Pundits . . . is it just me?
Tuning into the news (not the Golf Channel) Monday morning, April 11th, I watched a replay of Jordan Spieth's quadruple bogey on the twelfth hole in the final round of the Master's Golf Tournament. It was a heartbreaking turn of events but what followed was even sadder . . . three newscasters sat around a table analyzing the young man's thoughts from the moment he hit the first shot into Rae's Creek until he walked from the green, having relinquished the lead for the first time in the tournament. They spoke as if they had played Augusta's "Amen Corner" under par numerous times. Sensing their hypocrisy, I hit the remote - only to see Jordan's ball splashing once again, accompanied by drivel from more "talking heads." I repeated this process several more times to no avail . . . Jordan was "chunking it" on every channel and pundits were weighing in, not just on the short term impact on Spieth's game but on the long term damage to his psyche . . . "He'll never recover," a psychologist (whose credentials, I suspect, included once playing a round of miniature golf) exclaimed.
"A pundit is a person who offers to mass media his or her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area on which he or she is knowledgeable or can at least appear to be knowledgeable." Were I to alter that Wikipedia definition, I would highlight its ending phrase, "or can at least appear to be knowledgeable," for that's what's afoot these days in too many cases. Punditry has become a national pastime. Everyone has an opinion about everything; and unfortunately, social media has deceived us into thinking that everyone wants to know what everyone else is thinking; and even more unfortunate than that lie is the deception being foisted upon us that what everyone is thinking is worth knowing. The way we're embracing this new obsession makes me wonder if we've devolved to the point that we've now got to wait on Kim Kardashian's next tweet to know what we're thinking . . . good Lord, deliver us!
My high school geometry teacher once shared a profound truth wrapped in a bit of homespun wisdom: "An empty wagon makes the most noise!" Like marsh grass bending this way and that as it surrenders to the will of the tides, so our personal opinions have come to vary with the most recent Twitter or Facebook posting . . . and I dare say, much of what's opined today will haunt us tomorrow. I believe Jordan Spieth will tee it up again and in time unmask many who presently "appear to be knowledgeable" to be just "empty wagons" . . . but then, that's just my opinion!