A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

Various personal interests and public info, gesture, signs, language, social robotics, healthcare, innovation, music, publications, etc.

Category: Emblems

Funny Gesture Ad: Devil or God

Here is a picture from the Dutch site Jijdaar.nl. It asks kids to choose between listening to the Devil or God (and invites them to come to a lecture). They are worried about children listening to music that does not carry the word of God, praise the Lord, etc. In fact, all (pop) music about love (not aimed at God), sex, having a good time, is considered diabolical.

Invitation to lecture about the presence of the devil in pop music

Pretty cocky to expect kids will make the desired choice when forced. What would you choose?

Ruud de Wild as Christ on the Radio


Ruud de Wild, the barely disguised saviour of our ears?

Ruud de Wild is a DJ (and uomo universalis) who has prime time shows on the Dutch Radio. He switched to Q-Music in 2007 and this is one of their recent ads. Some people are complaining now but it is still going. There is a billboard poster too:

In the news: Brabants Dagblad: Op posters en in tv-spotjes is De Wild afgebeeld op een manier die doet denken aan een Christusfiguur. Op zijn T-shirt staat een hart omringd met stralen, net zoals Christus soms wordt weergegeven.

It took me a few moments to dig up this image of Christ that looks very similar:

Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Jesus and his wife (?) Mary posing as Ruud de Wild (source)

What is on the heart exactly? I cannot read it. Does anyone know?

Update: The heart on Ruud’s shirt reads ‘Q is good for you’ while the heart of Christ the King is adorned with the crown or a ring of thorns.

Healy’s Flute is an Orangist Salute

Although the story of David Healy’s flute gesture is getting a little moldy it has generated enough discourse to deserve another mentioning here. The interesting thing about this flute gesture is how it is part of the history of the Northern Ireland sectarian conflicts. Sensitive catholic Irish republicans will get inflamed over the gesture while others have no idea what the problem is.

Healy Mimicks Playing the Flute
David Healy making the flute gesture. (source)

Orangist Marching Band
These flute bands on Orangist marches are what the gesture refers to.


Get a glimpse of the triumphalist nature of these marches

By coincidence I am currently reading ‘The Irish War’ by Tony Geraghty. He sketches a long and messy conflict which has gone on for more than 300 years. It is clear that these marches are of an inflammatory nature, and therefore a gesture that refers to them is also inflammatory. It is not just a merry band of flute-playing men. They celebrate Orangist protestant dominance in Northern Ireland at the expense of the catholic part of the population.

The conflict carried over to a Scottish football match called ‘the Old Firm’ between the Rangers (protestant) and Celtic (catholic), see this nice historical overview by the BCC. Many Irish people moved to Scotland and brought the conflict with them. Paul Gasoigne made the mistake of making this gesture while he played for the Rangers and paid a heavy fine of 20.000 pounds.

Gascoigne does the flute gesture
Paul Gascoigne made the same flute gesture during the old firm (Picture: BBC News)

David Healy was not playing for the Rangers, in fact I don’t think he ever did, but he is known as a Rangers fan. He is from Northern Ireland and he plays in their national side. However, in this game Healy was playing for Fulham (an English club) in a friendly match against Celtic, which sets the context for the gesture. Healy was ‘provoked’ by the Celtic fans who knew his sympathies and chanted ‘where were you on The Twelfth‘ (a reference to an important march on the twelfth of July). In response, he seems to have made this gesture somewhat jokingly. The strange thing is that he seems to be escaping the sort of fine Gascoigne got. Why is that? Was Gazza perceived as doing it to inflame Celtic supporters whereas Healy was just fooling around? I think many people will take it more seriously than that. As always happens with sportsmen making inappropriate gestures, Healy is now apologizing and his club is investigating. It wouldn’t surprise me if a fine came soon.

The Orange Order
What Irish Political Pundits have to say about it
A similar incident at Belfast Zoo, involving a panda.
CNN reports about the Orange Order marching season

Update: I think an important difference between Healy and Gascoigne is that the latter played for the Rangers who were at that time trying to defuse a tense situation. Gascoigne’s gesture was hurting that effort.

Small Penis Gesture

In the news today: the Australian Roads and Traffic Agency (RTA) has launched a campaign to demotivate drivers from speeding:

No one thinks big of you
The video is good too.

The RTA hopes this small gesture will have a bigger impact on young men than images of bloody car crash victims. I think it probably will.

Ryan Florence arrested over childish gun gesture at Cameron

A young guy called Ryan Florence was arrested today after making a ‘gun gesture’ at English politician David Cameron (see Metro). Strangely enough, he seems not to have been arrested for the gesture. He is charged with possession of cannabis… after they searched his house… (because of what?).

Ryan Florence makes a gun gesture
Boy, did he pick the wrong guy to fake a gun! (source)

It makes me speculate that David Cameron is a sore man, who cannot take the guy’s gesture as lightly as it was probably made and set the police on him. The trouble of being earnest. Anyway, a fellow blogger called Gavin Corder has written an excellent post on the event and the gesture involved. I tend to agree with his analysis that the media have create a hype and a fuss over nothing.

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