Don’t You HATE it?- a blast from the past from 8-13-2012

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*I hate the fact I slept very badly, but I’ve been meaning to reprint this post, anyway- SAH*

Don’t You HATE it?- a blast from the past from 8-13-1012

 

This is the part of the blog when we reclaim words.  The word I want to reclaim here is “hate.”

Look, I hate my hair today — Sunday —  and I hated the way I felt this morning, with a sore throat and headache.  And I hated having to run first thing in the morning, but I did it in the hopes it would set things right which it didn’t.  So, I’ve sat here through all of Sunday, feeling like a lump and hating it.

All of which is utterly wrong.  Hate as I understand it is as absorbing, as all-powerful, as charged an emotion as love.  People throughout history have had loves and hates.  And just as they wished to achieve bliss with/for their loved ones (depending on the type of love) they wished to DESTROY those they hate.

“Peace, I hate the very word, as I hate Hell, all Montagues and Thee” – Montagues and Capulets are all about the unreasoning hatred: strong all consuming, absorbing, and will be led by it inexorably to destroy or be destroyed.

Hate is a great emotion to use in a book, because it’s big, red and pulsing.  (Stop giggling.  Don’t make me come out there.)  It’s an all or nothing sort of emotion.  Of course, if that’s the only emotion you use in your book, it will be a diminished book.  As Agatha Christie said of Elsa Dittisham in Murder In Retrospect (aka Five Little Pigs) if all you know is hate and love, you’re not quite grown up.  Grown up human beings know emotions with more shadings.

I wonder what it means about us as a society that we’re now all “hate” or “love”?  Is it a result of that delayed adulthood that has been referenced here by various commenters?  Or the result of our being, more than any other society in the past, a society permeated by entertainment and story?  It’s not just that on the page emotions must be bigger than they’d be in real life – the same effect applies on screen, where most people experience their story telling and through which most people absorb their idea of how the world and human interaction should be.

I will confess right now that I have an odd relationship with visual entertainment.  I view it only as a palliative to the extreme boredom of a repetitive task that doesn’t engage my visual attention.  Blame it on my parents, who didn’t get a TV till I was 8, or perhaps on a genetic disposition, who knows.  (It’s a war wound, g’venor.  I took an arrow to the knee.)  So I can go for years without watching TV and then, either because some monumental task looms (usually ironing, which can go on for DAYS) or because I’m sick with the flu or something (the type of illness where one doesn’t feel like working but is tired of sleeping) I end up in front of the TV for a week or so, and catch up on years of potential watching (thank you Amazon Prime and Hulu.)

So, I have seen soap operas maybe twice in my life, and the second time shocked me more than the first.  The first time was when I was very new to the US and everything was strange.  The next time was ten years later, while talking to someone who had a soap opera on – and at that time what hit me was how odd the acting was.

I don’t know if any of you have thought of this, but Shakespeare, to feel “right” must be played at a frantic, exaggerated pace.  Then it matches the words and the emotions.  Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but words, gestures and even voice level, Soap Opera makes Shakespeare look as stayed as a whisper while sitting in church.

I suspect, though I haven’t watched soap operas again to check, that some of that acting style has migrated to sitcoms and other shows.  (Of course, I only very occasionally watch those, either, but I seem to remember some joke about the exaggerated expressions of the lead actor in CSI Miami.)

And I suspect, raised on shows, with that acting permeating our consciousness to a level never before experienced in history, we’ve slid the scale right up.

Did I spend the day thinking how much I hated my hair?  Do I experience for my hair one of those emotions that will destroy one or the other of us?

Uh…  No.  I got up in the morning and was disappointed with how limp and odd it looked, and my attempts with a curling iron were fruitless and since I felt blah, I went “whatever.”  That’s the extent of my grand passion for my hair.

As with a lot of things I’d say I hated – beans, I hate… wait.  I might actually hate beans.  I just lack the ability to eradicate them from the world, and I’m aware innocent people would die if they disappeared, since they’re the diet base of various other American countries and I hear an excellent (if repulsive) source of protein. – I don’t actually hate them.  I dislike them.  They pain me.  They annoy me.

