Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Fast Food of the Pseudo-Intelligentsia

Got an opinion? Susan Glickman doesn't want to hear it.
Opinions give me the heebie-jeebies, and opinions seem to be, increasingly, what people expect writers to have. And I don’t mean opinions about books, which are, after all, one’s business if one is a writer. I mean opinions about daily life, or politics, or the environment; the kind of opinions people seem compelled to share with each other on talk shows and editorial pages and even, alas, on Via Rail. Opinions are to judgments what sushi is to bouillabaisse: superficially pretty and chic, but ultimately raw and indigestible. The fast food of the pseudo-intelligentsia; something to be ingested on the run in that heedless North American way so disdained by the French. Insubstantial sound bites prepared by food stylists instead of chefs.


Nyla said...

I've had the same thoughts lately--particularly in recent years since newspapers have sought to save money by hiring opinion columnists they need not put on staff and pay real salaries. It's almost all opinion with no background or analysis, and on things like Charlie Hebdo, for instance, that spells many ways are there to tell the world that murder is wrong by way or your bigoted opining? Plenty, it turned out. My opinion on opinion just that I blame social media.

Moira Farr said...

I don't mind informed opinion, thoughtfully rendered, lucidly expressed, not anonymously. The problem is there's so little of that on social media, and so many puffed-up pundits who don't know what they're talking about, but love to talk - especially when they're paid a great deal for it (eg. any day on FOX News). Best to quietly tune all of that out. And never, ever read comments at the end of news articles. (If a person leaves a comment on a blog about how useless opinions are, advising people not to read comments, does anyone see?)