Thursday, March 23, 2006

How do you deal with a Snarker? Everyone meets them, every office has one or two (if they are lucky) and even the bloggernacle has at least one.

The real question that a Snarker represents is how to deal with humorists. If you are Bill Clinton, how do you deal with Doonesbury?

You have several options. You can ignore a humorist. If everyone snubs them, they go away, though the world is often a grayer place without them. Not to mention, almost every community will generate its own humorist or two. In getting rid of one, you need to ask yourself what will take his or her (or their) place. If the Onion (or Sugar Beet) falls, what comes next?

You can fight with them. Shower them with attention and provocation. They will be grateful and you will encourage them to do whatever it was that got your attention to start a fight.

Or, you can try to encourage good humor and ignore the bad. Humorists generally broadcast for an audience. If what they do creates attention and comment, then they do more of whatever that was.

The maxim, of course, is that whatever you feed will grow. The approach to take to any humorist is to treat them like a bonsai, using all the tools available, to encourage the kind of humor that you want.

The rule works for a blogging community, a congregation or a classroom.

Good humor doesn't just occur on its own, it needs cultivation.

27 comments:

Barb said...

I am not sure if this is in line with what you were waying, but I was thinking yesterday about what it would be like if there was only one rude person on the Earth. In this Earth of a billion plus, most people would not have a chance to encounter them or learn the lessons from this encounter. The truth is, that to meet a rude person that we probably just need to look in the mirror. I know that as nice as I try to be for the most part that I even have my lesser moments where I can be rude. If humor is rude, then I think it offers nothing of benefit to society. I agree that one should ignore such humor so that it does not grow. I do not like carictutures as that stereotype replaces the person in so many ways. The large exaggerated smile of a former President in my youth replaces the words from a man that many who even oppose him have said that he is highly intelligent. I feel the news commentary is often like this as well whether or not they are trying to interject humor or not. That is why I do not like to watch the news if there is no substance other than to point fingers or to make a mockery of the person. I have mocked family and friends before. And in doing so I brought shame to myself. When time I mocked a relation that was causing my family such distress and felt a bond with another relation who I have had a history of friction with. It leaves such a bad feeling in the heart afterwards. I want to bond with people in good ways and not in ways that tear others down. I actually have talked very little behind people's back through the years and this is probably due a lot to being taught not to do so by a religion teacher at my Catholic school and also by my mother's example. Sorry if this is too serious for a light post. I am a fan of humor and laugh often. I just hope that I am laughing with someone and not at someone. :)

Barb said...

I just went to the link. I actually like DKL and his wife a lot. That is not to say that I like everything that DKL says. Most of the time I think I get him where other people are just missing the point. He makes me laugh. :)

annegb said...

I'm missing something. I don't see what this has to do with David and Shannon. There was Nate's blog, but I didn't see any mention of DKL.

DKL said...

Thanks for the kind words, Barb.

annegb, if you look at the comments on several posts, you'll see that my wife and I called the snarker on the carpet about her hiding behind anonymity to say and do malicious things. This caused the snarker to basically flip out. As a consequence, she deleted several of our comments and closed commenting on three threads (here, here, and here). Apparently that let to us being snarked this morning, but for some reason the snark is no longer up.

My problem with the snarker is (a) she's anonymous, (b) that she's too often malicious, and (c) she can dish it out but can't take it. It simply won't do to expect other people to be thick skinned when you're unable to take the heat yourself.

For the record, I've never minded being snarked at all.

Anonymous said...

DKL makes me laugh too. Though, as you can imagine, in real life I don't agree with DKL much of the time.

annegb, the snarker had a post up this morning about me and DKL but it is no longer up. For the record, it made me laugh.

