UserpicThe Prehensionalist Manifesto
28.07.12, 06:36 PM

The Prehensionist Manifesto

(This document states the main tenets of the Cult of the Hand. All members of the cult are expected to conform to these principles. Formally, the cult is referred to as the Gripparian Order.)

We seek to promote greater hand consciousness

We advocate manual cultivation, arboreal therapy, and brachiation training

We believe in prehension science and are strict evolutionists

We preach hand reverence

We encourage hand intimacy, but not hand promiscuity

We are in the grip of the grip

We deplore hand neglect and hand repression

We thank nature for the gift of the hand

The thumb and forefinger are objects of special reverence

Our prophets are Charles Darwin, Charles Bell, and John Napier

We foster hand virtue

We think the hand is a thing of beauty

All hands are created equal

We contemplate the hand every day

We never take our hands for granted

We observe the hands of others

We prefer writing to speaking

We support an active hand life-style

All fingers are important

Hand communication is encouraged

We practice special secret hand greetings

We think the hand jive was cool

We leave casts of our hands after death

We worry about the decline of the hand in the modern world

We view tools as extensions of the hand

We classify species according to their prehensive profile

We regard the brain as secondary to the hand

We have intense hand discussions

We teach our children hand anatomy

We believe that pointing is profound

Hand exercise is mandatory

We do everything to avoid cold, numb hands

We believe that a flexible hand is a flexible mind

We regard the intellect as an extension of the hand

We tolerate pan-prehensionists but this is not official doctrine

We admire gibbons greatly

We sing praises to the hand

We favor eating with the hands

We esteem the feet because they are the platform of the hands

The muscles of the forearm are fascinating to us

We believe that anatomy is destiny

We regard the body as essentially prehensile

We regard speech as a fall from grace

We reserve a special compassion for those who have lost their hands

We are entranced by trees

We abhor “glad-handing”

We find hand holding extremely romantic

For us the hand has a halo around it

We view the mouth with some suspicion

We see nature as the Great Chain of Prehensive Being

We feel the foot is misunderstood

We collect hand trivia

We admire hand erudition

We disapprove of hand exhibitionism

Our central metaphor is the grip

At wedding ceremonies we say, “You may now hold the bride’s hand”

We have private hand gripping sessions

Shaking hands is taken very seriously

We feel a kinship with apes

Kissing the hand is permitted but not encouraged

Calling someone “handy” is a great compliment

We see no distinction of status between the power grip and the precision grip

We think philosophers have wrongly ignored the hand

In the beginning was the hand-deed

We despise the phrase “hand job”

We believe that capitalism has led to proletarian hand alienation

We think it is bad manners to grab things

We have long arguments about hand etiquette

We regard the hand as corruptible but not corrupt

We are ambivalent about gloves

We are a secular organization but we applaud hand worship in moderation

We support hand pride initiatives, but deplore hand vanity

We feel that musicians are basically good but at risk of hand abuse

We accept that man is nothing without his opposable thumb

We oppose hand oversimplification

We give out hand achievement prizes, especially to children

We invest in hand education

We believe the hand is more trustworthy than the tongue

We climb trees at weekends

We regard fingerprinting as an invasion of privacy

We are continually astonished by the hand

We do not permit hand plastic surgery, except for medical reasons

We are working to create a hand museum and university

One of our highest honors is to be designated a “Keeper of the Hand”

We wash our hands in a spirit of holiness

Violence with the hand leads to immediate expulsion from the Order

Anyone wishing to become a member must pass a simple test in pointing and gripping

We approve of prehensional meditation but it is not mandatory

We believe mind and body are united in the hand

We are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving hand wellbeing globally

We do not favor one hand over the other

We believe that 10 is a special number

We are critical of thumb idolatry, though we understand it

We give our children names like Palm and Index and Grippa

We call Sunday Thumbday

We reject the term “pinkie”, preferring “precious”

We treat the back of the hand with the same respect as the front, though it has no name

We have an annual hand poetry prize

We repudiate all hand superstitions

We maintain that the hand is epistemologically fundamental

We love the words “squeeze” and “grasp”

