Rollin Bishop, The Outline:
Finally, a friend asked, “Why do you have a hat with the hand symbol that Trump always makes when he’s talking?” Indeed, Forbes wrote that “the air pinch with thumb and forefinger” is the president’s “most recognized hand gesture.”
The hat went into the closet.
Symbols have no inherent meaning; they are imbued with it. In 2016, the cartoon Pepe the Frog was infamously adopted by Trump supporters and white supremacists. Pepe’s creator Matt Furie was saddened to see that the cartoon had been co-opted to the point that the Anti-Defamation League labeled it a hate symbol. “It’s the worst-case scenario for any artist to lose control of their work and eventually have it labelled like a swastika or a burning cross,” he told The Guardian.
I’ve long had a post sitting in my drafts folder called “Rip Pepe: The meme who deserved better”1, and it looks like I’ll have to follow it up with the death of the OK hand sign.
- I’ll get around to finishing it soon… one day… ↩