This blog turned four months old this week. I mention this because I was looking over my 64 posts and I realized that none of them contained a rant. I do that everyone in a while in my real life. I lose it, go off on a rant, have a pill and a glass of sweet tea and everything is better. The closest thing to a rant was a blog I wrote during the summer about the ten bands I dislike. Those who know will tell you that wasn't a rant, it was me statin' not hatin'. I talk about thoe ten bands a lot. This rant will be about hate. It's time someone provided some prespective as to what hate is and is not. Let's get on with it, please.
The schism between my generation and my teenage daughter's is symbolized by how we view criticism and self awareness. I have found people under the age of 25 say "I love this" "I hate this" "I love him/her" and "I lhate him/her" a lot. It's overused. Everyone of you reading this will go through your life and truly love and hate few things and people. Why? love and hate are extreme emotions that can only be sustained by importance of the people and events involved. I love my wife, my daughters, my dog, my parents, my in laws, my sister in law, my niece, my cousins, my grandparents and six other people who know who they are. Other than than those people, I haven't been able to sustain respect long enough for them to have them qualify for my love. The same can be said for respect. Bill Clinton, of whom I am not a fan, once said "to hate someone, you have to respect them. I respect the people I hate." Brilliant words from someone I don't even like.
I've noticed my daughter, her friends, and people around their ages bristle at direct criticism or others criticism of people they like. About a year ago my daughter and my wife were conversing about the pop star Lady Gaga. My daughter was still gaga over Gaga while my wife, who likes some of her music, ripped the music diva for her style, behavior, stage presence and other things. My daughter jokingly called my wife a "hater". I heard the term earlier tonight on twitter when I dared critcized the new media darling, convicted dog killer, admitted pothead, and waster of millions of dollars, Philadelphia quarterback Micheal Vick. Vick is playing well with the Eagles and there seems to be a buzz of empathy for him. His celebrity appears to be rebuilt. When I questioned this, three people, all under the age of 25, tweeted I was a "hater". Yet, I never called Vick a name, used foul language, or even talked about him personally. I had never heard anyone called a "hater" until maybe 10 years ago. I think the rap/hip-hop community popularized it. I don't really care. I find that anything someone says something critical, even constructively critical, the immediate response is "you're just hating" or "you're a hater". Pompous, hypocritical, and deeply talented hip hop artist Kanye West even drops this line in the middle of his entertaining song, Stronger; "Homey take six, and take this haters".
What I want the younger generation to realize is, if you do something stupid, or in the case of Micheal Vick, criminal, and someone mentions it, they aren't being a hater, they're being an analyzer or a critic. There's a difference. This is hate; People of a certain race are inferior to another. This is criticism; The guy pitching for my favorite baseball team who is being paid 15 million dollars a year, has an over 4 era and gives a lot of hits and baserunners. He should be better.
Hate is what Hitler did. Criticism is what everyone everyday engages in to either make people around them better or raise the intellectual quotient.
For the record I hate fewer things than I like. I also hate few, if any people, because if I lose respect for someone, I immediately relegate them to grave indifference. Which is the opposite of love.
Recently I had a good twitter conversation with Del the Dad aka @delthedad on twitter, here's his blog: http://www.delthedad.com/ . Del was fired up about politics, I was trying to soothe his savage beast. The conversation turned to how crazy a lot of mommy bloggers were and eventually we were talking about our kids. That's how dads roll on the internets. The mommy blogger portion of the tweetfest was right down this hate alley, I'm writing about. People, especially younger ones, are so sensitive to brutal truth and any criticism, even constructive, that they immediate play the hate/hater card and squash healthy debate within minutes.
This rant ends this way. People, get over yourselves. Most of you are completely full of crap. So am I. I am wrong more than I am right, just ask the women I live with. Learn self-awareness. The late great comedian Bill Hicks once said, the one thing more dangerous than nuclear weapons is people's failure to grasp humor. I'm sure someone called him a hater right after he said that and Hicks probably smoked another cigarette and found someone intelligent to talk to.
Here's Lady Gaga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Abk1jAONjw
Here's Malcolm X talking about hate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izy6BiCV3Nw
Here's Kanye West: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsO6ZnUZI0g
Here's the late great Bill Hicks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvM-WQP7SOw
Take that haters