This was how I broke the best
Indifference, overblown with confidence and ignorance
It all made sense
And then I watched them take the test
I believe it's better to inflict than to attempt relief
You ask me what you need
Hate is all you need
Deep inside you lives a disease. A malignant tumor that eats away at your core, slowly ripping apart your reasoning, your compassion, your charity, your sense of worth, your very humanity. It is destroying you, wrecking your relationships, your family, your community, your health, the life you once knew. You have been feeding it; maybe for a few months or years, maybe for as long as you can remember. The disease is contagious. It has grown beyond both your desire and your ability to contain it, and it erupts from you at the slightest provocation. Some people see it and are repulsed. Some have never been exposed to this virus, and are receptive to the seed. And then there are those few who recognize the disease and feel validated, because the cancer already lives within them. This reinforces the tumor's grasp upon its hosts, and spreads the plague a little further. Eventually it consumes nearly every waking moment of your consciousness, and begins to shape your future. It will not stop.
Hate is all around
Find it in your heart in every waking sound
On your way to school, work or church
you'll find it is the only rule
Build a different world
Hate will help you find what you are looking for
Hate is everywhere
inside your mother's heart and you will find it there
You ask me what you need
Hate is all you need
Look deep down inside yourself, and you'll find it. Maybe it was borne through insinuation. Wickedly subtle, but quick to anger. Perhaps it found you through its favorite expression: violence. It may have been a part of your childhood development long before you even had an awareness of it. You or someone you love may have been wronged by a manifestation of its power, and the infection spreads. Maybe the "wrong" was just your perception or the perception of those who held influence over you, but no matter; it thrives on ignorance. That and fear comprise its primary support system. Like bacteria, it grows best in the dark. If you contracted the virus from those closest to you, those you trust and respect, it undoubtedly germinated without your knowledge. You might be without any memory or frame of reference without it. And you will pass it on to your children, your friends, your colleagues, and even to acquaintances whose names you will not remember.
This is how I won the west
Charity, a joke that friendly cities think that we believe
Or so it seems
We kicked and punched and stabbed to death
And everyone applauded my fine actions
I was overcome
You ask me what I've seen
Hate is all I've seen
It's so pervasive and diverse, it has its own lexicon! Abhorrence, anathema, animosity, animus, antagonism, antipathy, aversion, bête noire, black beast, bother, bugbear, detestation, disgust, dislike, dog-eye, enmity, execration, frost, grievance, gripe, hatred, hostility, ill will, intolerance, loathing, malevolence, malignity, mislike, odium, rancor, rankling, repugnance, repulsion, resentment, revenge, revulsion, scorn, spite and venom, to name but a few. Call it what you will, it comes in innumerable strains and expressions in every language. Sometimes its more distinct and overt forms have their own names. Bigotry, racism, jingoism, sexism, homophobia. When it goes on public display, it rarely shows itself for what it really is (Fred Phelps being a notable exception), since its real face is so ghastly. Instead, it usually disguises itself behind a variety of other names, whether intentionally misleading or not. Terrorism, nationalism, family values, patriotism, security. It drives agendas, policies, laws, and even culture. Without it, everything from the whole world as we know it down to our personal life experiences would be incomprehensibly different. Even though it works tirelessly to destroy us all, it feeds and sustains us on so many levels that it's frightening.
Hate is in the air
Come on people, feel it like you just don't care
feel it in the people where it's warm and great
Come on hate yourself
everyone here does so just enjoy yourself
Hate is everywhere
look inside your heart and you will find it there
You ask me what I mean
Hate is all I mean
HATE. It's what's for dinner at Everything2. I wrote most of this writeup in July of 2003. The center-set lyrics I've quoted are from a song of the same title as this writeup by the Delgados, from their 2002 album Hate. It's a beautiful pop song. I even created a nodeshell for the writeup at the time, and softlinked it very extensively throughout the database off and on over the course of several years. Finally I decided that I would never post the writeup and I deleted the nodeshell, filing the text away in my computer's "unfinished writeups" directory, because I couldn't think of a good way to finish it. Then came amnesiac's rogue Everything Quest, and I saw the bright, shining hate calling to me. I had to answer.
