Is it ever OK to be a snob?

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IcedNote
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Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by IcedNote » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:08 am

I was thinking about this today.

Usually people don't like to be called snobs...because there are certain negative connotations. But does it always have to be a bad thing?

I've been called a music snob for a long time. HOWEVER...I think that I've kind of "earned that right" because of all of my training. So I don't bat an eye when someone says that of me. It's not that I turn my nose to people who like different music than me, but I certainly don't pretend to like it! :D

What do you think? Is it ever OK to be a snob?

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by IcedNote » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:09 am

From www.dictionary.com :

snob
–noun
1.
a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
2.
a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainfulof those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.


Hm, apparently that negativity is actually part of the definition. I don't think helps my thread any, but let's ignore it. :mrgreen:

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jack stowaway
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by jack stowaway » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:42 am

IcedNote wrote:I was thinking about this today.

Usually people don't like to be called snobs...because there are certain negative connotations. But does it always have to be a bad thing?

I've been called a music snob for a long time. HOWEVER...I think that I've kind of "earned that right" because of all of my training. So I don't bat an eye when someone says that of me. It's not that I turn my nose to people who like different music than me, but I certainly don't pretend to like it! :D

What do you think? Is it ever OK to be a snob?

-G
No. Never.

I've only ever met or two truely snobbish people in my life. In both cases they were inadequate human beings who took refuge in snobbery.

Patriotism may be the last refuge of the scoundrel, but snobbery is next up the list.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:20 am

jack stowaway wrote:
IcedNote wrote:I was thinking about this today.

Usually people don't like to be called snobs...because there are certain negative connotations. But does it always have to be a bad thing?

I've been called a music snob for a long time. HOWEVER...I think that I've kind of "earned that right" because of all of my training. So I don't bat an eye when someone says that of me. It's not that I turn my nose to people who like different music than me, but I certainly don't pretend to like it! :D

What do you think? Is it ever OK to be a snob?

-G
No. Never.

I've only ever met or two truely snobbish people in my life. In both cases they were inadequate human beings who took refuge in snobbery.

Patriotism may be the last refuge of the scoundrel, but snobbery is next up the list.
I don't know what the first part of the sentence refers to, perhaps better discussed in a separate thread. But to stay OT ...

I've met several snobbish people, and you're right, just like any kind of bully, they usually come from a position of fear and insecurity.

One in particular was a man for whom classical music was the only acceptable genre, and even then, he felt it was for the elite, not the 'unwashed masses', his exact expression.

I've heard similar sentiments about Pavarotti ... as though he sullied classical music by performing with popular singers, or sold out cheap with his "Opera Made Easy" CD's. I think there's a lot of $$$ envy behind it.

One of the saddest things I remember was a little girl whose parents taught her that anything other than classical was not 'proper' music, and she was extremely critical of other children who liked other kinds.

Music is music ... and people like some types and not others. It's a matter of taste, not something for labeling others. I personally think Gangsta Rap is frightening and crude ... obviously not everyone feels that way.

Our society is layered with snobbery to some degree ... at all socio-economic levels. Perhaps they need to be identified by something outside themselves.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Ralph » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:18 am

No and I never would be. I treat the great host of figuratively unwashed humanity who can not rise to my level of knowledge, culture or sophistication with tolerant understanding.
Image

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Madame
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:33 am

Ralph wrote:No and I never would be. I treat the great host of figuratively unwashed humanity who can not rise to my level of knowledge, culture or sophistication with tolerant understanding.
And for that, we are most grateful. ;)

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:56 am

I think snobbery is a reprehensible trait, but I wish anti-elitists were held in the same low esteem as snobs. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Dennis Spath » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:29 am

Ralph wrote:No and I never would be. I treat the great host of figuratively unwashed humanity who can not rise to my level of knowledge, culture or sophistication with tolerant understanding.

No doubt about it Ralph, tolerance reflects the sunshine of humility!
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:57 am

jbuck919 wrote:I think snobbery is a reprehensible trait, but I wish anti-elitists were held in the same low esteem as snobs. :)
touché :D

IcedNote
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by IcedNote » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:28 pm

Is there a difference between snobbery and elitism?

