Yes, I am guilty. Yes, I will probably do a lot of it in this essay. Do I make stuff up out of thin air to support my pontifications? Well, I try not to… most of the time.
That bit of pontification I just shared is not mine. It’s Vonnegut’s. But it is pontification never-the-less.
To be fair, this manner of delivering information, founded on the basis of revealed Divine authority (as if I were the Pope) is not an evil thing… if it is not misused to propagate misinformation and lies. It is often used to convey moral imperatives and Christian values. And to be fair to me, I rarely pontificate unless I am joking and don’t mean to be taken seriously.
Never-the-less I am often told that my fiction is didactic and my essays tend to hold forth with my convictions and conclusions as if they were revealed to me in a visitation from a burning bush or something.
From my humble perspective, however, I wish to point out that I have, through years of teaching experience and encounters with grave issues that affect health and wealth and happiness, learned a few things the hard way that count as wisdom. I would offer the defense that, in spite of what my wife would tell you, I am NOT always wrong about everything. (I am maybe only wrong about most things.) And as such, my opinions, backed up with facts and anecdotes, are sometimes worth listening to.
As I am probably not going to overcome my habit of pontificating any time soon, I should probably warn you about some of the things I have been thinking about of late that I am likely to pontificate about in upcoming blogs. Here are just a few;
- Bad things that happen to Good People are what actually turn them into Good People.
- The reverse is not always true. Good things happening to Bad People can worsen them, but they become Bad People when the good thing we are talking about is getting away with doing something bad.
- The world is coming to its end. Of course, it is always coming to its end, until it reaches its endpoint at which it probably won’t end and then the prophets of doom will have to pick a new Doomsday that probably won’t end it either… though it might.
- The St. Louis Blues hockey team gets to be Stanley Cup Champions for two years in a row because of the pandemic. COVID 19 was only 99% a bad thing.
- If you are a three-inch tall fairy warrior, a rabbit as your faithful steed is better than riding rooster-back. That’s because if the spell wears off your mighty steed, the rabbit won’t mistake you for a bug and eat you. (But never disguise yourself as a carrot to hide from humans while riding rabbit-back.)
So, I admit to having bouts of rabid pontification. But I would argue that it is a very natural bad habit for a retired school teacher to have. Up until my retirement I regularly delivered the Word of God (as filtered through the Texas State Board of Education) to kids in a classroom.
They would often respond, “Oh, God! Not again!”
To which I would answer, “I am not God. If I were, there would be lightning right now.”