I don’t hate being stuck in traffic – it annoys me, though and puts me out of temper.  I didn’t hate the woman ahead of me on a one lane road, putting on her makeup and pressing the brake erratically.  Even if both of us stopped and I got out, I wouldn’t want to fight her to the death.  I might scream impolite things at her and tell her to stop being an idiot, but I never even got close enough to anger to want to slap her, much less kill her.  And once I was out from behind her (every single day on my way out of Manitou to drop the kids of at the school in Colorado Springs, the last year we lived in Manitou, why?) I didn’t think about her the rest of the day.  And now, ten years later, I remember her idiocy, but not her name, or even the color of her hair.  I don’t wish her ill.  I just wish someone would have taken her mascara wand away.

Are there things and people I hate?  I’m not sure.  Those people and things that put my family in danger, I dislike very intensely, but I don’t think I want to destroy them, just to stop them doing what they do.  Yes, in some cases that might mean killing them, in which case it must be done without regret or hesitation, but also, probably without hate.  Because in real life, you can see the motives of even the worst of people and with very rare exceptions, they’re not ALL evil.  (And on those rare exceptions, we tend to assume they’re crazy.  Which is silly, but it means they’ve gone that far beyond our scope.)

I don’t think I’m a particularly nice person.  And I don’t think I’m that unusual.  I don’t think most people go around consumed with hates and unreasoning passions that demand either they self-destruct or destruct the object of their obsessive negative passion.

A few, perhaps, (And not really) but if you think about it, most of the people you know who could genuinely be said to hate someone aren’t people at all.  They’re characters in books or movies.  (And often – Shakespeare excepted – though note even in Romeo and Juliet that’s not the moving force of the main characters, rather of the secondary characters (or perhaps it is a secondary character) – hatred is put in there as a cop out, an easy way to plotting, a way to cram a whole story in an hour with commercial breaks.  “He hated her that much” or worse “he hated some group or other” is the plot equivalent of “and then he went mad and murdered a multitude.)

Is this a problem?  To an extent, though it’s more a reflection of an issue brought on by technology – the prevalence of make-believe stories, emotions and motives in our lives to an extent our ancestors didn’t know – than the cause of the problem.

It only worries me when we use it to close discussion.  Like the commenter who said I hated him, or something of the sort.  (How absurd.  I still don’t hate him, even though he apparently lives under a bridge.  I don’t know him well enough to hate him.  His comments annoyed me, and I blocked him.  I’m not sitting here plotting his death, not even fictionally.)  At the time he said I hated him and was projecting, he was commenting for the first time, and I’d said nothing about hating anyone (well, not in that post.)

I do hate Marxism.  I hate it out of reasoned study.  And I’m ready to explain why I hate it – beyond the death and misery it always brings in its wake. It’s because before it destroys it maims the human spirit, and leaves behind trendrils that might take generations to clean up.

And it worries me that, like the Christie character, we’ve become able to understand only the big emotions, and not the smaller, more shaded ones. This hate and love, and calling others “haters” if they disagree with us (a favorite trick of the left, as are the various ists they accuse us of being)aren’t real. They’re just a tantrum. Having to respond to the tantrum in terms that penetrate means we also abuse words.

This ridiculous quarrel makes us all, even those of us playing defensive, emotional toddlers, carrying in on in a global nursery.

Like all toddler tantrums it will end in tears.

How do we become grown ups? I don’t know. But it starts with reclaiming words.

Are there humans I hate? Well, there are politicians and corruptions of our journalistic profession I despise. Hate?  I hate their actions. I spend a lot of time figuring how to erase those actions. But not how to destroy or kill the people who did them. Because I don’t hate them. I’m just intensely annoyed by them.

I’d like to give them a piece of my mind, not to plunge a dagger in their hearts.

I hate communism (As I hate hell….), but I strongly dislike the way I’m rambling on, seemingly unable to close this post.  I blame it on the slight fever and the headache.  Which truly bothers me. And I hate it. Because I want it to be over.

88 responses to “Don’t You HATE it?- a blast from the past from 8-13-2012

  1. I slept well, by my normal standards. I don’t hate nothing, because hate is a flame that consumes its host. But there’s plenty of [crap] I despise, loathe, detest and would not piddle upon if they were afire.

