Praising or Hell-Raising?

It is widely accepted that absolutely everything on our 6000 year old earth derives directly from one of two superpowers – 1) God or 2) The Devil. Determining who is responsible for what, however, represents perhaps the biggest day-to-day challenge of the modern condition. Take, for instance, live music gatherings at your local community club or discotheque. They are filled with people who are filled with either God or The Devil. Sweaty people “going off,” pumping fists and punching air. Do they do so under His direction or that of The Beast? It is often difficult to surmise.

Fortunately, definitive answers require only a bit of anthropological field work, and can be obtained by observing and cross-referencing the zealous gesticulations of such crowds. Simply clip out the following field guide – keep it in your Bible or altered copy of On the Origin of the Species – and never again must you experience confusion over the eternal ramifications of your concert-going experience!

“The Horns”

Whereupon the palmar surface is rendered anterior, the index and little phalanges are erected fully, and a chesty articulation of “Slayyyyerrrrrr” is averred. The hand’s remaining three digits are folded downward (toward hell) in symbolic denial of the Holy Trinity. This gesture often occurs precisely at the realization of a dissonant third tone in the augmented fourth of a tasty guitar riff. Also known, in varying socio-cultural spheres (all evil), as “metal horns”, “the death fist,” “rocking the goat,” “throwing the goat,” and/or “Satan signal.”

Praising or hell-raising? Hell-raising.

“The Oliver Twist”

Between the navel and the arm pit level, knuckles are turned to the floor and wrists to the ceiling. Fingers curl between obtuse to right angles. This most frequently appears during quieter moments of song, often found accompanied by slightly hunched shoulders. Perhaps a gesture of supplication, as an exposed palm has been previously noted to indicate openness, vulnerability, and non-aggression. In words, it seems to express ““I am tentatively open to this experience.” Also, “I am tentatively open to the Holy Spirit.”” Apparent positive correlation between height the hands are raised and engagement in music.

Praising or hell-raising? Praising

“Too Much Metal for Just One Hand”

In which the radial sides of two clenched fists are joined in unholy congress and hoisted aloft in ritualized manner. Ulnar-most digits are erect, evoking the horns of the he-goat. Such corrupted gestures indicate states of heightened aggression and/or delusional affective disorder. Correlated relationship observable between propensity to invoke this gesture and white suburban male-ness.

Praising or hell-raising? Hell-raising.

“The Yawn Stretch”

The most bombastic of gestures, arms are raised until elbows are at ear level. Hands flex slightly. Shoulder blades are brought back to create an open stance between the shoulders. The head will bow to roll back toward the spine, rarely found with an erect posture. Indicates immersion and agreeableness to current surroundings and sonic happenings. This states, “”I am very captivated and wish to participate fully in this Godly experience.””

Praising or hell-raising? Praising

“Punching God in the Face”

A frantic, war-like, gesture executed in rapid, Satan-fuelled succession, often in time to death metal blast beats or Bruce Springsteen songs. In most documented instances a solitary fist is extended into the air, at a 45 degree angle, and “pumped” in a vigorous striking vector. With each pump, manifest evilness experiences exponential increase. This gesticulation bears resemblance to the hammering of nails into the cross or punching God in his huge senseless face.

Praising or hell-raising? Hell-raising.

“Slappin’ Skin with the Spirit”

In which the concert-goer appears to reach. The wrist leads and the hand follows incidentally. Somehow emotive, perhaps due to similarity to the popular posture adopted around the beginning of a request. The entire arm often sways, though there have been instances of only the hand moving back and forth with the music; this appears to be dependent on both the intensity of music and current emotional involvement. This gesture seems to say ““I would really like to receive more of what I’m getting through this music right now”,” and also, “”high-five!””

Praising or hell-raising? Praising.