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  #1  
Old 06-12-2013, 03:43 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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Flashing gang hand signs in photos - can anyone begin to explain this?

Now that I've joined Facebook, I've been browsing several personal photo albums. The thing that baffles me most - aside from the omnipresent fishlips and the mandatory sticking out of tongues - is the ubiquitous flashing of gang hand signs as a means of posing for a photo.

I knew this existed, but I guess I never appreciated how common it is until now. Do folks do this to be edgy? To go along with the crowd? To make others think, 'ya know, that 22-year-old suburban blonde with the pink nails drinking an appletini might just be a Crip'?

To each his/her own, I guess, but I would feel stupid as hell posing for a photo in such a manner. I guess I'm no damn fun.


mmm
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2013, 03:44 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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They're just doing it to be Shocking.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2013, 04:03 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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It's to be funny, guys.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2013, 04:06 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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They can't think what to do with their hands when they're posing.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2013, 04:09 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Because WEST SIIIIIDE...bee-atch!
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2013, 04:44 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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They're not thinking of it as throwing gang signs. Holding your hands up in pictures has become the standard expression for "what up, y'all, get this party started whut whut!" for people having a good time. It's more an imitation of hip hop hands than of gang signs (more on the hip hop hands). If you told them that they just accidentally threw a hand sign identifying themselves as a member of the Gangster Disciple Nation you'd probably get a blank stare.
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2013, 06:32 PM
actualliberalnotoneofthose actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
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I knew this was common 20 years ago. Guess I haven't noticed it lately or it became so commonplace I look right past it.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2013, 06:34 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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What gang signs, specifically, do you see your friends holding up?
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2013, 07:10 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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They're not gang signs. They do them to rep that they too, are suburban white youths.

But people do it because others do, that's why. It's in the same category as duckface or taking a cellphone photo in a dark bathroom with the flash on and holding it high above your head to hide flaws. It's also why piisu.
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2013, 07:16 PM
BigT BigT is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pravnik View Post
They're not thinking of it as throwing gang signs. Holding your hands up in pictures has become the standard expression for "what up, y'all, get this party started whut whut!" for people having a good time. It's more an imitation of hip hop hands than of gang signs (more on the hip hop hands). If you told them that they just accidentally threw a hand sign identifying themselves as a member of the Gangster Disciple Nation you'd probably get a blank stare.
I don't see a single example of the signs people actually do in the photos. Westside being a big one. Around here, it seems to be done ironically, based on the fact that no town around here is big enough to have a west side.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2013, 09:56 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
What gang signs, specifically, do you see your friends holding up?
This, this, and this are good examples of what I'm talking about.


mmm

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 06-12-2013 at 09:58 PM..
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:08 PM
Sleeps With Butterflies Sleeps With Butterflies is offline
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Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
It's to be funny, guys.
This is the right answer IMHO. I know on the Straight Dope there are those "Why do people go to parties?" or "Why would anyone go to a bar?!?" or "Explain to me this thing called doing things for fun!" but it's hard to imagine that people don't understand that people are doing these things to be silly and have fun.

Would I do it in a serious situation or picture? Nope. Honestly, I'm more of a thumbs-up girl so that's just my personal preference for silly picture fun.
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:14 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
It's also why piisu.
Ooh! Janet Lynn! She was adorable! And that was a gold-medal performance, even WITH the fall.

As for the hand signs, idiots will be idiots.
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2013, 11:33 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Originally Posted by Sleeps With Butterflies View Post
This is the right answer IMHO. I know on the Straight Dope there are those "Why do people go to parties?" or "Why would anyone go to a bar?!?" or "Explain to me this thing called doing things for fun!" but it's hard to imagine that people don't understand that people are doing these things to be silly and have fun.
The appeal of bars and parties is easy enough to understand, unless you grew up a flipper baby scrounging for grubs in your parents' cellar. It's tougher to fathom what could possibly be "fun" about intentionally looking like a moron by flashing quasi-gang signs while being photographed. It's right up there with the mystery of duckface, which inexplicably continues to exist despite making multitudes look like complete idiots and nobody look cooler.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2013, 11:51 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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Many of those people don't even know it's a gang hand sign: they've seen someone they think is cool doing it and hey, what better way to be cool than to ape somebody else?
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  #16  
Old 06-13-2013, 12:09 AM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
The appeal of bars and parties is easy enough to understand, unless you grew up a flipper baby scrounging for grubs in your parents' cellar. It's tougher to fathom what could possibly be "fun" about intentionally looking like a moron by flashing quasi-gang signs while being photographed. It's right up there with the mystery of duckface, which inexplicably continues to exist despite making multitudes look like complete idiots and nobody look cooler.
This may come as a surprise but your opinion is not one that they care about.
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  #17  
Old 06-13-2013, 12:45 AM
Sleeps With Butterflies Sleeps With Butterflies is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
The appeal of bars and parties is easy enough to understand, unless you grew up a flipper baby scrounging for grubs in your parents' cellar. It's tougher to fathom what could possibly be "fun" about intentionally looking like a moron by flashing quasi-gang signs while being photographed. It's right up there with the mystery of duckface, which inexplicably continues to exist despite making multitudes look like complete idiots and nobody look cooler.
To each their own. I get your confusion. It's like how I don't understand people who feel the need to try to make jokes every.single.chance they get on messageboards just so a few people will tell them how funny they are. It's like they heard Michael Jordan talk about making so many baskets because he TRIED making so many baskets and they apply that to their joke telling (in)abilities. They inexplicably continue their hurdy durdy despite looking like a complete idiot more often than not.
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  #18  
Old 06-13-2013, 12:49 AM
CanvasShoes CanvasShoes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
This, this, and this are good examples of what I'm talking about.


