So What is “Snark” Anyway?


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I don't know whether to be sad or happy.

I published a post today questioning the divisive lifestyles of evangelical theologies (using the specific example of the dig by Dr.Ken Ham against Dr.Peter Enns). This post has received more hits in the past 2 hours than any other post on my blog since I began writing in 2009.

And this is a blog I've been using to raise awareness about human trafficking, reflect on Christ-like, creative responses to social injustice, and sharing the great work other people do. Sure, it's not a big rag… it's just me. I don't have a huge readership like RedLetterChristians or Patheos, but it's a place to call home — as far as home can be online.

Talking about child trafficking… sex trafficking… labour trafficking… Christ's heart and mission for the poor and oppressed…

… and the biggest hit I manage to publish is about the old creation v. evolution debate?

Is it me?

Do I smell bad? (checks armpits)

Nope… although I really should learn to re-apply this organic stuff. Healthy for a gal, but sure doesn't cut it the whole day through.

One question however that came out of this maelstrom of hits was: "What really is snark?"

Now, this person could be have a snark attack and I might be having an Aspie mini-moment and taking the words seriously, but either way: valuable point.

What is snark?

"Snark", according to the Urban Dictionary, is a word blending of "snide" and "remark" — a snide remark. Its intent is to embody a form of humour, but that humour is often cruel, malicious or sarcastic. The thing is, the Millenial Generation (that is my generation and younger) speaks fluent snark and has often become a way of communicating valuable points.

Except in the name of points, we're losing people.

So here I am pondering: what is "snark"? How is it effective? What is offensive to one person could be outright hilarious to another. There are no lines because it's a blurry area to begin with. What makes me laugh my butt off has another person in tears. What has me furious has another person saying "Meh."

And then Rachel Held Evans posted "Christians and Humor: Thoughts on Making it Work".

Perfect day for it!

Not only do I get to publish TWO posts in 1 day, but I get to publish a conversation starter about the very thing that many Christians are struggling with, whatever the issue, whatever the doctrine, whatever the denomination.

I loved the portion where she says:

"Now, the opposite of mocking idols is mocking that which is truly holy. And this is where cynicism comes in. Cynicism perceives everything as fake and therefore mocks everything as fake. Cynicism begins with the assumption that there is nothing good or pure or holy in the world, that any form of sincerity should be regarded with suspicion. My generation is great at satire, but it is also pretty great at cynicism. I sense this within myself and struggle daily to keep my cynicism in check by cultivating the fruit of the spirit, nurturing my sense of wonder and gratitude, and practicing grace."

There may be times and places where snark or sarcasm could actually be effective. But they need to used with care.

And maybe… sometimes… we Christians need to sniff ourselves and discover: "Oh! That stink is US we're putting up! Sorry about the BO, folks!"


… most popular post isn't about creating ways to support trafficked youth. It's "eviloshon" v.creationism?

Really, folks???? REALLY???? (says with incredulity in her voice)

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