A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

A mix of posts on gesture, HCI, perception or robots and some personal information.

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Young Blair’s Wanker Gesture Cover-Up

Here’s a bit of world news for you: Prime Minister Blair of the UK was a bit of a rascal in his youth and student days. Well, good for him, you might think, and I hope the Britons will do the same. Specifically, it turns out that he made a crude or lewd gesture in a photo of his student club.

Blair makes wanker gesture
Can you spot Blair and his obscene gesture? (source)

The funny thing is that it was kept secret until now. Some people knew, but the picture was released with the gesture removed (by retouch), or in another case only the top half was published. As to the meaning of the gesture; I assume it can mean wanker, though that gesture is usually made with a wanking motion (which, if present, was not captured in this photo of course). But whom is he calling a wanker? I think he is making the gesture in a more general joking way. He boasts his lack of regard for decorum, saying perhaps something like “what a bunch of wankers we are all together”, or “look at me being the most daring of my company of rich brats”. Anyone else care to comment?

2 Responses to “Young Blair’s Wanker Gesture Cover-Up”

  1. 1
    Lee Hutchinson:

    Jeroen, as far as I’m aware, there are two main hypotheses that have been advanced to explain the meaning of Blair’s infamous wank gesture. One is the so-called “air guitar” hypothesis, and the other is the much more widely accepted “generic wanker” hypothesis. Neither of these are proven and nor are they likely to be correct (the “air guitar” notion is patently ludicrous). It strikes me that Blair is not so much saying “what a bunch of wankers we are”, as you have opined, but imperiously demanding that we, the viewer, fellate his cock. Thus, rather than boasting a lack of regard for decorum in a heroic act of enlightened self-deprecation, he is, in fact, very much upholding the dominant position of the rich elite - the sense being that receiver of his imaginary phallus is socially inferior to the imperious troupe of Oxford dining society toffs.

  2. 2
    Jeroen:

    @Lee. Thanks for the comment and your view which is well articulated. You may well have it spot on :-)

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