Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hate, is it a waste of good adrenaline?

Hate is a strong word. Very strong, supposedly the opposite of love, which is a pretty strong thing on it's own. Sticking the two together has always been a bad thing. But this is not what I was going to say. I was worried that hate might be losing it's sting by being applied to the mundane and crappy, rather than things more deserving of it's wrath.

For example, I found myself the other day walking past a radio and thinking to myself “I hate coldplay”. Now, while I find the music of coldplay to be whiny, dirgey and awful to listen to, I'm not sure it deserves a dose of the power of hate (hey Huey Lewis, there's a dark side to you too). It would be more accurate to say that I am not fond of the music of coldplay, and would rather not hear it.

On the other hand, I rarely hear people use the word hate for things properly deserving of it. We are saddened and shocked by genocide, and human rights abuses, murders, assaults, etc. etc. yet we rarely use such a simple guttural, and primeval emotion as hate to describe how we feel about these things. We intellectualise about such things in an attempt to alleviate the effect it has upon us, and reach for the thesaurus in order to be disgusted, revolted and appalled by the actions of madmen throughout history. You never hear anybody say “I hate Hitler”, for it seems too mild for the job. Though “I hate the Beatles” seems thoroughly appropriate.

In fairness, Love has the same degree of use, many of us will exclaim our love of cups of tea, chocolate hob-nobs, and the music of AC/DC. But I suspect it is not the same as the love we feel for our spouses and children, much the same as the hate we feel for wasps is on a different level from that we would have for anyone who deliberately harmed our spouses and children.

But, surely with most equals and opposites, you need a decent amount of both to maintain a balanced life and personality. Interestingly in this case, I think not. I have not yet seen anyone take hate and use it constructively to better their lives, in fact generally it twists you up inside and stops you thinking properly until you let it go. Now, I hear myself say, love also twists you up and stops you thinking properly and can truly and properly fuck you up sometimes. So surely it is best to avoid both. Interestingly I wrote a fairly shit song on this subject called Love, Hate, Corrosion when I was 18. It was shit, though for some reason I also had it written on my guitar for years....

Nice logical argument, I am clearly a vulcan. I must avoid emotion. But...

Without love, where would you be now? As the Doobie Brothers said. Pretty lonely and miserable for most of us I think. Even if it is just the love you get from your parents, even if it is just the love of a dog, or a cat, it makes us happier people, we feel wanted. Can you say the same for hate? Certainly you can get a rush of adrenaline from it like any strong emotion, but is it a good thing?

To be honest, I gave up on proper hate so long ago I can't remember. I decided it was no use to me as an emotion, and have spent the last 20 or so years trying to understand the things I might hate, and why others might love them, or just like them even. Now to many this makes me incredibly annoying, as I switch sides mid-argument, and don't really do shouty angry about stuff. But fine, if they want to waste good adrenaline on being annoyed let them. I'll keep mine for AC/DC and the Wife.

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