Some group, gathered for the mutual appreciation of some slightly obscure subject, be it an author, artist, or what have you. Inevitably, someone in there starts to go on about the "true" whatnot, and how those that have come to the subject more recently just don't get it, aren't worthy, etc. Try to point out that this is partly due to the obscurity of the subject, and that, as those in the know, it is a duty, then, to further that knowledge so that the subject may live on, and these same intellectuals will go on and on and on about anything else, derogatorily poutting down 'the masses', without ever bothering to address the subject of spreading the knowledge.
Because they feel good in their superiority. This subject makes them feel as if they know something no one else does, and that makes them bigger (boils down to the 'Big Dick' theory: doesn't matter if they can't see it and it doesn't make you any better at anything, if you have a bigger dick, you want everyone to know). If they can point out the flaw in the way you stated something, they don't have to address the flaw in their thinking. Popular form of modern debate, this is: to derail the convo into whatever ditch you can find, so that, in the end, your flustered opponent gives up trying to even talk to you, and you can go back to your little group, feeling like you accomplished something.
For example, I'm part of a H.P. Lovecraft mailing list. Someone recently decided to start a rant about how gaming has hurt HPL's work, and has no part of advancing him. This has become the most active the list has been in months, and no one has even addressed the original point I retorted with, being that, as those with the knowledge, we should be helping to encourage the spread of his work, instead of looking down our noses at, as the original poster put it, "teenageers and 20-something nerds" who discovered HPL through gaming.
Oh, I've been attacked, though. And in possibly the stupidest way. The original poster openly claimed to be a snob (his words!) about it. In my response, i used that term back, quoting him and referring to his position, and mentioning that, since people like this are the ones who want to know more, it makes him look like a source of info on an obscure author and not like a know-it-all jackass. Some other squid jumps in and starts yammering about how I had nothing to say since I was resorting to "ad hominem" attacks (ignoring the four paragraphs above those comments, apparently). When i pointed out that 'snob' was his word, and that the 'jackass' comment was part of a larger comparison, and that he should read for context, his response was to claim I was "wriggling out of it", was still pointless, made some crack about that being "all the context someone with half a brain needed", and gave the ultimate shithead line, claiming the 'conversation was concluded'.
Watch out for that type, my friends. That's a loaded gun, waiting for you. See, if you say anything in response to it, you look aggressive and inflammatory. If you do not, you look like you conceded, and lost. it's the kind of thing that this sort likes to use to attempt to look superior, because it implies that what you have said is the end, and there is nothing you can do or say to change it...when, frequently, all it really means is that the person cannot think of anything better to say, and knows that they can't really defend themselves any further. Generally, they're trapped, and so, with a intellectual sounding epithet, they "close the book" on the convo.
I've chosen to not bother responding. I don't really care how it makes me look to him, since he's proven he's a complete moron. As to the rest of the group, well, they can just debate themselves into a burning hole in the ground, it won't make one bit of difference. The game will still sell, it will still attract new fans to lovecraft's work, and the original poster will still be wrong.
I have better things to do with my time than attempt to argue with a bunch of unicellular poseurs.