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What Would People Think?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Enough With The Snark Already

[Warning: Rambling and Potentially Uninteresting Thoughts Ahead. Or maybe not.]

I love sarcasm and humor as much as any other former Slant writer. So it's hard to say exactly when and why I got sick and tired of snark.

Somewhere along the line....maybe during the 2007-2008 political campaigns, maybe watching movie news.....it just seemed to me that nobody had anything good to say about anybody else on the Internet. I'm not talking about valid criticism of a political policy or a movie role or anything. I'm talking about a vicious willingness to pounce on any mistake, any eccentricity.....anything HUMAN.....and make it the butt of a million jokes. Jokes that make the joker and listener feel superior to the subject of the joke. Jokes that rip a person to pieces and are just cruel.

I don't know. I like satire and usually laugh at a clever turn of phrase. Perhaps it's all a good thing in small doses. But it seems like it's all anyone on the Internet ever does.

Or perhaps it's about WHAT is being mocked? A politician slips up and says something stupid. So what? A politician betrays the public trust and tries to act self-righteous about it (see Rod Blagojevich). THAT's worth mocking.

Anyways, these rambling thoughts were brought on by this Roger Ebert column. Go ahead and read it.

Let's just.....I don't know....let's try and make mockery something we do when it's deserved....not a way of life. And every now and then, maybe I'll even try and encourage someone.

Sorry for the rambling.


  • Looking back over this blog post....yeah, even I'm not exactly sure what it is I'm saying.

    By Blogger Ben, at 2/28/2009 3:04 PM  

  • Whoever wrote this post is clearly a nutzoid.

    By Blogger Mike, at 3/02/2009 10:03 AM  

  • Well, if you want to get technical, I'm more of an almondzoid.

    My word verification is "imouthes." I-Mouth? The Internet is really taking over every function.

    By Blogger Ben, at 3/02/2009 11:45 AM  

  • This is a problem with our whole generation, I think. Well, more specifically the immediately prior generation - the Xers, who built a whole subculture on detached irony. Our generation just advanced the ball a few more yards with it, and the internet is an ideal distribution format for snark, since it doesn't require much thought or time to produce.

    For what it's worth, David Foster Wallace wrote about this problem (although in the context of fictional criticism) back in 1993. So, things have been pretty bad for a while now.

    By Blogger Zhubin, at 3/02/2009 7:12 PM  

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