I like this post Steve and I agree that we should try to encourage good humor. However, I am not sure about ignoring the bad. Some time ago I woke up to find myself snarked. The snark was not true and it wasn't funny. I was devastated. To that point I had done nothing on the nacle (but be married to DKL) to deserve any kind snark at all. I am not DKL. I am not like DKL. I love him and am married to him, but we couldn't be more different. And yet the Snarker, in his self-declared wisdom, decided my skin was thick enough to withstand ridicule. At that point it wasn't. I sat on the couch and cried and grew thicker skin. The snarker has been incapable of effecting me ever since. But since then I have felt an obligation to defend others when I feel they are unfairly attacked on the snarker (when I see it, I must admit I don't visit that often). It is what I wished someone would have done on my behalf when I felt unjustly maligned. The 'nacle is full of amazing people and I think it is at it's best when we are supportive of each other.

skl

Barb said...

SKL, any comment that I have ever seen you make protrays a wonderful and caring woman. I think that the snarker in their own way think that they are doing some sort of good or serving some sort of justice. Or maybe they just trying to show off their ability to be clever or snarker. I don't know. I think trying to figure out other's motives sometimes can only lead to pain. I think that there are so many gifted people on the 'nacle and I hope the snarker and others use their gifts to do as you said and lift each other up.

I had never been to that site before just now. And I do not plan to return as that is not the type of humor that I enjoy.

I like Steve Evans too--hope I got the name right. Although he did not seem to be willing to go to Sonic with me and have a cherry/lime drink when they had a contest to win an evening out to dinner with someone. All kidding beside, I think that he has done a lot of good.

Barb said...

Tea, if you are reading this message is to you. I really liked all of your blogs at fmhw. I went to your blog for the first time to comment and when I went to submit it, I was told that I was banned from your site. What do you have anti-snarker software or something lol. It may have been due to the length of my post. It banned me at that instant and there were no bad words or anything negative. I wanted to invite you to my not quite ready for prime time online journal at LDSCity.com under Olivia86. The site crashed so I lost all my old entries, but I do have a few new ones. If you would like to pm me there sometime, I would like that. If I do not see you there, I will continue to enjoy your association here and at piebolar and elsewhere on the 'nacle. I feel like I get to know people a lot better than I often do even with those I know face to face in this environment as people do not wear as many masks in the 'nacle. This is getting long. See you later!

Snarkette said...

DKL & SKL,

If anyone flipped out yesterday it was you two. You cannot possibly justify acting like a couple of trolls and cross posting to unrelated threads just so you can scream \"CENSORED!!!\". Its not censorship when you act like trolls, its just plain ol common sense to delete your comments. Ad hominems are not substantive, and neither are your preposterous accusations which had absolutely nothing to do with anything that was going on yesterday. You are often malicious, DKL, and yesterday you were nothing short of vicious. As were you SKL.

The post this morning was removed because the person who had to deal with you last night was irritated with your juvenile behavior so they wrote that in haste and posted it this morning. I stepped in and removed it because it was excessive, even though it parroted what you two posted yesterday. If what you wrote was bad enough to be deleted, then parroting what you write is no better.

SKL, if you were offended or upset with something posted on SN, then you should have contacted us privately and we would have dealt with it expeditiously. We have a very good track record, 100% good in fact, of dealing with people who take genuine offense when none was intended. In all 3 cases where we were contacted privately, the matter was discussed and the offending post was removed.

And, to be perfectly plain, both of you are banned from SN. Any comments you post will be deleted.

Guy Murray said...

Banned from SN? Oh, The Humanity!

Téa said...

Barb-sorry, I've had robot commenters. I'll go in and fix it (I even blocked my sis, oops!)

Ian said...

You aren't being snarky are you Guy? :-)

DKL said...

ROTFLMAO. Banned from the snarker? That's AWESOME! You really have flipped out! (Makes me think you might be Rusty Clifton.) If you keep this up, it might put my status as the most reviled participant in the bloggernacle at risk.

BTW, I never complained about your censorship. I've had too many of my comments deleted to care much. I just wanted to make sure that readers knew that you deleted my comments, so they'd know that things weren't as they now appear.

