Home Columns The Snark Serial: A Revival Skepticism & Thoughts on the Speculum

The Snark Serial: A Revival Skepticism & Thoughts on the Speculum

by Alexandria Mansfield

“The Snark Serial” is a snark-filled take on life from one of the team’s bitterest writers. Alexandria Mansfield will offer sarcastic remarks, seething reviews and snide satire to more digest life’s bumps and hiccups – and the occasional win. She will also suggest a weekly snack pairing to munch on while reading. (Warning:  Not all snack recommendations may be edible.)

One day recently, I was listening to Taylor Swift’s “folklore” album – again – and reading an article from The Atlantic about the history of the speculum – for those who don’t know, this is the device used to open the vaginal walls during a Pap smear – when I decided I should finally pick up the keyboard for myself again and write my own life advice column. I’ve been a long-time editor, and while this is an exceptionally enjoyable job for me, I have been missing crafting something from scratch. Plus, who better to educate the general public than someone who both listens to Taylor Swift and puts the word “speculum” in the lead of a column?

Life advice columns have always been a sore spot for me. To start with, I edit them, which means I often scoff, disagree, find mistakes and think “What the heck do you know, Heloise?” A few days before deciding to write this, I had even mentioned to my husband that 20-somethings writing advice or posting vlogs or hosting podcasts is the epitome of narcissism. But, since I am a part of the most narcissistic generation ever, why should I try so hard to buck that urge? My high horse was nice for a while, but a public diary is better.

Then came the big question: What do I write about? What would be the most useful to the widest swath of people? Should I talk about how to buy a home? How to plan a wedding? How to look more interesting than you really are on Instagram? How to not kill your family in a pandemic? How to adopt a pet? How to not kill your pet during a pandemic after he’s bitten your ankle for the fourth time during a work meeting on Zoom?

As you can see, the options were clearly endless. And in a time when more people than ever are trying to find their creative outlets, it was initially difficult for me to decide how I could best add to the discussion without having a “What the heck do you know, Heloise?” reaction. So, as with all things on In-Between Media, this will likely be a mix of everything from get-real-about-the-world talks to utter nonsense. Probably mostly the latter.

Thanks for welcoming me to my own egocentric escapades with your time and attention. My hope, above all, is that my readers recognize both my dry humor and my impeccable insights on the human condition.

Oh, and for those who were wondering which “folklore” song was lucky enough to be the background music for my deep-dive into the speculum – pun intended – it was “mirrorball.” For those interested in reading The Atlantic article, it can be found here. (I don’t recommend it for anyone who is easily queasy.)

Due to the speculum talk, there will be no recommended snack pairing this week.

For more complaints, observations and general raging, follow me on Twitter @Alexandriammans.

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