Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snark Off!

Roger Ebert is sick of snark...

''There was an old Disney "real-life adventure" titled "The Living Prairie" that had a funny montage of prairie dogs sticking their heads up out of their holes, taking a quick look around, and ducking back down inside. Snarkers are like snipers trying to catch prairie dogs in a moment of vulnerability. Americans have never been eager to adapt French words, but gaffe became the word du jour during the political season. A politician dare not commit one. In week after week of relentless campaigning, not one word could be wrongly spoken. John McCain referred to an audience as "my fellow prisoners" and was never allowed to forget it. But we all do things like that. In giving a talk about the Oscar candidates one year, I said: "Darky is the rock horse." Yes, I did. Let a politician try that.

What concerns me is that snark functions as a device to punish human spontaneity, eccentricity, non-conformity and simple error. Everyone is being snarked into line...''

I would recommend that he cut down on his internet time to reduce his diet of snark; it seems to be the dominant voice online. There are fairly popular sites that I've altogether stopped visiting because they offer nothing but snark. They don't feed me in any way. What bothers me is that it's impossible to tell what they really feel about anything; you can guess what things they think are stupid, but nothing more than that. You can perhaps assume from the sheer volume of snark that they are very unhappy people. You definitely can't tell what sort of things might make them happy.

The average time that young people spend on the internet now is about 4.5 hours per day. I've gone down to about 1/2 hour per day, and it seems to reduce the amount of snark I get exposed to, and in general makes me a bit happier.

Blues Everywhere - Memphis Minnie

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