The other day your favorite Ostrich Killer attended a small, intimate concert held in a local music store. The musician played guitar and sang. He was exactly one day younger than I. You'd have thought we would have hit it off.
His presentation was a memoir of his own life (I can barely tolerate memoirs,) his mother, his nanny, his father to whom he referred with both disdain and charity, and Texans to whom he referred with less charity. Then he decided to explain to the assembled listeners his thinking about politics, world hunger, religion, the nature of love, and left brain and right brain people after first making sure we all understood that he considered himself a right brainer.
Right brainers, he implied strongly, are artistic and left brainers are thinkers and therefore not artistic, are indeed the trouble with the world and the source of all mankind's strife and suffering. We, the captive audience, sat there and, glancing around, I saw that most of us were smiling and nodding knowingly. Apparently most of us were right brainers.
Left brainers, according to our right brained entertainer, have few significant artistic skills because they are naturally inclined to think about things, instead of expressing artistically. A left brainer's thinking abilities are unsuited to learning art, even should a left brainer wish to. Art and rationality are, it would appear, too different to coexist inside the same head.
On the way home this began to amuse me. Here was a self-proclaimed right brainer telling us that left brainers - thinkers - were incapable of art because they think. So, I thought (sorry, a left brainer sort thing), is a right brainer incapable of thinking because they do art? If a thinker can't do art, what makes a right brainer decide he can think and figure things out? And if a right brainer is as incapable of thinking as a left brainer is of art, why should any of us care what a right brainer has to say?
The obvious answer is that we shouldn't. A more subtle answer is that no two people have identical art / rationality mixes inside them, and that rationality is more likely an aid to artistic expression than a hindrance. The inverse, though, especially to people like our concert entertainer who think in either/ors, is unlikely to be true.
As Barbara Streisand has been told many times, "Shut up and sing."