But if you’re basically pretty good at snotty putdowns — and most bloggers have at least an apprentice-level facility with this art — it’s almost too much fun. It’s too easy. It’s the writing equivalent of skiing the bunny slope.
I’m not a fan of McArdle’s writing. Credit to her for building an audience that can pay her bills (partly off her snark), but I’m not one of them. I tried. But, I find her to be a bit too full of herself.
I sometimes think she makes good points and helps advance discussions. But, more often I’m turned off by her snotty and elite attitude.
When I saw the link to this article on Instapundit, I thought perhaps she decided to turn over a new leaf. Like maybe the reason why she decided to try not to be snarky was that she realized that she could be wrong. That while she didn’t find much use in something that she reviewed, her opinion may be proven wrong.
But, no such luck. Now, it appears, that she now believes she has graduated from “bunny slope” of writing. Good for her.
There are parts where I agree with her. Like here:
…it seems to me perfectly adequate to say “This person is wrong, and here’s why.”
Though, I’d edit that to say “I think this person is wrong, and here’s why”, because it’s good to leave open the possibility that I’m wrong and that I don’t nearly have as much figured out as I think I might.
This can allow you to get past the window dressing of who is more clever in their comebacks and get to the heart of the disagreement.
But, I think I would be misdirected to say any snark is bad. Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit, for example, is snarky, too. But, his snark is different. It’s not about, as McArdle writes, “Look at me! I am so smart and funny! Not like this stupid person I am making fun of! You should think less of them and more of me!”.
He doesn’t use snark to elevate himself above others, as one example illustrates. When linking to articles of the IRS audit scandal, Reynold’s likes to remind his readers that Obama joked about auditing his enemies in 2009.