Snotty vs Snappy

These bits got me thinking…

Dot Unplanned (in the course of an unrelated post):

Fuck Wonkette, for that matter, for being about nothing more than despising sincerity even more than it (can’t say she … “she” is long gone) despises hypocrisy…

Some days, despite my putative presence in its ranks, I wish the middle class would just get on with stuffing itself up its own corpulent ass and suffocating as it tries to choke out just one more foppish attempt at “wry observation.”

Snappy the Clam: Speaking of crickets:

I’ve tended to write this blog as my very own personal howl of protest against the high-school popularity models at the foundation of the meritocrasphere… I distrust almost anything that calls for the adoption of slogans and the suspension of critical thinking. I couldn’t stand it in Catholicism, I couldn’t stand it as a member of a labor union. When people start saying that there’s something to be said for groupthink, something is terribly, terribly rotten somewhere. These days I have trouble with the Cluescooter crowd, both bloogersphere and library flavors, who send my bullshit detectors off the charts with their serial media apocalypses… 99% percent of the time the only movement you can trust comes out your ass. But that doesn’t get you Berkman fellowships. Well, maybe it does.

Michael at Dot Unplanned is complaining about Wonkette being downright snotty. And then there’s Snappy — that Snappy post really stuck in my brain because it exposes, like a pearl in a bivalve (wrong bivalve, I know, work with me here), the desperate wish for people not to be taken in by bullshit, that animates the angry criticism that has value.

There’s “no, this isn’t the real stuff, this is bullshit, why are you wasting our time with this? This isn’t what matters!” — which is what Snappy is expressing — and there’s “man, everything sure is a bullshit waste of time and nothing matters; aren’t we clever for seeing through it?” — which is what I think Michael is seeing in Wonkette (I’m neither endorsing nor disavowing Michael’s analysis of Wonkette — I don’t read her).

It’s unfortunately easy to mistake the snappy for the snotty, or vice versa. But I value the one and pull my hair out at the other. I guess that’s all I wanted to do, make the distinction.

1 thought on “Snotty vs Snappy”

  1. Yeah … I was trying to make this distinction a while back by calling people like Wonkette (or the reporter at Salon) “cool” and comparing them to, say, Snappy, who is warm.

    Cool is about staking out the territory around a thing and looking in. Warm is about being part of the territory and looking around.

    When Tycho and Gabe bitch about a game at Penny Arcade, that’s cool because they’re being warm about it. They care and they’re invested. When the Salon reporter wanders off to a protest march and comes back complaining about all the smelly hippies, that’s cool. And it’s not very cool.

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