Monday, 7 September 2015

The Thin Line

It’s a thin line, they say, between love and hate. Bollocks, it’s a mile wide, that divide. If your emotional recognition skills are so poor that you can’t tell the difference you may be less well evolved than would be ideal to survive in this unstable world. While you may have little control over falling in love, although you may have to learn to curb your more stalky urges, you can always decide whether or not to hate. Hate is a tricky thing to maintain; a fire that has constantly to be tended and even the most severe antipathy fades with time. Hate is a narrow-minded, weak and needy emotion and I, for one, do not have the energy or inclination for it; I’m just not that dedicated.

But while hate itself may be a weedy thing, a sickly, light-deprived sapling that withers and dies without constant attention, the sound alone is a powerful word-weapon in the wrong hands. By the wrong hands I don’t the mean children and teenagers, for many of whom it is practically punctuation, I mean people old enough that they should have grown out of it and those who manipulate them. So while most ordinary people do not hate immigrants and certainly don’t hate genuine refugees, the idea is seized upon as part of the project of painting those whom the left despise as the hirelings of sinister forces. ‘Hate crimes’ are pushed to the top of the agenda so that normal preference for the company of those you know is spun as hatred of others and called racism.

Of course some of those same teenagers who use that word so freely are useful idiots who can easily be persuaded to prolong their inability to think with any nuance; many of them are at university, after all. Peace and war, love and hate. And boy are they quick to the latter, hurling their invective at anybody they deem insufficiently impressed by their clumsy black and white arguments. They are ideal foot soldiers for other, more cynical groups who know how to exploit them. Unite against Fascism, Hope not Hate and other such righteous-sounding groups seek common cause with the naïve and thus recruit unwitting white jihadis to the crusade. 

In the last couple of days people have been posting links to the Frankfurt School and their plans for destabilisation of formerly ordered societies. Much as I resist the call to fall for conspiracy theories it is hard to argue this is not exactly what we are seeing. And yet still I don’t hate those who do this. I feel a certain skin-crawling loathing at the sight of yet another atrocity. My distaste is aroused and I feel abhorrence, revulsion and an aversion to their company. Their words and deeds are an abomination, their hostility an undoubted provocation but while my dander may be up and my ire may be only thinly held in check it is, nevertheless, held in check. I am not stooping to their level and succumbing to the helplessness of hatred.

No, fuck you!
Uncontrolled emotion is for babies

But in the race to appear reasonable we forget at our peril that it is not a race, it is a pursuit and we are the quarry. We need to fight emotion with reason and we need to treat anger with ambivalence and pragmatism. You have your fists up? I’m closing the door. You’re kicking down the door? I’m building a wall. Face you on the battlefield? No thanks, we have drones. Sun Tsu said “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.” So don’t let those who so freely use the ‘H’ word to describe you, get within striking distance. Don’t hate them; they’re just not worth the energy.

1 comment:

  1. The world is changing so fast these days. New products render once unassailable corporations entirely redundant in a decade. The global flow of information can be transformed with some astutely crafted lines of code. Anticipating and pre-empting the effects of such changes is impossible.
    I think even very clever people have yet to come to terms with the effects of social networking, entwined with 24hr rolling news and its impact on traditional, stately policy making. Governments try to be long term pro-active but the media revolution will always leave them floundering with reactive populist responses in order to be remain er, popular and responsive. But nowadays that process occurs instantaneously - with policy almost being made up on the hoof thanks to chin jutting media 'progressives' like whassisname with the over-tight shirt collars and jumbo tie knots on Chanel 4 news.
    This is all neatly encapsulated in an interview Justine Greening gave to this oily individual (steady now tiger... any race can exhibit oily tendencies) over this recent open goal opportunity for luvvies to dust off their holier than thou credentials.
    (And incidentally I thought she did a superb job in a thoroughly hostile maelstrom of biased reporting, hostile questioning and inevitable social media abuse)

    This is how it seems to go:

    Once the situation builds up a head of steam, social media began a horrible dance with the mainstream media, egging each other on to become more and more 'progressive' in word and deed.

    This emboldenes each in turn to fool themselves that they were actually the majority - and speaking with some form of franchise.

    And this is the fatal flaw in social media. Since the 80's, kids have been institutionally bullied into thinking 'Left = Progressive, Tories = Evil' And of course its OK to 'hate' evil things. So, social media - primarily the preserve of the younger of us who shamelssly expose our inner feelings to the internet, feel its absolutely OK to naively spout forth the popular line of hate to be rewarded with Pavlovian 'likes and favorites' The mainstream media pick up on this sentiment and push it out as public opinion and so it goes.

    Indeed it is published public opinion, but there is an elephant in the room here. What about the unpublished opinion. There is no conspiracy to be found that pre-elections polls were indicating the 'toories were going to be locked out' as that ghastly, manipulative Scottish woman might say.
    But of course, they weren't 'locked out' were they. Who voted for these evil Tories? Because they sure as hell were invisible on social and mainstream media!
    Same applied to the Scottish referendum.

    So, haters, be careful, because there is a referendum coming up, and what you are doing now with your noisy, tearful blouse rending will backfire. I can 100% guarantee it. You are not representatives of anyone but your silly, manipulated selves, and the noiser and hatier you get, the stronger the silent opposition becomes.

    Take heart my friends. Get yourself a comfortable Bastle house, pull up the hatch and watch them go!

    This might be teeth grindingly awful to witness, and of course anyone worthy of the title 'human' has sympathy for any sentient creature in distress. But those hashtag heroes must realise this: That how this will play out longer than a few weeks ahead is absolutely uncertain. Except to be sure it won't be how they expect. So let them hate away, it does them no favours.