    • Dan isn’t home, so sleeping is negotiated at best. BUT just as I fell asleep the cats had a race over my desks in the office, which sounded like someone breaking in. Even after I figured what the problem was, I stayed awake, because adrenaline…

      • Yeah astounding that a 12lb beast with fur covered paws can make that much noise. Carl Sandberg wrote “The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.” in his poem Fog. I doubt that he ever met an actual cat. or perhaps his were all outdoor ferals avoiding him and predators. A running joke in our house is that when our two thunder across the upper floor someone will say “My but its foggy out tonight…”.

        • Our youngest cat is named “Thump”. Gee wonder why he got THAT name. Maybe because he was found as a tiny, barely weaned clumsy kitten, too young to have been taught by mom to be quiet, or genetically lacking? Would explain the other rescues brought home too young. All of them have needed to be with us, 24/7. Even if that meant playing chase around/over/under our bed, playing “catch the mouse” hiding under the covers (pouncing points awarded, if cat got “mouse” to move), at 3 AM.

          • We had three cats, Mama and her two kittens. Mama walked lightly across the bed, son galumphed, somehow hitting every sore spot and bruise despite the covers. If you didn’t feel a cat walking across you, it was her Daughter.

          • I’m not convinced that cats (In particular Felis Silvestris v. cattus) CAN be quiet in the charge. In my association with 7 indoor only felines and 40+ semiferals during my 55+ years when they move to a gallop the nois e is LOUD. In stalking they are silent and can be very stealthy (e.g. Hiccup or black one seems to come out of nowhere in low light situations). But once they move to the attack its an all out make or break charge. Play often devolves to that charge romping about. Heck some of them call and scream when they attack perhaps to make their prey freeze. Stoick (current tiger tabby) makes a trill and then leaps (Kzinti standard you scream and then leap), Hiccup charging a squirrel on the other side of French doors gives a chatter followed by a little howl/scream, it almost as if he’s showing rage for the intervening glass frustrating him. Likely I’m anthropomorphizing, but I’m not so certain some days. and I’m gladd the glass in thos french doors is sturdy…

  2. a blast from the past from 8-13-1012

    *laughs out loud* K, I know it’s a finger fumble, but now I’m trying to picture this…
    poking around indicates the Holy Roman Empire was expanding then?

  3. OT request: I recall a comment by a regular on this blog referring to his partner asking why he stared into her eyes, and the response being something about love or a deeper understanding/connection. I’ve tried searching for that comment and wording for several hours, but am unable to find it. Does anyone else remember that? I know it really resonated with me, and would like to read it again. Thanks!

  4. Oh dear. Do I need to go into Wikipedia and amend their list of 11th-century women writers?

    Aisha (poet)
    Akazome Emon
    Al-Rumaikiyya

    Borena of Alania
    Buthaina bint al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad

    Ise no Taifu
    Izumi Shikibu

    Li Qingzhao

    Eudokia Makrembolitissa
    Muhya bint Al-Tayyani
    Murasaki Shikibu

    Sei Shōnagon
    Takasue’s daughter

    Umm Al-Kiram

    Wallada bint al-Mustakfi

    Strange, but the only one I recognize is Li Qingzhao. Never read any of her work, translated or otherwise. And probably only familiar with her because of a history reference.

    BTW, you look FABULOUS for being 1000 years old!

    😉

  5. I wonder what it means about us as a society that we’re now all ‘hate’ or ‘love’?

    Those are the two blinding emotions (Are there others? Can’t think of them except as subcategories of the two.) In a free market, democratic polity those are the two easiest handles to manipulate — and the reason the Founders were wary of the madness of the demos. Anybody trying to sell things, from “Democratic Socialism” to photo packages of the kiddies is gonna pull those levers first, and work the other buttons only if those two don’t turn out enough suckers customers for what they’re selling.

    • “Anger” might also qualify, although in the case of things like Antifa and the Occupy idiots before, it was so tied up with hate that it might not be possible to separate the two.

      • Donald Campbell

        Outrage! A trigger for hate. [They like to be triggered…funny that the gun grabbers would use a gun metaphor for their acts.]

  6. I suspect, raised on shows, with that acting permeating our consciousness to a level never before experienced in history, we’ve slid the scale right up.

    I have wondered about that same effect of the permeation of [smut] into our culture. Obviously, certain positions and practices (shaving genitalia, for example: necessary for the camera but a nightmare of itching for anybody who’s ever done it — and a serious transmission opportunity for all sorts of diseases and illnesses) are presented as “normal” even though few would ever try them twice because sex is a contact sport and if the camera can see the action the action isn’t happening. There are also the over the top orgasms and hyper-expression of lust as well as eagerness to engage in intimate activities with strangers (my casual observation of pizza deliverers does not suggest they’re getting all that much action.)

