The Oxford dictionary defines one as a ‘person despising those whose attainments or tastes he considers inferior to his own.’ Hardly a desirable description of a person. Yet aren’t we all in someway or another that same person? Is there really nothing out there you wouldn’t touch, eat, wear or dance to? Think for one moment and you’ll be hard pushed not to come up with something you secretly despise. It could be anything from The Sun newspaper to death metal, but it will exist in you. In this respect, we are all snobs.
The line between personal taste and snobbery is a blurred one, especially when mixed with elements of class, gender and race. I used to sneer at snobs ironically before I realised that I too was a snob. And so are my friends, and my parents, and so forth. I see a group of lairy young girls heading into Tiger Tiger and I instinctively turn my nose up. Is that snobbery, age, or just preference? I hear some dreadful pop song on the radio and I turn it off. Do I think I’m better than pop music? Or do I just not like it very much. I prefer Magners to White Lightening. Am I a snob, or is it simply personal taste?
Most people adhere to a hierarchy of quality; they develop certain tastes over time and do their best to maintain those standards. Without this conceited attitude, the idea of quality would be based on what is popular – which would spell the end for many of us out there. Imagine a world where there was no fitted clothing, no classy bars, no excellent restaurants, no interesting music. Don’t worry there would be plenty of Primarks, Weatherspoons and Justin Bieber. No one out there likes everything. You may indeed love Primark but would die before you ate a pot noodle. You might drink cheap cider every time you go out but refuse to listen to anything but liquid drum ‘n bass. Yes, there are those who take their views too far, who alienate others with their superior attitudes. It’s annoying, but unfortunately the world needs them. Everyone loves Harry Potter, but without those who care for Shakespeare, our culture would be far less rich. All good music, good food, good clothing, good literature – is based on a desire for better.
Snobs annoy us because they take their preferences too seriously. They can’t enjoy themselves unless they’re specific tastes are being catered for. So what if it’s Sainsbury’s basics. So what if it’s second hand. Valid points indeed, but don’t tell me you don’t enjoy a bit of taste the difference every once in a while. The difference is, most of us are only part-time snobs. We can rough it for the most part - we don’t need extreme quality throughout all times of the day. The standards you keep allow the world to progress. They allow society to evolve.
Just don’t read this on anything less than a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.