Only boorish, unqualified loudmouths like bloggers and David Denby have weighed in on the world's most grating question, "What's with all this snark?" Until now! An actual psychologist has a theory.
John D. Mayer is, as we mentioned, an actual psychologist, with a Ph.D. He's also technically a BLOGGER with Psychology Today, but we won't hold that against him. Yet. His post is basically a throwaway, ill-researched review of Denby's crappy book (that's our job!), which we also won't hold against him, because he does provide this actual psychological opinion:
To me, snark often depends on an "I'm better than you" perspective: The purveyor of snark, and his or her amused audience, temporarily overlook any of their own human faults, while identifying and magnifying others' all-too-human foibles. At least for the moment, the snarker highlights what is unworthy about others, blaming them for their human deficits, and exploiting the entertainment of seeing others as less than ourselves. Perhaps some of today's snarking may even be a reflection of the apparent rise of narcissism in our society.
Hey everybody, get a load of this guy, John D. Mayer, Ph.D—hey Poindexter, don't be mad you're not as cool as us! Few people are, because we are what it's all about. Go hang out with Denby at the nerd table! [Psychology Today]