Whence Snark?

SERIOUSLY — CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL me the advantage or otherwise positive aspect to snark? Because something can’t have so infested every aspect of our culture without it being good for something. Does it help make us more patient? Wise? Smarter? Or just delude us into so thinking, by allowing us to take out on others our impotence and frustration at all the Big Stuff (planetary death/rude salesclerks/insane cost of living/grindhouse politics/endless war)? I can only think it’s the latter, because the alternative — that a significant percentage of the human mind really enjoys such vicious petty self-important voyeurism — is much too horrible to contemplate.

So please. Tell me what I’m missing. Because from out here, it doesn’t look like much.

2 comments for “Whence Snark?

  1. 2010.11.21 at 0743

    A form of passive-aggression…people unable or unwilling to express their anger in a clear, direct manner will resort to snark. Also, some people think it’s funny — and it can be funny when it’s not personal and when it’s in the hands of a talented performer a la Jon Stewart. (Snark in commercials is the merde de la merde.) However, snark on its best day could never replace genuine humor, cleverness and/or wit.

  2. 2010.11.21 at 0721

    Snark can be an outlet for negative feelings that might otherwise manifest themselves as shouting or physical violence.

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