    But it all has the effect of normalizing certain things. If you are not experiencing screaming, back-clawing passion maybe you’re missing out? It becomes more difficult for experimenting kids to say. “Ick – i don’t want to do that!” if the practice is perceived as common in your limited experience. There’s a sneaking suspicion that if getting your boob squeezed doesn’t ignite passion perhaps there is something wrong with you?

    And of course, real opportunities for intimacy fall by the wayside and learning the methods of human connection doesn’t occur.

    • (shaving genitalia, for example: necessary for the camera but a nightmare of itching for anybody who’s ever done it — and a serious transmission opportunity for all sorts of diseases and illnesses)

      True, but it is beneficial for one thing: it stops the transmission and reproduction of crab lice. Another species on the edge of extinction thanks to Brazilian deforestation.

      • I am so glad I had just put my soda down when I read that.

        • Stole it from Glenn Reynolds a few years ago; never gets old.

          But yes, crab lice infestations are down considerably since pubic shaving went mainstream.

          • Huh. Who’d a thought?
            I understand “poodle cuts”/”sheep shearing” are fairly popular in tick country. Makes it easier to spot the buggers, and doesn’t have the disadvantages of shaving.

          • OTOH (if you will pardon the expression) the attendant proliferation of minuscule nicks, cuts, scrapes and scratches are a superb breeding ground for all sorts of infections. So while you’re rid of lice the pustulant sores and ingrown hairs are a sort of discouragement.

            The Lord giveth with one hand and taketh with the other.

            • My last deployment I spent *far* too much time explaining to young (and often, not so young) women that an environment where 120 degree days were the norm, bathing less regular than at home, and where razors generally spent their days growing G_d-knows-what at the bottom of damp breeding ditty bags, was *not* an environment conducive to safe “personal grooming”.

              Despite the fact that to my very nearly certain knowledge, the women in question were impressing no-one but themselves, they refused to give up what they saw as an immutable social norm and I kept having to send folks to the gensurg for I and Ds (in one case TWICE, slow learner) because I am not qualified stick scalpels that close to the happy place, I leave that to the specialists.

              I don’t get it, but I think it’s a generational thing as well. Those of us who are much over 40 grew up in an era where pornography wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous, *maybe* someone got ahold of Dad’s secret VHS stash, but for most of us it was a pretty rare sight, and it was all 70s stuff anyway, where nobody had ever heard of a razor.

            • As the good economist says, “There are no solutions, only tradeoffs.”

              I have to admit, it is somewhat reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who can’t shave those hairs without the ingrown hair problem. I’ve always assumed that other women had some magical solution, like not having German peasant blood that manages to combine pale skin with dark hair to the point that you can see the follicle roots as dark spots when I shave my legs.

      • So in a promiscuous society…

    • But it all has the effect of normalizing certain things. If you are not experiencing screaming, back-clawing passion maybe you’re missing out? It becomes more difficult for experimenting kids to say. “Ick – i don’t want to do that!” if the practice is perceived as common in your limited experience. There’s a sneaking suspicion that if getting your boob squeezed doesn’t ignite passion perhaps there is something wrong with you?

      Sounds about right to me; that’s why a lot of folks have pointed out that sex ed looks an awful lot like sexual grooming by predators for ease of hunting.

      • Depends on the sex ed, though.
        The kind I got when I was in school was “yes, intercourse is not the only form of sex. Yes, you can still get STDs from other types of sexual contact. Condoms and contraceptives usually work but don’t always.” Which, frankly, is all adolescents need to know. Apparently some jurisdictions think differently.

        • We had more years of sex ed than we did math or science.

          It was hard core “you MUST practice safe sex,” lots of “sex positive” stuff even after our nice older lady teacher cleaned it up (lots of videos) and it was horrifying to watch all these kids talking about how it was “safe” when RIGHT THERE IN BLACK AND WHITE it had the failure rates.

          Mention of STDs was one video. Same video every year….. Oh, and we watched one on AIDS, too, which was mostly about how unfair it was that people acted like AIDS was a dangerous disease passed by body fluids. *eyeroll* Every single example was things like a nurse that got jabbed, or someone who got it via transfusion, or…..

