Against snark, he pits smarm, that horrible scolding attitude that inevitably prefers to distract attention away from substance in the name of tone. Smarmers hate rudeness more than they hate the fact that some people are freezing and dying while others are complaining about having the wrong brand of cereal. Smarmers can't be bothered to think past their single-celled program that meanness is the woooooorst. OMG, not MEANNESS. SO MEAN. Meanwhile, acts of actual cruelty, vast ignorance, and widespread hypocrisy and shallowness persist, and discussions among those with differences of opinions are dismissed as inhumane, regardless of the value and quality of the thinking behind those opinions.
Smarm is the wet dream of PR.
When you hear a voice say "Everyone's a critic," listen for the echo: "Everyone's a publicist."
Scocca also exposes David Denby's supremely smarmy (and white-guy paranoid) response to Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing.
Yeah, it's long, but here, see what you think.