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Agnes Selby
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Agnes Selby » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:47 pm

To a certain extent, we are all snobs. How many people
who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady
to dinner with the boss? :wink:

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by slofstra » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:04 pm

Have you noticed that some people will call anyone who is more successful or gifted than themselves, a snob? Otherwise intelligent or talented children will "dumb down" their capabilities in order to fit in. I see the processes by which the elite, however defined, validate themselves as far less insidious than the processes by which the mediocre try to drag the gifted down to their level.

A good book on this very subject is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Ralph » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:22 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:To a certain extent, we are all snobs. How many people
who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady
to dinner with the boss? :wink:
*****

Why would I invite the boss? Sycophancy is wore than snobbery.
Image

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Madame
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:27 pm

slofstra wrote:Have you noticed that some people will call anyone who is more successful or gifted than themselves, a snob? Otherwise intelligent or talented children will "dumb down" their capabilities in order to fit in. I see the processes by which the elite, however defined, validate themselves as far less insidious than the processes by which the mediocre try to drag the gifted down to their level.

A good book on this very subject is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
You're right, Henry ... it's an individual thing, and can go either direction. I should have given more examples, which would have included exactly what you're talking about.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Agnes Selby » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:56 pm

Ralph wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:To a certain extent, we are all snobs. How many people
who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady
to dinner with the boss? :wink:
*****

Why would I invite the boss? Sycophancy is wore than snobbery.
:lol: Yes it is! But, Hey! Promotion is on the way!!!!

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:18 am

Agnes Selby wrote:To a certain extent, we are all snobs. How many people
who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady
to dinner with the boss? :wink:
Agnes, that doesn't make you a snob. We hang with people we know and enjoy, but I can't imagine your thinking you're better as a person than anyone.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:57 am

I've always been a snob as far as eduation and experience goes. I'm not as far as people. If it matters, I've always been a pseudointellectual as well. I'm far to lazy to be a real intellectual.
How many people who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady to dinner with the boss?


It would depend on the bag-lady and the boss. Boy, that sounds like the title of a Damon Runyon story! If I invited the boss because he was more like a friend, and the bag-lady were someone I discoved to be a former professor, or musician, or LBO attorney down on her luck, it might prove to be an interesting dinner.
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Agnes Selby » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:29 am

Madame wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:To a certain extent, we are all snobs. How many people
who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady
to dinner with the boss? :wink:
Agnes, that doesn't make you a snob. We hang with people we know and enjoy, but I can't imagine your thinking you're better as a person than anyone.
----------

No, I don't. It was just an example. I have met plenty of snobs and
felt sorry for their insecurities. It really did not matter to me who
they knew and who they boasted about or what clothes they wore
with fancy labels stitched on the outside of the garment.

Still there will always be people like that. Just think of the English aristocracy.
Coming from Australia, it really surprised me when we lived in London,
to see people so very impressed by snobbery and so willing to accept
to be secondary citizens.

Agnes.

Madame
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:07 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:
Madame wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:To a certain extent, we are all snobs. How many people
who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady
to dinner with the boss? :wink:
Agnes, that doesn't make you a snob. We hang with people we know and enjoy, but I can't imagine your thinking you're better as a person than anyone.
----------

No, I don't. It was just an example. I have met plenty of snobs and
felt sorry for their insecurities. It really did not matter to me who
they knew and who they boasted about or what clothes they wore
with fancy labels stitched on the outside of the garment.

Still there will always be people like that. Just think of the English aristocracy.
Coming from Australia, it really surprised me when we lived in London,
to see people so very impressed by snobbery and so willing to accept
to be secondary citizens.

