That's Sicilian

I'm sure by now you're aware that everyone's favorite orgy-enthusiast Justice Antonin Scalia made a rather inappropriate gesture outside of a cathedral in response to a journalist's questions about the separation of church and state. Yawn. Do we really care? Cheney told Pat Leahy to fuck off on the Senate floor, and while that was good for a few chuckles, political figures acting like humans (rather than the sainted beings they profess to be) is of little interest to me.

Until my brother Giacomo sent me this article, wherein Scalia states that the gesture is much more innocent than the "up-and-coming 'gotcha' star" realizes:

To back his interpretation of the gesture, Scalia in his letter quoted from Luigi Barzini's book, "The Italians:" "The extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin means 'I couldn't care less. It's no business of mine. Count me out."'

Far be it for me to contradict a jurist of Scalia's stature, but I call bullshit. See, I'm Sicilian too! And I know that while Barzini's description is true, it is the "moving slowly" that makes the gesture a statement of disinterest. If one were to flick their fingers under their chin (usually while saying vaffanculo), that would be the official dago symbol for "fuck off, asshole." As I said in a response to my brother's email--certainly we should know what that gesture means: we've seen our mother make it a million times!

PS: Impress your friends! Learn more Italian hand gestures here!


annamaria at 7:28 PM

1 spoke


at Thursday, March 30, 2006 3:35:00 PM Anonymous Rich said...

I love that gesture! It's second only to the Italian plea of innocence (arms spread at sides with open palms, followed by clasped hands and eyes rolled to the sky) in my all time list of Italian hand gestures! :)


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