Out in Spokane, Washington, a crosswalk sign somehow turned into a fuck-you light after three important fingers stopped working. Spokanites called it a “Bronx salute.” Apparently they’re prejudiced against Bronx-Americans.
A spokesperson for the city told the local ABC affiliate that street workers “think the electronic sign may have snow somehow wedged into the sign,” causing the fingers to stop flashing. It was unintentional! The city government of Spokane had nothing to do with it! City governments never do anything edgy-funny.
The snow theory sounds pretty unlikely, though. Compare the number of times it has snowed in America since the invention of these signs with the number of times you’ve heard of a “don’t walk” sign turning into a fuck-you light. Do you recall this ever happening?
It’s more likely that this flashing hand is an impromptu street art installation by God, who’s providing His/Her honest opinion about all the dumb shit Americans have done in 2010–like vote the Republicans back into Congress, and watch The Jersey Shore, and buy Katy Perry records. Using a mundane object found in the urban environment as a canvas, God’s work reiterates the banality of contemporary American life as well as society’s Pavlovian dependence on technology. The in-your-face middle finger, a highly charged symbol of both rebellion and empowerment, juxtaposes shock value with predictability. (FYI: God is exhibiting at Art Basel Miami Beach right now.)
Why Spokane? No particular reason. The location wasn’t important–God knows all about the power of viral marketing.