There’s a saying in the rheums (note to you meme-herders out there — i’m trademarking that one) of AA that goes a little something like this (sing along if you know the words):
“Point one finger out and three more are pointed right back at you.”
Now i suppose it is physically possible to point one finger outward & to have three remaining fingers pointing back in the direction of yourself. But is that at all a natural hand formation? you don’t even have to think about this one — just try it, just do what comes naturally.
Something tells me that a full 100% of you who tried this experiment at home (this is one of those experiments that’s okay to do at home — not like setting yourself on fire, or refining plutonium, or any of the stuff they do on “Jackass”) got the following results: one finger pointed outward (traditionally the index finger), three fingers curled beneath & obliquely pointing to the left or right (depending on which hand you did the pointing with or the vantage point of the pointed at observer), and the marvelously, uniquely human opposable thumb pointed downward. not exactly the stuff that makes for good, self-abnegating sloganeering that posture. So AA in its charming, aphoristic manner tells you to ignore the actual biological obviousness of an act in order to get you to keep the focus on … that’s right! … what’s wrong with you!
Insidious? I don’t know. Mean-spirited? Getting warmer. Meant to keep you from trusting your own sense of indignation and/or righteous anger by positing unnatural physical silliness? Now i think we’re on to something.
Point one finger outward and … that’s it! You’ve pointed at someone or something. The direction taken by your other digits not only do not conform to AA’s time-honored saying, it is ultimately irrelevant. Whether giving someone directions or standing firmly and saying “j’accuse!”, pointing your finger is all about it/him/her over there. Not you all the time, every time.
A second experiment: When thinking of AA/12X12 bullshit, extend your one middle finger upward & curl your other digits naturally (better known as ‘flipping the bird’). Do you really care which way those other fingers are pointed now?