We stage brachiation contests

“I grasp, therefore I am”

Some of us refrain from applause because it is a form of hand slapping

We are working on improving hand nomenclature

We engage in hand sensitivity training, sometimes involving animals

We are suspicious of conventional notions of hand beauty, such as slender fingers

We have convened a special commission to consider boxing and other martial arts

We envisage a hand utopia

We are ambivalent about card tricks

We feel that everyone should work on his or her power grip, no matter how elevated

We memorize hand figures of speech

We conduct remedial hand appreciation workshops for those who need them

Our official icon is a picture of the thumb-index circle

We dream of the platonic form of the hand

We are very careful with kitchen knives

We think Michelangelo was onto something in the Sistine Chapel

We are interested in hand anthropology but believe in hand universals

We have doctors dedicated only to hand ailments

We have special hand holidays and celebrations

We regard ourselves as the only sane cult in the world

We are impressed by the hand theme in the life of Jesus of Nazareth

For us divinity exists only at the tip of the arms

We esteem all forms of prehension but we reserve a special place for the manual kind

In the hand we glimpse the infinite

We believe we were created in the image of the hand

We reject the notion of an immaterial hand

Man is a manual animal, a res manipulans, a digital soul

But we also know that we must trim our nails

(Membership of the cult is open to all, as long as the above precepts are adhered to. No exceptions permitted. Good gripping!)

6 comments 6 comments ( 1570 views )

UserpicAlan C
05.04.13, 08:52 PM
Consider the orchestral conductor: hands about phizog. More than a mere metronome; he casts ambiguous air sculptures, evincing the music.

UserpicAlan C
07.10.12, 11:36 AM
Once, following a piano recital, a lady approached, proffered her sincerest congratulations, then added “you don’t really have a pianist’s hands, do you?”
How does one respond to that? Flippantly, I gambled “they’re actually a builder’s hands”, beaming my broadest grin and spanning a sturdy half-cubit as I mimed a hodful. Generously, she saw the funny side and left me, wondering..
What are a pianist’s hands? Must they look a certain way? We might naively think of preternaturally dexterous, elongated strokes ‘twixt ebony buttresses. I know a cellist who has those hands but she can’t play the piano so well. Mine look utterly ordinary. Physical appearance is not a reliable gauge of pianistic dexterity. Actually, pianistic dexterity isn’t as purely physical as it may appear.
A principal aim in playing piano is the communication of something meaningful through music. So, it would be surprising if brain areas involved in processing language were not also co-opted here (the thought of two, discretely evolved combinatorial modules within the same brain seems ludicrously extravagant). By the same token, there are left-brain stroke-stricken, erstwhile pianists who can still make adequate use of their left hand for everyday tasks (like brushing teeth, sipping at teacups, picking the nose, etc.) but where damage to Broca’s area now means they can no longer hope to play, say Prokofiev’s fourth concerto (composed for a one(left)handed pianist) I presume because their ability to muscularly recombine meaningful patterns has been so damaged. I think the language governing part of the brain is also brought to bear in musical considerations and naturally finds expression in the hands, presumably because of the combinatorial possibilities inherent in each.
Indeed, watching a great pianist perform is a bit like watching a charismatic deaf person sign. The face assists what we might call prosody in more or less the same way. The contortions are affected with the same reason and purpose. The hands help to make sense of it all.

No UserpicMissFern
21.09.12, 05:19 AM
I've got to hand it to you, that's quite a manifesto.

Before committing to anything, I'd like to know where the Order stands on the matter of the middle finger?

UserpicColin McGinn
22.08.12, 07:07 PM
Yes, we swear by Burt's Bees Hand Slave for men.

22.08.12, 06:59 PM
Lol. Is your sacrament Burt's Bees, or some other lotion or moisturizer?

UserpicColin McGinn
30.07.12, 12:46 PM
No new members to the Cult of the Hand since I published the Manifesto here. This brings the current membership to two, though there are a handful (!) of sympathizers I know of. Clearly a long way to go to World Domination. But then most cults start small.