Today was International Left-Handers Day, but since we live in a bigoted, rightist society that persecutes people like me and keeps us ignorant of our rich and noble heritage, even I, a literal leftist all my life, didn’t find out until an hour ago, after all the left-handed restaurants and left-handed dance clubs had already closed for the evening.
But such is life as one of history’s most notoriously abused minorities.
I write, throw, punch, and jerk off with my left hand. You could saw off my right arm, and it would make no difference in my daily comings and goings.
Although roughly ten percent of the population is now left-handed, the quotient a hundred years ago was only about three percent. Some believe this is due to the savage ostracism—and hence lower reproductive rates—suffered by left-handers.
The modern word “left” derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “weak.” The Latin word for “left” is the root of the modern English word “sinister,” and the Frogs refer to my side of the world as gauche. In centuries past, left-handers were thought to be demon-possessed, and as recently as a generation ago, lefties were either beaten severely or had their left hand tied behind their back in order to discourage them from using their naturally dominant hand. They still tell me to raise my right hand to take oaths and to cover my heart with my right hand to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. And the world is built with the “right” people in mind.
We southpaws are controlled by a different side of the brain than the rest of you. We tend to be more creative and intelligent than you right-winged drones. I count Barack Obama, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, and Charlie Chaplin among my brethren.
Jack the Ripper, too.