Agnes.
You brought back some funny -- kinda -- memories of when my parents and went to England in 1986. The first happened in the airport in Vancouver B.C. where my dad bought some kind of Scotch at the duty free shop, and very happily told an Englishman (who said he was a doctor and an entrepreneur) about it. The man replied, oh that's the swill that Americans drink. I about choked. After we boarded, the guy hooked up with a cute young woman and they spent the entire flight giggling and cavorting under a blanket. Real class, that guy. :)

Agnes Selby
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Agnes Selby » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:31 pm

Madame wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:
Madame wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:To a certain extent, we are all snobs. How many people
who abhore snobbery would invite the local bag-lady
to dinner with the boss? :wink:
Agnes, that doesn't make you a snob. We hang with people we know and enjoy, but I can't imagine your thinking you're better as a person than anyone.
----------

No, I don't. It was just an example. I have met plenty of snobs and
felt sorry for their insecurities. It really did not matter to me who
they knew and who they boasted about or what clothes they wore
with fancy labels stitched on the outside of the garment.

Still there will always be people like that. Just think of the English aristocracy.
Coming from Australia, it really surprised me when we lived in London,
to see people so very impressed by snobbery and so willing to accept
to be secondary citizens.

Agnes.
You brought back some funny -- kinda -- memories of when my parents and went to England in 1986. The first happened in the airport in Vancouver B.C. where my dad bought some kind of Scotch at the duty free shop, and very happily told an Englishman (who said he was a doctor and an entrepreneur) about it. The man replied, oh that's the swill that Americans drink. I about choked. After we boarded, the guy hooked up with a cute young woman and they spent the entire flight giggling and cavorting under a blanket. Real class, that guy. :)
:lol: :lol: :lol: Dr. of "what"? I guess he was "curing" her under that
blanket. No? We PLEBS always buy duty free Scotch. I guess
we are as bad as the Americans!!!

HoustonDavid
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by HoustonDavid » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:18 pm

Maybe the Brits think we Americans import some tainted or watered down version of
their "whiskey" (never "Scotch"). Of course we do import some monstrously altered
foreign ales and beers because of some silly ATF restrictions on alcohol content and
Pasteurisation requirements for American markets. Those restrictions don't seem to
apply to wine and liquor, so I would think that Glen Livet (and other "Scotch" products)
in American (and tax-free) stores is the same whiskey the Brits drink, not some "American"
swill. If I am wrong, I'm sure our UK members (those who aren't "snobs") will quite rightly
correct me.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

THEHORN
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by THEHORN » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:39 pm

The problem with snobbery is that when you look down on things which other people enjoy and admire, they can just as easily look down on what YOU enjoy and admire.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Wallingford » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:48 pm

In my experience, there is a difference between jazz snobs and classical snobs.

But it's scarcely measurable.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Brendan

Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Brendan » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:01 pm

In 1986 a whiskey snob may have been referring to blended "scotch" when single malt was all the fashion for the refined palate in Albion. And is it snobbery to prefer a finer product if one is aware of it and can afford it?

Of course, it was the success in America of Glenfiddich than opened up the whole single malt market worldwide, but a good English snob easily passes over mere trifles of fact.

I haven't had a drop of blended whiskey or less than X.O. cognac in years. I mostly drink Belgian or Canadian ales which haven't been tampered with. Just looking at a bottle of Fringante I've aged for three years with 10% alcohol. The website http://www.unibroue.com/products/fringante.cfm says it can keep for 7+. Restaurants in Belgium age Chimay Grand Reserve for up to 24 years. My oldest bottle is 2003 vintage.

I age my wine and ale to improve the flavour. Is it really snobbery when I turn my nose up at the industrial, chemical swill with a "lager" label on it someone passes to me at an office party or something with a snarl of "Get some suds inter ya gob, ya sour old mongrel!"

What others may perceive as snobbery may be simply life experience and unwillingness to compromise. When younger, I drank anything called beer - but I simply no longer have any wish to. I have no wish to listen to rap, drink bad wine or blended whiskey - is that wisdom, experience, development of taste or snobbery?

Some people really are of low class and taste, I'm afraid - at least for some portion or moments of their lives anyway. :twisted:

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:47 pm

THEHORN wrote:The problem with snobbery is that when you look down on things which other people enjoy and admire, they can just as easily look down on what YOU enjoy and admire.
But obviously, what you admire is inherently superior 8)

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by IcedNote » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:19 am

Brendan wrote:What others may perceive as snobbery may be simply life experience and unwillingness to compromise. When younger, I drank anything called beer - but I simply no longer have any wish to. I have no wish to listen to rap, drink bad wine or blended whiskey - is that wisdom, experience, development of taste or snobbery?
This is exactly the issue I was getting at. It seems like snobbery comes into play when someone is a jackass about their tastes. Or at least that's what I'm gathering from this thread.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Brendan

Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Brendan » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:28 am

Accusations of snobbery can also be a form of bullying into conformity or peer-group pressure. The "dumbing down" and conformity of society by accusations of snobbery against folk who wish to improve themselves and their culture is the truly damaging attitude.