mmm
I only know the first one. That one isn't a gang sign, that's "Rock Horns" or "Devil Horns" and it's ancient (back when I was a kid even ).

http://photobucket.com/images/rock%20horns?page=1

'Course a lot of people do them "wrong," you're supposed to hold the thumb in, out and it means "I love you" in ASL.
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  #19  
Old 06-13-2013, 12:58 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
This, this, and this are good examples of what I'm talking about.
I think the guy in the second picture is flashing a Blood sign and a Crip sign together.
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  #20  
Old 06-13-2013, 08:21 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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I just noticed that in my third example we get a bonus semi-duckface thrown in.

No extra charge, I hope.


mmm
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  #21  
Old 06-13-2013, 08:30 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Originally Posted by Sleeps With Butterflies View Post
To each their own. I get your confusion. It's like how I don't understand people who feel the need to try to make jokes every.single.chance they get on messageboards just so a few people will tell them how funny they are. It's like they heard Michael Jordan talk about making so many baskets because he TRIED making so many baskets and they apply that to their joke telling (in)abilities. They inexplicably continue their hurdy durdy despite looking like a complete idiot more often than not.
The balm for what chafes you is just an "ignore" button away, duckie.

Don't worry, can can always fling your little spitballs at me anonymously.
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  #22  
Old 06-13-2013, 09:54 AM
BubbaDog BubbaDog is offline
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I think it's because wearing coonskin fur coats and saying "23 skidoo" no longer works.
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  #23  
Old 06-13-2013, 10:08 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
This, this, and this are good examples of what I'm talking about.


mmm
What gangs are those signs for?
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2013, 10:43 AM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
This, this, and this are good examples of what I'm talking about.


mmm
I hereby partially retract my earlier statement to "most people probably don't think they're throwing gang signs and are more likely just throwing a "whut whut" sign or trying to do hip hop hands." That guy in the middle picture sure looks like he's trying to imitate throwing a gang sign, for reasons I can only guess at: trying to be funny, or trying to convery to the viewer that damn, it feels good to be a gangster, or perhaps that it ain't nothing but a G thing, baby. The woman on the left may be giving the devil horns, or reppin' her set the University of Texas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT
I don't see a single example of the signs people actually do in the photos.
Yeah, pretty sure the examples given were intended to be representative rather than exhaustive.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2013, 10:54 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
They're just doing it to be Shocking.
Ha, that's a whole other different hand sign...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
I think it's because wearing coonskin fur coats and saying "23 skidoo" no longer works.
Yeah, they all say "Audi 5000, G" or some variant thereof these days.
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  #26  
Old 06-13-2013, 01:26 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
What gang signs, specifically, do you see your friends holding up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
What gangs are those signs for?
Not sure where you're coming from, but neither authenticity nor knowledge of gang hand signs are requirements to be a gangsta wanna-be.


mmm

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 06-13-2013 at 01:26 PM..
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  #27  
Old 06-13-2013, 01:39 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
Not sure where you're coming from, but neither authenticity nor knowledge of gang hand signs are requirements to be a gangsta wanna-be.
True. You either have to pretend to kill somebody, or let your homies pretend to beat the shit out of you.
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  #28  
Old 06-13-2013, 01:45 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
Not sure where you're coming from, but neither authenticity nor knowledge of gang hand signs are requirements to be a gangsta wanna-be.


mmm
You appear to be under the impression that any hand signal is a gang sign.
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  #29  
Old 06-13-2013, 02:46 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
What gangs are those signs for?
The first woman is flashing the Latin Kings sign. The guy in the second picture, as I noted above, seems to be mixing half a Bloods sign with a Crips sign. The woman in the second picture may be doing a "Westside" sign but, if so, it's not the usual one. The woman in the third picture is doing the victory sign, which is used by gang members but is almost common with lots of other people.
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  #30  
Old 06-13-2013, 03:08 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Incidentally, the signs being thrown in this photo identify the subjects as possible members of MS-13.

