Instant Expert

Just add BS and access to a soap box…

I have been contemplating this morning on the theme of “instant expert”. I have encountered many of these over the years. People who are “expert” on some subject or other without having tried it, researched it or even thought about it. Some of these play pass the parcel with BS. They hear a groovy sounding piece of BS and then cannot resist the urge to pass it around so as to look, I don’t know, cool, hip, clever or “in the know”.

I am not sure quite what drives this…what is wrong with saying; “I don’t know much about that”.

There are a huge number of instant experts on Brexit each giving their crystal ball on how things will be, it is pretty hard to find a version that has less spin than a well tossed googly.

I found this on Reuters:

“Britain quit the EU in January but remains an informal member until Dec. 31 – the end of a transition period during which it has remained in the EU single market and customs union.

The two sides have struggled to agree on fishing rights in British waters and EU demands that Britain face consequences if in the future it diverges from the bloc’s rules for fair competition.

A Brexit without a trade deal would damage the economies of Europe, send shockwaves through financial markets, snarl borders and sow chaos through the delicate supply chains across Europe and beyond.

The British government has warned that even with a trade deal, 7,000 trucks heading for Channel ports in south-east England could be held in 100-km (62-mile) queues if companies do not prepare the extra paperwork required.

The BBC reported on Saturday that Britain will fast-track the movement of some perishable goods when its transition period ends to help reduce the expected disruption at ports.

The Ministry of Defence said four Royal Navy patrol ships will be ready on Jan. 1 to help protect Britain’s fishing waters in the event of no deal.”

It is neutral.

For a bit of fun, I went to the World Trade Organisation site and read up a little on the rules, that is some complex shit man. Assertions that everything will be dandy can often come unstuck on things like details of which there are, in this case, a multitude.

I don’t get it. Why do people feel this urge to BS and then repeat said BS like a stuck record? Does the repetition mean that the BS acts like a mantra?

The circles I used to mix in had a lot of people who placed stock in being clever. Being clever about one subject area does not mean that it is transferrable to others. It was my assessment as a personal skills trainer that many of them were rather limited in experience of handling people from other disciplines and of diverse points of view. Blinkered and focussed, productive and efficient, yes; warm inclusive and fully open minded, less so.

Yet many offered me the opinion that the skills stuff was not “scientific”. They had not even tried it; they were convinced that they were right before experiment.

I myself had a number of prejudices before coming to France. My starting point was France is an advanced nation so the French can’t be that different. There are more differences, particularly in mentality, than I had envisaged. It has been interesting to discover a whole new way of approach. My French teacher said that the Brits were much more like the Germans than the French. I now think she is correct, I did not at the time. I did not feel the urge to soap box my initial opinion.

Is this “instant expert” syndrome another way of saying “look at me” like a hungry bird in a nest competing for the parental worm? Or is it just a bad habit getting caught up in endless cycles of mutual BS sessions.

BRIAN: Are you the Judean People’s Front?

REG: Fuck off!

BRIAN: What?

REG: Judean People’s Front. We’re the People’s Front of Judea! Judean People’s Front. Cawk.

FRANCIS: Wankers.

BRIAN: Can I… join your group?

REG: No. Piss off.

BRIAN: I didn’t want to sell this stuff. It’s only a job. I hate the Romans as much as anybody.

PEOPLE’S FRONT OF JUDEA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.

REG: Stumm.

JUDITH: Are you sure?

BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.

REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to really hate the Romans.

BRIAN: I do!

REG: Oh, yeah? How much?

BRIAN: A lot!

REG: Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front.

P.F.J.: Yeah…

JUDITH: Splitters.

P.F.J.: Splitters…

FRANCIS: And the Judean Popular People’s Front.

P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…

LORETTA: And the People’s Front of Judea.

P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters…

REG: What?

LORETTA: The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.

REG: We’re the People’s Front of Judea!

LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.

REG: People’s Front! C-huh.

FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?

REG: He’s over there.

P.F.J.: Splitter!


Is BS about the need to belong? To join in some banal dogma?

It is strange I have experienced prejudice for my beliefs and for the first time ever my inability with language. Because my spoken French isn’t that great there are some who have treated me like a moron, if they only knew…it has been quite funny presenting a cheque with Dr on it and a Champs Elysée address. Suddenly there is a change in tone.

What is it that prompts someone to want to be an Instant Expert and to soap box?

It is a mystery…