why i really don’t like snark

I don’t usually comment on nasty stuff in the media. It’s usually best left to fester without further stoking. But I feel compelled this time. Because it’s an example of something that’s been bothering me for ages.

Snark. I really don’t like it. Gawker started this bitchy style of commentary. Perez Hilton perfected it. And bloggers and tweeters have tried to emulate it. 68379_2_468

Snark has become a “voice” that many people find comfortable to slip into. It’s easy to replicate. Just look down your nose and spew forth. It’s mistaken for critical thinking. It’s not. Critical thinking is productive. Snark separates you from me. It creates distance, which is destructive. It makes none of us happy. It’s human behaviour at it’s most base and fearful. Which is so disappointing.

Snark is not hate speech. It’s more cowardly. And it attacks individuals on personal fronts. See this New York Times article on snark for more.

And note: the great writers and reviewers don’t stoop to snark. They don’t need to or wish to. Their aim is to share and connect, ultimately.

I rant, of course, following the attention Wil Anderson and Catherine Deveny’s Logie tweets have attracted. It’s just been announced Catherine’s been dumped from The Age (their words, not mine) for her contributions.

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how conservative are you? (a fun test)

I just found this great little widget, developed by Slate, that – in a press of a button – can determine how conservative your online news reading habits are. And how open-minded you are. And whether you can see both sides of an issue.

Get your reality check here. Fun! (Don’t we just love a test that tells us something about …us?)52173_4_468

Slate writes:

Maybe democracy will survive the Internet after all. Many hands have been wrung over the supposed tendency for consumers of online news to seek out sites that validate their own political opinions. Like minds, the theory goes, surf alike.

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