As the act of "taking the knee" becomes an increasingly familiar prelude to organised events at sports arenas, supermarkets, old people's homes and mental institutions up and down the county, we ask: has a time-honoured and rather more old fashioned gesture lost its significance? Our Virtue Signalling Correspondent Holly Erthanthow writes ...
Once upon a time one of the most significant and powerful messages that any human being could send out to another was the simple act of "giving him [occasionally her] the elbow". This highly nuanced gesture - which, strangely did not always involve the use of an actual elbow [a flattened palm or even a good lower arm shove often sufficed] - was a clear signal that something - usually a relationship - was at an end. As with so many similarly highly-charged social gestures, being on the wrong end of "an elbow" was an uncomfortable experience and it was well-said that it was a classic example of something which it was "far better to give than receive"*.
* a phrase later adopted by many members of the Hinton Martell homosexual community and generally advised by doctors during the current CONTRIK-69 crisis.
Observed in many mammal species [but unknown in birds and less-developed amphibians where the absence of prominent elbows meant substitution with a shoulder was pretty much obligatory**] "giving the elbow" seems to be a natural reflexive action rather than an example of learned behaviour and possibly one which has its origins in Australopithecus's need to "sort out the right partner" in the long-term evolutionary stakes. [Readers with unimpaired memory retention will remember the case of Pilsden Man - the skeleton discovered in the Pilsden bogs in 1936 by Professor [Vere] Gordon Child-Okeford. Forensic analysis showed that the man [actually a woman] had developed pronounced bony extensions to her elbows suggesting that she had rejected at least as many suitors as she had accepted.]
** it is a common but classic mistake to confuse a "shoulder barge" with the act of "giving the elbow" - a schoolboy error given that one leads to displacement where the other, more frequently leads to replacement and the opportunity to repeat the gesture on another out-of-favour subject. Anthropologists believe that early humans developed the more advanced "elbow" technique to delineate between a temporary lack of favour and a more permanent revoking of sexual favours. Interestingly the modern game of soccer also maintains the distinction - the shoulder barge being legal whilst the elbow remains a yellow- or red-cardable no-no. [See Desmond Morris-Minor  "Ancient Taboos and Modern Day Sport: The Animal Inside Us All [Especially David Luis]" The Threadbone Press].]
Returning to the present day, University of Afpuddle Chair of Social Behaviour, Progressive Marxism, Child Indoctrination and Online Shopping, Professor Letts Catchem-Yung, believes that whilst we can bring about profound social change by "taking the knee" [at least until the start of the next Premiere League season or when hostile racist crowds return to our stadiums whichever is the sooner], we can achieve just as much for Women's and LTBGQ rights by reinvigorating our historic ability to "give the elbow" to those whose presence in our circle is no longer to be countenanced. "And always remember", she says, "the general height disadvantage suffered by most women means that a well-aimed "elbow" can give him one where it really hurts - right in the nuts and no mistake".
As Aristotle sagely observed in the Poetics (Greek: Περὶ ποιητικῆς; Latin: De Poetica c. 335 BC) (Bk VIII Politics): "Η λήψη του γόνατος είναι προσωρινή, αλλά η αγκώνα είναι μόνιμη" ["I lípsi tou gónatos eínai prosoriní, allá i ankóna eínai mónimi"] ["Taking the knee is temporary but giving the elbow is permanent"].
If perusing the Poetics see also [and perhaps rearrange into a meaningful sentence]: Hamartia [miscalculation], Peripeteia [reversal], Opsis [spectacle - as in "of oneself"] and Nemesis [retribution]
Additional historical research by Anne St Gestures
From The Threadbone Pocket Dorset Dictionary:
the joint between the forearm and the upper arm.
as in "she propped herself up on one elbow", "she gave him the elbow and shagged his brother instead"