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the circle jerk of hate

the circle jerk of hate

I suppose it's not a thing a decent human being would do; to feel joy when someone dies. But what if that person was not a decent human being himself? Should I still feel like the world is better off without them? As a supposedly civilized person, am I to mourn the death of someone who brought hate and violence upon the world? Of two people?

The military leader of Hamas is dead. I don't feel sympathy, I don't feel sorrow, I don't feel grief that the life of another human being was taken so violently. Salah Shehade was a terrorist.

Neo-nazi leader William Pierce is dead. Hang on while I go see if I can garner up some mournful sympathy. Checking.....waiting......

Nope.

I'm glad he's dead. I'm glad his evil black heart stopped beating and I hope his death was long and drawn out and painful. I hope that in his last fleeting moments, angels danced alongside his death bed and pointed at him and laughed.

Suppose there is a god. And suppose that god and the devil and heaven and hell are all very personal. They are your dreams and nightmares and representative of what you did while on this earth. So they are different for everyone.

When Mr. Pierce gets up to those heavenly gates, there's a god waiting for him. This god is wearing a t-shirt that says "STAMP OUT RACISM" and a big grin. This god says "Welcome, Mr. Pierce, I've been waiting for this moment," and then pushes a button that sends him down to his own private hell, where Pierce is surrounded by the very people he wanted to exterminate - blacks and Jews. And he spends his eternity watching these people piss on copies of The Turner Diaries.

( ed. note: it was pointed out to me after I posted this that someone might interpret this as meaning hell is filled with jewish and black people and I in no way meant to imply that. I was just trying to establish what hell would be like for Pierce, if hell was a personal journey)

This would work well for a lot of people.

Jerry Falwell would be greeted at the gates by a god who laughs in his face and tells him he had it all wrong.

Pastor Fred Phelps would be greeted by a bevy of gay drag queens and they would kick his ass right down to Satan's lair, where he would spend forever walking across hot coals holding up a sign that says "GOD LOVES FAGS" while all the people whose funerals he picketed at stood by mocking him. One person's hell is another person's heaven.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't be greeted by some nightmare version of hell that I deserve. I hate the haters. That makes me a hater too, I suppose. I wish death upon people. I want to spit on graves of certain extremist, ignorant murderers. I sometimes want to answer violence with violence.

Is it ok to depsise the people who bring evil and injustice to this world? Or am I part of the problem? Do I bring evil and injustice as well by wanting to wipe certain people off the face of this bleak earth? Perhaps I am just adding to the black cloud of hate that hangs over us. Yet I cannot subscribe to the "love they neighbor" theory because frankly, some of my neighbors suck. Some of them frighten me.

I keep having this recurring dream where the world is being flooded as punishment for what we have done to it. As I furiously swim, trying to find a piece of land to rest on, an ark appears. Guiding the ark is Falwell and Pat Robertson. As they reach out their hands to bring me on board, I go underwater and try to drown myself.

This world is never being saved. We are doomed to repeat cycles of violence because we never learn from our mistakes. We are doomed because hate begets hate and we all despise someone else and it's a big circle jerk of hatred. We all think we are right, we all think our reasons are good, we all think that our side is going to win.

Guess what? We all lose. Every last one of us. In fact, we have already lost. Just take a look around you. What do you see? Racism, sexism, hate crimes, homophobia, ignorance, anti semitism, pollution, litter, corruption, lies, scandal, war.

No matter how much I try to be part of the solution, I will always be part of the problem, because I add to the anger and turmoil that is making this world quake. Even if I am hating the people who bring death and destruction and the eventual fall of the stock market upon us, I am still sending my signals of negativity into the air.

I would try to change, but I just can't muster up any hope.

Comments

It's ok to hate hate. In math multiplication of two negative numbers makes a positive number. In the broader sense, polynomials have many terms, just like people. And they can be self referential, both the problem and the solution. The negativity you see, by necessity stands in contrast to good things. You're simply choosing not to mention them.