    • One of the reasons why I enjoy watching Korean shows is that they’re prudish by modern American standards. I just finished one series in which the two leads – who were very much in love with each other – never did anything racier than hug.

      In contrast, it seems far too easy to find streamed Western shows with decent production values that make sure to periodically include a naked couple having very boring and visible on-camera (possibly simulated) sex.

    • There was a suspiciously friendly, nay predatory old (well, late middle aged) woman who seemed to have the hots for the teenaged hardware store delivery boys. I was pretty naive, but my spidey sense went off the charts. And she always kept ordering small crap, a few times a week. Never talked about her to the other driver. He might have been more, er, stupid than me. Circa 1969. (Almost typed 1069. Sorry…)

      I loath shaving. Turns out I’m allergic to the nickle in stainless steel, and the nicks and scrapes make life hell. I’ll let the beard grow a few months until Beard and Whiskers(tm) can’t help, then use the clippers to knock it down. I’ll never be able to use a full-face CPAP mask, but I can live with that.

  7. “Peace, I hate the very word, as I hate Hell, all Capulets and Thee”

    Er, it’s Montagues. The one who says that is a Capulet. Well, sort of. He’s got an aunt who married into the Capulet family. Which actually brings me to my point that in Shakespeare’s version at least, it seems to be the characters least connected to the feud who are most invested in it. Tybalt, the nephew by marriage, is the one out calling for blood. The servants like to talk a big game. Mercutio, not related to either family even by marriage, is the one who forces the confrontation in Act III by refusing to let Tybalt walk away. Montague and Capulet themselves seem more like they’re starring in a prequel to Grumpy Old Men: they take pleasure in poking each other, but there isn’t really much hate there. Capulet would rather let Montague’s son run around his house then risk interrupting his party, which says where his priorities are. And I suppose that goes back to the point of the post: the kids hate the other side with an intense passion, while the old people recognize that there’s a lot more nuance in how this particular type of “hatred” works.

  8. The burning question is not whom do we hate, rather the real issue these days is who hates us.
    Some are fairly easy to identify, pretty much every country that openly calls us “The Great Satan.” And that mostly because it’s far easier to blame us for their failures than to drum up sufficient introspection to examine what’s really causing them to fail.
    But our own elites willing to commit felonies simply to protest the society that has given them everything they have, those I do despair over. Minds poisoned by the enduring legacy of Marxism. Some of that hatred can be ascribed to a mere lust for power, a desire to control everything simply because they would obviously do it better, for some rather sketchy definitions of better of course. But for many, and I suspect antifa falls in this category, it’s a matter of externalizing a deep and abiding self loathing.
    As for my own personal hatred, I confess I do have this list. Where anyone ranks on the list is determined by the length of the pointed stake assigned to them. Long stake, the world would be better off without you. Short stake, take your time, I really want you to experience some small measure of the suffering you have imposed on so many of your victims. Child molesters and parents who willingly mutilate their own children in the name of virtue signaling fall in this later category.

    • I have no passion for hatred. There are those on my list, but I don’ hate them. It would be foolish and futile to hate cockroaches; but I step on them none-the-less.

  9. Please don’t abuse legumes. They do have the vital property of putting nitrogen back into the soil, as well as providing sustainence for those of us who get kicked out of the Ramen-of-the-Month-Club due to non-payment of bills.

    Dislike them for various reasons? Sure. But no hatin’ on th’ beans, please.

  10. Discussion between a new executive and an (older) manager, while reviewing people in the manager’s group:

    New Executive: So who do you hate?
    Manager: I don’t *hate* anybody, I try to be a Christian.

  11. This is gonna be a wall of text.

    It’s by the recently beatified Fulton Sheen, and while I can find parts of it all over the internet– I only found the whole thing in one place; I’ve saved the PDF, but that’s a slim thing to build on.

    It seems related, though.

