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Best snark I've seen *EVER* - Input Junkie
October 20th, 2013
08:44 am

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Best snark I've seen *EVER*
The DSM-V as Dystopian Novel.

One of my favorite bits:
The word “disorder” occurs so many times that it almost detaches itself from any real signification, so that the implied existence of an ordered state against which a disorder can be measured nearly vanishes is almost forgotten. Throughout the novel, this ordered normality never appears except as an inference; it is the object of a subdued, hopeless yearning. With normality as a negatively defined and nebulously perfect ideal, anything and everything can then be condemned as a deviation from it.

The Minimus Moralia (mentioned in the satire) is available online. The tone of the satire is sufficiently remote that I wasn't sure any of its references really existed.

Possibly of interest: The Book of Woe, a history of and attack on the DSM-V. I haven't read the book, but a radio interview with the author made it sound promising.

How the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality isn't a disease.

Top link first seen from siderea, but also available from supergee and at Making Light.

The title of this post should be viewed as a challenge. What's your favorite snark?

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1021285.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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[User Picture]
From:minnesattva
Date:October 20th, 2013 02:10 pm (UTC)
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That is amazing. Thanks for sharing.
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From:acelightning
Date:October 20th, 2013 02:58 pm (UTC)
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What's my favorite snark? This - the nifty little electronic tuner I bought when I had my banjo-ukulele(*) refurbished :-)


(*) See my most recent journal entry.

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From:elenbarathi
Date:October 21st, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
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I recently got one of those too; they're terrific!
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From:acelightning
Date:October 21st, 2013 08:29 am (UTC)
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This is the first stringed instrument I've ever played in my life, and I started to teach myself how to play it (with the help of the internet, and a book that turned out to be mostly useless) on August 28th. I do have perfect pitch, but, as a complete beginner, I wanted to be able to verify my tuning. I've got the cheapest version of the original clip-on tuner, which is more than adequate for my needs. It's definitely my favorite Snark :-D
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From:elenbarathi
Date:October 21st, 2013 09:47 am (UTC)
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I play fiddle, guitar and Celtic harp, and the Snark tuner has definitely made life simpler, especially in noisy venues. My perfect pitch has lost its fine edge due to tinnitus, which is triggered by background noise, so tuning was taking too long and getting too frustrating; now it's quick and easy again.

Except for the fact that my dear old guitar has to be tuned slightly 'off', because the chords aren't in tune if the open strings are tuned spot-on, due to the slight warping of the neck. I've had it straightened as much as it can be, but it's always going to have what's called 'color', and always going to be finicky to tune. So after I tune it with the Snark, I still have to fine-tune it by ear - fortunately, once it's in tune, it'll usually stay there.
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From:acelightning
Date:October 21st, 2013 12:59 pm (UTC)
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All I knew about ukulele tuning when I started was a dim memory of Arthur Godfrey singing "My dog has fleas" to the notes of the four strings. I discovered that a uke is tuned rather strangely; the lowest-pitched string is the second one, not the topmost one. The Snark doesn't care; it'll just tell me how close the pitch is to what it's supposed to be, no matter what that might be. Ain't technology wonderful? :-)
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From:whswhs
Date:October 20th, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC)
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That is a really great piece of satire. The primary conceit inspires a lot of really funny lines. I especially liked the mention of the novel's self-referential portrayal of its own author in the section on OCD!
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From:harvey_rrit
Date:October 20th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
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My favorite snark remains what Harlan Ellison said when he was asked where he got his ideas from: a P.O. box in Schenectady. Mail them $24.95 and they send you a six-pack of ideas.

Writers who realize that tracking down the process leading to an idea can take longer than writing the story have elevated this answer to an archetypal theme.

(Everybody's got their own now. Roger Zelazny said he put cookies and a bowl of milk outside the back door at night, and in the morning there were ideas neatly stacked beside the bowl. But as good as this is, it was still Harlan Ellison who started it going.)
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From:elenbarathi
Date:October 21st, 2013 01:48 am (UTC)
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Haha, I just got done reading that from the link on conuly's blog. So brilliant!!

My all-time favorite snark is Thomas Babington Macauley's review of Southey's Colloquies on Society. It's absolutely devastating:

"Mr. Southey brings to the task two faculties which were never, we believe, vouchsafed in measure so copious to any human being, the faculty of believing without a reason, and the faculty of hating without a provocation."

"Now in the mind of Mr. Southey reason has no place at all, as either leader or follower, as either sovereign or slave. He does not seem to know what an argument is. He never uses arguments himself. He never troubles himself to answer the arguments of his opponents. It has never occurred to him, that a man ought to be able to give some better account of the way in which he has arrived at his opinions than merely that it is his will and pleasure to hold them. It has never occurred to him that there is a difference between assertion and demonstration, that a rumour does not always prove a fact, that a single fact, when proved, is hardly foundation enough for a theory, that two contradictory propositions cannot be undeniable truths, that to beg the question is not the way to settle it, or that when an objection is raised, it ought to be met with something more convincing than 'scoundrel' and 'blockhead.' "


... plenty more where that came from, too. I don't say that I necessarily agree with all his conclusions in that piece, but I cannot help but admire his take-no-prisoners style.

Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses by Mark Twain holds second place, and it's a lot funnier, especially if one has actually read Cooper:

"Cooper's gift in the way of invention was not a rich endowment; but such as it was he liked to work it, he was pleased with the effects, and indeed he did some quite sweet things with it. In his little box of stage-properties he kept six or eight cunning devices, tricks, artifices for his savages and woodsmen to deceive and circumvent each other with, and he was never so happy as when he was working these innocent things and seeing them go. A favorite one was to make a moccasined person tread in the tracks of a moccasined enemy, and thus hide his own trail. Cooper wore out barrels and barrels of moccasins in working that trick. Another stage-property that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was the broken twig. He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and worked it the hardest. It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn't step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and whites for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred other handier things to step on, but that wouldn't satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can't do it, go and borrow one. In fact, the Leatherstocking Series ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series."







Edited at 2013-10-21 01:57 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:whswhs
Date:October 21st, 2013 02:24 am (UTC)
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If you want snark, I really like the lines Alexander Pope inscribed in the collar of a little dog he gave to Charles II (who liked little dogs a lot):

I am His Majesty's dog at Kew.
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
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From:agrumer
Date:October 21st, 2013 06:09 am (UTC)
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My favorite snark is The Onion’s piece for the fifth anniversary of 9/11, “NYC Unveils 9/11 Memorial Hole”:
"From the wreckage and ashes of the World Trade Center, we have created a recess in the ground befitting the American spirit," said New York Governor George Pataki from a cinderblock-and-plastic-bucket-supported plywood platform near the Hole's precipice. "This vast chasm, dug at the very spot where the gleaming Twin Towers once rose to the sky, is a symbol of what we can accomplish if we work together."
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From:elenbarathi
Date:October 21st, 2013 08:36 am (UTC)
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The Onion has so many good ones to choose from! I favor this one from Jan. 17, 2001, Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'.
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From:rysmiel
Date:October 21st, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
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The corpse of many a hero slain
Deck'd Waterloo's ensanguined plain,
Yet none by salvo or by shot
Fell half so flat as Walter Scott.
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