I had to write on this as I have very mixed feelings about it. I was thinking about all the blogs I have read. Some of the funniest are also the snarkiest. That sort of humor appeals to me, I wouldn’t even mind being able to be funny in that way. However, I think that sort of humor is based on putting others down.
We all like to see bad guys get it in the end, and much of the snarky humor I enjoy is focused on some ugly behavior, trying to change it or at least publicize it. “Fugly Horse of the Day” is trying to get people to stop indiscriminately breeding horses, creating a surplus of unwanted animals. (I was going to link to her site, but apparently there is a problem with it.)
Is there a point though to “the people of Walmart“? I can’t say I don’t look. It’s like watching a car crash. I laugh, I gasp, I moan in horror. I do feel a bit ashamed of myself. These are real people, with lives. That site doesn’t bother me too much, it’s like America’s funniest Home Videos, if you leave the house like that, you are in the public sphere and sort of invite public scrutiny.
It is when people talk about their private lives, and the people in them that makes me uncomfortable. I only follow and read the blogs that leave names out. Some, like the “Den of Chaos“, use cute nicknames like “Dangermouse”. Also, my favorites are not cruel to people. I read a few blogs, following links from blogs I like, that prompted this blog entry. One was wickedly funny, but it was very cruel, not to individuals, but to men in general. It was also extremely off color. That bothers me too. Risque humor is funny, but it can degenerate into crudeness very quickly. I often picture the source of the humor reading what is said about them.
Like I said, mixed feelings. I like irony and satire, and yes, that smug satisfaction of feeling on the superior side. I doubt I’ll avoid all snarky sites, but I do think we need to remind ourselves ANYONE can read our blogs, and would the person or class we are being snarky about be devastated if he/she/they read what we wrote? Are we that certain of our position that we couldn’t have gotten it wrong, or at least gone overboard?