Magazine December 31, 2019, Issue

Okay Stupid

(Peter Casey/Reuters/USA Today Sports)

Some cadets made a gesture during the Army–Navy football game, and that led to an investigation of their “intention.” It was the dreaded “okay” gesture. As the HuffPost said, “the symbol began as a trolling hoax by members of the website 4chan, saying the hand gesture formed a ‘W’ and ‘P’ for ‘white power.’ But the gesture is now being used ‘in some circles as a sincere expression of white supremacy,’ according to the ADL.”

That must have been the meaning! It couldn’t have been the old “circle game,” where anyone who looks at your gesture earns himself a fast fist to the shoulder. No, it couldn’t have been a typically guy thing like that. It’s naked, brazen, pale-power taunting. 

The 4chan trolls also tried to ruin milk, claiming it was the preferred drink of the white-power types for obvious reasons. Had to be whole milk, of course; none of that suck-sauce skim. 

Now that they’ve ruined milk and the okay gesture, you can expect other common things to be feared as white-power symbols. Here are some everyday actions that will probably get you ostracized in the near future. 

The peace sign. You know, the two-fingered “V.” It’s actually referencing Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World. Yes, this means Churchill was a Nazi. Abbie Hoffman, too.

The outstretched little finger. Usually interpreted as a mannerism of effete tea-drinkers, the pointed pinky is actually a threat aimed at gays, who were forced to wear pink triangles by the Nazis. 

Thumbs up: Once regarded as a universal sign of approval in Western culture, it is now a reference to Hermann Thumesupp, a 19th-century German politician who advocated expulsion of every illegal Venusian from Lower Vogsburg. Informed that there were no such creatures to be found, legal or otherwise, he supposedly said, “That is precisely the sort of thing a Venusian would say.” This one’s pretty self-explanatory, in other words.

The middle finger. This is the most insidious of them all, perhaps — while the upraised sole finger gets all the attention, the other four fingers are concealed, and represent the four letters in the word “Nazi.”

Joining AAA. You may think it’s a venerable roadside-assistance organization whose clients are mostly cautious, plan-ahead dad types. But it’s obvious that AAA rhymes with KKK, so it’s a hidden way for Klan members to announce their secret membership. If you see someone who’s getting a tire changed on the side of the road, and the mechanic gives the driver the okay gesture, you should send a picture to the media, possibly Max Boot or, if in England, Max Trunk. 

Saying “Obama” two times in one sentence. This is obvious, no? Neo-Nazis like to use “88” to communicate to like-minded people, since the eighth letter of the alphabet is H, and 88 stands for “Heil Hitler.” (It could also stand for Heimlich Himmler, which is a maneuver used to assist a choking victim who is also a top party member, but this is less common.) Half of 88 is 44. The 44th president is Obama. Saying Obama twice adds up to 88. By the way, if anyone says he’s restoring a vintage Oldsmobile, he probably means the famous Rocket 88, which means he is building a V2 in his garage. 

Swinging your arms as you walk. If you’ve seen old footage of the Nazis’ parades, you note the exaggerated swing of their arms as they march. If someone is swinging his arms slightly, this is a conscious attempt to make you think of someone swinging his arms a lot. If the person glances to the side, as the soldiers did when passing the reviewing stand, this is called the “Führer check,” and you should call campus security. 

Rooting for the Cleveland Browns. Brown was the shirt color preferred by the Hitler troublemakers, and “brown” sounds like Hitler’s wife’s maiden name. “I hope the Browns do well this Sunday” means a riot is planned.

Eating at Burger King. Among white nationalists, “BK” means “Bolshevik killer.” If anyone says “Let’s do the BK drive-through,” they are planning to run over anti-Trump protesters. 

At the same time we’re supposed to fear these coded gestures, the iconography of the Left continues to come down to one striking symbol, over and over and over: the fist. Posters, banners, T-shirts, book covers — if you want to reach the excitable Left, use a stylized clenched fist to show you mean business. 

What does the fist mean? It’s a mystery, it really is. Oh, one could possibly interpret the fist as suggesting violence. I know, I know — that’s quite the imaginative interpretation, certainly made in bad faith, but hear me out. In the past, certain political groups that sought to consolidate power in the state at the expense of the individual have — how do I put this? Punched things. Like faces. With fists. 

Anyway, you’ll want to keep all these secret signs and symbols in mind as we go forward. It starts with kids making white-power gestures on national TV, and before you know it Trump is tweeting about buying the Sudetenland instead of Greenland. 

Pay attention if you see a picture of the president sitting in a chair with both hands on his knees. That’s the worst dog whistle of them all. What makes it so terrifying is that we don’t know what it means. Yet. Wait! Could be a reference to “the bee’s knees,” and “B” is the second letter of the alphabet, which means he thinks he’s the Second Coming.

Jesus or Hitler, doesn’t matter — either would love Chick-fil-A. Which is really all you need to know. 

In This Issue

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Athwart

Okay Stupid

Some cadets made a gesture during the Army–Navy football game, and that led to an investigation of their ‘intention.’

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