to all the haters

November 7, 2007

Most people that really know me, know that I love language. I love pop culture and all things cultural. I love thinking and writing about how language is used and current slang (or not so current) often provides me with a lot of entertainment. For example, I can’t seem to go anywhere without hearing people throwing around the word “hate” and going off on a tangent about these “haters/hatas/z.” It had gotten to the point where I wanted to scream because I was so annoyed and fed-up with the term but what I ended up doing was trying to deconstruct its usage and figure out why it irks me so much.

Now “hate” as a word and a concept even, has a valid role to fill in the world in which we inhabit. The flip side of good if you will, and the favorite past time of Lord Voldemort (if I may be permitted to throw in a random Harry Potter reference there). People like Emmitt Till and Martin Luther King died as a result of hate. Possibly even Tupac as well, possibly (unless he’s under an assumed identity basking on a private beach in Tobago as we speak). That’s true hate. The kind that fuels people to commit horrendous acts. The kind of hate that should not be celebrated.  So bear with me…

Nowadays though, there seems to be a whole lot of hate swirling around the atmosphere and if myriads of people are to be believed the world over, people are being allegedly “hated on” for a variety of reasons from the mundane to the ridiculous. On top of which, if myspace is to be believed (sheepishly admits: yes, I am on myspace too so don’t hate. Or going ahead and hate. Whichever), then everyone it seems, just hates everyone. Those people really make me laugh and it’s not just myspace but in many other places, if you look for it, you can find the supposed “hate” echoing off the lips of any and everyone with any kind of persuasion toward urban/street culture. And no, I am not sipping on “haterade,” I’m actually downing a cold glass of my own mauby cordial–so ha! Anyway with that realization, here is where it gets sticky. Most of the people going on and on about their “haters” most vocally are the kinds of folks who really don’t want to hear my two cents. They are single-mindedly focused on getting ahead of the competition while providing more fodder for the “haters.” In fact, they will quickly label me as one too.

 I do think there is a kind of desensitizing going on with the word. Or maybe that’s just me. Everyone it seems, just has a plethora of people who “hate” on them because of the car they drive, their name brand clothes, the  price of their shoes, the color of their hair, the person they are involved with or the mere fact that they exist. And it’s all just ridiculous really and reeking with a kind of narcissism. Do people really “hate” you or do you just like to think that they do? As Whitney Houston once famously proclaimed, “show me the receipts!”

One of my favorites is those people who tag pics of themselves online as, “for the haters.” Haven’t you ever noticed that people are always talking about “the haters” as this kind of invisible entity running around somewhere out there, seething in indignation and plotting against said individual? Who are these supposed “haters” anyway and how did you happen to come by this information exactly? And supposing any of this is even true, why give “them” the necessary attention? I have come to the conclusion that people have just grown accustomed to throwing around the word, “haters” and “hate” much in the way of some kind of phantasm that one begins to think is real. I think that the next person who says anything about their “hatas,” should be able to furnish me with a list of at least 20-25 names of people that I can actually confirm as staunch haters or otherwise stop going on and on about how much people hate you. It’s just unimpressive and gets quite lame. Especially since it seems like everybody is just hating on everybody. *Yawn*

People seem to be moving through life more and more on the presumption that all these people are just going to be “hating on” them at every turn. For many people it’s a given. Must be a nice way to live one’s life. What with keeping an eye out for all the haters. Take another famous online posting mantra, “if I was you, I’d hate me too.” Aimed at who exactly I wonder? (Let’s hold hands and sing kumbaya instead.) But seriously, why would anyone presume that someone would HATE them and relish the fact. However seriously or not as it is implied in slang. Implicit in this too, is the notion that people are always being “hated on” for no apparent reason. At least according to the hatees–you know people being hated on. So people who don’t even know you, must automatically hate on you and you’re absolved of responsibility for this “hate.” Sure, that makes a lot of sense.

Because of what though? You’re too good looking? Or something? The lack of responsibility bothers me the most because with all this “hating” flying around the place, no one is ever responsible for anything. Consider this, everyone who is being hated on, is experiencing this by virtue of just being the envy of hordes of various people around–supposedly. There is always something to be coveted too in all this hating: a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a swagger, success and what have you. Cause of course you never, ever hear people say, “well my haters are justified!”

I’m just thinking, that if it’s not even really real, (which honestly is where I think the vast majority of people who say this fall) maybe you are responsible for your own figments of imagination and/or perception of others around you.  People are not going to like you. Deal with it. It is not however, an excuse to act like an asshole (young men of a certain demographic often fall prey to this logic) oftentimes espousing things like: “well people gonna hate anyway…” This still does not give you a pass.

More problematically are the people who declare things along the lines of, “thanks to all my haters, you keep me motivated.” Now supposing that is true, why do you need negative energy to inspire you? Why would anyone? I believe in karma and I believe that thoughts can have power. I do not believe it is worth my while to go through life based on the premise that people must and will automatically be quote-on-quote “hating” on me for the simple reason that I exist or whatever other silly reasons I need to wear my “hata-blockas” for.

Futhermore, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. “Hating” in terms of the popular slang usage that is, not the I-am-a-member-of-the-KKK and therefore I hate you because you are not white way. (And for the record, I am not white, and I go to school in the South, so in my case, that would be a SERIOUS situation there). What’s the difference? There is a difference and if you are reading this and don’t see that there is a difference, then that is also a problem. So what if there are people out there who ‘hate’ me? There might be someone out there, right this very instant, grinding their teeth and muttering in a hate-filled growl about, “that damn Trini girl” but you know what, that’s their hard luck.

I won’t dwell on it, or celebrate in their existence, or use it to help me get through life. Should their presence become known to me for whatever reason, then I don’t keep tabs on them and what they are up to either. I don’t want to. I just don’t give a fuck. I frequently see people drive themselves up a wall worrying and imagining what all their supposed “hatas” are up to. Stop worrying and please stop seeing “them” as a source of strength. Now on that note, I could easily hate on Beyonce just cause she’s bootylicious and goes on yachts in the Mediterranean among other things (and maybe it will get me into the gym more often but most likely not). But really, what good is it going to do me?

Furthermore, I don’t actually know her and well, it’s just pointless to harbor all that negativity toward someone unnecessarily. Or necessarily, as in the case of skeevy ex-male friends. Still, you won’t see me patting myself on the back, relishing in the hopes that people are haters of me because I am just so important–I know am not and quite frankly I just don’t have the time or energy. The problem is not the fact that people may not like you or may not wish you well, because that’s a fact of life. There will always be those people in your life, likewise in my life. I’m just sick of hearing everyone talking about those said people. I am not necessarily a pacifist just a “couldn’t-be-bothered with it” person.

If you collect haters (real or imagined) like trophies on a shelf, it might be worth your while to do a little introspection about why that is so and why that is necessary to build your self worth. (Re: The infamous call to haters that “people are hating so I must be doing something right!” Or you just as easily might be doing something wrong.) Anyway that’s just my spiel. I just wish the hating would end because there are people in this world dealing with true hate and you’re just stealing their thunder.

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