Interesting discourse on "snark" as a response to "smarm", published yesterday. http://gawker.com/on-smarm-1476594977"Through smarm, the "centrists" have cut themselves off from the language of actual dispute. In smarm is power."
The author makes this point, and supports it throughout the article. He speaks to the ability of those who decry "snark" to direct and control public discourse and influence public opinion in ways far more damaging than is obvious on the surface. "At some point, in a piece like this, convention calls for the admission that the complaints against snark are not entirely without merit. Fine. Some snark is harmful and rotten and stupid. Just as, to various degrees, some poems and Page-One newspaper stories and sermons and football gambling advice columns are harmful and rotten and stupid. Like every other mode, snark can sometimes be done badly or to bad purposes.
A civilization that speaks in smarm is a civilization that has lost its ability to talk about purposes at all.
Smarm, on the other hand, is never a force for good. A civilization that speaks in smarm is a civilization that has lost its ability to talk about purposes at all. It is a civilization that says "Don't Be Evil," rather than making sure it does not do evil."