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I’m a Blowhard!

February 7, 2013

Even though I have not had readers clamoring for an explanation as to why I have cut back writing on this blog, I’m going to give you one anyway.

For years now, I have enjoyed doing economic research through the internet, because it allowed an alternative to all the talking heads on financial news programs or other media forums. However, I have noticed a bothersome trend over the last couple of years. Everyone on the internet is becoming a self-proclaimed expert.

It is rare that anyone is doing their own research or independent analysis. It seems all these bloggers clip and paste and look for the most outlandish title to the blog post to attract the most viewers. It all seems like self-edifying plagiarism; which seems quite contradictory, at least in my mind.

I remember one evening being particularly frustrated by one of these blogger’s YouTube clips that teetered on the obscene and made such exaggerated and unsupported claims that I concluded it is all a waste of time.

“Who does this blowhard think he is?” I protested as I shut down my computer. “What makes this imbecile think he has anything worth listening to? The world is full of these pontificating buffoons! Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you are entitled to waste other people’s time.”

I began to reflect on the many TV shows, radio shows, websites, blogs, etc. etc. that seem to play on extreme emotions. The more outrageous, obnoxious, and animated the talking head, the more popular the show or blog. I thought “whatever happened to constructive analysis or critical thinking?” We have 300 million people in this country and 290 million bloggers — with each of them being some kind of expert in something.

As I finished this thought, it suddenly dawned on me — “I’m a blowhard!” I have my opinionated blog site and just why do I think I have anything worth listening to?

That was a couple of months ago and while I haven’t completely stopped blogging, I have decided to be just a bit more discerning in expressing my opinions.

Funny story: I was meeting an old friend at Starbucks this week and midway into our visit, a man walked past who was talking very loudly into his cell phone. He came back around a couple of minutes later and made it impossible for me to carry on a conversation with my friend. The man’s conversation on the phone hit all the hot button issues and made him sound just like the overly opinionated and obnoxious talk show host-type of guy I referenced above. I thought to myself that it only takes an audience of one to morph into the expert commentator — actually, I’m fairly certain there was no one on the other end of the line; or if there was, he only had one eardrum left. I think this guy thought his audience was those trying to carry on a quiet conversation, or drink their coffee in peace. You see, he was a self-proclaimed expert just like me.

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One Comment
  1. Brent Newman permalink
    February 10, 2013 10:52 pm

    Nice self-reflection Jon. I hope you keep writing though. 🙂

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