In A Democracy, You Don’t Have To Be An Expert…

To have an opinion.

This really grated for some reason.  I know, I know, it’s in the Comments section, and only d-bags read the Comments section, but still….

Laura, I think points #1 and #4 are intertwined. The A-listers, and the other bloggers (especially the political bloggers) who are now employed by magazines and think-tanks, have fallen prey to one of the things that made most newspaper columnists so deathly stale: the need to present themselves as Experts on Everything. There’s a modesty to niche-blogging that’s refreshing: I can read about medieval history, or gardening, or book design, or bank regulation, or whatever, without having to suffer through posts on Iranian politics by someone who only started thinking about the subject fifteen minutes ago. Many of those big bloggers don’t poke around the Web as much as they used to, and that’s a shame, because they’re now more likely to become nothing more than the next generation of tedious know-it-alls.

I hope I don’t come off as a tedious know-it-all, and if I do, I hope that this anonymous commenter never reads Blogbytom.  But still, I think that it takes some nerve to assert that you can’t have an opinion about anything that you want to have an opinion about–or, that you should keep those opinions to yourself until the Real Experts have their say.  I try to stay away from things that I can’t really speak to, but if I feel qualified to make a pithy remark about George Will thinking I’m dumb, I’m going to do it.  If I feel like I can tangle with Charles Krauthammer and Ron Paul, I’m going to do it.  If I think Maureen Dowd is a vapid little shit, I’m going to announce it to the world, or about 200 of you.

In other fucking words, any reasonably well educated person can form a reasonable opinion about a whole host of things that don’t rest in their area of expertise.  I was a philosophy major in school, and I focused on aesthetic theory and the Greeks.  I could probably blog once a day about aesthetic issues and the Greeks, because both interest me.  But I don’t want to.  I want to talk shit about Maureen Dowd!  And put up pictures of LOLcats and shit!  And in a democracy, wherein a well-informed electorate theoretically makes well-informed decisions about the direction in which they’d like their country to head, that behavior is to be expected and encouraged–not snide-talked as tedious know-it-all-ism.

Hey, motherfuckers.  Guess what?  It’s LOLcat day!



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