Friday, June 22, 2012

The Universal Brotherhood of the Experts on Everything

They say a lot of things, and one of the things they say is that there exists a species of hominid known as The Expert. Maybe it’s more of a tribe, really. An eternal secret society.

I picture them now – The Experts, I mean – standing around somewhere, experting. They’re wearing woolen hoods. Dark, woolen robes. The robes are tied at the waist with long golden ropes. You can’t see their faces, and if you did see their faces, you’d probably turn to stone for all the wisdom coming at you. And the eyes, the eyes sparkle with the knowledge that is full to bursting in the space behind them.

There might be nimbuses involved.  

These Experts, we don’t ever really see them, of course. You don’t and I don’t, that is. It’s probably because we don’t hang out in the right places – we don’t hang out in ivory towers, on mountain tops, or wherever it is The Expertsin those aforementioned long, dark woolen robes, with their hidden eyes, wherever it is they all hang out.

Would you… could you… ever deign to join their ranks?

Out here – in the mean world of flesh and blood and cum and virus – I can’t find any Experts. Not even one. Not even using a flashlight, a rape whistle, and a pick axe or two. Not even a lousy mid-grade journeyman Expert who hasn’t earned his robe yet. Out here, I can’t even find anybody who can help me locate the rogue sheet of paper in the copy machine when the copy machine gets jammed.

Seven people standing around, toner up to their elbows, shaking their heads sadly.

And then the Copy Machine Man comes out and for a moment, you think, “Aha! Finally! The Copy Machine Man! Maybe he’s one of The Experts.”  You think maybe he is just on the downlow. Like he’s trying to throw everybody off by wearing a nametag and a clip-on tie instead of a dark, woolen hood.  Clark Kent with a staple puller.

But five minutes later and he’s yelling at you – yelling at what is now a crowd of eleven employees moping around the copy machine. He’s yelling, “Your problem is you’re using bad paper! So long as you use bad paper, you’re going to keep having paper jams!”

Bad paper? But it only gets jammed once every other month. Is the paper moody?

Bad paper? Hey, don’t blame me, buddy. I didn’t make it. The package said “Hi Quality!”  The “Hi”  was emphasized. Blame the trees, I guess.

Q:        What are you rebelling against, Bad Paper?
A:        What’ve ya got?

Online, though, it’s a-whole-nother story. Online, everybody is one of The Experts. And not in just in one area – oh no! – these folks are all among the Universal Brotherhood of The Experts on Everything. Just check out the comments section of any news site and you’ll see ‘em. I don’t know how they do so much typing. Those woolen hoods must be a bitch to keep from blocking the view of the monitor.

Politics, law, and medicine.

Economics, history, and automotive repair. Chemistry. Astrophysics. Any religion you can name or any religion that has ever existed or any religion that anybody’s ever dreamed of starting up!

They are all Experts on birth certificates. Statistics and botany and micro-psychopharmacology! Linguistics and electrical engineering and carpentry, welding, and glass-blowing, too!

They are online every day, 24 hours a day and seven days a week because, as you would expect, The Experts are all independently wealthy and do not need to work. And most of them post anonymously, just giving  this knowledge away! That’s because they are so modest, I suppose…

Online, everybody is the smartest person in the room.

The other day, I was reading a blog and the blog was about huge population changes here in the Western world. About who’s having kids, who’s not. And I have to say, it was sure interesting stuff and the kind of information I’d never be able to cite for you, or not off the top of my head, anyway. I commented on it, because when someone puts time in to posting a blog and I put time in to reading it, I figure, hell, they deserve at least a “Hi”

So I read and I thunk, and then I gathered up all my nerve, put my fingers to the keys and I posted this comment:
“That is some wild stuff. The thing is, when it comes to future population changes, I don’t think we have a model to base any predictions on. So we don’t know what these changes will do on down the line. Climatologist James Lovelock says that the earth can probably permanently sustain 100 million people living at a 1st world standard of living, but there’s no way to know for sure! What will 2052 look like?”
And this blogger, he wrote back to me. He wrote:
“That’s hogwash. Lovelock is an idiot. EVERYBODY KNOWS that the more the Earth’s population increases, the less UNDERpopulated the planet becomes. I have studied this extensively. There doesn’t need to be a model to prove that. You commies and your eco-religions are wasting my valuable time!”
It turns out this guy was one of The Experts! He did not need a model. I had wasted his valuable time.

