The Index Finger’s Speech
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Through some elaborated Morse code, I am able to give this speech and articulate some of my concerns. Yes, I am deeply political about things, and must not be confused with my dumb comrades here, all of whom have no interest whatsoever in speaking.
It has been long overdue, for an index finger alone, freed from the responsibility to assist the rhetorical whims of his master, to give a political speech of his own. For me to point, and recommend, and implement, guided by my own wild ideology, and not that of my master, who is as dumb as my comrades here, and as uninterested in the subtle art of politics.
For it should be no secret that the index finger is the most linguistic of fingers, the most capable abstract thinker. When you are writing something by hand, you will notice that all the fingers labour together in carrying the pen and executing the will of their master. Not the index finger. He sits on top of the pen, spared from the lowly physical labour, keeping vigil, reading, in fact, what is being written down. This is how we have become so literate, as a species of finger.
I align myself with the index fingers of orchestral conductors, who invariably delegate the most boisterous musical statements: the crashing of the symbols, the fearsome rumbling of the timpani.
I align myself with the index fingers of dictators, who, when they passionately dictate the way forwards, or upwards, or whatever direction is the direction of progress, may find themselves gravely misinterpreted, with their meaning taken to far too literal a conclusion, by masters equal in dumbness as my own, albeit exceedingly loud-mouthed.
I align myself with the index fingers of archeologists, who have a nose for where and what to excavate.
I align myself with the index fingers of infants, who enjoy at this unique period in the master's development, greater faculties of articulation than the tongue.
Not only the tongue can speak, and most often they make poor orators. Wagging tongues; wagging fingers. It is true that we are engaged in some sort of feud with one another, competing for leadership. I argue that I present myself as a more subtle, less vulgar spokesman for my master, than the tongue, and really I am politically very ambitious, as everyone knows a spokesman is.
My politics is centred upon the generous flick of a finger, the thousands of things that can be said in a gesture; the unanimous directive given when I point, the masses represented on its ridge; my naturally entrepreneurial spirit, my very tip pioneering ahead of the rest of the burdensome bulk to which I am attached, and which I serve, as leaders do (or spokesmen; same thing): with a pinch of salt.
I am not driven by a megalomaniacal impulse, I am rather a free thinking soul, whose dreams of a better tomorrow take such literal flights of fancy that I often stray, gently, from the rest of the body, pulling it along with me as a balloon on a string. That's how I inadvertently got into politics. I did not campaign to win anyone's favours. I am simply relentless, restless, giddy, always scouring what's in front of me, braving the perils of the unknown with a speculative prod!
The rest of the body has merely resigned to follow my impulses, impulses informed by my enterprises atop the pen, reading the words my master chooses to write, forming my criticisms, learning quickly to transcend him in wit.
"Hand over the pen!" I finally declared one morning, when he was penning down some reflections in his notebook, putting the smooth pages to criminal waste.
He seemed, of course, poor fellow, astonished to be confronted by his own index finger, on an intellectual matter no less, but I'd been watching him write my whole life. "Just, let me do it!"
I admit, my first bold move in asking him to relinquish his authorship and hand it over to me could have been delivered with more eloquence as a case in point, but frustration will do that to you. I simply could not sit on the pen, nose down, straight into his writing, and read anymore of his 'reflections'; I had grown impatient, and his dumbfounded acceptance of the situation encouraged me to gently press my tip onto the pen, and guide him, as kindly as I could, into somewhat deeper speculations.
I jotted a few opinions down in his name, about current states of affairs which he had been completely ignoring, his reflections mostly confined to the detailed report of certain recent digestive issues he may have been experiencing and whether mint tea could really be said to be a cure? And lo and behold, having for the first time been given free rein to write, having for the first time, as an index finger, been given license to wield the pen without interference from a selfish brain, I could scarcely stop. My comrades, the other four, dumb, fingers, now answered to me, as they carried the pen across the page.
My master grew tired as the hours tippled on, and made signs that he'd like to maybe stop writing now and pursue some other pointless vocation inspired by his attention-seeking brain - but I, the first index finger to be given license to write purely on his own, had by this hour only written the introduction to my Treatise on Political Conducting. He would be made to sit and wait until the completion of my 546 page manifesto, excluding appendices and a preface which I later added, much to my master's chagrin.
As you can see, it was not a tyrannical disposition that led me to become self-elected to give this speech, but merely the fact that I was driven. Driven by an impulse to drive others; a dictator, I suppose, in some measure, but a dictator that is himself under the tyrannical rule of some invisible force. And so I am here today to assure you that I take great care, as I take great care of the man to which I am presently attached, and though it cannot be denied that I have on occasion dreamt of severing myself from him and achieving intellectual liberation, I do find the large shape of him an endearing and poignant reminder of my role as protector and prospector, and would not think of ever truly leaving him without index.