Evil Rant #33- Hate: An Underappreciated Emotion
Most of us are taught from birth that hate is bad, that it benefits no one, and it should be avoided. That it serves no practical function in our society and can only create more pain and hatred. In a very real way, there are a lot of people who believe that hate is completely useless to us and must be eliminated. To many, this is just common sense.
However, in order for someone to say this, they must concede that biology, nature or even god himself (assuming you’re into that sort of thing) has given humanity a very common but completely useless emotion. That basically, we are all born with some degree of, or in the very least, strong capacity for, a natural instinct which not only serves no useful function, but can only destroy us unless we, ourselves, go to great lengths to constantly keep this emotional virus in check and completely stamp out this abomination which we all naturally possess. Now, I am certainly no advocate of “intelligent design” (in fact, you might say that I couldn’t possibly get any farther from it) and I do know that nature isn’t always quite as practical as one would think it could be (believe me, I know). But I still believe that natural selection doesn’t tend to fuckup that bad during its actual selection process. In general, most of the traits which we organisms possess are there for a reason, whether we like it or not.
What I’m saying is that hate, as well as such related emotions like anger, do have a practical function. They have purpose. Now, for those of you who are completely incapable of grasping any concepts that weren’t spelled out for you on a talk show or read off a poorly Xeroxed brochure at a campus rally; I’ll state that when I say “hate” I’m not referring to hate groups (I will address those later) but the more general human emotion (that’s right, hate can actually apply to things other than white supremacists and Al-Qaeda, your not likely to get that from the TV news; good thing I’m here to tell you these things).
One common argument people have against hatred is that it breeds more hatred. Of course, this logic really isn’t hard to understand, one person hates another person and that person returns the sentiment and so on. But what caused the first person’s hatred to explode out of control to begin with? I believe that it was almost certainly (and since I came up with these hypothetical people, I get to say what motivates them) his lack of properly managing or releasing his existing hatred before it got out of control. Many will argue that he shouldn’t have felt any amount of hatred in the first place. But is this really realistic? Love and hate are often considered opposites, and so they are. But they do share some interesting similarities as well. Anyone who’s ever had a crush on someone who didn’t return their feelings, or for whatever reason, wasn’t a good match for them at the time, knows how difficult it can be to control these emotions no matter how irrational they may be. Some have said that a mere crush is not nearly as powerful an emotion as real love is. But then again, a crush is not as powerful as pure hate either.
Can we really expect to be able to control or obliterate our own basic hatred when we can’t even gain full control over our feelings of romantic infatuation? And isn’t the only way to properly deal with unrequited love to acknowledge it, work through it and move on. Does trying to ignore it or pretend that it doesn’t exist ever really help the matter? Another insightful comparison is sex. How many people these days, in this country, really believe that abstinence is the best cure for an active sex drive? I think that most of us realize that denying ourselves of any type of sexual release is about as affective in quelling ones own horniness as fasting is for relieving starvation. And yet, there was a time in which people believed this. If everyone was willing to admit to and give in to their sexual appetites, social order would collapse. There would be endless orgies clogging the streets! Sin and debauchery would become acceptable! Baby Jesus would cry! etc. etc. Of course, modern, intelligent folks like us understand just how ridiculous this is; or do we? Can we really believe that if mankind was to acknowledge and accept its own capacity to hate that the entire race would erupt into some sort of violent, post apocalyptic bloodbath? In my opinion, repression and denial of hatred is no healthier (or less idiotic) then the repression or denial of any other human tendency. It will seep out one way or another, controlled or uncontrolled. Being able to honestly accept a situation is always the first step in properly dealing with it, and this is especially true with things that we would perceive as a threat.
I will say that excepting ones own hatred does not necessarily mean engaging in violent or destructive behavior. On the other hand, it does not always necessarily mean avoiding violent or destructive behavior. That type of thing has to be decided on a case by case basis, by the individual, and is much too complicated to get into here. Obviously, there are many practicality issues with releasing your hatred in socially or legally unacceptable ways and these factors should always be taken into consideration. However, as a villain, there is no way that I can side with a pacifist view and claim that there isn’t ever any time in which violence is appropriate. In fact, I believe that violence plays a much more critical role in the evolution of the human animal himself, as well as cultural evolution, then most people would like to give it credit for. The one, most important thing you must keep in mind about the emotions of hate and anger is that we feel them in order to protect ourselves. They are a natural defense mechanism against attackers and other things which might threaten us. And like anything else, should only be used in the correct quantities. Too much or too little at the wrong time can mean trouble. Remember, your anger and hate exists to serve you, not to destroy you. Basically, just try to be smart and, should you screw up either way, know that you will pay for it.