I can't say I mind the killing of Salah Shehade either. Although I take offense at Shalon calling it one the greatest successes when they did it by firing a missile into a 3 story building killing more than just their one target. "Oh we didn't know anyone one else would be there." As if men hang out alone in 3 story buildings in populated areas. 9 children dead, and they call it a success. That whole equation is bad.

By the way, I can think of a lot worse things to do to Fred Phelps in hell. A certain scene from Pulp Fiction comes to mind. Sans lube.

Do you really hate the haters? I find them amazingly comical adn pathetic. i try to laugh at them, because they would rather live without a large segment of the population, and the advances that segment has created. How can anyone hate ANY race, when every race has done so much to help the human race as a whole? It's like companies that discriminate in their hiring practices. Why in the world would you shoot yourself in the foot by not hiring a qualified individual based on physical or cultural differences? It just stupid all around...

By the way, i am all in favor of the death penalty, but I take no joy in it. Unfortunately, as a society, we have to take responsibility to remove some poisonous individuals from the social pool. An onerous duty, but a duty nonetheless, and a duty that we owe to our children. So I am glad that these two fonts of vitriol have been silenced, but I take no joy in it. Just something that had to be done...

Um... you had me there until "death and destruction and the fall of the stock market." But then again, I don't have any investments currently, so maybe I am too sanguine in thinking that of all disasters that can happen the fall of the stock market is rather minor. After all, it fell before, and we lived to tell the tale -- and not only that, we had stories of hardship to punish our kids with. (As in: "You want an increase in your allowance? When I was young I didn't have money! I couldn't even afford gum -- I had to chew the hot tar that dripped out of the roofing man's tar truck!" My father actually used to tell me this.)

Always looking for the silver lining, me.

Actually, I don't care as much about the fall of the stock market as I do about the reasons the market is falling: Corrupt individuals who pocket all the money they can in all the ways they can knowing full well that eventually their employees will end up in the unemployment line and their companies will end up in the news if anyone should find out their dirty little secrets.

Michele, I wrestle with these kinds of questions on a daily basis. I should have been a monk or a nun or something, I guess. But, I think that even though it seems like the hardest thing in the world to do, we have to love the haters, somehow, in some fashion. I don't know how. I just finished reading Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth, and it really clarified a lot of these issues for me. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It didn't make life any easier, but...

I also love something that Gandalf said to Frodo at one point in the Lord of the Rings series (can't remember if it made it into the movie or not). They were discussing Gollum and Frodo said they should have killed Golloum when they had the chance, as he was up to no good. Gandalf said something to the effect of: Well, you can take someone's life, but can you give life back to a dead person? No? Then don't be so quick to kill someone. Gollum may yet have an important part to play in our work and just because we can't see what it is, doesn't make it any less important.

Cheesy to quote Gandalf, I know, but I remind myself of those things several times a week...when I'm confronted with things I consider to be evil and I can't understand why we have to have them here.

Addendum to Chris's comment: Why is it considered wrong to simply hire a couple of guys named Vinny and Knuckles to slip in quiet-like during the night and drop a load of bricks on top of these evil leaders? Why is it considered more respectable to bomb the shit out of civilians while the leaders are standing on a stage waving to the crowd in full view? I don't think either way solves the problem, but the Vinny/Knuckles option seems so much more expedient...

I don't think all anger necessarily adds to turmoil. Perhaps I see things too black and white, but I believe there is such a thing as righteous anger. Being angry at the haters is righteous anger. It's anger with a noble purpose behind it, as opposed to unreasoning, bigoted hatred, whose only purpose is the perpetuation of hate and fear.

Should I maybe have introduced myself before commenting? I'm never sure what the etiquette is with these things. Hi, I'm Kim. (Hi, Kim.)

I certainly don't mourn the death of one of Israel's worst enemies, though I deeply regret that innocent civilians were killed in the process. Although civilians die in war, I believe the Israeli forces should have assumed that (at that time of night), other building and/or neighborhood occupants would be home, in bed and perhaps taken further steps to minimize collateral damage.

