A friend posted some thought provoking commentary today on the origins and subsequent devolution of snark. I agree wholeheartedly with every word she said, and it set me to thinking about it a little more in depth. Snark initially began as a way to shorten the phrase “snide remark,” which is more or less what snark is, if we’re being honest. But it’s more than that. To me, much like Natalie, snark has always been something cute and fuzzy, with a hint of warmth and good nature but just enough teeth to show you that it means business. It is quick wit and intelligent banter with an undertone of sarcasm which isn’t biting so much as nibbling, all wrapped in a sassy, yet still cordial voice. I tend to consider myself a snarky individual.
Recently though, there’s been a deluge of Mephistophelean degenerates who are trying to destroy snark by turning it into a contest to see who can be the biggest douchewangle. Or so it seems. The perpetrators may see themselves as smart and edgy, and just too cool to be amiable, to anyone, but really they’re just jerks who belittle, berate, and impugn others to assert their completely unfounded superiority.
It is the considered opinion of this snarker that the dearth of snark can be attributed, in part, to the rampant sense of entitlement that has befouled society. It is the age of instant gratification. Too many young adults have been handed everything their whole life while simultaneously being told that they are a unique, delicate snowflake who matters, dammit! Back in the day, we worked to get rewards, praise, and whatever else we wanted out of life, and we’d be gracious and appreciative for any help we got along the way. Not this group. They demand perfection, because they are perfect (*snerk*). The customer is always right, and they’re also respected critics…In their own minds. If someone serves them up anything less than blind worship, they take to the internet and whine impotently to anyone who listens about how nothing lives up to their unreasonable expectations. They’d never confront a real person with their lofty opinions – that would require social skills and the ability to communicate with people on a personal level. But here’s a tip for you critics: Tweeting that the sales associate at Sephora couldn’t apply a whore’s makeup if the face came with paint-by-numbers is not snarky. It’s just petty and immature.
And the internet has just made it easier for these little douchenozzles to launch smear campaigns against anyone who won’t cater to their every whim. Ever read a Google Places review? I deleted the listing for my employer because our only reviews were from spoiled brats who left blatantly false claims, spammers, or people who clearly violated the terms of service that Google wouldn’t remove. It wasn’t just my company either. Damn near everyone has a sub-par rating, but when you read the reviews, it’s all trivial bullshit. Someone call the whaaaaaambulance! Junior had to wait more than 30 seconds to get a table at a restaurant on Friday night! Gag me with a big, purple dildo. Calling the parking enforcement officer a two bit rent-a-cop for writing you a parking ticket when your rust bucket had two wheels on the sidewalk and blocked a double driveway is not snarky. Given your parking job, I’d say it is probably a cry for drunk driving intervention, or at the very least, driving school.
And Yelp? Nope. Deleted my account. I don’t have the patience to read a multi-page review full of the most self-indulgent, mind numbingly pedestrian drivel about how the local coffee shop doesn’t carry the right kind of fair trade, organic Sulawesi beans, and how you liked the place better before it sold out to the company that actually makes money and employs people. Choke me with a rollerskate. Would you please focus your energy or aura or karma or what the hell ever you’re into this week on something that will benefit the population at large, rather than your frail, yet overinflated ego? Giving a bad review to a discount hair salon wherein you refer to them as hair hacks because they don’t use vegan hair care products is not snarky. It is, however, a clear statement that you have not had clean smelling hair since the day the nurse wiped the afterbirth off your scalp.
Twitter? Butter my butt and call me a fat assed biscuit… Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few. It…just…no. It’s not snark. Particularly when no one can make sense of the random meaningless shorthand.
Snarky will never truly be infiltrated by dumb. True snark is personable and even likeable, and it comes easy. If it feels like you’re straining, it’s not snark. Now lay of before your brain sharts itself.