Tuesday, February 20, 2018

An Op-Ed on Why I am Unqualified to Write an Op-Ed

I write letters to the editor of the New York Times a lot. I mean A LOT. I have opinions on just about anything. But the reality is I am an expert at nothing. Except maybe writing a lot of letters to the New York Times.

On occasion I may write a letter that sounds like I know what I am talking about. A word here, a phrase there. A whole sentence on the rarest of times.

And there may even be entire pieces that are witty or moving or even somewhat novel. But while that may make me momentarily somewhat unique that is far different than making me actually unique.

I am one of the countless millions of people who will never see my name printed as the author of a New York Times Op-Ed. Not on our national travails under Mr. Trump, not on our national travesty on gun control, not on those among us we so badly mistreat, not on what it feels like to watch a parent suffer with dementia, not even on whether my beloved Yankees are about to embark on another championship run.

Why don't you write a book, I am sometimes asked. Because I can't. My mind does not work that way. I have a thought or two, move it from my head to my fingers and then let it go. And I am done. There is nothing left for me to express.

This is not a lament, or a plea. It is not even a request, for I know your newspaper has far better ways to fill its pages than putting me where I don't belong. 

I have spent the better part of a decade as your pen pal. I have conversed (in a manner of speaking) with your Letters to the Editor,  Metropolitan Diary, Sports Editor, even your Magazine. I have convinced all of them, at one time or another, of my merit. But you are different. You require something I cannot give for I do not possess it.

So I thought why not give it one more try by telling you why you should not publish me. Use a little reverse psychology. Make them want you by kind of saying you don't want them. Make my being unqualified my qualification.

I know this is the longest of long shots but did not a snowboarder just win a skiing medal in the Olympics, did not the most unlikely, unprepared, unseemly candidate recently become President of the United States, did not a Democrat defeat a Republican in Alabama, did not I just save $300 by switching my car insurance to Geico (that last thing did not really happen)?

I understand your reticence. This is not who we are you are thinking. Well think outside the box. The world it is a changin. Our leader is an expert at nothing yet the country is engrossed in analyzing his every misbegotten tweet. Having in depth knowledge on any subject is so 20th century. The new expert is one who knows next to nothing but has plenty to say. And I fit that definition to a tee.

Having a wealth of information at one's fingertips merely clutters the mind. Having little to encumber the thought process is liberating and allows for endless possibilities. Give me a topic and I am able to fill in the blanks with more blanks. It is like having infinity at your beck and call.

It is almost like the best of Seinfeld. Making a tv show about nothing was what most of us craved. That is what reality is all about. That is what captivates us. Knowledge is boring.

So I ask you to reconsider your rejection of this submission which I know you are on the verge of doing. I believe I am just what the New York Times needs. A man knowing little saying a lot about nothing in particular.

On second thought, scrap that. I think I am going to announce my candidacy for President. I am perfectly unqualified.


Anonymous said...

Pure genius! (Again!!)


Anonymous said...

And exactly right in every way.
A 21st century Sisyphus toiling away in relative obscurity


Anonymous said...

How can they refuse you. the last sentence was the best. Lois

Anonymous said...

Don’t demean yourself! You’d have my vote, my trust and I’d stuff the ballot box!!!



Sacco said...

Love t see this piece in the back of the Sunday Book Review with a Blechman illo

Anonymous said...

Great Seinfeld reference!


Anonymous said...

Who doesn't love a good punchline!

Unknown said...

more golf please

Anonymous said...

Especially brilliant😃. Thank you.


Paul Bilsky said...

As Sgt. Schmidt used to say, "I KNOW NOTHING!!!"

Anonymous said...

So superb! You are the Thomas Nast of our time. Do you draw too?--RE

PickleBiz said...

I just spent a minute and 45 seconds learning absolutely nothing about just about everything. What a perfect use of my time (even better than watching FOX news! Your vacuous mind is bountifully overflowing with nothingness. Wait...perhaps you have discovered Dark Energy?

Eileen said...

I usually shake my head in agreement with your great posts but rarely crack a smile. This one made me laugh out loud! Thanks, I needed it.