Wednesday, 30 August 2017


I often say ‘what’s the point’ or ‘there is no point’ or ‘where’s the point in that’. Negative talk you may think.

When a hand points, however, I don’t ask myself, what’s the point? I just follow the owner’s forefinger direction to its visual conclusion and hopefully learn something new.

So actually, there is always a point as far as your hands are concerned. Merely by positioning my hand and forefinger I can make (if I say so myself) a brilliant point without having uttered a word.  

Suddenly I feel liberated as I have proved empirically that there is no such thing as pointlessness.

I put my theory into practice. I point my finger up in the sky then out of the window, happy in the knowledge that there is some point to it. The point is, I feel liberated from my worry of there not being a point. For any casual bystander the point would be absolutely undeniable. 

One day, of course, you may find yourself in front of a crowd, say, the size of Wembley Stadium and be expected to make a point. Perhaps you forgot the point you were going to make.  (Damn, it is still in the rucksack along with your packed lunch at home). No matter, you can make the universal sign – no, not that one – and your point will be taken seriously, possibly even applauded. 

There might come a time, after all these public engagements, that you get pointed finger fatigue (PFF). Your muscles in your forefinger have seized up. This is where a pointy stick comes in handy. This is a plastic version of a pointing hand on the end of a stick. People might forgive you for using that to make your point instead of the real thing. On the down side, if everyone gets one, it could be hard to distinguish your point from the others. 

If all fails, you could always use the thumbs up sign, though there is not much point in that. A thumbs up is, at best, just ok. Inevitably, even a hand can get caught up in dogma. This is where you may have to rethink your point entirely. I mean, who is to say that a wave isn’t as meaningful or pertinent as any elegant or well-made point? It might mean a repositioning of your hands. Change can be slow or never come at all when it involves new distribution of power and hierarchy. In this case, your index finger will have to accept that is it symbolically equal to the other four digits. You may have a struggle on your hands. 

Then comes the day when waving is passé: “Waving is passé, and all because you couldn’t or didn’t want to make a point. Now look where we’ve got to. Now all we do is swipe. Swipe left. Swipe right. Swipe” But there is no point in pointing the finger of blame. Swiping is, in fact, a very elegant gesture. Its just a pity that swipe sounds like a cross between snot and wipe when, in fact, it is more of a swish or swoop or s’wow. Its true that it is rather individualistic. We’ve become a nation of selfish swipers etc. However, it can be argued that it allows people to express themselves. There is a delightful performative quality, albeit unconscious, to our swiping that was wholly absent when we were merely making a point. 

Now at this point, I’d just like to go back to my very first point, but as I was about two and a half years old at the time, its pointless I’m afraid.

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