we might return a modicum of civility to our civilization, I am proposing that we adopt a national “I am an Idiot” symbol. Now don’t go all politically correct on me regarding the term “idiot.” Trust me; true idiots aren’t offended by the term, so there’s no need for the rest of us morons to get huffy.
I am talking about the idiocy that all of us display upon occasion, followed by almost immediate awareness of our faux pas. The national “I am an Idiot” symbol would be a simple acknowledgment of a mistake we’ve made, and could conceivably reduce the number of instances of road rage, ball game brouhahas, and crankiness in crowds. It’s a nonverbal cue that signifies “I’m sorry.”
A possible symbol could be holding an extended index finger up to one’s forehead (symbolizing an “I” for idiot.) An offended motorist would immediately know that what you are expressing is, “I’m sorry I almost hit you but there’s a speed trap ahead and I needed to finish my texting, sandwich and novel before a cop sees me.” Perhaps, in road rage incidents a more likely symbol would be holding an extended middle finger to one’s forehead, palm out, as if to say, “My error was so egregious I am flipping-off myself.” The symbol thus becomes a pre-emptive strike.
The national “I am an Idiot” symbol could also cut down on a lot of useless chat when the offense occurs person-to-person. Say you have just cut in front of someone in line at checkout.
You are blithely putting your items on the conveyor belt when you hear
“Ahem, I was here first.”
You have to apologize profusely, swearing you didn’t see them.
They say, “Well, that’s okay.” But what they are thinking is, “What do you mean you didn’t see all 6’4” of my 230 pound frame?”
Then you have to respond, “I know what you’re thinking. But I was preoccupied, I’m sorry I wasn’t paying more attention.”
They mumble, “It’s okay.” But of course they are thinking, “You’re either rude, an idiot, or a rude idiot.”
A lot of time and idle prattle could be avoided by simply extending the “I” finger at your forehead after the first “Ahem.”
The only ensuing response thus becomes, “Ohhh, I see. You know you’re an idiot.”
Everyone goes happily into their day, especially you because you got through the line faster.
I realize an extended finger has different connotations in different countries. I don’t care. I weary of explaining and apologizing to the rest of the world for our national eccentricities and symbols. It is the responsibility of a foreigner in this country to learn our language, our eagle, our flag, and our Idiot finger.
I am proposing that Congress passes legislation to adopt the “I am an idiot” symbol nationally. Heaven knows it won’t be their most costly piece of legislation…or their most idiotic.