Giving up snark for Lent?

Last year for Lent I gave up snarking. In response, my husband, my blog commenters, and even my literary agent deluged me with snark-worthy news stories, trying to get me to break my vow.

Now Snart writes: “Here it is Lent, and we haven’t asked if you’ve given up snarking this year. Sorry. Do let us know, so we can ‘help’ you along!”

The answer is no – I haven’t forsworn snarking. This year I’ve given up using my hands. It’s easier. Granted, with my arms tied behind my back the driving does get dicey. But I’m a whole lot less stressed out.

Nevertheless, vow or no vow, I am trying to avoid sarcasm. I want to become a kinder human being, and not make kittens cry, and avoid going to hell. As proof, here are recent stories I have not commented upon.

“Dawn Goes Lesbian.” For those in North America who still think the BBC broadcasts Jane Austen adaptations 24/7, brace yourselves. This documentary follows “Dawn, a girl-girl with a big love for men (‘as friends, lovers, boyfriends, anything!’) [who’s] prepared, for our sake, to thoroughly immerse herself in the lesbian life for a whole month.” The program was so hugely insulting, I can only beg the world’s lesbians: please don’t judge all us straight women by this twit. Thank God the Guardian‘s Anna Pickard, snark-maestra extraordinaire, live-blogged this one so I didn’t have to.

Fur Flies at Beauty Pageant.

GOLDEN HILL, Md. — Contestant No. 1 sashayed down the catwalk, her hair bouncing in blonde curls, and smiled a radiant beauty-queen smile. She picked up a furry dead rodent about the size of a football.

Then she took out a very sharp four-inch blade and stuck the point in just above the animal’s tail.

“Then,” she said, narrating the incision as sweetly as a Miss America contestant talking about world peace, “you’re going to want to take your knife . . .”

It’s the Miss Outdoors 2008 pageant, which “combines the worlds of beauty contests and competitive muskrat skinning.”

” . . . You want to take your knuckles,” 17-year-old Samantha Phillips, Contestant No. 1, was saying. One of the pageant judges squinched up her face in shock. “And separate the meat from the hide, just like this.”

“Oh my God!” a boy in the audience yelled, at the sight of a woman in perfect makeup with her hand inside a muskrat.

Then, from another part of the crowd: an older woman’s voice: “She’s good.”

I repeat: I have not blogged about this.

Goodness has its limits, however, and the next story pushed me beyond mine: Language barrier scuppers walker.

A man who planned to walk from Bristol to India without any money has quit, after getting as far as Calais, France.

Mark Boyle, 28, who set out four weeks ago with only T-shirts, a bandage and sandals, hoped to rely on the kindness of strangers for food and lodging.

But, because he could not speak French, people thought he was free-loading or an asylum seeker.

He now plans to walk around the coast of Britain instead, learning French as he goes, so he can try again next year.

Mr Boyle, a former organic food company boss, belongs to the Freeconomy movement which wants to get rid of money altogether.

In Boyle’s freeconomy, generosity apparently begins with gimme. And so the Blanche DuBois walking tour grinds to a halt.

He forgot that give-and-take should involve more than taking. Well, I’m happy to give it to him.

4 responses to “Giving up snark for Lent?

  1. Eight years ago, after a few unsuccessful attempts, I gave up smoking cigarettes- during Lent. It was rough. Well…worse than rough, but it worked. I haven’t smoked since.

  2. I cannot believe the moratorium on snarking was a year ago. What shall we call you this time? Venus?

  3. Wow, you are showing astounding fortitude in the face of nearly irresistable temptation. I suspect that if Anna Pickard had not dealt so extensively with Dawn Goes Lesbian (I don’t even know who Dawn Porter is and was stuck between lesbo-rage and hysterics as I read, along with heavy use of “well, duh!”), the load of snark-worthy material might have put you over the edge.

  4. I’m falling in love with your self-restraint! However, to point out that this change in British tele may not be a recent as you suggest, I recount the following…

    I was in Manchester maybe 10 years ago at a conference, when some of my (female) English friends pointed out two young women at the hotel bar, mentioning that they starred on a TV show, one scandalously playing a lesbian. So, of course, I went to the bar introduce myself. Why not? Being on a working vacation in England is kind of like living in a dream world, only the hangovers hurt more. I asked for the girls’ autographs by way of introduction, and they were not rude at all. However, it soon became clear that I didn’t have the faintest idea who they were or what show they were on. I had to own up to being supplied with the key information by some nearby, female drinking friends. At this point, the eyes of one of the young women widened with a predatory look, and she asked me at least three times “which were my female friends who were so interested?” Somehow, I felt it would be wrong to reveal my sources, so I made my excuses and managed to exit stage left.

    So, I may have stymied young love, or lust, but at least I was not the barroom victim, for once!

    Can’t remember my point, but be careful driving with your nose, and, great blog!

    St. Louis Jim

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