There are different levels of hate and different ways of dealing with them. I can recall a time, not so long ago when therapists would recommend hitting a pillow to vent your anger. Perhaps they still do this. Not only is this a blatant acceptance of one’s own anger, but it is a physical method of purging it. It is also an excellent example of accepting and dealing with one’s own anger without doing anything that will get you incarcerated. And if this is not evil enough for you villains out there, you can imagine the pillow as being the target of your anger. You can even take it a step further and just make a voodoo doll of the individual who fills you with so much malice. Although this can feel very good, and serves as an excellent release, I will admit that it only works for certain types of offenses against you and there are times in which more drastic action is in order. Simply playing a cruel joke on a person you dislike can be another good way to vent your hatred. But as a general rule, I like to allow any hatred that I might have to fester a little bit more before I’d do anything more drastic then that. Basically, make damn sure it’s worth it to you! And, once again, don’t do anything stupid. This little grace period, used to see if you can easily get over your hatred, would not apply in a situation in which your life is in jeopardy, but technically, that can be considered self defense and no one (in their right mind) would blame you for defending yourself in that type of situation.
As promised, we will examine the concept of hate groups. Most hate groups (to my knowledge) tend to be based in differences between various races, political beliefs and religions. I don’t like hate groups (I know, such a bold and radical statement, you never thought you’d hear someone take a stand against that; I’m sure I will be driven out as a social leper for that one). However, the reason I don’t like hate groups has nothing to do with their lack of morality and ethics (villain, remember?). The problem I have with them is the fact that they’re so utterly irrational and we all know that stupidity is the greatest sin. Basically, I personally don’t like the idea of having to be loyal to a large group of people just because I happen to be born into that race, religion, or nation. My attitude is “if I didn’t choose it, then I’m not responsible for it”. This applies to the family I was born into as well (I’ve already disowned everyone I don’t like). In fact, I’m the type of guy who, if extraterrestrials came down to earth, would probably be willing to sell out the whole human species if they made me the right offer! This is not to imply that I am not capable of loyalty. I believe that I can be more genuinely loyal then most people. But I am very picky about where my loyalty lies. It has to be of my own choosing and the arrangement must work in my best interest as well as the other parties’. This is my biggest issue with hate groups, their beliefs lack individuality or independent thought and rational self interest. And this is something which I hate.
On a side note, I see hate groups as merely a symptom of a larger issue within human psychology. It just so happens that these types of groups are often considered bad, whereas others, which stem from the same human tendency, are not as socially taboo. Everything from patriotism, as in the devotion to your country of residents and often country of origin, to common mainstream religion, to rooting for your favorite local sports team against a challenger from a different school or city; all of these behaviors seem to tie into a basic tribal mentality. Humans of similar beliefs or from the same geographical location, huddling together for safety among their own kind. Even the separate cliques which you can find in any high school lunchroom seem to exhibit this same behavior. This is why I don’t want to be too hard on hate groups, after all, in the eyes of a person who doesn’t really care about issues like good and evil and who accepts violence as being a natural part of life, their sociological tendencies are not much different from the rest of ours.
Hate can also serve as an excellent motivational tool. Obviously it’s not the best one, but if it keeps you going, then use it until you can find something better. I have resorted to using hate this way. There’ve been times in my life when I didn’t feel like I had much hope for happiness, so I used my hate to fuel my passion. The truth is, when all else fails hate can keep you alive. This is what it’s designed to do. It’s a completely natural survival mechanism; another tool in your arsenal which when used properly, can not only preserve ones existence but improve it.
As villains, we are aware of the power of hate. We also know that, as a natural human emotion, hate is a part of us and therefore unavoidable. And trying to deny this natural emotion and attempting to suppress it can be extremely self-destructive. On top of that, the frustration which is caused by such actions will overflow onto others. Your hate will seep out one way or another, but it is only through excepting it, that we can hope to control it and keep it from disrupting our lives and the lives of the people we don’t truly want to hate. This is what many practitioners of “love everyone” type philosophies are guilty of. Unable to be honest with themselves and their own psychology, their pent up hatred festers within them and it ends up spilling out onto their loved ones. Such repression makes for some truly rotten human beings. You can’t love everyone, it’s just not reasonable. You are going to feel hatred sometimes; it’s just part of the human condition, it’s inevitable. But that’s OK; it’s that kind of emotional diversity that makes life interesting. It’s going to happen, why not except it and manage it properly. Even enjoy it. When used properly hate can be a very satisfying thing.
Comments and discussion on the "Evil Rant" section.
1 post • Page 1 of 1