    A Plea for Intolerance
    Venerable Fulton J. Sheen
    America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance. It is not. It is suffering from tolerance: tolerance of right and wrong,
    truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so much overrun with the bigoted as it is
    overrun with the broadminded. The man who can make up his mind in an orderly way, as a man might make up his
    bed, is called a bigot; but a man who cannot make up his mind, any more than he can make up for lost time, is called
    tolerant and broadminded. A bigoted man is one who refuses to accept a reason for anything; a broadminded man is
    one who will accept anything for a reason—providing it is not a good reason. It is true that there is a demand for
    precision, exactness, and definiteness, but it is only for precision in scientific measurement, not in logic. The
    breakdown that has produced this unnatural broadmindedness is mental, not moral. The evidence for this statement
    is threefold: the tendency to settle issues not by arguments but by words, the unqualified willingness to accept the
    authority of anyone on the subject of religion, and, lastly, the love of novelty.
    Voltaire boasted that if he could find but ten wicked words a day he could crush the “infamy” of Christianity. He
    found the ten words daily, and even a daily dozen, but he never found an argument, and so the words went the way
    of all words and the thing, Christianity, survived. Today, no one advances even a poor argument to prove that there
    is no God, but they are legion who think they have sealed up the heavens when they used the word
    “anthropomorphism.” This word is just a sample of the catalogue of names which serve as the excuse for those who
    are too lazy to think. One moment’s reflection would tell them that one can no more get rid of God by calling Him
    “anthropomorphic” than he can get rid of a sore throat by calling it “streptococci.” As regards the use of the term
    “anthropomorphism,” I cannot see that its use in theology is less justified than the use in physics of the term
    “organism,” which the new physicists are so fond of employing. Certain words like “reactionary” or “medieval” are
    tagged on the Catholic Church and used with that same disrespect with which a man may sneer at a woman’s age.
    Mothers do not cease to be mothers because their sons grow up, and the Mother Church of the Christian world,
    which began not in Boston but in Jerusalem, is not to be dispossessed of her glorious title simply because her sons
    leave home. Some day they may be glad to return and their return will be the truest “homecoming” the world has
    ever seen.
    Not only does the substitution of words for argument betray the existence of this false tolerance, but also the
    readiness of many minds to accept as an authority in any field an individual who becomes a famous authority in one
    particular field. The assumption behind journalistic religion is that because a man is clever in inventing automobiles,
    he is thereby clever in treating the relationship between Buddhism and Christianity; that a professor who is an
    authority on the mathematical interpretation of atomic phenomena is thereby an authority on the interpretation of
    marriage; and that am an who knows something about illumination can throw light on the subject of immortality, or
    perhaps even put out the lights on immortality. There is a limit to the transfer of training, and no one who paints
    beautiful pictures with his right hand can, in a day and at the suggestion of a reporter, paint an equally good one
    with his left hand. The science of religion has a right to be heard scientifically through its qualified spokesmen, just as
    the science of physics or astronomy has a right to be heard through its qualified spokesmen. Religion is a science
    despite the fact that some would make it only a sentiment.
    Religion is not an open question, like the United Nations, while science is a closed question, like the addition table.
    Religion has its principles, natural and revealed, which are more exacting in their logic than mathematics. But the
    false notion of tolerance has obscured this fact from the eyes of many who are as intolerant about the smallest details
    of life as they are tolerant about their relations to God. In the ordinary affairs of life, these same people would never
    summon a Christian Science practitioner to fix a broken windowpane; they would never call in an optician because
    they had broken the eye of a needle; they would never call in a florist because they hurt the palm of their hand, nor
    go to a carpenter to take care of their nails. They would never call in a Collector of Internal Revenue to extract the
    nickel swallowed by the baby. They would refuse to listen to a Kiwanis booster discussing the authenticity of a
    painting, or to a tree‐surgeon settling a moot question of law. And yet for the all‐important subject of religion, on
    which our eternal destinies hinge, on the all‐important question of the relations of man to his environment and to his
    God, they are willing to listen to anyone who calls himself a prophet. And so our journals are filled with articles for
    these “broadminded” people, in which everyone from Jack Dempsey [a famous boxer at the time] to the chief cook of
    the Ritz Carlton tells about his idea of God and his view of religion. These same individuals, who would become
