Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

I actually have two dirty little secrets:

1. I'm a professional musician and I write computer programs; and,
2. I'm a professional computer programmer and I play the guitar professionally.

There... thank gawd I've got that off my chest.

In our right brain, left brain society, few people consider that there can be hideous hybrids among us who actually use both lobes of the brain, sometimes... gasp... AT THE SAME TIME!!! In my case, it's exacerbated by occasionally writing assembly code and dabbling in hillbilly music... dang ol' microprocessors anyway.

I don't even remember which activities are supposedly consigned to which brain half. I do know that, whether this is fair or not, a certain amount of distrust is created in others when they learn that you're not like them. The art students learn their faithful, former friend took a business class! The accountant's client realizes his once reliable reckoner writes poetry! Ah... the betrayal is beyond belief.

With a passion that I've only seen elsewhere in Canadians who discover other famous Canadians, I have collected a small, but representative group of these left/right brained mutants who threaten the fabric of society. Ready to name names?

Leonardo Di Vinci -- painter, sculptor, mathematician, scientist; so diverse in his activities that the term, Renaissance Man, is virtually synonymous with his name. Don't you just wonder what sort of music he might gravitate towards in today's world... I'm guessin' Hillbilly.

Robert Persig -- though maybe a little inclined toward the technical side, his Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is the primer on the pathology of Bilobalism. (Note: I just made up this word and I claim common law copyright as of this moment!)

Charles Ives -- American modernist composer and pioneer in (gasp) life insurance and estate planning. If this weren't shameful enough, Ives was also a standout athlete at Yale. He was fond of Stephen Foster's music, which was certainly the hillbilly of its time.

Brian May -- writer of "Fat Bottomed Girl" and "We Will Rock You", former Queen guitarist, astrophysicist and current Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. "Betrayer of purity... we will rock you, indeed! Let us begin the gathering of the stones!", shouts the rabble in Monty Python voices. "Thing Called Love" is arguably akin to hillbilly.

Hedy Lamarr - Paragon of beauty and major contract star during MGM's "Golden Age". She was a math whiz and developed the basis for spread-spectrum communications technology used in WiFi and Bluetooth. Lamarr co-starred with Bob Cummings, who was born in Joplin, MO, Gateway to the Ozarks... you can't get more hillbilly than that!

And here's a good collection of Musicians with PhDs.

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