And I'm sorry to disappoint you, Snarker, but you'll be hard pressed to come up with real examples of my being malicious.

(Sorry about the threadjack, Stephen.)

Anonymous said...

Guy, oh the humanity indeed. I woke this morning to find myself snarked, the snark deleted, myself banned and my comments deleted. Now that is genuinely funny.

Go easy on Rusty, Dave. He's a great guy.

On the occasion where I was offended my motives and my honesty had been called into question. I chose to respond publicly to public accusations. I don't blog or comment often because the idea that my thoughts and comments will be scrutinized is not one that appeals to me.

You have to be able to understand why a person would hesitate to say to an offender whose sole purpose was to offend and ridicule (in this case the Snarker) "You have succeeded in offending me, you have succeeded in upsetting me, and now I am begging you to please do me a favor." I can understand why the Snarker loves it when people do this. It must be a wonderful feeling to know that he has accomplished his goal and someone is on their knees begging for a favor. It is not what I chose to do.

I do not claim that the way I have chosen to deal with the Snarker is the best way. I don't know the best way. Certainly, my comments on that site are snarkier than comments I would make elsewhere. I say things there that would be inappropriate in other forums. However, I haven't been "snarkier" to them than they have been to me and only once have I defended myself. I primarily comment there to point out that IMHO someone else is being unjustly maligned. Often someone I don't even know. I always viewed it as snarky, edgy banter. Apparently the Snarker thought otherwise.

skl

Snarkette said...

DKL & SKL,

You can laugh all you like, but the facts are that you both threadjacked, you both hurled nothing but mindless personal attacks, DKL you used profanity, and SKL alleged censorship when there was none. You both acted like trolls, and now you get treated like trolls. You can try to laugh it off, but given your past performance, you loved posting on SN. Now, you cannot. David, the reason you get banned is because you deserve it, and the reason you are the most reviled person in the Bloggernacle is not because you have "earned" it, but because you deserve it. If it walks like a troll, talks like a troll, and acts like a troll, its a troll.

Guy Murray said...

"you both hurled nothing but mindless personal attacks"

ummm . . . this sounds familiar--I wonder where one could go to see that happen in the bloggernacle?

SKL--I'm sorry your were "snarked" (is that really verb now) this morning. I'm also sorry to hear how your feelings were hurt by this mindless, and useless activity. I read some of your comments over on that site before they were "censored" I appreciated the kind words you said about me and others--thank you, and thank DKL as well.

Regards,

Guy

annegb said...

I'm just confused. I didn't see anything about DKL. I frequently don't have a clue what the snarker is talking about.

It will pass.

I thought Kaimi was the snarker. I didn't know it was a female.

annegb said...

I'm just confused. I didn't see anything about DKL. I frequently don't have a clue what the snarker is talking about.

It will pass.

I thought Kaimi was the snarker. I didn't know it was a female.

annegb said...

I'm just confused. I didn't see anything about DKL. I frequently don't have a clue what the snarker is talking about.

It will pass.

I thought Kaimi was the snarker. I didn't know it was a female.

annegb said...

That wasn't my fault.

But if you don't know I'm confused by now, I don't know what to tell you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Guy. I very much appreciate the support and kind words.

annegb, I think David is sending you an email to explain what is going on.

skl

Stephen said...

I'd like that e-mail too.

Interesting comments, guess I see the Snarker(s) as someone who is learning their way in humor.

Trying, learning, needing to find a balance.

I want to bond with people in good ways and not in ways that tear others down.

Indeed.

Well, this was interesting, but I think I'll back to more core material for me.

DKL said...

