For the Record: Justice Scalia Is Less Cool Than We Thought

In response to our earlier post about Justice Scalia making an obscene gesture just after attending Mass, a reader sent us this message:

After reading the article, I don’t think it was the bird. Try this:

italian%20hand%20gestures.JPG

In the grand scheme of Italian gestures, it’s sorta tame. I have seen it interpreted anywhere from “you’re boring” to “I don’t give a fuck.” Either works here. As my union friends used to say, “What are you gonna do, take away my birthday?”

The Herald article is a little vague, but we’re inclined to agree with this reader: Justice Scalia’s gesture wasn’t a full-fledged flipping of the proverbial bird. But it still wasn’t exactly the most polite of actions; in some quarters, it could be interpreted as pretty darn close to giving someone the middle finger. So we will downgrade Nino a few levels on both the vulgarity and coolness scales.

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Even after the downgrade, Justice Scalia is still way cooler than any of the other justices. Could you imagine any of his colleagues engaging in such a gesture? Yeah, we didn’t think so. (Of course, the justice most likely to be familiar with such a gesture — Justice Samuel Alito, the other Italian-American member of the Court — is way too mild-mannered to indulge in such behavior.)

Italian Hand Gestures: Gesture 26 [About.com]

Earlier: Guess Nino Didn’t Give Up Cursing for Lent

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