Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Things I'm a snob about:

FOOD - I like food and I like good food. Who doesn't? What you think is good might be slightly different than what I think is good, but that's what makes the world go 'round right? Where I get snobbish is when someone wants to ruin an excellent cut of meat that only needs salt and pepper for it to taste good by adding some godawful sauce concoction. Nothing against the sauce, just the context. Heinz 57, for instance, is just fine on a hamburger, not so much on a perfectly cooked steak.

GRAMMAR AND WORD ABUSE - I was part of a conversation about the word onomatopoeia the other day and how we had to learn how to spell it in grade school. It seems to me that grade school is where I learned what contractions are, too. That apostrophe is the place where two words are combined and if you have any doubt about it, say the two words out loud: "should have" not "should of"; "you are" not "your" (this is a special case because it's the most abused); "it is" and so on and so on. I'm told that in some places children aren't (that is, they "are not") being taught how to write in cursive because of things like the ubiquity of keyboards from laptops to smartphones (those are compound words, mind you). People need to be taught to write and speak properly and they need to do it in certain situations or they look like a rube, right? Do we really want to look stupid by not knowing that "won't" is a contraction of "will not"? And don't get me started on things like texting and this new word "I'mma", which might actually be a new legitimate contraction of "I am going to".

PAY TV AND RADIO - I like stories. I hate stories that are interrupted by more mini stories. I pay for satellite radio because I hate commercials and endlessly jabbering DJs. I pay for HBO and Showtime because I hate six minutes of story interrupted by five pitches for products that should be more rightly prescribed for you by a doctor before it gets back to the story. I like storytellers (writers, actors, directors, photographers, etc...) to have a full range of expression to tell their story. When adult language or situations are called for, when nudity is called for, as long as it's done well, it should be used. Gratuitous use of words that are not generally acceptable in most social situations is just a big a turnoff as anything. Life is different for different people and sometimes we're naked in front of someone we hadn't intended to be, or we did intend to be but just not quite that way. One of the things that I like about American TV in general now is that show runners are thinking more in terms of 'limited series' within a series. A season long story arc for instance, such as has been done on British TV for decades. I'm a huge fan of satellite radio, too, because I can listen to a wider variety of music or other programming. I've gone from 90s music to classical to jazz to old time radio plays on one trip across town.

NPR AND PBS - I shouldn't have to say this, but both of these services are valuable to the general public. They're not any more 'liberal' or 'conservative' than any other news or entertainment outlet. They tend to be more 'arty' than the others, and to some people that implies 'liberal'. If one listens or watches closely, one's mind will be enlightened and expanded. Government needs to remember that these are 'services' and that implies a whole different thing than a for profit network.

So I'm a snob about some things. I admit it. I think real books are better than ebooks. I think vinyl has a charm that will never be replaced by digital downloads. Letters are better than emails and the USPS is better than any other pay delivery service. I may be prejudiced, too, but I think America is the best country in the world not least because the power tends to stay on (unless there's a major storm) and the water tends to be drinkable in most places though as other services are diminished and fewer people know how to express themselves properly that's getting worse.

I'm a snob and I admit it. What are you snobbish about?