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O Magazine
2015-2017

I’ve got
something
for you

By Alexandre Serrano

Prudishness and affectation move forward throughout social networks with greater force than Operation Barbarossa. Luckily for our mental health and expressive effectiveness, we have GIFs, an arsenal of them to break their siege.

Fire at will!

…………………./´¯/)
………………..,/¯../
………………./…./
…………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
………./’/…/…./……./¨¯\
……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
………\……………..’…./
……….\…………… _.·´
…………\…………..(
…………..\………….\…

I’ve got something for you – O Production Company

Much better, isn’t it? Thank animated images, that General Winter for offended dignities, the Katiusha battery giving their due to all sorts of stiff cry-babies, for it. In settings such as the digital one, in which messages can bring about a lot of ambiguity, incorporating the immediacy and precision of the non-verbal gesture has been a great solution emerging from the collective intelligence. And the power to comment to the rhythm of a V-sign, with its generous variation in hues and tones, becomes invaluable when one witness the amount of doctrinism and affectation found in online debates.

I’ve got something for you – O Production Company
I’ve got something for you – O Production Company

The bras d’honneur, as the French humorously call it, is a respectable tradition. The Ancient Greek and Romans already practise with enthusiasm this art of sending someone to hell in an efficient way; something that confirms that our set of symbols hasn’t varied so much with the passing of the centuries. Naturally, all GIFs available with this liberating gesture don’t go so far back, but some make us revive exciting and even heroic moments from our recent past. There you have the furious dedication Giovanni offered the Bernabeu stands (the most hilarious thing being that the player, feeling sorry after the match, argued that in Brazil it wasn’t a negative gesture… only to get another Brazillian from the Madrid team reminding him that the banana was equally or even more offensive back home than here) or else the offensive gesture with which the Polish pole-vaulter Kozakiewicz avenged the booing he received in the 1980 Olympic Games. Is the audience too cheeky? They like whistling? There you have a portion of half-arm!

I’ve got something for you – O Production Company
I’ve got something for you – O Production Company

The only condition, of course, is making sure to slip it at the right moment and time. In discourse, like in life itself, opportunity and pertinence are decisive. And in the same way that an applause at the wrong time or an uncalled-for reaction, a wrongly-placed GIF provokes more embarrassment than anything else. But when it’s chosen with skill, the sequence justifies it, the tempo is exact and it’s gracefully articulated with the text, it becomes a figure of speech as lucid and persuasive as the best among them. An art with which we’ve just begun to experiment, but of which we already have valuable examples.

Like the one indicating how to show our middle finger with our best smile to whom so insistently asks it for.