Left-Hand Path


More work shenanigans lead to more questionings of the point behind certain behaviours….

Yesterday at lunch break, whilst I was indulging in a few Maccy D morsels (shut up!) I was warned by a Muslim colleague of mine to not eat with my left hand. He’d previously said the same thing earlier, while I wolfed down a pre-work breakfast. Whilst supremely irritating to be given directions as to how to best use my body by another – especially without my seeking such “advice” – this whole right hand bias is nothing new to me. I find it’s also a niggling trait of Ghanaian (African?) culture too, to the point where one can get slapped on the arm for leading with the left.

Stupidity, replicated amongst a populace, fast grows into the monster of “tradition” it would seem…

I’ve heard various explanations for this cultural craze, from the doctrine that “one shouldn’t use the hand one wipes with on the toilet” (disregarding right-handed arse wipers), to the explanation from my workmate – of the left hand being “the Devil’s Hand” (like that’d be expected to work on a guy who admires the character of Lucifer – if anything it’s encouragement!). The first explanation is laughable considering a)the high level of sanitation we have at our utility at this point in time and b)the fact that meals are prepared using both hands anyway so it’s “soiled” before it even gets to the table – anyone know of any one-handed chefs? As far as I’m concerned, as long as my hands aren’t caked in X layers of shit when I’m at the table, who gives a fuck what hand I use? As for the second point, well….haha…those free from religious mandates need not apply. That argument soon dissolved in the face of my proclaimed (lack of a) religious philosophy…

Which led up to another point of contention….

Why is it that people are all too ready to conflate atheism with nihilism? Is it because they’d be lost without their externally planned path to pie-in-the-sky? Responses such as “Atheist? Go away – you must believe in something!” are very telling. However much I may like my workmates, I must say that some of them seem stricken by the “bow down or die” bug – the idea that religion (or law) is the first and final arbiter of the ethical realm. Hence the idea that figures like Mohammed, Moses and Jesus were mediums for, rather than manufacturers – makers – of the Divine Word. how can sources passed down through many hands across the ages be trusted so blindly and unswervingly by some? This always buggers my comprehension.

Customs and rituals, replicated through time, becoming “truth” – are these sacred cows that must be venerated and respected?

Fuck that! In the name of my survival and my sustenance, I’d gladly cull, cook and consume these sacred cows – all with the aid of my unreviled left hand…

…and when I shit it all out at the other end, guess which hand will be again waiting to clean up the mess* ?


* With toilet roll, mind you – who actually scoops with their naked hand? Ewwww! Come on, people….

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12 Responses to Left-Hand Path

  1. lousy_timing says:

    It’s funny, because I’m really more atheist than agnostic, but I believe in a lot of things. In fact, I’d say that I believe in a lot of things that are more centrally true and less likely to harm any other individual or group than do “believers” from other religions. I believe everyone- regardless of religion- should be allowed freedom of thought and belief, and even action, unless said action is prohibited by law.
    That said, it doesn’t stop anyone from misunderstanding me.
    A God-fearing Christian who married my mother and adopted us as his “own children” did, however, sexually abuse my sister repeatedly, and physically abuse me until I stopped using my left hand and began using my right, even though it meant I had to go to special education classes to relearn many things. Better that, though, than to be possessed by the devil, n’est pas?

  2. jdcooper says:

    if they were a one-handed chef, that would be the hand they use to wipe their arse anyway, and then they wouldnt be able to turn the tap on, so a one-handed chef would be even worse. plus it would take fucking ages because theyd have to put everything down all the time to do other stuff, and theyd need a mahoussive kitchen for all the putting down space. one-handed chefs suck.

  3. jsangspar says:

    In African culture, I can see the left-hand thing coming from 1800s-and-earlier Christian teachings (up til around the 1800s they would actually tie down the left hands of left-handed children and force them to use their right hands in school). Not sure where it comes from for Muslims.

  4. ex_req431 says:

    what an awesome post. *swooning*

  5. ghostdog_ says:

    Yet another reason why sticking to any religious dogma makes all of no sense.

  6. noshot says:

    I find it a coincidence…we both post about the same subjects at roughly the same time!

    • MRDA says:

      You’re talking about the religious angle, right?

      • noshot says:

        That, and I think there were a few other times that you posted about the same thing as me. Either that, or at least I was thinking about the same thing around that time. It’s like you read my mind and then write about it!

  7. phyrbyrd says:

    I believe in lots of things. I believe in sky, and chicken, and white towelling dressing gowns, and tea. I also suspect that if there is a supreme god, it is Anansi, or Loki, or Pan, and the only law that counts is Murphy’s.

    • MRDA says:

      Heheheh – you worship some….interesting deities…
      Hope you had a great b-day, BTW!

      • phyrbyrd says:

        Thanks! And I never said I worshipped them, although the tea obsession is a debatable point. I just believe in them. I believe in you, too, although it’s possible I could be dreaming you. I mean, it’s impossible for you or anyone else to prove conclusively that you exist, so I’ll just stick to believing you do, and that’s quite enough faith from me.

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