There are already many nodes on hate within this infoportal. In fact, I'd dare to proffer that there are more nodes about or related to hate than any other subject. DMan, anyone? theonomist? Pick your favorite troll. Several of the most popular nodes are about hate, or invoke hatred from the reader. Why? Because hate is the single most universally understood emotion! It's far more popular than love, and always will be. We're all so comfortable in our sickness that escaping the cycle seems almost pointless. Yet hate is an utter wasteland.
LOVE. To the heart and mind consumed by hate, love is a joke. A pitiful, weak, unworthy expression of human passion. Love is the singularly central message of Christianity, and yet you will find far more self-described "Christians" consumed by hate than by love. Why? Because in our modern Western culture, hate is easy. Love requires the effort of surrender. Hate is culturally reinforced, while love is culturally denegrated. Hate usually comes flowing like a tsunami at the slightest provocation. Except in certain circumstances involving blood relatives, innocence, and things that have immediate appeal to personal tastes, love has to be cultivated and nourished in order to develop and thrive. On virtually every level, the scales are heavily tipped in hate's favor. Love is for losers, and only losers understand love.
But this is all bullshit. Love conquers all. Love is all you need. See, the thing about love that most people don't get, real love, is that love is orders of magnitude more powerful than hate. Love is a passion that is as boundless as hate, and yet, it creates instead of destroys. It gives back more than it takes. The more you love, the more capacity you have to love. The more you hate, the less capacity you have to do anything except hate. Hate drains you down to a cinder of emotion, while love blossoms everything on the emotional spectrum. Are love and hate opposites? Since they can coexist within the host and for the subject, it's more likely that they are polarities of passion, the opposite being a state of complete apathy and emotional detachment. They are both unquestionably extremes of emotion that define the borders of our most primitive understanding of ourselves as human beings. But who knows?
Choose love. Choose hate. Choose life. Choose convenience. Make a choice, but choose wisely. See the hate, feel the hate, let the hate pass through you. Let it roll off your back like the wind and the rain. Do not cultivate hate, as it will not sustain you indefinitely. Never forget that you give more energy to hate than it gives back to you, without exception. Love, on the other hand, gives you back far more energy and life than you feed it. Hate will eventually reduce you to nothing. Love will, if properly cultivated, turn you into a universally admired cult of personality along side Jesus of Nazareth, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, St. Valentine, Mother Theresa, our own TheDeadGuy, and many others throughout history. Would you rather be a monster or a saviour?
I love you all. And I hate a few of you. After all, I'm only human. But I choose love over hate. I both love and hate this database, for all it's done and all it represents. Everything2 has changed my life in ways that I can no longer even enumerate. Is there room here for a HateQuest? Of course! OUR NAME BEGINS WITH EVERYTHING. That means all the good and the bad, the pure and the debase. The loving beacons of light like our sweet Lometa, and the mischievous purveyors of darkness and satire like amnesiac. Keep in mind that nothing is ever as simple as it seems. And on E2, always take everything you read with a grain of salt. Always!
Hate may be all you need to survive here. But love will keep you around far longer, even when you disappear and fall into obscurity and irrelevance. I love amnesiac, even though he's filled with hate. He's our shit disturber for the moment, and he's caught in a love/hate relationship with this web site just like the rest of us. There are other issues at play here, including those of power and ego, but it's nothing that everyone who ever wanted to be an Everything Editor hasn't gone through. In a way, it's precious and endearing, if you look at it in a much broader context. But maybe I'm showing my age. Yesterday was my birthday, after all.
Love conquers hate, in the final scope of things, both on E2 and in real life. Accept it. Get used to it. Dear God, we all need a big reduction in amount of tears. Let's move forward, together, in love and in hate. It's the only way we know. We'll get through it all together.