Specialized Snobbery?

We have always been aware of the existence of snobs. Some of us were gregarious, some shy and certain others were simply snobs. Snobs were the kind of people who frowned upon everything and felt superior to everyone. That was then. This is now. Yes ‘snobs’ as we knew them are a thing of the past. We now have ‘niche’ snobs. So instead of aspiring to be a snob one seeks specialization.

Over the last few weeks I have come across “tea snobs”, “hotel snobs”, “coffee snobs”, “Mac Snobs”, “PC Snobs”… the list is endless. There are more flavors of snobbery than Ben & Jerry ever invented for their ice creams.

Snobbishness is an aspirational quality and if one aspires one achieves. But now the choices are endless, confusing! I have to decide what kind of a snob I want to become. Maybe I’ll invent my own brand of snobbishness. My husband is already a McDonald’s Value Meal snob, I need to think…time is running out…there must be something that sets me apart that calls out…this is me…this makes me unique… I am not like the rest of you.

It is a complicated world out there. The choices are immense and being a generalist in any field isn’t enough now it seems. We want to say, hey we are nice people, we are not snobs, with the exception of tea. When it comes to tea we only want Earl Grey.

Why just today I was reading an article in the New York Times about a growing concern for the environment. Al Gore is finally getting the validation he sought. People are genuinely concerned that he may have a point. His documentary – An Inconvenient Truth – is all set to be released on May 24th. A movie that reviewers have said manages to effectively drive home the truth that if we don’t take action now, we’re doomed, global warming is a reality and we are actively engaged in the destruction of our own planet. I mention this in the context of increasing “specialization” because this article talks about a class of people known as “light green”. So now we have our “browns” (what else can we call the loonies who don’t share the growing concern for the environment?), the “greens” the activist recyclers and role models like Darryl Hannah who drive cars that run on discarded McDonald lard and our “light greens”. The “light greens” are the people who will not eliminate habits that are destructive to the health of the planet but will do us all the favor of cutting back. They will drive smaller SUVs, they will be less destructive to the environment than they were before. Well, I suppose there is something to be said for baby steps!

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