Happy Left-Handers Day

Hendrix and Oprah
Wednesday is Left-Handers Day, a day to pay tribute to the roughly 10% of the species whose dominant paw is the one to the south.

The frustrations lefties endure — in a world which is definitely set up to favor those more dexterous on their right sides — don’t cross the minds of the right-handed many all that often. But special guitars and sporting gear are often required (or perhaps, as in the case of Jimi Hendrix, the leftie is forced to sling and string his/her axe upside-down). Knuckles are frequently scraped by potato-peelers and corkscrews that want the leftie to conform.

There’s something to be said, perhaps, for inborn non-comformity, though. Many of the world’s most powerful and successful people are left handed. Seven U.S. presidents, for example, including Reagan, Clinton, Bush the elder, and yes Barack Obama, are/were southpaws.

Oprah? Sure.

Bill Gates? You betcha.

Babe Ruth, da Vinci, Napoleon, Einstein, all left-handed. Ned Flanders, Montgomery Burns, Moe Szyslak, also left-handed.

What does it mean? We’re not sure, really. It’s been suggested that the brains of the left-handed are structured in a peculiar way that finds them excelling in language and spatial relations. But, we’re not smart-enough — like left-handed people apparently are — to know if that’s true or not.

It should go without saying that BuzzFeed has a list of famous lefties, and here it is.

Paul McCartney is not left-handed, in actuality, at least not in most areas, but for various reasons he learned how to play guitar that way. So, particularly as the left-handed usually speak of him as one of their own, he counts. Here he is live, from 1976: