Rants in the Pants, Episode 2

I really messed up last time. Let the air right out of the piece I did.

Your first question would be, “Was that air tainted with dangerous CO2 and killer methane?” I can unequivocally state that no CO2 nor killer methane was released when I let the air out of my piece. But thank you for asking.

Your second question, of course, is, “What is this guy talking about?”

Well, I messed up. That’s something most public figures won’t admit. Most of them will just dance around the mistake prevaricating as they go. I want you to have confidence in me and what I say so I’m admitting my mistake. By now you are probably squirming in your seat with a major wedgie wondering what this is all about. Here it is. Where I fell afoul was by not letting you know I’m an expert thus giving credence to my words. There’s a good reason for that. Some would say, “excuse,” but it’s a reason because I am a reasonable person.

Most experts do not want to attach their name to their work and that is why you hear the phrase, “experts say,” so much. For one thing, some of us are shy and don’t want notoriety when we speak on big topics such as climate change, the various diseases and cures going around or the progress of the many wars we are engaged in. We just couldn’t stand all that publicity. Think shrinking violets.

But that’s not most of us. We would take the accolades, even if they are fleeting because some idiot somehow later proved our statements wrong. The problem is it’s not safe for us or our families. There are people out there who might disagree with an expert in an unreasonable and violent way. Once they have a name, they will hunt you and your family down. You will be marked for harassment or, worse, extermination. This could turn into a big “get rid of the experts’ party” and we could lose many of our experts. Who then would be around to interpret events and politicians’ statements for us?

I can read your mind right now and you are asking, “What makes this guy an expert?” Part of being an expert, which I have just demonstrated to you, is the ability to anticipate questions in the public mind. Another part is life experience. However, the biggest part is the amount of paper we have earned. Why, I have so many degrees it would take me all day to list them, so I won’t bother you with the details. If I then added in all my life experience, that would take another hour or so and you would be bored to death. Just believe me when I say something because I am an expert, something you aren’t.

Now the next time a newscaster or a columnist cite an expert, I expect that after reading this persuasive essay, you will not go asking any questions such as, “Who is this expert anyway?” or “What does this expert really know?” and especially, “Who signs their paycheck?” You will just accept what they say confident that they know what they are talking about and have your best interests in mind because they are experts.

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