Richard Beck at Experimental Theology posts about the universal nature of snobbery and got me thinking. He identifies some areas where he thinks he’s a snob — i.e., someone who “feels a self-satisfied superiority” or who feels they can be a critic “in matters of taste or intellect” — which include sneakers, pens, watches, bikes and ice cream. I think he may also be a snob about frugality and simplicity — I recognise the symptoms, because I’m one, too. Some of my other areas of snobbery include:
Grammar and punctuation: yes, I have read the Chicago Manual of Style from cover to cover and feel I know. Usually.
Theology/theodicy: I think Girard and Alison et al. have it at least 80% right and though I regularly read other points of view, I usually feel those other povs are missing the point.
Gardening: Hey, variegated foliage rules!
Beer: I know what’s best in what climate and circumstances, whether it’s a dark beer, a chocolately porter, an IPA, a brown ale, a Belgian, or what have you (unless what you have is a Bud, Michelob, Coors, etc.). Wine? No. No idea what’s good. I just like what I like.
I notice that except for beer, none of these is an object. I can’t think of an object I feel I have any business critiquing. Maybe home decor or photography, though I like a very wide range of styles in each endeavour.