I am not an Expert on anything.

But I’m looking out the window today and I am watching all of the people who are walking along the downtown Houston streets. There sure are a lot of them! Watching all of these people go by, it makes me wonder: Which ones are The Experts? I mean, what does an Expert look like when he’s not wearing his woolen robe?

How about that guy over right over there? The one wearing the sideways baseball cap and typing on his iPhone. Could he be the 4-star General/Purple Heart recipient/economics PhD/black belt in karate who spends 22 hours a day telling other commenters on World Net Daily how the liberal media has lied to them about everything?

Could the woman wearing a winter coat in hundred-degree weather be the one who could finally rig up my cable box so I don’t lose the signal every time it sprinkles outside?

Could that kid with the iPad make my Bad Paper go Good?

Experts are everywhere, but you can never find one when you need one.

Maybe we all just need to start wearing nametags listing our areas of personal expertise…


  1. You're both wrong. EVERYBODY KNOWS that people are designed by extraterrestrial engineers. Our minds are programmed to think that babies are formed in the uterus when, in fact, they are implanted with an alien probe. Plus, the world was built by the engineers to sustain life until the sun explodes in 2012. Don't you guys watch movies?

    1. I might give this comment more credence if you'd posted anonymously and cursed me out a lot more.

      Everyone knows the Mayans never existed. It was a made up by the Jacobins to make good Christians look bad.

  2. Oh my goodness Katy, you are scaring me now. Did you move into my brain like spongebob dream invasion "Sleepy time" episode?

    "Just check out the comments section of any news site and you’ll see ‘em" -
    Exactly, how many times, I wanted to launch myself into monitors from catapult like angrybirds at these "Expert" pigs.

    All those Turduckden , law-doc-neer-cians experts volunteering their orders and advice even legal advice seasoned with foul language willy-nilly.

    Loved that similar to internettouchguy , wanted expert clip image.

    I loved this post of yours, excellent and amazing. If your statcounter reads some link from some lousy site, who know whom to blame (me) - this post is the mirror some idiots desperately need.

    Forget bloggers, some magazines even "Forbes" has lousy writers letting people with brains swapped with retarted angry monkeys spill their poisonous puke and some 1000 expert commenters commenting on those.

    I have kind of lost hope in reputed online magazines now, I prefer to read from bloggers like you - freelance thinker writers than those bigot,hypocrite,racist,hatemongers who have spoiled and soiled "free speech" to the core.

    One other reason I started to blog, was getting tired of these hateblogs, loudblogs and didnt want them to override my faith in America or humanity. And during that quest I do come across some lame troll blogs as well, but a small price to pay.

    On side note, when I came across "population","western world" - I thought I had offended you with my Eugenics - Sterilization post.

    Glad it wasnt my post and I am not the expert, I dont have acquired my masters in foul language yet , most essential prerequisite for this "internet expert" label.

    1. With news sites, it's gotten even worse lately because so many of them (Fox, CNN, Time, WND) use the same comment application - something called Disqus - so the wackos can track your comment movements and follow you from site to site yelling their inanities.

      Experts everywhere!

      And you never have to worry about offending me. I don't mind if I simply don't agree with a post - I like reading other points of view. People can disagree without ANY of the stuff I'm talking about here. You seem to completely lack that asshole quality I'm talking about, so I probably won't be blogging about you, haha...

