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Beware the Snarkologist

Posted By: Randy GageApril 20, 2015

There’s a new occupation in the world, and it’s not a good one. I’m not even sure what to label this “profession,” but the closest I come up with is professional snarkologist.

These are the talking heads on radio and TV, magazine writers and bloggers, whose job consists of finding pop culture phenomenon and tearing them down with snarky comments and droll insults.

They will suggest the top ten on American Idol, X Factor or The Voice couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. They’re quick to find the plot flaws in the latest worldwide blockbuster. They are the first to alert you that the new bestseller by your favorite author has missed the mark.

They desperately want to convince you how crass, ignorant and stupid everyone else is, and how clever, discerning, and superior they are. In actuality, they are simply demonstrating their bitterness and frustration at not being able to create art themselves.

I remember watching the series finale of The Newsroom with tears in my eyes, thinking what a brilliant leap forward television had taken with that series. Fifteen minutes later I clicked a link on Twitter to find a Grantland.com takedown, filled with backhanded compliments, hateful quips and unbridled scorn.

Game of Thrones is the most successful television show in the world. And it’s become that on HBO, a premium, subscription-only cable channel. Yet there are entire sites and program segments devoted to tearing apart every episode. (Just as there was for The Sopranos, LOST, The Wire and every other breakout hit that took artistic risks and captured the imagination of the population.) You can see it happening again with the FOX series Empire and the spin off music.  There are snarkologists already explaining why the new Star Wars movie is a bust, based on their expert analysis of the trailer.

You can make the argument that there is a legitimate need for art critics. Not sure I buy the argument, but at least you can make it. There is no argument you can make for the purpose of the snarkologists. They are simple clickbait agitators in this new, sensationalistic world, pandering to your basest instincts, drawing eyeballs with their contrived controversy, hateful babble, and snarky asides.

Skepticism can be a virtue, because it comes from critical thinking. But you never want to be cynical. Because cynicism creates a negative default view of everything, sucking the joy, light and adventure from your life.

This type of poison is contagious. It permeates your consciousness and and darkens your view of everything. The snarkologists come from the depths of cynicism. Be very mindful how much exposure you allow yourself to them.

-RG

12 comments on “Beware the Snarkologist”

  1. I have said this before, though sad fact, one fast way to popularity or to sell a book is tear something or someone down. Highlight the negative opinions and many run to it.

  2. Its quickly becoming acceptable at all levels. Listen to the politicians I haven't heard anyone express what they would do different to deal with the challenges we face hear in our country. Lies seem to have replaced the truth, excuses seem to be the reasons we assign to our problems to dodge responsibility. I have some serious health issues because of the choices I make, no wait its Mcdonalds fault, no wait its really Wendys problem, no wait I truly think its Burger kings problem...I was enticed beyond my capabilities to resist.. Wait how did I get here. So true Randy why do we allow others to form our opinions.  But if we listen to snarkologists we are not responsible for our choices.

  3. Well said buddy.  I think you are spot on and couldn't agree more.  We need to take our voice back and not let other speak for us.  We are powerful people.

  4. RG.. It's just sad that the magnetism of the cynic and 'half empty' views is embraced by so many. Imagine if there was a complete shift in the Universe where these people didn't exist. Of course, that would upset the yin/yang balance too. Regardless the impact this ideology has on the world is anything but constructive.  Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention and I would add "What you resist persists".. And of all insidious influences in life, Resistance is one of the most powerful.

  5. I taped an American Masters special this past weekend, on this incredible violinist Haifetz, a child prodigy who was coasting on his talent until a reviewer called him on it, and after that, he never rested on his laurels, it was jaw dropping at how he took his playing into the stratosphere when he applied discipline to his raw talent.. being a critic myself, love to review food and wine, never want to be snarky just to show off my wit, but I think there is a legitimate place for criticism if you think someone or something can improve or you got something to contribute..

  6. Hi Randy, There is a book called Polar Bear Pirates in Fat City, which refers to your Snarkologists as neg ferrets, bloaters etc..... It really is a great read, putting a comical spin on the world of business we live in and the people we come into contact with each day. I highly recommend it.