Treating people badly or having airs of superiority simply by dint of fortunate circumstance - family, tribe, country etc - seems to me more pointless and stupid than anything else.

But if someone is treating me badly or sniping at my taste or opinion, I feel few qualms about putting them in their place in turn, if necessary, nor do I feel guilty by feeling superior in some matters than others. I have met people who have never, ever read a book from cover to cover in their lives, yet venture forth on multitudinous intellectual speculations of dubious provenance, let alone merit, and insist that their opinion is just as "valid" as someone who has read voluminously on the subject over a period of many years if not decades. They are "entitled" to their opinion - but I still regard them as nincompoops and fools without feeling even a smidgen of snobbery about myself.

And which is worse, a snob who knows a few things or a boor who doesn't?

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:59 am

Brendan wrote:Accusations of snobbery can also be a form of bullying into conformity or peer-group pressure. The "dumbing down" and conformity of society by accusations of snobbery against folk who wish to improve themselves and their culture is the truly damaging attitude.

Treating people badly or having airs of superiority simply by dint of fortunate circumstance - family, tribe, country etc - seems to me more pointless and stupid than anything else.

But if someone is treating me badly or sniping at my taste or opinion, I feel few qualms about putting them in their place in turn, if necessary, nor do I feel guilty by feeling superior in some matters than others. I have met people who have never, ever read a book from cover to cover in their lives, yet venture forth on multitudinous intellectual speculations of dubious provenance, let alone merit, and insist that their opinion is just as "valid" as someone who has read voluminously on the subject over a period of many years if not decades. They are "entitled" to their opinion - but I still regard them as nincompoops and fools without feeling even a smidgen of snobbery about myself.

And which is worse, a snob who knows a few things or a boor who doesn't?
I think it all depends on how they treat other people. And you're right, both are a form of bullying. It's best to stay from them or walk away. Otherwise we find ourselves dropping to their level and giving them the payoff they're looking for to reinforce their behavior and attitude. My opinion, of course.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:38 am

Brendan wrote: But if someone is treating me badly or sniping at my taste or opinion, I feel few qualms about putting them in their place in turn, if necessary, nor do I feel guilty by feeling superior in some matters than others.
Try this one: "I know more about sports [cars, pop culture, whatever] than most people know about anything else." :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:32 pm

When I think of it, all of us HAVE to be snobs. Without thinking highly
of ourselves, how would we have the confidence to tackle
even the smallest hurdle in life? How could we obtain a job
let alone do the job well? How could we give confidence to our
children and how could we tell them that what the other bloke
is doing is stupid and wrong? Feeling good about yourself and
disdainful of what some other person is doing is certainly a form
of snobbery.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by John F » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:15 pm

That's not what snobbery is. Self-confidence and self-esteem are not the same as snobbery, which is condescension de haut en bas to those one considers one's inferiors. This thread is essentially about what the word "snob" means, and the word's bad vibes can't be gotten around.

Another thing that snobbery isn't, besides self-esteem, is a taste for what are called the finer things in life, or even the belief that they are indeed finer than other things. No amount of special pleading can equate "The Simpsons" with the Oresteia, or "Blue Suede Shoes" with the Ring cycle. :) Snobbery, and for that matter reverse snobbery (dismissing classical music as high-falutin' and effete), isn't about critical judgments but social attitudes. These aren't always kept as distinct as they should be, but the difference matters.
John Francis

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by jack stowaway » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:42 pm

Well said, John.

Snobbery is being self-defensively conflated with the right to an opinion when it is actually an offensive social attitude based on disregard for the feelings of others.

Here's a web-definition:

1.One who tends to patronize, rebuff, or ignore people regarded as social inferiors and imitate, admire, or seek association with people regarded as social superiors.

