Are you a snob?

I Find Karma (
Thu, 7 Aug 97 15:49:29 PDT

As the only FoRKmember who regularly reads Cosmopolitan magazine, I
can't say I would recommend that anyone else regularly read Cosmo.
Still, every once in a while it does give me some insight into how other
people think.

Take the current issue, for example (August 1997, with Jennifer Aniston
on the cover). One cover story on Jennifer Aniston, who sounds from the
interview like a really nice person (and we all know her boyfriend Tate
Donovan is a nice person when he's not hanging out with Sandra Bullock
or playing Hercules). One article on how to make a man beg in bed (two
words, "show interest"). One article on how to "cheat proof" your
relationship (one word, "communication"). An article on "when your sex
drive is higher than his" (this is a problem?!?!). Ho hum.

But lookey here, a cute little article on how to put a snob in her
place. Four types of snobs are identified: intellectual snobs,
crunchy-granola snobs, status snobs, and downtown trendoids. The trick,
according to author Julie Taylor, is to "spot a snob's slams for what
they are before you react." Ah, so her definition of a snob is someone
is *overtly* snobby toward others. By that strict definition, then, I
am not a snob. But I take her sidebar poll anyway:

> Are you a snob? Put yourself to the test.
> 1. Do you think most of your coworkers are pathetic?
> 2. Can you not believe how stupid network TV is?
> 3. Do you think most people have zero taste?
> 4. Do you have no clue as to the names of the guys in your office mailroom?
> 5. Do you have a preferred brand of bottled water?
> 6. Do you feel way smarter than the majority of the population?
> 7. Have you not eaten fast food or shopped in a chain store in the
> past six months?
> 8. Can you name all the designers in your wardrobe?
> 9. Do you correct peoples' diction, grammar, spelling, or word choice?
> 10. Has anyone ever called you a snob to your face?
> Five or more yes answers and you are in the Snob Zone. You need to
> recognize that you're not, in fact, superior --- you're probably better
> at some things and less good at others, like everyone else. One of the
> beauties of life is that you can learn something from a homeless person
> and a Nobel laureate, but not unless you learn to respect people. How?
> Examine your own insecurities and overcome them, instead of taking them
> out on others.

Now, as I indicated, from the technical definition of snob, I am not a
snob; however, when I take the quiz I'm 70% in the Snob Zone. I just
don't vocalize what I think.

Anyway, I'd like to know what's wrong with snoberry, especially as a
willful component of elitism? It kind of reminds me of RobH's argument
with someone who was against beauty contests -- what should we do,
encourage everyone to have average looks and never strive for the
superlative? Of course not, that would be as ridiculous as saying
everyone should strive for average intelligence.

OF COURSE I cannot believe how insipid network TV is. With the
exceptions of Seinfeld and The Simpsons, almost everything out there
insults my intelligence. Not that this stops me from watching it.
Besides, Daria and King of the Hill and that new Animated Show on comedy
central with the people who live in the snow all look promising...

OF COURSE I know most people have zero taste. Look no further than the
top of the movie, music, software, television, or book charts. Look at
the fashions and foods that are popular. Ugh, people suck.

OF COURSE I feel way smarter than the majority of the population.
What's that line we're so fond of saying? Just think how stoopid the
average person is, and then cower in fear that half the population is
even dumber than that! It's the Dilbert principle, too: people are idiots.

But I'll never say it to anyone's face. Never, ever, ever. I still
believe in etiquette as the glue of our society. Rohit may love the
truth beyond even etiquette, but to me, the glue is king. The bits are
all right, the clue is fine, the vision is insightful, but for me, the
glue reigns supreme.

This does not, of course, mean that my life consists of only
brown-nosing. But yes, I like going out of my way not to piss off

For that matter, I like going out of my way not to piss on someone, either.


Okay, it's like this. Even the samurai have teddy bears, and even the
teddy bears get the blues.