Haters keep on hatin’, cause somebody’s got to do it. So said the eminently hateable Chris Brown. I’ve thinking about hate lately, mostly because I’ve been hearing a lot of it for some reason. Montgomery Burns once said “I know you all hate me. Well, I hate you more.” That’s how most of us approach the subject.
Rod Smart was a football player in the ill-fated XFL. His nickname was “He Hate Me,” as in “He Hate Me. She Hate Me. Everybody hate me.” He wore the name proudly on the back of his jersey. No one remembers much about the XFL (“NO FAIR CATCHES!”), but a lot of football fans remember He Hate Me.
I doubt that a lot of people really hated Rod Smart, but maybe they did. He lived in America, and we are very good at hating people, things, institutions, events–you name it. He also played sports, and sports draw a lot of hate. Even if we’re okay with Rod Smart, we hate a lot of other things.
I hate Jim Carrey movies. And kale greens. And hangnails. And the sound a fork makes scraping a plate. And lots of other things. I try not to hate people, but sometimes I do. It usually passes. Right now, I’m pretty sure I hate Jerry Sandusky. If you’ve seen the video of those assbags harassing that school bus monitor, you probably hate those kids. I know I do or at least I did while I watched the video.
I hated a girl I dated. Well, I didn’t hate her while we were dating. I liked her then. She hated me while we were dating; thus, we broke up. After that, I hated her. Then we got back together, and I didn’t hate her as much. Then we broke up again. Hate. I’ve still got some work to do on that one, I guess.
When I was kid, people would say: “I don’t hate him. I hate his ways.” Nowadays, I hear people say: “God loves the sinners, but hates the sin.” Really? Let’s cut to the chase. If you hate how someone acts, there’s almost no chance that you don’t hate the person. Here’s one I’ve heard 1,000 times: “I don’t hate gay people. I hate their lifestyle.” Translation: “I don’t hate you. I just hate everything about you.” Wow. I’m sure that makes gay people feel much better.
As Americans, we’re allowed to hate. We do have hate crimes, but they’re pretty vague and rarely used. Plus, they only cover small areas of hate–race, religion, sexual orientation and the like. There are so many other things and reasons to hate. In addition, hating itself really isn’t a crime anyway. You have to commit some other foul act in conjunction with your hate. General hating is still perfectly legal.
We hate sports teams. I am a University of Kentucky fan. It’s socially acceptable for me to hate the University of Louisville. Okay, maybe not the entire University. Just its sports teams. If I hate the Dean of Students or some English professor, that would just be weird. Rick Pitino, however, is fair game.
When Pitino coached at UK, we loved him. U of L fans hated him. One day, he showed up as U of L’s coach. We hated him. They loved him. Hate is funny like that. It’s very arbitrary.
We hate food. I hate lots of food. Most people do. Pickles? Hate ’em. Raw tomatoes? Hate. Mayonnaise, Diet Coke, malted milk balls: hate, hate, hate. My son hates hamburgers, for God’s sake. You hate some foods. You know you do. Think about them. Feel the hate.
Do you hate any music? Sure, you do. I hate rap. I hated disco back in the ’70’s but now I’m okay with it. That means that one day rap might be okay with me. For now, though, it’s hate all the way.
Do you hate your job? Well, no one cares, because almost everyone else hates their job more than you hate yours. Just ask them.
Some folks hate poor people. Others hate the rich. I don’t know anyone who hates both, but I’m sure someone does. Does anyone hate the middle class? Yeah, I’m sure someone does. Maybe you do. If you do, explain yourself.
We hate religion. Okay, not ALL religion, just other people’s. We’re right. They’re wrong. Of course, we all have a small nagging thought that maybe they’re right and we’re wrong. We hate that even more. If you’re a Christian, you have to think that all non-Christians are just flat wrong. That aggravates you. Sometimes, it makes you hate another religion, especially if that religion hates Christianity. Atheists hate all religions, except their own. Of course, most people won’t openly say that they hate other religions. That’s just not kosher, which is okay to say even if you hate Jewish people.
Let’s take the vile, reptilian God Hates Fags troglodytes from Kansas. When I see them or even think about them, I hate them. Oh, it will pass, but I hate them for a few minutes. I’m betting most Christians hate them, too, if only for a minute or two. Atheists, I’m sure, hate them. They’re very hateable. If God hates anything, it’s those turds. Of course, it’s unlikely that God hates anyone, except maybe Job. Then again, there were also all those smitings, too. Hmmm. I may have to think about that one.
