Raging Against the Snark Machine
Is snark ruining the Internet, as someone wonders or alleges approximately every fifteen minutes? Maybe. The snark-haters occasionally have good points. Or—or—is it not enough snark that's killing enlightened online discussion and debate? Make up your mind, guys!
The latest (and well-researched) anti-snark missile comes from Geekcentric:
"Somewhere along the line we stopped using snark on the people who “deserved it” and started snarking at normal people. In fact, with the advent of email and open comment sections, many bloggers have discovered that the line between celebrities who are worthy of scorn and normal people who are just doing their jobs is a very thin line indeed.
I remember tearing into Ken Levine when he mocked my favorite television show on his blog. Ken is an Emmy-winning writer/producer/director — the creator of some of the most popular shows on television. Exactly the kind of elitist celebrity jerk that it’s safe to make fun of — until he shows up in your comment section and turns into a real human being.
Suddenly this Hollywood luminary, so famous I couldn’t really conceive him as a person, was addressing my comments and taking me seriously. He tried to be polite and respect my opinion, and it’s very hard to snark at somebody after that."
That's a good defensive strategy for the snarked-upon, actually! NYU Local, on the other hand, is more of the opinion that some websites such as this one just aren't snarky enough anymore and have in fact "lost [their] edge":
"These days, it’s tough to imagine a world where Gawker, current media gossip mega-site and “flagship” of the Gawker Empire, had enough chutzpah to really piss people off."
You should see my inbox, sweetie!
"The internet was the happy place where smart people could finally scream “FUCK EVERY1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”—a sentiment I never thought I’d miss. But with Gawker now adding “Well, I guess some people are actually okay,” the sardonic are alone again in their silence."
The writer has an adorably overinflated idea of this and other snarky websites' importance. Let's take that down a notch: we'll begin by oversharing that some of us are working from home today and not wearing any pants. (It's hard to be sophisticated while not wearing pants—but it's so much easier to be snarky!) If there was less snark, the world would maybe, possibly be a better place. But it would be way less fun. Snark is an essential social release mechanism, like blowing off steam at the bar and talking shit about everyone in your industry after work. Gossip is necessary as a way of exchanging vital social information. Perhaps we'll begin by putting on some pants. Update: