28 February 2009 @ 04:00 pm
The Conservatism of Internet ‘Bastard Culture’  
For a subculture concentrated in a medium associated with social liberalism, the Internet ‘snark’ or ‘bastard’ culture (that is, the culture exemplified in Internet communities like Something Awful, Portal of Evil, Stupid_Free at Livejournal and Encyclopaedia Dramatica), is surprisingly conservative. Members of offline social minorities continue to find themselves on the wrong end of criticism, even though the anonymity of the Internet is often interpreted as a liberating medium for those who do not conform to social sexual, political, perceptual or philosophical norms. The idea that being heterosexual, stereotypically American, white, cisgender and neurotypical is inculcated just as fiercely. There is often little difference between what the 'snarkers' say and what offline pundits and humourists like Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus, Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity say. (I am using American pundits as an example because the snark culture is primarily American, and seems to draw much of its inspiration from American entertainers.)

Examples of what I'm talking about. )