Politics and religion are often compared. We all know that those are two topics that you just don’t bring up in polite conversation. They both engender a bunch of hate or, at the very least, hatefulness. Why? Because it allows us to hate entire groups of people based on little more than their associations or views. Politics is the ultimate hatefest. It’s the last bastion of irrational prejudice. You can hate an entire political party, yet be a welcome member of society. Try that with an entire race or religion, and you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time alone.
Politicians are the most hated folks on the planet. Do you hate President Obama? If you answered “no,” there’s a good chance you hate Mitt Romney. If you hate both of them, then you might love Ron Paul. If you hate Ron Paul, then you probably love Ralph Nader. Obama and Romney both might be right fine fellows, but they’re hated because they are in the wrong political party.
There is an important difference between hating something or someone and actually expressing that hate. No one cares if you openly hate a sports team. Irrationally loathing someone because of their uniform is no big deal. Same goes for politics, obviously. But, we have to be careful about expressing hate for the wrong reasons. You go from being a rational hater to a dangerous misanthrope.
We can easily hate someone who is in the wrong group, whether it’s a political party, church, or sports team. It’s different when we personalize it to, say, our next door neighbor. Tell people that you hate Obama, and a lot of folks will high-five you. Tell them you hate the kid who mows your yard, and they’ll be creeped out.
Now, you shouldn’t hate Obama because he’s black, although surely some do. That’s just wrong. If so, you better keep that to yourself. Here’s the good news: you can hate liberals, regardless of their race. Hate all you want. By extension, you can hate anyone who is a liberal, regardless of race, creed or national origin. One caveat: Be careful about how vociferously you express your hate of the President. Don’t write him letters about it. The FBI will visit you. They hate that shit.
Let’s take Romney as another example. He’s a Mormon. My grandparents were Mormons. So were my Mom’s sisters and their children and grandchildren. I’m not a Mormon, but I think Mormons are fine folks. Some people disagree. They think it’s a cult of heretics where everyone has 10 wives. Mormons have been hated. Probably still are in some circles. You can’t say: “Man, I hate Romney because he’s a Mormon.” But you can say: “I hate that Romney. Damn Republican!” Odd, isn’t?
So, you can hate a religion, but you should keep it to yourself. Same with race. Politics, though, is different. Hate all you want and do it in public. No one cares, except the people who will hate you as a result.
You really can’t hate some things. Animals, for instance. I don’t know that I’ve ever met someone who says he hates animals. Okay, cats are an exception. People will say they hate cats, but cats are smug, and some hate that in a pet. Otherwise, if you hate animals, you’re going to fit a serial killer profile. Some people love animals but hate humans. As a result, animal hate is dangerous territory, indeed.
Here’s a little experiment:
- Create a group on Facebook called “I Hate the President.” Make the profile picture the worst thing you can find of the President. Maybe this one:
- Then, create a new group called “I Hate Romney.” Use this ridiculous image:
- I assure you that some people will like these pages. In fact, some people will become enthusiastic members of your group with their own outrageous postings.
- Now, create a page called: “I Hate Rescue Dogs.” Not only will no one like it, everyone will hate you. You’ll probably be subjected to all manner of investigations and be banned from Facebook. You will be unfriended. Your student loans will be declared in default, your mortgage foreclosed and the IRS will audit you. Even the ACLU will turn on you by representing the rescue dogs in a class action against you. The Southern Poverty Law Center will declare you to be a hate group.
The lesson? Hate people if you want. Leave the animals alone.
It’s still unacceptable to hate your family. I find this odd since some people’s families are dangerous criminals or worse. Folks will say “Don’t forget to call dad on Fathers Day!” What if your dad is Charles Manson? Or just a total bastard? I know people who hate their families, but they keep it quiet. If you do, you should probably just keep it to yourself. Think about this: With all the hateable people in the world, how can some people not hate their families?
I’ve heard it said that hating someone is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. That’s true for me. So, I try not to do it. I’m not always successful. Sometimes, I will hate the entire UK basketball team for a fleeting moment or two. Then, I love them again. I think my children hate me on occasion, and it’s tempting to hate them back. So far, I’ve resisted, but it’s a struggle. I used to be an angry young man, who hated a lot of stuff. Then, I realized that all that stuff didn’t hate me back–or really even know I existed. This realization freed me up to spend more time thinking about me. One good thing about being egocentric is that there isn’t much room in my head for dwelling on others, what with all the things going on with me.
Sadly, there are few things that I’ll confess to hating, and I don’t think those will change: Jenny from Forest Gump; gum on my shoe; migraines; Winter; poke sallet; toothaches; door to door salespeople; port-a-potties; being hit in the face; Aunt Bee; the two warts on the back of my right hand; Christian Rock music; and people who hate too many things.
So, that’s my screed on hate. I’ve professed myself an expert. Don’t you hate it when people do that?