    2. Before I read any news, I say to myself, no Huffington post, no news channel, no guardian only NYT or the ones like BBC which doesnt have comment section and like, and before clicking on any article again I say to myself, "dont go to comments, dont go to comment section" - yet I step in and I get upset, maybe I am suicidal or maybe I am a masochist??
      As you said, they seem to spend 24/7 on internet, I dont think their mom cleans the bedpan from the basement futon often, why else would their stink extend to their comments? The picture you had attached says it all :)
      Couple of articles and comments which upset me more
      - A redneck who beat up a sick two-year-old who was crying, in front of her mom in walmart
      - Autistic kid who was shot and killed by cops in Chicago who were called to subdue
      - A Florida mom who choked a 13year old for posting some "ugly,wont rape" comment about her daughter
      They have no moral, no empathy and I dont know, how would they behave in real life and their reasoning and "expert" opinion and name calling and ultimately everything will come down to race/illegal immigration/ Russia/sep11/China.

      One time I read one expert's statement "Because of all these polio vaccinations, all kids are born premature and obese, huge and autistic and lack math skills" and this was repeated so many times.

      Agree with you, I try the same. Disagreements or articles with different take intrigues me and sometimes some posts have managed to change my perception.

      Maybe I should work on that quality you are talking about :)

    3. It's called "John Gabriel's Greater Internet Dickwad Theory."

      It goes like this:
      Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad

  3. Must I really trade my woolen robe with the hood and gold tassel belt for a simple name-tag? That sounds so ordinary.

    P.S. -- There is no cure for the cable box hook-up. The boxes are manufactured to go out at the most important or dramatic moment of your favorite show.

    1. You can go with the hood and the tassel if you want, but I need a way to know who THE EXPERTS are out there.

      As it stands now, the cable company can't get a strong enough signal to my house - which is about 1/2 a mile outside downtown Houston - for me to even get the more premium packages.

      But I know if I complained about my problem on, say, Reddit, I'd get 2,000 people saying, "You are an idiot if you can't solve this! Everybody knows all you have to do is rub olive oil on your outside line and the problem is solved! Dumb ass..."

  4. This made me think about the story of the tribe "thephakarwee" for some reason.

    1. It's a joke, probably a play on one originally from a 1960s TV program, F Troop:

      Chief Wild Eagle: [when asked how the Hekawi got their name] Many moons ago tribe move west because Pilgrims ruin neighborhood. Tribe travel west, over country and mountains and wild streams, then come big day... tribe fall over cliff, that when Hekawi get name. Medicine man say to my ancestor, "I think we lost. Where the heck are we?"

    2. Haha... I miss more pop culture references because of my lack of knowledge of Sixties sitcoms.

      Someday, I swear, I'm going to get to the bottom of what all of those "Three hour tour / A three hour tour" references are all about.

  5. My father in an Expert. Things were not easy for me when I was a child. Father wanted me to know more than I did, but not as much, and certainly not more than he knew.

    1. It seems like Expert fathers have screwed up as many kids as anything.

      Every Expert father I know seemed to try to impart their superior wisdom into their kids and messed them up royally.

      My position has always been that I don't know anything. This is easy to do because I don't.

  6. You may not consider yourself an Expert, but you are brilliant. This was hilarious.
    But wool coats? Even in Summer? Are they not experts on personal comfort?
    That's why I rely more on the omnipresent "they". Because they say a lot of things that make sense. Unattributable sources in the form of a simple pronoun. "They" are a darker, more sinister, more authoritarian group, everybody knows that because they say that they are the authority on all things. Why do I suddenly feel high?

    1. You know what has been working for me online?


      For some people, if you write about what "we" know, people don't challenge it.

      Someone was telling me online about how they have mapped the genome and didn't find a gay gene.

      I responded with: "We have mapped the genome, but I think you might be misunderstanding what that means. For starters, it doesn't mean we know what each segment of genes does. We're a long way from that."

      I don't know what it is about "we", but it keeps the person from challenging me back.

      Maybe he thinks the speaker is a cientist or else part of the Collective Hive Mind...

