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On Hating
Published on November 28, 2011 by Sara Foss

I've been known to be somewhat free with my use of the word hate, prompting my father to once observe, "We didn't raise you to hate."

Last year, after I declared my hatred of the Miami Heat, a reader informed me that "hate is a very strong word." Which is true. I guess. Anyway. Rather than change my ways, I decided to write a whole column about all the things I hate. This list included Bed, Bath & Beyond, colleges and universities that pay their presidents $1 million or more and people who stop to answer their cell phones in the middle of doorways. 

Petty?

Perhaps.

But it's unlikely I'll ever change.

That's why I was happy to read an essay advocating hatred by Elizabeth Greenwood at The New Inquiry, who argues that a certain amount of hate is good for you.

Here's an excerpt:

"Sometimes, especially in arduous and boring times, like a long flight or a dull class, I will pick someone out of a crowd to be my nemesis. My nemeses need not have harmed me, per se, but she or he will be selected for some ghastly, unforgivable trait. There was the Unquiet Canadian, a college-age fellow who, on a three-day boat trip down the Mekong River, barked his strange political analysis in my ear while trying to impress a girl. (He did pose the best rhetorical question I have ever heard: 'Do you know the rape and molestation statistics of Canada?'). And of course, there are ubiquitous nemeses that follow one through life: the ex-girlfriends of current boyfriends, the man who sits with his legs splayed on the subway, the amateur connoisseur loudly explaining the art exhibit. Such nemeses are not a waste of energy or a repository of petty injuries. Rather, they give daily life a purpose. Like love, hate makes us remember that we are alive — but presents itself far more frequently. Today, we hear 'hatred' and flinch, immediately associating the word with jihad or the KKK. But nemeses help us define and articulate our values. Hating helps us define what we are not."

The entire piece interesting. And entertaining! You can check it out here.

 

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