Everyone is an Expert
Spoons Editorial
Posted by Spoonman on 12/29/06 12:00am.

A Categorical Dialogue between Mr. Spoon Esq. and the reader ensues below:

I'm against freedom of speech.

(Oh that's a laugh, Mr. "Spoon's Editorial")

Well, let me rephrase that. I'm just get perturbed by the recent surfiet of self established demagogues.

(Elaborate, please?)

I guess this is going to be difficult to generalize. Let me get specific:

The most popular sites on the Internet today are those that cater to the most fundamental of human goals: the apotheosis of the self. Facebook, MySpace, Blog-anything, Wikipedia, and Youtube are all founded around one basic principle - the user is the focal point.

Facebook and MySpace are the ultimate egotism - existing only to showcase the self. A quick look around MySpace will show you countless highschoolers in melodramatic poses trying to sound intellectual or, in lieu of that, simply far more grown up than they really are. I'll say it once and for all: society is laughing at you.

Wikipedia is unique in that it has a communal goal - the goal of free knowledge. Admirable, sure. But the real allure is that everything on there is provided by us - the proletariats. I mean, I've heard horror stories of underground teams of nerds who check Wiki updates every hour on the hour to edit out falsity, but even still, just about anyone can slip his or her opinion into an article undetected.

Blogging and Youtube are the worst culprits of this culture of faux-expertise, however, as both of them raise the ordinary untrained individual to the status of a public figure. On Youtube, people like you and me are posting video broadcasts giving their opinions of sensitive topics - and what's worse - other people are listening!

(I still want to say that the irony is not lost on me, Mr. Fatophobic Self Serving Bureaucrat)

"Well right, you are in the right, and so I see it fit that we shake hands and part each as his business and desire may point him, for every man hath business and desire" (1)

No, you might as well not read this column by my own convictions, but allow me one point on which I can prove myself unique - this column is chiefly about entertainment, secondarily about self-reflection (2). I'm not trying to showcase my views in an attempt to influence yours. I went back and bolded that last sentence because I think it encapsulates a lot of what I've been trying to establish over the years - that everyone is entitled to his or her views, but no one is entitled to sharing them in an obnoxious manner.

Let's make an example of ol' Wobert. His entire column dwelled on picking things that he found offensive, stupid, or silly, and clubbing you with (well-written) subjective judgments as to why his opinion was correct. Quite frankly, not many people cared whether tight pants were bad for little girls and were more interested in seeing Wobert give himself apoplexy trying to convince us so.

To get back on track, let's look at when I said "On Youtube, people like you and me are posting video broadcasts giving their opinions of sensitive topics - and what's worse - other people are listening!" (3)

On Youtube (or Blogs) lots of people (men, women, teenagers, adults, and everything in between) are giving their own commentary and view on any number of issues. What peeves me is the degree to which special "experts" are beginning to arise. I hear every day of frequently subscribed Youtube channels or Blogs and it really boggles me. Since when did your neighbor become an expert political commentator? Why should I listen to a four minute spiel on religion? Or economics? Or culture, or "society" or whatever you people are calling it? WHAT ARE YOUR CREDENTIALS?

To be fair, there are a number of blogs written by professors, political analysts, financial analysts, economists, and the like, but my real outrage is against the randos (4) out there who gain a following spewing (sometimes badly written) personal opinion.

(Couldn't one make the argument that if a rando Youtubes or Blogs using researched sources, a neutral or objective tone, and good grammar and spelling then its (5) work, however unqualified through lack of established merits, should be considered valid?)

Sorry, Cakey-cakes, but I'm going to have to stand firm on this one. Professors, economists, paid commentators, movie critics, and your friends and relatives all have one thing in common: They are asked, and often paid, to share their opinions. Randos on the Internet, even "intellectual"(6) randos (often the worst kind) are never asked. They are just throwing this stuff out there. The immensity of the self-congratulatory spirit in people irks me like none else.

"I have a Bachelor's in Political Science so I'm qualified to blog about current events. No. Eat me, you lurd. If I want an opinion on current events, I'll use rationality to pick a source that I can confirm is either (as per my liking) not heavily biased, or very heavily biased. I prefer the former, there are many who prefer the latter. Searching through a list of blogs that cite their sources with online news or publications or Wikipedia (a double whammy) is like letting the blind lead the blind.

(Uhh, you changed your point of attack there, Mr. Spoon - you were talking about the invalidity of work even by those who make an honest effort to use objective and reasonable sources when blogging and slid off into a diatribe against online publications and other non-objective sourcing)

I know, that's why I separated paragraphs. In all seriousness, though, even if a blog or Youtube channel is objective and rational, there has got to be a hell of a lot of pretense in its origination. If you are an expert in a field, why not share your knowledge through conventional means? I entirely equate running a blog or videolog with self glorification. Even Wikipedia has usernames so we can find out who made what edits. I challenge you thus: If you really care about sharing knowledge of the issues (irrespective of the fact that there are more vetted and tried and true sources out there, and that no one asked you) then write a blog without your name or anything about yourself on it. Wear a funny mask in your Youtube skits. I swear, half of Youtube is douchey guys and emo-girls trying to look hot while talking about the ethics of staying the course in Iraq

While I still won't read your anonymous work, I'll at least credit you with not being a thorough egotist.

(Fair enough)

Closing remarks: Let me start by saying, as in many occasions, I realize the irony of a post like this on my editorial (*cough*blog*cough). Let me reiterate that I'm just hear to entertain and self reflect. Half the stuff in here is not understood by the readers because it consists of inside jokes between me and myself. Snapple , and stories like it are badly written, contain no literary weight, and were designed to appeal primarily to people who know me personally and understand the people and places I describe. Spoon's Editorial only has the agenda of restoring balance and promoting spooniness. That was not Spiro Agnew on the phone with me a second ago. The following is a list of people who are not experts in anything:

1) Spoonman (me)
2) You (unless you have a doctorate, I guess)
3) Your parents
4) The kids you sit with at lunch
5) Maddox (but he's also about entertainment
6) Teenagers
7) Your Youth-Group leader
8) Your favorite band (they are sellouts, trust me)
9) cool kids
10) losers
11) randos.

(1) (Hamlet.1.v. from rough memory)
(2) My proof for the self reflective nature of Spoon's Editorial editorial is the degree to which I jump around from idea to idea, the oblique references to my other posts, the oblique references to things I've read recently, and the insufficient (nonexistent) editing that takes place before a post is made public)
(3) See above. Yes, footnoting a document in itself. That was the joke for this post.
(4) Rando - N. (local dialect) Any person you don't know. From English "Random". Usage I walked into a room full of randos (I walked into a room full of random people who I didn't know) Eat me.
(5) "Rando", being a genderless noun, takes the personal pronoun "it" rather than "he" or "she"
(6) (And I assure you that I use this term in a sense which should be considered looser than your mom)(7)
(7) See my post "Collage" 05/25/05 - Footnote of a footnote was the other joke for this post.
...and the part about Agnew and the list of people were stolen from another of my posts.

Proudly written between 2:30 and 3am and not edited for content or sentence mechanics.

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Anyababie @ 01/04/07
"Biggest self-call ive ever seen. "

shoelacelove @ 06/12/07
"I know a man named Mr. Rando."

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