  7. Katy. OK, first, great thoughts. My EXPERT opinion is, that with the combination of a sense of entitlement with today's instant, open lines of communication, we've made most of us so self-agrondizing that we have lost the ability to say, "I don't know."

    We've stopped asking questions and let EXPERTS do our thinking. Those who question or disagree are considered the stupid. I blame organized religion and bigotry.

    Having said that, if you need advice on:

    1. Tomatos,
    2. Pre-nups,
    3. Relationships with exes,
    4. 1967 Pontiac GTO's,
    5. Texas-style pig cooking,
    6. Ivory soap,
    7. Cooling your scorched scrotum, or,
    8. Inter-species homosexual relationships,

    Then, EXPERT is my middle name and I am yo Huckleberry.

    1. Thank you for calling the Mooner Johnson Wisdom Archive. Press 1 to get information about tomatoes. 2 to get information about pre-nups.

      Your pig cooking line made the Tom Waits song "Filipino Box Spring Hog" start playing in my head.

      "Dig a big pit in a dirt alley road
      Fill it with madrone and bay
      Stinks like hell
      And the neighbors complain
      Don't give a hoot what they say."

      I have no reason to doubt either of you.

  8. Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = The genius of "Jervaise Brooke Hamster" ! ! !.

    1. I actually sort of thought the original equation would have been adequate to cover Hamster.

  9. I got interviewed for an expert position but I was over qualified...

    1. Yup, same thing happened to me.

      They told me that "The Rush Limbaugh Show" already had a host, but would contact me if the position came available.

      And that sucked, because I had practiced saying, "It's the fault of liberalism!" for WEEKS.

  10. I will have you know, I don't claim to be an expert on anything. If I seem like I know what I'm talking about, rest assured I am talking out of my ass.

    1. Knowing everything about nothing and nothing about everything seems to be the what to go!

      But now that you say that, i'm not even sure whether I can really eat it or not...

    2. Grandma and Google, my friend. It's all good.

    3. Grandma and Google sounds like a helluva combination. Somebody hide the kids...

    4. Colorful grandmas are the best damn kind of grandma.

  11. I usually refer to myself as a fountain of useless information. If it makes you feel better, you can use the term expert, although that makes me uncomfortable. My idiot brother claims to be an expert on most everything, which is why I tend to shy away from those with self annointed titles. I really hate name tags too

    1. There are a few of us here: Maybe we can appoint an expert every day.

      We'll rotate. We'll choose by drawing straws, and if you're the expert for today, we'll all have to believe you.

      Come to think of it, maybe we should pick Congress this way, too. Sort of like jury duty. "Congratulations, Katy Anders, YOU are the new congress critter who will represent your district in Washington DC!"

  12. "When someone puts time in to posting a blog and I put time in to reading it, I figure, hell, they deserve at least a 'Hi'…"

    "Hi, Katy" seems insufficient. So, I'll add that I enjoyed seeing the term "a-whole-nother" and the word "thunk" in your post. It makes me feel right at home.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see if I can dig up some more quotation marks. It seems I've exhausted my supply in this comment.

    1. Hi, Anonymous!

      I try to write like I talk, for the most part. not always, of course - I tend to trail off in my spoken sentences if I see someone understands what I'm trying to say.

      I do manage to limit my written use of "y'all" and "fixin' to"...

  13. I once scrolled below the line on the Guardian football page. 10756 comments later, at 4am in the morning, I phoned my Mom and begged her to come grapple the gun out of my hand before I did something silly.

    1. It will make lose your faith in humanity.

      FoxNews has recently gotten rid of the comment section to its man page articles.

      I think it is because so many liberal blogs were basically mining the comment section and highlighting especially horrible comments on other blogs. You know, "Look what FoxNews commenters said about the death of Ted Kennedy!" sorts of things.

      This is sad, in a way, because I MET my wife in the FoxNews comment section.

  14. Entertaining article, but anything we the tootsie pop owl's seal of approval's got something going for it.

    1. I think he might be sort of a lesbian icon, for reasons I'd rather not have to explain right now.


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