The rise of the Snark

It looks like it goes back to ancient Greece. Dr. Mayer takes a look at Snark: Why It Matters as described and discussed by film critic David Denby’s book Snark. “In “Snark,” Denby says such remarks pull the rug out from someone, and potentially annihilate a person’s reputation and effectiveness”

snark often depends on an “I’m better than you” perspective: The purveyor of snark, and his or her amused audience, temporarily overlook any of their own human faults, while identifying and magnifying others’ all-too-human foibles. At least for the moment, the snarker highlights what is unworthy about others, blaming them for their human deficits, and exploiting the entertainment of seeing others as less than ourselves. Perhaps some of today’s snarking may even be a reflection of the apparent rise of narcissism in our society.

Snark is an ad hominem attack that is “low, teasing, snide, condescending, knowing” and intended to destroy an individual. If that individual is vulnerable, the results can be devastating.

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