The most proper philosopher from history to represent the Strangelands is undoubtedly Diogenes of Sinope. If you are unfamiliar with him, he is famed for once masturbating in the middle of the crowded Athenian market . When asked why he had done this, he answered something along the lines “I just wish my hunger was so easily satisfied by merely rubbing on my belly.”
Now that right there should put you in the Strangelands Pantheon, but, beyond that, Diogenes also criticized his fellow man for allowing their desire for social standing and their fear of disobeying current mores to over domesticate them and to turn them into mindless sub-humans incapable of thinking for themselves or of seeking Truth and an authentic Self.
However, this month is not about the Strangelands per se. This month is about Hate. And, while Diogenes would have loved Hate Week, he was too busy jacking it in the marketplace to write anything down on the subject. So, in lieu of one of the most brilliant and unforgivingly free minds in history, I offer my own sketch of the meaning and sinister beauty of the Hate that we have gathered this month to celebrate.
Firstly, Hate is not simply a list of things that happen to bother or inconvenience you. There are a number of things that we dislike not because of something about the thing itself, but because of a weakness in ourselves exposed by that thing. Thus, fat people on here may write how much they Hate stairs, or people like Ted Haggard will preach hate for gay people. Also, Hate is not being bothered by trifling things that people like to seethe and get offended over in order to take their mind off the emptiness of their own existence -- things like traffic, or long lines or mildly “offensive” statements.
Now certainly these things that I am saying are not “Hate“ certainly are in the normal sense of the word, and it is not my intention here to separate the word hate from it’s normal and conventional definition. By all means, you fat, secretly gay, road raging, impatient whiners out there do in fact hate the objects of your bile. What I am trying to say here is that the Hate that at least I am celebrating this week is utterly different from the hate of the Christian Coalition, the white supremacist or the customer freaking out at the Walmart customer service desk. What is now left for me to show is in what ways it is the same (and thus still warranting the name Hate)and in what ways it is different (and thus worthy of Celebration) .
First, why it is the same.
Hate is a powerful and destructive emotion. One of the charms of Hate Week is that it tries to help us not feel guilty about having this emotion. It teaches us to let this powerful force, this typically suppressed ocean of vital energy, to exist within us unfettered. Hate Week tells us to not feel ashamed of who and what we are, which is something that hates, whose rage will destroy without remorse if given the chance. This is why Diogenes would love Hate week -- because here we are encouraged not to conform to the universal distrust of hate that permeates our soft society, but to allow our natural sentiments and instincts to swell within our minds, and in doing so come to know and be ourselves in ways not permitted before.
A celebration of hate is an attack on the fear that motivates the domestication and surrendering of individuality that masquerades in the term “maturation”.
And this is why the Hate I celebrate during Hate Week is still properly so called despite the differences I will soon delineate. There is no other word for that powerful and destructive emotion that grips one’s entire consciousness with anger and passion aimed at a particular object. Regardless of different motivations, structure or objects -- a feeling of that intensity and consistency can only be called one thing -- hate.
There is a hate that I myself certainly disapprove of. There is no doubt that the actions of the Nazi’s, the Christian Coalition, or simply of inconsiderate people who belittle service industry employees for no reason, that such actions are motivated primarily by hate. My dislike for this hate, coupled with me being one who carries hate with him constantly and was so overjoyed to see a group like the Strangelands celebrating it, inevitably motivated me to carve out a unique, beautiful and an even darkly virtuous hate.
Most hate, and definitely that hate I have thus far criticized, is almost without exception built upon the weakness of the individual who is experiencing the emotion. This is the hate motivated by jealousy and defeat -- as in the case of Hitler’s hate of the successful Europeans Jews while he sat penniless and in jail. This is the hate of fear of oneself - as in the case of those who seek to eradicate homosexuality because they can not eradicate the forbidden desires within themselves. This is the hate of greed -- seen in the corporations and politicians who smashed unions and created a witch hunt of “reds” to make sure their stranglehold on the masses was not challenged. But mostly it is the hate of not wanting to be alone and to stand as oneself, the hate of acquiescence to beliefs that you are told to accept or become “different”, the hate that is perhaps so vitriolic because if you allow yourself to challenge it you may see that what you truly hate is yourself for giving up control over your own short exhaustible existence out of cowardice -- the hate of Faith, through which all things are, unfortunately, possible.
But this is not what Hate Week celebrates. Our hate is not born of our fears and weaknesses, it is not hatred of an object or person that threatens to shatter a fragile world we have built for ourselves around lies and not-thinking.
The hate celebrated here is derived from the very fact that our worlds and identities are not fragile, but nearly indestructible. We have taken the time to construct ourselves and to harden ourselves so that we need not fear every happening or truth as the potential wind that will topple our house of cards. And yet we live in a world that asks us to soften ourselves to protect the easily bruised and threatened identities of the unthinking self-deceiving herds that control our society. We are outnumbered and surrounded by people that ask us to be careful with them because they are too afraid or lazy to put into Life the effort that would be necessary to not be ruled by fear and a slavish hatred.
And thus we hate.
We hate this world as it exists because we have a sense of something better and more beautiful. There is an image of a world in which people are able to look deep within themselves and their consciousness without having to be careful of what they find, and who thus can find pleasure in things besides mindless distraction from existence.
There is an image in which society is ordered not as an endless coddling and nurturing of the weakest elements in us as individuals and as a people, but in such a way as to challenge all to cultivate the best in themselves and others, and to accept nothing but strength and striving.
What I hate is the seemingly insurmountable stumbling block which is our current social structure, and the endless amount of manifestations of the inherent fear, laziness and stupidity of Mankind that confront me almost every moment of the day.