2.One who affects an offensive air of self-satisfied superiority in matters of taste or intellect.

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:29 pm

John F wrote:That's not what snobbery is. Self-confidence and self-esteem are not the same as snobbery, which is condescension de haut en bas to those one considers one's inferiors. This thread is essentially about what the word "snob" means, and the word's bad vibes can't be gotten around.

Another thing that snobbery isn't, besides self-esteem, is a taste for what are called the finer things in life, or even the belief that they are indeed finer than other things. No amount of special pleading can equate "The Simpsons" with the Oresteia, or "Blue Suede Shoes" with the Ring cycle. :) Snobbery, and for that matter reverse snobbery (dismissing classical music as high-falutin' and effete), isn't about critical judgments but social attitudes. These aren't always kept as distinct as they should be, but the difference matters.
-----------

Well, THANK YOU for explaining it to me. :lol:

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by piston » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:37 pm

Where do you live?
Where do you shop?
Where do you eat out?
How much do you tip the maid?
How often do you talk to a 'Nam vet on a monthly basis?
Do you advocate populist causes but send you kids to Ivy schools?
Do you advocate feminist causes but never dine in a working-class district?
Do you speak on behalf of "hard-working" Americans and brown-nose your way into the corporate world?

Those are the relevant questions....
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:20 pm

piston wrote:Where do you live?
Where do you shop?
Where do you eat out?
How much do you tip the maid?
How often do you talk to a 'Nam vet on a monthly basis?
Do you advocate populist causes but send you kids to Ivy schools?
Do you advocate feminist causes but never dine in a working-class district?
Do you speak on behalf of "hard-working" Americans and brown-nose your way into the corporate world?

Those are the relevant questions....
And mostly pretty unfair, Jacques. To take a single example, it is not reasonable to expect politicians resident in Washington (or anyone else who can afford private schools) to send their children to DC public schools. That makes them realistic, not snobbish and not even necessarily classist.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

piston
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by piston » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:28 pm

Maybe, but what can I say, rhetorical advocacy of the lower classes has been known to clash with parents' practical decisions in life.

I'm surrounded with snobs who pretend to speak on behalf of the unfairly treated, the "minorities," the "community," but who behave in entirely individualistic manner when they cash their checks.

As a "communitarian," I especially observe the way "individualists" capitalize on that concept to get ahead. What a bunch of bullsh^tters, all of them! They use that concept for their own professional advancement, never, never mixing with the community they have appointed themselves as a spokesperson. I tell you, there's no greater spoonbarf than a "community" leader who does not live in the community.

Snobbism X 100.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Brendan » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:17 pm

Is that being a snob or not being PC enough for you?

Advocacy does not require personal experience nor a vow of poverty nor trying to mingle with people from another class or district - one can simply view such matters as moral principles that should be upheld even if one never gets one's hands dirty, so to speak.

piston
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by piston » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:38 pm

Tell that to the Baptist ladies who genuinely believed they had the right to take a bus-load of Haitian kids out of their devastated country because they could "help them." One should never assume that community spokepersons are, indeed, representative, or that well-intentioned people are, indeed, committed to helping the others more than to serving their own psychological needs.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by piston » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:40 pm

... or their own professional needs....
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Madame
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:49 pm

piston wrote:Tell that to the Baptist ladies who genuinely believed they had the right to take a bus-load of Haitian kids out of their devastated country because they could "help them." One should never assume that community spokepersons are, indeed, representative, or that well-intentioned people are, indeed, committed to helping the others more than to serving their own psychological needs.
Or the women in the 'Feed My Sheep' group at the local Catholic church who give their time every Friday evening to cook and serve delicious home-style food to the families in a Seattle shelter. Merely upholding moral principles doesn't fill the belly.

piston
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by piston » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:08 pm

I think there's a difference, dear, but I could be as thick as a brick. It is an old Catholic tradition to give self, for one's own salvation. For generations, nuns served as nurses, as welfare workers, and as asylum workers, not primarily to help the patients, that is true, but to give their own life to God. Yet, I've never heard of Catholic nuns going to Haiti with the intention of adopting kids. What was particularly irritating about the latter situation is that the fate of these kids' parents had not been clarified before they were snatched away for the Dominican Republic.

