Is there one? I mean, what possible practical, pragmatic function do Jazz Hands serve? You know what I’m talking about, right? In all of those musicals, dance routines, and somewhat embarrassing “Bring your Parent’s to School” days, someone inevitably whips their arms out and shakes their outstretched hands while emoting a horrific fake grin. What’s with that?
I was thinking about practical uses for artistic skills when my brain tossed Jazz Hands at me. Thought Process Derailed. Could it be used as a defensive mechanism? I don’t think so. Striking a pose in front of a tiger and shaking your fingers is universally seen by all predators as saying, “Eating this one poses no risk to you whatsoever.” Could you use it to signal for a cab? You wouldn’t do so twice, that’s for sure. It’s well known that Jazz Hands are considered one of the legal exceptions to the prohibition against running people over on the sidewalk. Bagpipes are another one. Who could get away with using Jazz Hands in the normal course of their day? Wrestlers? That would not end well. Construction workers? Prepare to set that “Accident Free Days” counter back to zero. Physicists? Some think that black holes sprang into existence just to erase all traces of this behavior. Politicians? Ok, that’s one career where Jazz Hands would make no difference whatsoever.
The point is that there is no possible positive use for this activity. It makes no sense. It doesn’t produce anything, convey information, or provide meaningful directions to the nearest rodeo. So, why does it exist? In our pragmatic and utilitarian society, why does this silly, campy, whimsical and utterly pointless exercise still remain? Why hasn’t it vanished from our collective consciousness into the distant past like buggy whips, smoke signals, and basic math skills? Taking this a bit further, is there any reason at all to allow such a nonsensical and impractical waste of energy like the Arts to exist in today’s culture?
I mean, is there another reason besides the fact that silly artistic expressions make us more human? Okay, they can also produce laughter, expand our minds, and brighten the world around us. Other than that, however, is there any point? Alright, if we disregard the part about how the Arts define, unify, motivate, warn, encourage, inspire, and liberate us, why keep them around? If we completely ignore the fact that the Arts encompass the full range of humanity’s expression of what it truly means to exist…
I guess Jazz Hands have a use after all.