I think you add to the turmoil when you take extremist actions as the haters themselves have taken. If you were a terrorist, running around killing them all off on your own personal mission, that would be horrible. On the other hand, when we think the negative "I wish they were dead" thoughts (I've had them too, many times) I think that's just natural human nature. I agree with Kim, there is righteous anger. It's what keeps the world in balance to some extent, I think. (What little balance the world has is another question...)

By the way, I like your vision of hell or heaven - reminds me of the movie "What Dreams May Come". Good movie.

About the whole "love your neighbour" thing. I think people take that the wrong way.

Love is so much broader than many people give it credit for. You can love a person and hate their actions. "Love your neighbour" calls only that you love the person.

Love doesn't mean that you have to agree with them. It doesn't mean that you have to like the company of the person, or their actions on any level. What it does mean is that you have to try to understand them. To tolerate, even, whatever it is that they are. Sometimes, loving a person means keeping them from harming others. Sometimes it means correcting someone, or disciplining someone.

It's not easy, but nobody said that it was.

i have righteous anger. for the hurters and the haters who make the world a more miserable, sad place. i don't believe that i am adding to the hate quotient... maybe if i were to hunt the haters down and massacre them one by one, then i would be. and, sadly, i'm willing to bet that many haters believe that THEIR hate is a righteous hate...
i am not a very political person. i am not a very involved person. it is not something i admire about myself. but i have hope, sometimes very little, sometime too much... i have hope that the good in people will overcome the evil. i think that our righteous anger takes a great part in this. if your children do not grow up seeing your righteous anger, how will they know what should be intolerable to kind, loving human beings? i have hope that the things we learn from having haters will teach us something that will make the world a better place. god knows how that all works but i think it does...
we feel. we love, we hate... it's what gives me hope.

Tara, it's a nice concept, but it doesn't work for me.

There are plenty of people who do things I don't like or agree with. I do try to understand them and I certainly tolerate them. Anyone who reads this site on a regular basis knows that.

I will never be able to understand or tolerate people who take the lives of innocent human beings, especially in the name of religion. They are not human. Someone who preaches hatred, violence and evil will never get any kind of love from me. They have no souls.

Some people are so inherently evil that they are beyond correcting or disciplining.

I'm not talking about people who jaywalk or shoplift or even deal drugs. I'm talking about people who live their lives spreading hate and anger. People who justify killing. No love. None.

hi

i don't know if i'm just young and naive or what, but i have a real problem with hating the haters.

fred phelps would take joy in seeing me dead, rolling in pain in hell. but i can honestly say I don't hate him for that, not now. the way i see things right now is like this: people are a product of their experiences, including all these people. their rise to power and their rise to the ability to carry out their hate-acts is largely coincidental.

therefore i have no right to hate someone who is the public face of the hatred, no more than i could hate the angry thirteen year old who hates the stuff he's been taught to hate - it's the exact same hatred.

i see hate as rooting from a combination of weakness of mind and being brought up to hate something. you can't hate someone for weakness of mind any more than you can hate someone for being really dumb, it's like a disability.

so, i can hate what they do, but from this cerebral viewpoint, i can't hate them for a "disability". would hitler have hated jews if there was nobody who hated them before he came along?

and i believe that our world, at least, is much more tolerant than fifty years ago - so maybe we're not losing.

and now i'm ready for my argument to be ripped to shreds :)

-andy (and... hi - hope you're all doing well.)

To use your first comments about heaven and hell.

You can argue that Heaven and Hell must exist based on what people have done here on earth, there is no payment/punishment we could administer that would be enough for what some have done...

Look at Hitler, what he brought on the world. Did the world/people get to punish his actions? NO! He committed suicide. Did he get what he deserves? I don't think he did.

My $.02...
Sam

Thank-you for this. It's beautiful in it's own dark way. I can only hope that if there is a Hell that it is personalized in this way. Even though I'll have to endure it eventually too. Let's all burn together. Sad how that's the only way humanity of all kinds can be joined and sharing something- pain. I'm cheering for you, go ahead and spit. See you in Hell, friend. If you like, email me. We'll talk.