Monday, 21 August 2017

Irrational(?!) Hatred...

Look, the world is a scary place, right now.  This morning, I watched a video of a white woman, casually bouncing a baby on her knee as she talked about how much she wants "a new genocide" of black people.  That's the level of hate that's being given airtime, lately.

And it's frightening.  It's frightening, because to a decent person like you or I, that kind of hatred is despicable.  But to the people spouting it, it's "justified."  They believe they're entirely right, because they refuse to acknowledge any opposite viewpoint that might actually, you know, educate them.

Hate to that level - when you loathe an entire group of people based on something like skin colour, or sexuality - is deplorable.  That's why we fight against it and work towards a more tolerant and inclusive society.

But hate, whilst scary, is also ridiculous, in a way.  I know this, because whilst I would never dream of hating someone because of the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexuality or anything equally horrendous, I have been known to take an instant dislike to a person or thing for the most stupid of reasons.

And, because what we need right now is a giggle, to take our minds off the genuine, frightening levels of hate going on in the world, I want to talk to you all about irrational hatred.

Most dislikes stem from something.  We might, for example, dislike mushrooms because we don't like the taste of them (or the texture, or the way they look, or... Okay, I'll stop).  It's only when the original reason for disliking something gets lost amongst the general sense of rage that thing induces within you that it becomes a tad irrational.

Take, for example, raisins.  I like raisins.  I mean, they're not my absolute favourite food and I wouldn't go crazy if I never ate one again, but I have no ill feeling towards them, whatsoever.

But if you put them in a salad?  THAT IS WRONG AND YOU MUST PAY.

Don't make me angry.  You won't like me when I'm angry.

All of this stems from the fact that I have something called emetophobia, otherwise known as a fear of vomit/vomiting.  

Many years ago, I ate a salad that had apples and raisins in it.  Unbeknown to me at the time of eating, I was also harbouring a stomach bug that was about to make me very, very sick.  The last thing I remembered eating was that salad.  And to this day, if I see raisins in a salad, it turns my stomach.

That's understandable, right?  Sure.  But my sheer hatred of seeing raisins in a salad is maybe a smidgen OTT.  I can vividly recall being very excited to try a new burger place and receiving coleslaw on the side of my plate, which had raisins in.  I even managed to eat one or two of the raisins, before I decided that if I finished the whole portion, complete with raisins, I would be so ill I might actually die.  And, whilst I kept my cool and simply left the raisins after that (because I'm not a total psychopath), inside I was seething with a quiet rage, at the mere idea that someone would bring me something so horrific and expect me to ingest it.


But my hatred of raisins in salads is still almost understandable.  I have a phobia of being sick and I was once sick after eating a salad that had raisins in it.  It's fairly common to develop a dislike of the last thing you ate before throwing up, so I'm not about to be too hard on myself for this one.

No, for really HUGE levels of irrational hatred, you have to go further.  In fact, you have to go all the way to South Korea.

Because I freaking despise Kpop.

I know, it's ironic...  I am notoriously fond of cheesy pop music.  I love to see a boyband with polished dance routines.  I like all things cute and kitsch.  

Aside from Kpop, which is literally an abomination in my eyes.

Again, as with most dislikes, this one has a perfectly understandable root cause.  The short version of which is: my "best friend" ditched me, after a decade of friendship, for a bunch of Kpop fans she met online, because they were there for her, in a way I hadn't been.  Aside from all the times I very much was.  And they weren't.  But we'll gloss over that...

Yes, for many months, I watched as my once ludicrously close friendship evaporated into literally nothing, amongst a cacophony of in-jokes about Kpop bands that I didn't understand.  Phone calls that were once a chance to chat about our lives became an opportunity for me to be told endless tales about something J-Hope from BTS had done that I was supposed to find utterly hilarious.  Obviously there was a lot more to the situation and I won't talk about it all in detail here, but in amongst the inevitable pain of a fallout with someone you once loved, I fixated on the Kpop thing.  That was the all-consuming love of this person's life now, after all.  Getting into that had led my former friend to these new, shiny online friends who she openly admitted had replaced me.  

So, in my head, BTS had stolen my best friend.  Even though I knew that the reality was much more complicated and it was nonsensical to blame a Kpop boyband and their incredibly (arguably unhealthily) obsessive fandom, that's exactly what I did.

And even now, several months after the whole thing was done and dusted and I realised how much better off we are apart, I still utterly detest Kpop and BTS in particular.  Yes, I know it's irrational.  No, that won't stop me.



I literally despise BTS so much, that very recently, whilst watching one of Phil Lester's weekly live shows on YouNow, when I noticed someone in the chat type: "Listen to BTS and talk about Kpop!!!!" I quite genuinely YELLED into the silence of my bedroom: 


I know, I know.  But I can't help it.  Kpop was a massive part in destroying something that meant a lot to me.  And I hate it.  I HATE IT.

But of course, the truly irrational form of hatred is the kind that comes from seemingly nowhere and can't be easily explained.

Such as my Mum's wild dislike of the cleaning lady on the Emmerdale intros, sponsored by McCain...

Seriously, there is something about this seemingly harmless older lady, patting people on the shoulder and giving her little pep-talks, that drives my mother insane.  I have quite genuinely walked in on her yelling at the TV when the cleaning lady appears.  Why?  She doesn't seem to know.  She just can't stand her.

Now that is irrational, right?!  I mean, as much as I love my Mum and will take her side over anyone in most circumstances, that's... A bit bizarre?!

But, when I pointed this out to her, I was simply reminded of my own intense dislike for TV presenter Tess Daly.


Give me Claudia any day.

Look, I guess what I'm saying is that tastes are subjective and our experiences in life often cause us to have strong feelings about something that we might otherwise be rather "meh" about.  How we deal with those feelings is up to us.  If I was going around posting vile insults about Tess Daly, or wishing physical harm on BTS, then I would be no better than the racists hurling abuse at other people based only on their skin colour.  Hate is a poisonous emotion and when we use it to harm others, whether verbally or physically, we become the ones worthy of that hate from others.

We all have things we dislike, for various reasons.  Many of us even have a list of things we can't stand, for reasons we aren't entirely able to put our fingers on (like me with TOWIE, or Made In Chelsea, or any other such show - although in fairness, my reason for hating those shows is usually: "everyone on them is awful.").

But dislike is massively different to actual, outright hate.  Hate is dangerous.  And, frankly, hate is always irrational.  We live short little lives on a planet that will eventually die.  Filling up that brief time with hatred seems like a ridiculous waste.

So, from the petty dislikes to the huge hates, I say it's time to be more positive and stamp out nastiness and hatred wherever we see it.  And that's exactly what I intend to do.

Just don't play me any Kpop.

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