Current Essays

Run your cursor gently over Rowie's ear to 'ear the essay.

Right On, Left Out On:2001-02-07 09:19:08

Good morning.
Please put aside what you are doing for a moment and sit down and compose yourself in a dignified and responsible manner.Today I'm going to try to engage your sympathy. You see I am, unfortunately, a member of both of the only two groups that can, in today's society, be safely, and with propriety, subject to open prejudice and discrimination.

Yes as a Dead White European Male who is also left handed, I am doubly cursed. Please don't look on this as a sinister bit of gaucherie. The fact is that the left handed don't seem to have any rights at all. All you need to do to see just how bad it is, is to use your left hand to pick up a pair of those clever, moulded-handled scissors that are so viciously designed for the right-handed and try to cut some Bristol board. Oh! The grooves, the agony---my thumb gets dislocated just thinking about it. But it's not merely the tools and devices that are so cunningly wrought to maim us or to reduce our life expectancy, no it's the way that slights and insults have been so inextricably intertwined into the language that really hurts. The list is long and horrible and rotten, I used a few earlier and I bet you didn't even notice. Some examples:
Sinister which is of course the Latin for left.
Then look at all those Left-handed compliments Simon pays me.
And there's Gauche from French
And Maladroit those damned French again
Some are too vile to be explained on the air---even though the term kak-handed combines Dutch etymology with experience of Middle Eastern theories of hygiene in such an interesting way I wouldn't dare even to mention it on air. And I do wish I knew what all that stuff about coming out of left field meant. Compare that list with the right-handed terms: Dextrous, adroit and then there are all those words related to right that suggest straightness and rule and correctness.
Even to call someone ambidextrous is to slight their left hand by suggesting that with a bit of luck it might be equal to their right.

I think I know why all this calumny is heaped on us! I think it's jealousy plain and simple and it's because all the world's great geniuses have been left handed.

From beyond Leonardo down past Einstein it's the one thing that the brilliant and the great-minded have in common. So if your child is left handed ignore the slights and the danger and take heart, it could be another Leonardo or an Einstein or even, with luck, another me

Cheerio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton

<-- Go Back

Home | Essays | Notes | Gallery | Miscellany | Contact

ÐISCLAIMER - I claim ðis!

All contents including writing, cartooning, music, and photography unless otherwise specified are
copyright © 1965-2023 and Richard Howland-Bolton. All Rights Reserved.
All logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.
Web work* by
*as distinct from Wetwork