David Denby, author of Snark, will be at Stacey’s Books (581 Market Street at Sansome St.) at 12:30pm. Author events at Stacey’s usually last about 45 minutes, so it’s even possible to fit into a long lunch break.
From Stacey’s website:
“New Yorker critic and bestselling author David Denby takes on snark—a tone of teasing, snide, undermining abuse, nasty and knowing, that is threatening to take over how Americans converse with each other and what they can count on as true. Denby offers that Snarkers like to think they are deploying wit, but mostly they are exposing the seethe and snarl of an unhappy country, releasing bad feeling but little laughter.”
It sounds like an interesting discussion. The stand-out snark examples that come to mind for me are blog commentors and maybe, albeit to a lesser extent, Rachel Maddow. The blog example is obvious — scroll down through the comments of popular blogs and you see plenty of anonymous rants and mean-spirited comments. On the Rachel Maddow Show, the snarkiness is less mean-spirited, but it’s still marked by a knowing, sarcastic tone and a bit of undermining abuse. Maybe it’s a good thing to have Rachel, to counteract the snark coming from the snarky rightwing commentators, but I guess despite being on Rachel’s side of the political fence, I’d rather get my news without the side of snark. In any case, it’ll be interesting to hear Denby. I’m adding the book to my to-read list.