Stephen, there's no explanatory aspect of this that's private, I just put it in email out of concern for threadjacking. Basically, over the past few days, I'd found the content of the snarker to be especially mean as it was directed against Guy, Nate, Heather, and Kaimi. (I've consistently voiced my objection to the Snarker's meanness from a very early date.) So I took her to task in no uncertain terms for hiding behind her shield of anonymity. I engaged her in my own signature, DKL way, and Shannon also attacked her for her meanness to others. In short, we made quick business of the snarker, and (in one of her more humorous outbursts) she promptly flipped out, deleted all of our comments, and banned us.

And then yesterday morning the snarker put up a rather lengthy snark on Shannon and me. Shannon read it, but I never saw it. She says it was funny, but the snarker deleted it before I could get to it. I think that (now deleted) snark is what barb is referring to in her second comment (some people seem to think that she's indicating that I am the snarker--but I'm not; she's just referring to the now defunct post that the snarker devoted to Shannon and me.)

Anonymous said...

DKL, your presentation of the events is grossly inaccurate and self-serving. I guess that is the \"signature, DKL way\" you reference above. You and your wife acted like a couple of trolls. Neither of you dispatched anybody and you both flailed madly. Your comments were deleted from one thread, and then you pasted them into an other, completely unrelated thread. Which forced us to shut all the threads down for the night to prevent you from doing the same to more different unrelated threads. And, now, you have poisoned AnneGB against us with your lies, so she is now posting profanity to SN as well, which has also been deleted. Are you proud of yourself, David? For someone who hasn\'t minded being snarked by us, you sure are working very hard to do everything you possibly can to make everyone hate us, just as much as you and SKL hate us. And, for someone who has hidden behind a shield of anonymity himself repeatedly, your criticism just ring hollow and hypocritical.

Stephen said...

So much for my efforts.

Anyway, I think this thread demonstrates a number of things. I need to do a new post to move things on.

Anonymous said...

This reaction from the Snarker and these accusations are nothing short of absurd. Is he serious? Is this just an extended snark? I am sure I don't know. At least I am laughing more than I usually do at the Snarker.

The Snarker is only humorous when there is some truth to what he says and when it isn't mean. He ceases to be funny when what he says is an outright lie and when it is malicious. That is too often the case. The other problem with the Snarker is that he often acts like a typical playground bully. Which is what he does over and over again and which is what he is attempting to do here. In this case, he is being unduly malicious to try to shut people up. He often says things like "you stick your neck out, I will chop it off". And he does his best to make good on his promises. He retaliates when people publicly tell him he isn't funny. And too many get maliciously snarked just because the snarker doesn't like them (I am an example of that - when my name was initially mentioned on the Snarker I was a virtual nonentity in the bloggernacle, I still am). Because I am a nonentity, at this point, I am not at all concerned if I get snarked or banned from the Snarker. I have nothing to lose from speaking up. I dare say he couldn't say worse things about me than he has said thus far. But I believe there is something to be lost by not speaking up. Cowering to the playground bully when it is our friends being bullied doesn't seem quite right.

Like I said before, I don't know the right way to deal with the Snarker and don't claim the way I have done it is the best way.

That said, there is definitely a place for humor on the bloggernacle. I just think that SN is too often malicious and it has missed the mark. I would love to see a funny site pop up that didn't take itself so seriously. Humor has it's place, and there is almost no situation where some form of humor isn't appropriate. It plays a very large role in my life (married to DKL, I assure you it has been extremely valuable to me). But picking on people is never funny.

Thanks for bringing it up Stephen, I will let you get back to your substantive topics now.

skl

Barb said...

I wrote a poem that is a hopefully a gesture of good-will for all who posted or will post or read here.

It isn't easy being a Snark.
It is no walk in the park.

You have to have an original take.
There is no room for copy cats
or fakes.

You can be a Snark with out being mean.
Just make sure your humor is squeeky clean! :)

But then would being a snark be worthwhile?
Ah, only if you do it with style. :)

Anonymous said...

ldsCity.com is back online. I may be able to retrieve your entries.. Come by and I'll see what I can do for you.