Friday, June 06, 2008

Person living in cave learns of fist pound

During a campaign rally in April, Barack Obama appropriated Jay-Z's "you gotta get, that, dirt off your shoulder" gesture to dismiss a shaky debate performance. Seeing a grown man in a suit and running for president employ such a ridiculous non-verbal communication technique made me cringe and feel overwhelmingly embarrassed for the presidential candidate, the crowd cheering the presidential candidate, and for myself for having to have been alive when this took place.

Then the media broke down the significance of the gesture, and I cringed again -- for the media mostly, but also for myself for having to have been alive when this took place.

Over the last couple days another "hip" Obama gesture -- this one a fist pound he completed with his wife -- has elicited even more analysis.

But this time I didn't cringe at all. In fact I viewed it as one of the most positive developments of this campaign; for I sincerely hope one day the fist pound will replace the handshake as America's favored greeting ritual.

My big problem with the handshake is that it is an open invitation to allow another person to attempt to display their physical dominance by smashing their germs into your skin. Wheres in the fist pound contact is always fleeting, and anyone coming in too hard will do so at the risk of their own knuckles.

While have my doubts that Obama could possibly "change" the culture of Washington, as he likes to claim he will, he might just be the guy who can change the way our power brokers say hello and seal their shady deals. And that's the kind of change I can believe in.

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