On Being an Armchair Intellectual

A comment on this blog is worth highlighting because it is too important to be buried among the comments. It is from Gulab Singh who wrote:

What have you done to amend the situation, oh armchair intellectual ? Cribbing about the status quo is pointless, if you don’t follow it up with action. If you don’t have a way to put into practice the ideas you espouse, then your ideas are not practical. You seem to have spent a lot of time thinking and writing about “what should be done”, but what have you really done?

I cannot respond to the accusation of being an “armchair intellectual” because I am not sufficiently vain to call myself an intellectual, armchair or not. However, I would like to speak in defense of armchair intellectuals first, then admit that I am basically an armchair critic, then argue why critics are important in the overall scheme of things, and finally explain what I am doing to move beyond just being a mere critic. Continue reading