Shouldn't we treat them with derision when they posture as experts about something that they really know nothing about?
Take Matthew Modine.
Modine is a third rate actor from the 80's who hasn't worked regularly since, uh, the 80's.
Now Modine likes to style himself an "actor/environmental activist" and write pieces for Huffingtonpost.
Heck, he has to do something now that he can't make too many third rate movies anymore.
So he writes things about IMPORTANT STUFF and posts them on the blogosphere.
Here is the one he has there right now:
What happened to education in America? How did we allow the system of public education get so out of line? So understaffed. How did we allow school classrooms to become so overcrowded? How did we get a teachers union that protects uninspired teachers, teachers that no longer care about education, to be protected and employed simply because of tenure? Why can't the system be opened up and examined and rebuilt?
Where did Mr. Modine get his expertise about education from?
Does he have any knowledge of the public education system and teaching, either through his own teaching experience (a la Tony Danza or better yet, actual years of teaching experience) or because he sends his own kids to public school?
He saw a movie about education called Waiting for Superman.
And apparently seeing that movie qualified him to write about education and call for radical reform of the public school system.
Wow - who knew that's all it took to become an expert about something?
I've seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid more than 30 times on TCM over the years.
I love that movie, can recite dialogue from it ("Who are those guys?"), and enjoy it every time it is on TV.
Nonetheless, I don't think because I have seen that movie 30+ times, I am qualified as an expert on the Old West.
Just as watching a documentary about Pearl Harbor on the History Channel doesn't qualify me as an expert on World War II.
Yet Mr. Modine, who normally writes about environmental issues (and if his environmental writings are as reductionist and ill-informed as his writing on education, he ought to stop writing about that too), has decided just watching Waiting for Superman qualifies him as both expert and champion of education reform.
You know, maybe Mr. Modine ought to go back to something he does know about - making bad movies or strolling the red carpet at movie premieres - and leave the writing about education and education reform to people who have a little more experience than just watching a cartoon about it.