Snarky, sarcastic, negative or honest?

There’s a thread currently running over on SLU decrying the banality of many of the SL blogs you’ll find splurged over the internet – the vast majority of which, it seems, are of the fashion review variety. The poster, and those who have commented in response, is disappointed that many of the old school SL bloggers have packed up their keyboards and thrown in the virtual towel, and certainly my own experience is that a huge proportion of the bloggers that I’ve followed over the past few years appear to have stopped posting, the majority without warning or explanation.

Our SLU poster is unimpressed with what remains, and their plaintive plea is for links to any remaining bloggers of the aforementioned ‘snarky, sarcastic, negative or honest’ persuasion.

I was surprised to see that my own blog was mentioned in dispatches – surprised for two reasons: Firstly, it’s always a bit of a shock to realise people do in fact read these pages, and secondly, I not entirely sure that I’d have considered myself as fitting into any of those particular categories, other than ‘honest’ perhaps, but then again, it’s up to the readers to judge; I am after all likely to be somewhat biased!

The does underpin a belief that I’ve held for a while now, that whether reading about the real or virtual world, people are becoming disinterested in plain narrative, and prefer something with a bit of bite and attitude. Maybe this is indicative of society in general, but these days it certainly seems to be the case that snark sells. You only have to consider the popularity of websites that exist purely for the purpose of satirising, criticising and humiliating others to realise that the human condition is one which responds extraordinarily well to negativity and sarcasm, and if we are going to insist on being honest, then let’s have brutal, unforgiving honesty that leaves you lying whimpering in a pool of blood – that’s what people respond to these days.

We could, I suppose, consider it a shocking indictment of society in general that kindness and decency lose out to nastiness and sneering every time, but I think the root cause is something more fundamental than we just happen to enjoy being mean. My personal view is that there is so much that happens in the world about which we feel impotent and subjugated, the only real means by which we can purge those feelings is through targeting the source of our ire in an attempt to make it feel as uncomfortable as it has made us feel. Often this can be tempered by wit and humour, but with an acid edge to it. So, for example, when the leader of the free world tweets an asinine and ill-observed comment that no-one holding such a position of power and authority should ever presume is acceptable, we vent our helpless rage in the only way we can – contempt and mockery – because having him quietly removed and locked up in a padded room is simply never going to be in our remit, unfortunately.

I’d contend that the same is true for SL. Years of frustration, fruitless complaining, petty annoyances, griefing and other misgivings means that many residents simply feel helpless when things go wrong in SL or seem never to improve. It feels pointless to rail against the platform or Linden Lab, because experience tells us it will achieve nothing, so instead we find solace in seeking allies who manage to put into words the things we’d love to say, if only we had the chance. So we find those bloggers who tell it as it is, warts and all, and nod sagely, with a wry smile upon our lips as we read their discourses.

Unfortunately, much of this angst is misplaced – if we stick to the facts, SL is better than ever and, if anything, is enjoying something of a renaissance. Sadly, this won’t help many of the good folk over at SLU who may not have even logged in for years, and if they were to take the plunge now, would have to face the horrors of going through a second noobhood, grappling with the new challenges of mesh, experience keys, jelly babies, bento and such like – you just can’t win, I’m afraid! Sorry guys.

At the end of the day though, I’m always grateful to those who read and subscribe to this blog – I do appreciate your support and feedback – and I’m really not bothered how you want to categorise me. Maybe I can be a bit snarky and sarcastic at times; I can live with that – hopefully I’m not overwhelmingly negative, although I think most people would soon tire of it and walk away if I was. Honest? I hope so, and I’d also like to think I give a balanced opinion, although it will always be my opinion – how you take it is entirely up to you. The bottom line though is, and always has been: These are my thoughts and nothing more, you can agree with them or not, but as long as SL still exists, I’m still going to write them, no matter what!

s. x

Now that I’ve tried to
Talk to you
And make you understand
All you have to do
Is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands
Extreme – More Than Words

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