Saturday, February 01, 2014

Just - Stop

I'm a sarcastic sonofabitch. Always have been. However I don't think I'm snarky.

Derisive, sometimes, yes, but not rude. That's the difference.

I wonder if there are a lot of Internetters who don't know the difference. It appears that criticism (which is long dead on the web) consists entirely and only of snark. "This sucks because reasons."


Shorthand is useful in a lot of circumstances but criticism isn't one of them. 'Reviews' full of snark (books, video, whatever) are useless. Comments accompanying such reviews also filled with snark are even more useless.

Look, we all recognize there are problems in the world. We all recognize that not all art is good. We all recognize that politicians are - at best - out to line only their pockets. (That's an overly broad generalization. I bet there are one or two who are genuinely interested in serving the public. Out of thousands.) Anyway.

The few people who try to overcome outrageous acts are quickly derided, or snarked, into the background. As if speaking out were something to be ashamed of. And when snark doesn't work, shaming and bullying take over. Someone's too fat, too stupid, too vapid, too female.

Ever think about it that way? Ever been on the receiving end of someone trying to shame you? Ever been bullied? Has anyone ever been rude to you?

How did that make you feel?

Trying to argue for civility and positivity in this climate is like trying to catch a fart in a hurricane. Not gonna happen. Rather what I'm asking you to do is when you're ready to write a snarky comment, think twice about it.

First, why do you care? Second what else is there to care about that really needs attention?

I'm thinking mostly of why two million people have signed a petition to deport Justin Bieber and less than half that many who don't think all that much about the three hundred thousand folks whose water was poisoned by a negligent corporation (which is according to law a person so think about that, too).

Also, what was the big damn deal about a famous author who wanted to write a book under a pseudonym? Get over it.

In fact, stop complaining. Instead, offer solutions to real problems.

Because if you don't have any insight into how to solve problems, it's a waste of time and energy to spend on your comments. As a matter of fact, I encourage all of you reading this to take the same attitude. And then encourage your friends to do the same. Take it viral. You can do it.

I trust you.

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