  7. Randy, it is one thing for someone who professionally sings to criticize someone on "The Voice" but it is something completely different for someone who couldn't sing to save their lives to blog from the comfort of their mom's basement in their underwear to do the same. Was that kind of snarky? Some people will tend to try and build themselves up by tearing others down. It's almost a sport.
    As Always, Here's to Your LifetoSuccess,
    God Bless You,
    John Clark

  8. You mustn't forget the people in your own life who behave the same way, not just people who make a career or build a business on it. 
    After all, whether intentionally or not there are many people who do NOT want to see you succeed at anything and sometimes that can be your friends, family and people you work with. 
    Really, someone can always improve, but there is a difference between being good at something while choosing to push the envelope, and being downright terrible.
    I'm still focusing on creating electronic and electronic dance music at 33 years old. I am aware that because I am older than some of my competition, some people will say "no" to me, some won't listen to what I produce because I am not "hip".
    I figured if what I create is good that is more important than my numerical age. 
    A lot of people who end having careers in the entertainment business tend to have their successes in their teens or 20s, so I am a bit terrified of continuing this at my age, but I've let people stand in the way long enough. 
    I debate sometimes if this is foolish or not to continue to pursue. 

    I mean, I am pushing the status quo a bit here.

  9. I rarely listen to FM radio b/c of "snarkism", unfortunately FM is played a lot in retail "hip", very frequented stores..I just tune it out..
    one has to be extremely mindful of it as "acceptable retail environment background ambiance"; it's cynical "anti-light" effects are def. not condsucive to attracting prosperity consciousness

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  • 12 comments on “Beware the Snarkologist”

    1. I have said this before, though sad fact, one fast way to popularity or to sell a book is tear something or someone down. Highlight the negative opinions and many run to it.

    2. Its quickly becoming acceptable at all levels. Listen to the politicians I haven't heard anyone express what they would do different to deal with the challenges we face hear in our country. Lies seem to have replaced the truth, excuses seem to be the reasons we assign to our problems to dodge responsibility. I have some serious health issues because of the choices I make, no wait its Mcdonalds fault, no wait its really Wendys problem, no wait I truly think its Burger kings problem...I was enticed beyond my capabilities to resist.. Wait how did I get here. So true Randy why do we allow others to form our opinions.  But if we listen to snarkologists we are not responsible for our choices.

    3. Well said buddy.  I think you are spot on and couldn't agree more.  We need to take our voice back and not let other speak for us.  We are powerful people.

    4. RG.. It's just sad that the magnetism of the cynic and 'half empty' views is embraced by so many. Imagine if there was a complete shift in the Universe where these people didn't exist. Of course, that would upset the yin/yang balance too. Regardless the impact this ideology has on the world is anything but constructive.  Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention and I would add "What you resist persists".. And of all insidious influences in life, Resistance is one of the most powerful.

    5. I taped an American Masters special this past weekend, on this incredible violinist Haifetz, a child prodigy who was coasting on his talent until a reviewer called him on it, and after that, he never rested on his laurels, it was jaw dropping at how he took his playing into the stratosphere when he applied discipline to his raw talent.. being a critic myself, love to review food and wine, never want to be snarky just to show off my wit, but I think there is a legitimate place for criticism if you think someone or something can improve or you got something to contribute..

    6. Hi Randy, There is a book called Polar Bear Pirates in Fat City, which refers to your Snarkologists as neg ferrets, bloaters etc..... It really is a great read, putting a comical spin on the world of business we live in and the people we come into contact with each day. I highly recommend it.

    7. Randy, it is one thing for someone who professionally sings to criticize someone on "The Voice" but it is something completely different for someone who couldn't sing to save their lives to blog from the comfort of their mom's basement in their underwear to do the same. Was that kind of snarky? Some people will tend to try and build themselves up by tearing others down. It's almost a sport.
      As Always, Here's to Your LifetoSuccess,
      God Bless You,
      John Clark

    8. You mustn't forget the people in your own life who behave the same way, not just people who make a career or build a business on it. 
      After all, whether intentionally or not there are many people who do NOT want to see you succeed at anything and sometimes that can be your friends, family and people you work with. 
      Really, someone can always improve, but there is a difference between being good at something while choosing to push the envelope, and being downright terrible.
      I'm still focusing on creating electronic and electronic dance music at 33 years old. I am aware that because I am older than some of my competition, some people will say "no" to me, some won't listen to what I produce because I am not "hip".
      I figured if what I create is good that is more important than my numerical age. 
      A lot of people who end having careers in the entertainment business tend to have their successes in their teens or 20s, so I am a bit terrified of continuing this at my age, but I've let people stand in the way long enough. 
      I debate sometimes if this is foolish or not to continue to pursue. 

      I mean, I am pushing the status quo a bit here.

    9. I rarely listen to FM radio b/c of "snarkism", unfortunately FM is played a lot in retail "hip", very frequented stores..I just tune it out..
      one has to be extremely mindful of it as "acceptable retail environment background ambiance"; it's cynical "anti-light" effects are def. not condsucive to attracting prosperity consciousness

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