Nuance.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by piston » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:20 pm

What is of interest in this instance, and of potential connection to the topic of this thread, is that the leader of this Baptist iniative, Laura Silsby, reportedly:
She's been the subject of eight civil lawsuits, 14 for unpaid wages, Whitaker reports. Her Meridian, Idaho house is in foreclosure. She's had at least nine traffic citations in the last 12 years including four for failing to register or insure her car.
Is the lady psychologically stable? Does she have an urgent need to justify herself existentially? Why the hell does she think she can care for anyone when she can't care for herself?!

I know, this is getting some distance away from being a snob. Yet I think a root cause of snobbery is the belief that one can "make a difference" in less fortunate people's lives while being entirely divorced from their reality.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Brendan » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:28 pm

piston wrote:Tell that to the Baptist ladies who genuinely believed they had the right to take a bus-load of Haitian kids out of their devastated country because they could "help them." One should never assume that community spokepersons are, indeed, representative, or that well-intentioned people are, indeed, committed to helping the others more than to serving their own psychological needs.
What on earth does that have to do with anything I said? You are a raving snob and PC fundamentalist. In general, that is far, far worse than those you pour your contempt upon. That the ladies were misguided and naive does not mean that they were acting with malice or snobbery - nor that the kids might not have been "better off" objectively away from the devastation of an already impoverished nation. Your own good intentions are simply another fork in paving the road to hell, IMHO.

Madame
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Madame » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:12 am

piston wrote:I think there's a difference, dear, but I could be as thick as a brick. It is an old Catholic tradition to give self, for one's own salvation. For generations, nuns served as nurses, as welfare workers, and as asylum workers, not primarily to help the patients, that is true, but to give their own life to God. Yet, I've never heard of Catholic nuns going to Haiti with the intention of adopting kids. What was particularly irritating about the latter situation is that the fate of these kids' parents had not been clarified before they were snatched away for the Dominican Republic.

Nuance.
Piston, I misinterpreted your post ... I thought of those ladies as doing something, vs merely standing on principles. Now I understand what you really mean. Thus, my reply.

And these are not nuns, but lay members of the church, and the one I know truly is not doing this for her salvation, she's doing it because people are hungry. She grew up in poverty and she knows what it means to be hungry. I had moved into an 'action' vs 'talking' mindset. Getting one's hands 'dirty' instead of wringing them and saying 'ain't it awful'.

Is this in synch with the point of the thread?

Dennis Spath
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Re: Is it ever OK to be a snob?

Post by Dennis Spath » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:21 pm

piston wrote:Maybe, but what can I say, rhetorical advocacy of the lower classes has been known to clash with parents' practical decisions in life.

I'm surrounded with snobs who pretend to speak on behalf of the unfairly treated, the "minorities," the "community," but who behave in entirely individualistic manner when they cash their checks.

As a "communitarian," I especially observe the way "individualists" capitalize on that concept to get ahead. What a bunch of bullsh^tters, all of them! They use that concept for their own professional advancement, never, never mixing with the community they have appointed themselves as a spokesperson. I tell you, there's no greater spoonbarf than a "community" leader who does not live in the community.

Snobbism X 100.

I wish to thank you for maintaining your obviously sincere idealism in the face of implied criticism from those you may see as pragmatically self-righteous. Communitarianism was unknown to me as a term for what we thought we were doing in the early 1960's....seeing our work on behalf of the less fortunate as practicing the golden rule. Perhaps there was a certain amount of do-gooder snobbery involved, since most of us did not actually live among those we attempted to help.

This was Chicago, and a few dedicated young couples and bachelor types did move into the neighborhoods and were involved in day-to-day operation of social services outreach. One in particular I knew and respected, a 24 year old Ford family heir, had the advantage of not having to work for a living. He was anything but a snob, although there are those who'd attribute his motives to assuaging feelings of guilt for having been born rich. My sister worked at the 16th Street YMCA...was named an honorary Blackstone Ranger...and her husband wrote computer programs for the SCLC.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

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