Last edited by pravnik; 06-13-2013 at 03:11 PM..
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  #31  
Old 06-13-2013, 03:14 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
The first woman is flashing the Latin Kings sign.
Yeah, it's far more likely that a suburban white chick is doing the Latin Kings sign than the molocchio.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 06-13-2013 at 03:14 PM..
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  #32  
Old 06-13-2013, 03:35 PM
11811 11811 is offline
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They're just doing it to be Shocking.
I want to post a link to a pic of that Jane's Addiction album, but I won't because, boobs.
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  #33  
Old 06-13-2013, 03:38 PM
Nature's Call Nature's Call is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
This, this, and this are good examples of what I'm talking about.


mmm
And this?
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  #34  
Old 06-13-2013, 03:51 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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The individuals in this photo could be either identifying themselves as members of the Insane Vice Lords, or could be giving a crude hand gesture known as "the Shocker."

This man in these photographs could be affiliated with both MS-13 and the Latin Kings.

This woman could possibly be identifying herself as a member of Texas Prison Gang Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos.

ETA: Trying to be amusing, not snarky (although the signs are accurate).

Last edited by pravnik; 06-13-2013 at 03:54 PM..
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  #35  
Old 06-13-2013, 07:45 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
You appear to be under the impression that any hand signal is a gang sign.
You appear to be mistaken.


mmm
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  #36  
Old 06-13-2013, 11:15 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
This, this, and this are good examples of what I'm talking about.


mmm
Bunch of straight-up crazy gangsta bitches you got yourself there.
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  #37  
Old 06-13-2013, 11:20 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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They do it to show they're as cool as Mayor Rob Ford.
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  #38  
Old 06-14-2013, 04:30 AM
Sleeps With Butterflies Sleeps With Butterflies is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
The balm for what chafes you is just an "ignore" button away, duckie.
Why on earth would I want to put such a person on ignore, chickadee?

I like seeing homerun hitters in baseball because there is always a decent chance they'll knock the cover off the ball. I also always make sure I pay attention to the git who has the most strikeouts in the league because watching some guy swing and whiff at it and miss more often than others is always an amusing thing to behold. I wouldn't want to rob myself of that head shaking bewilderment by putting such a person on ignore.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:35 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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I knew you had a crush on me.
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  #40  
Old 06-14-2013, 11:47 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Well, you do make her think of baseball.
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  #41  
Old 06-14-2013, 12:36 PM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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Hm. I know I have been dickriding too hard (no harrasso) when I realize it never occurred to me that anyone might not find VT fucking hilarious. I thought it was a given that he is funny as hell.

ETA: I always thought the gang sign white people were just indulging in some clueless mockery. No biggie. Made them look kind of dumb to me though, yeah.

Last edited by Nzinga, Seated; 06-14-2013 at 12:38 PM..
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  #42  
Old 06-14-2013, 12:38 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Hm. I know I have been dickriding too hard (no harrasso)...
Person older than me is using slang I don't understand. Must kill self.
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  #43  
Old 06-14-2013, 12:49 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is online now
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White people are weird. *shakes head*
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  #44  
Old 06-15-2013, 04:34 PM
monstro monstro is online now
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I do ducklips when I'm about to pop a cap in yo ass.
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  #45  
Old 06-15-2013, 09:14 PM
InternetLegend InternetLegend is offline
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I do ducklips when I'm about to pop a cap in yo ass.
Our newspaper publishes the names and pictures of people who were convicted of DWI. Today, for the first time that I've seen, one of them was doing ducklips for his Public Shame Photo (no hands, though, so no hand signs).

Last edited by InternetLegend; 06-15-2013 at 09:16 PM..
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  #46  
Old 06-16-2013, 01:30 AM
scratch llll scratch llll is offline
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I do ducklips when I'm about to pop a cap in yo ass.
Well okay but only if you also have your ass hanging out and leave the ratty speakers crackling obscenities at top volume then tattoo a teardrop next to your eye after. Then it's props yo.

Afterall, you don't want anyone to mistake that you are clueless of how smart violent gangstaz do things. You might also want to get your crew together and beat a woman eight on one to show how tough you are. Then you can spray a crowd with bullets killing a two year old for that extra cool cache else somebody might make fun of you by throwing signs in pictures. The horror.
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  #47  
Old 06-16-2013, 11:08 AM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is online now
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Maybe it's related to the whole asian thing where they instinctively do the V sign thing?
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  #48  
Old 06-16-2013, 12:46 PM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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Gang signs in picture is a proud and ancient tradition, dating back to the renaissance.
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  #49  
Old 06-16-2013, 02:04 PM
Tioga Tioga is offline
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Many of those people don't even know it's a gang hand sign: they've seen someone they think is cool doing it and hey, what better way to be cool than to ape somebody else?
Nava is 100% correct.
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  #50  
Old 06-16-2013, 03:02 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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My sister and I have always flashed the ASL sign for I LOVE YOU to her kids when saying goodbye.

One day my sis got a call from the school that her kids were being suspended from school for flashing gang signals. she had to educate them, but never got an answer as to what gang, specifically, used that signal, which is similar to the Hang Loose or Hook em Horns. I mean, seriously folks.


What's funny is that wallyworld carries a line of LDS jewelry, and one of the necklaces has a pendant with that sign. Now, I'm not saying LDS isn't a gang of sorts, but come ON.

Last edited by Taomist; 06-16-2013 at 03:06 PM..
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