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Buster Benson

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On Snobbery
gray haired professor
Poll #908590 Snob & Snobee

Are you a snob about anything? Meaning, do you have anything that you personally demand meet a certain high bar over what is normally expected?


If yes, what are you a snob about?

And of course, what kind of snobs do you dislike running into?

A couple brief words on snobbery please.

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Hmm. This is a hard one for me to answer, so I haven't yet. I don't normally think of myself as a snob except in certain situations...and then I feel guilty about it. The first situation that comes to mind -- going back to Louisiana, where I grew up. I have a specific memory from one of my recent trips, post-divorce, and while we were driving across the Atchafalaya Basin, my mom was trying to have a "real" talk. While trying to couch a response to her, it was like a 2x4 nailed me across the forehead as I suddenly thought, "when did I become such a jaded, elitist snob?"

Yeah, I know some people label themselves as snobs more openly than others. I personally never say I'm a snob, but I know I am about certain things that are difficult to articulate. I'm hoping that by seeing what other people think about snobbery that I'll be able to figure out what I think about it.

I feel that I should clarify a few things in my answers. I don't think that I'm a clothing/shoes snob in that expensive/labels are better than Target -- not at all. In fact, I'm more likely to hate really ostentatious label-conscious items. I'm more of a style snob, which is probably not very nice, but I've had elitist leanings in some form or another since middle school (I used to be much worse) and I don't think they're going away anytime soon.

Also, I do think that people have different definitions of "snob" and I think that mine may be very close to "geek" in that you can be a geek about something in particular -- learn all you can about it, become an aficionado, and expect the things you partake in to be held up to a higher standard because of that knowledge. I guess "snob" has a much worse connotation, but I feel that they are very similar if you're talking about being a specific sort of "snob" rather than just being "snobby" as a general personality trait.

Oh, and I must add that I definitely hate running into music snobs.

But only if it's the Pitchfork/Williamsburg/Fat Baby type of music snob.

that's because you don't drive

Yeah -- the definition of a snob is pretty important here. I usually think of a snob as someone looks down on someone in disdain and it's usually mixed with some elitism in there. Your comment of thinking of a snob as an aficionado would make you more of a connoisseur, at least in my mind. But this would depend on how you view others who don't have the same level of knowledge (the line between aficionado-connoisseur/snob = very thin).

There's exceptions to every rule though. I'll still slum it with a Russell Stover marshmallow filled egg at Easter Time, of course.

That would be another good question... when do you feel like you have the right to be a snob. When do we have the right to look down on something and express that we feel we deserve better?

well, do you ever really have the "right" to be a snob? As Alice says, I think a lot of this is really preference rather than snobbery. I think you have the right to demand whatever you want for yourself. I prefer nicer chocolate usually but I don't judge anyone who wants to eat a Hershey bar. I am a snob about somethings though, like the ever so pervasive video-game-glazed-badly-dressed-bearded boys that seemed to clog the Seattle dating scene when I was doing that. I look down on them and make fun of them. that's probably not right. I look down on people who drive SUVs and live in the suburbs too. I can choose that for myself without judging them negatively, though right?

This was kind of difficult for me because as much as I am a snob about things /for myself/, I think a real snob looks down on others if they don't meet that standard. For instance, a music snob will sneer at people who listen to Dave Matthews Band or Gwen Stefani. I LOVE eating at super expensive restaurants and buying $200 jeans, but I also eat at $2 falafel places and wear $5 thriftstore dresses, and I really don't care what anyone else's tastes are.

I do get really pissed when I am in an expensive store and I'm not served the way I think I should be, although that's really my white lady sense of entitlement rather than snobbery.

I don't think a preference for high-end or particular stuff is the same as snobbery, in other words.

I was just thinking that I'd crossed over into snob territory when someone offered me a Coke and I said "I don't drink that poison!"

So what in particular is motivating this question?

And I've been reading a marketing book that might be quite interesting and relevant for this conversation... should chat about it sometime.

I am totally a snob about quality, authenticity and style. That said, I don't expect others to share my view or belittle others who don't (which is what makes someone a snob).

People usually only consider someone to have good taste when they share the same taste, or when they aspire to the other person's taste... it's all subjective, and pretty much pointless.

Good poll!

being in the grocery store is a challenge. people's carts piled high with items so processed they're practically unrecognizeable as "food" anymore... i hate it that americans are such suckers for products that are hurling us towards our deaths, and yet we scratch our heads about the epidemic of obesity (and cancer, diabetes, etc) and can't turn to any media outlet without seeing article after talkshow after newscast telling us how we *should* be eating, inevitably sandwiched between ads pitching us poisons. somewhere in the last 60 years we just lost the ability to feed ourselves properly, yet we continue to feed the beast that is our demise.

don't get me wrong, i do lots of unhealthy shit, but none of it is partially hydrogenated and an impossible color of orange.

thus my snobbery.

for the rest, be who you are, wear what you want, dance to what moves you, and i'll have your back.

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