I have never been a fan of writers who consider themselves erudite thinkers, although I rather like reading writers who actually are and never refer to themselves as such.
David Brooks comes to mind, and his column in the New York Times yesterday is a case in point. He says that he makes a daily check of a blog which is "famous for its erudite authors." Oh boy. He then cites an example of their erudition, which he said was "fantastical but thought-provoking." Omigod. Do I really want to read the rest of the column? Do I really want to know what the "fantastical but thought-provoking" erudite thought was?
Well, the thought was, "What would happen if a freak solar event sterilized the people on the half of the earth that happened to be facing the sun?" Not killed; sterilized.
His thoughts (thoughts?) on the subject answered the other question; no, I did not want to read the rest of the column. It sounded like the ramblings of a college sophomore at 4am after he'd been smoking pot all night. Maybe a high school sophomore. After about three paragraphs I started skimming, and I think he was skimming something when he wrote it, too.
And this was in the Gray Lady, Opinion section.