Threading the Needle
In 2075, Saint Vitus Dance returns to the advanced capitalist economies, originating through unknown causes (though popular theories include tainted vaccines, government conspiracy, and/or meatfarms). Soon, people discover that the disease can be transmitted person to person via intimate contact.
As a result, society develops a variety of strategies for performance of fine motor skills. There is a resurgence of everything, from Tai Chi to cursive handwriting, ballroom dancing and model airplane building. All the archaic physical skills return with a vengeance amongst young, affluent professionals. Naturally, the costs of accessing obsolete formats like video and text for purposes of instruction are exorbitantly high as are the training simulators used to teach them, so the New Age of Delicacy, as it comes to be known is largely experienced by those with the means to learn the old ways.
However, amongst working class individuals, an alternate set of delicate gestures emerges to signify that one is not suffering loss of fine motor skills. The most popular, Threading the Needle, as it is called, becomes of a dominant style of public sitting. Young people, sometimes numbering in the thousands, gather in public spaces to sit, feed small fibers through tiny eyelets in a metal or, more commonly, plastic needle. This gesture becomes an important playground ritual, with pre-pubescent children miming the gesture as a mock performance of desire, to tease classmates about alleged romantic interest in other members of their peer group.
This gesture (and various phenomenological representations of it) becomes shorthand in persuasive media for a person who uses free trial versions of products without purchasing licenses. In other words, a loser.
Jeff T. Johnson