    exasperated if their child played with a wrongly colored lollipop, would not become the least bit worried if the child
    grew up without ever having heard the name of God.
    Would it not be in perfect keeping with the fitness of things to insist on certain minimal requirements for theological
    pronouncements? If we insist that he who mends our pipes knows something about plumbing and that he who gives
    us pills knows something about medicine, should be not expect and demand that he who tells us about God, religion,
    Christ, and immortality at least say his prayers? If a violinist does not disdain to practice his musical scales, why
    should the modern theologian disdain to practice the elements of religion?
    Another evidence of the breakdown of reason that has produced this weird fungus of broad‐mindedness is the
    passion for novelty, as opposed to the love of truth. Truth is sacrificed for an epigram, and the Divinity of Christ for a
    headline in the Monday morning newspaper. Many a modern preacher is far less concerned with preaching Christ
    and Him crucified than he is his popularity with his congregation. A want of intellectual backbone makes
    him straddled the ox of truth and the ass of nonsense, paying compliments to Catholics because of ʺtheir great
    organizationʺ and to sexologists because of their ʺhonest challenge to the youth of this generation.ʺ Bending the knee
    to the mob and pleasing men rather than God would probably make them scruple at ever playing the role of a John
    the Baptist before a modern Herod. No accusing finger would be leveled at a divorce or one living in adultery; no
    voice would be thundered in the ears of the rich, saying with something of the intolerance of Divinity: ʺIt is not
    lawful for you to live with your brother’s wife.” Rather would we hear: ʺFriend, times are changing! The acids of
    modernity are eating away the fossils of orthodoxy. If youʹre noble sex‐urge to self‐expression finds its proper
    stimulus and response in no one but Herodias, then in the name of Freud and Russell accept her as your lawful wife
    to have and to hold until sex do ye part.ʺ
    Belief in the existence of God, in the Divinity of Christ, and in the moral law are considered passing fashions. The
    latest thing in this new tolerance is considered the true thing, as if truth were a fashion, like the hat, instead of an
    institution, like a head. At the present moment, in psychology the fashion runs towards Behaviorism, as in
    philosophy it runs towards Temporalism. And that it is not objective validity which dictates the success of a modern
    philosophical theory, is borne out by the statement a celebrated space‐time philosopher of England made to the
    writer a few years ago, when he was asked where he got his system. ʺFrom my imagination,ʺ he answered. Upon
    being challenged that the imagination was not the proper faculty for a philosopher to use, he retorted: ʺIt is, if the
    success of your philosophical system depends not on the truth that is in it, but on its novelty.ʺ
    In that statement is the final argument for modern broad‐mindedness: truth is novelty, and hence ʺtruthʺ changes
    with the passing fancies of the moment. Like the chameleon who changes his colors to suit the vesture on which he is
    placed, so truth is supposed to change to suit the foibles and obliquities of the age, as if the foundations of thinking
    might be true for the pre‐Adamites and false for the Adamites. Truth does grow, but it grows homogeneously, like an
    acorn into an oak; it does not swing in the breeze, like a weathercock. The leopard does not change his spots nor the
    Ethiopian his skin, though the leopard be put in bars or the Ethiopian in pink tights. The nature of certain things is
    fixed, and none more so than the nature of truth. Truth maybe contradicted a thousand times, but that only proves
    that it is strong enough to survive a thousand assaults. But for any one to say, ʺSome say this, some say that, therefore
    there is no truth,ʺ is about as logical as it would have been for Columbus, who heard some say, ʺThe earth is round,ʺ
    and other say, ʺThe earth is flat,ʺ to conclude: ʺTherefore there is no earth at all.ʺ
    It is this kind of thinking that cannot distinguish between a sheep and his second coat of wool, between Napoleon
    and his three‐cornered hat, between the substance and the accident, the kind that has begotten minds so flattened
    with broadness that they have lost all their depth. Like a carpenter who might throw away his rule and use each
    beam as a measuring‐rod, so, too, those who have thrown away the standard of objective truth have nothing left with
    which to measure but the mental fashion of the moment.
    The giggling giddiness of novelty, the sentimental restlessness of a mind unhinged, and the unnatural fear of a good
    dose of hard thinking, all conjoin to produce a group of sophomoric latitudinarians who think there is no difference
    between God as Cause and God as a ʺmental projectionʺ; who equate Christ and Buddha, St. Paul and John Dewey,
    and then enlarge their broad‐mindedness into a sweeping synthesis that says not only that one Christian sect is just
    as good as another, but even that one world‐religion is just as good as another. The great god ʺProgressʺ is then
    enthroned on the altars of fashion, and as the hectic worshipers are asked, ʺProgress towards what?ʺ The tolerant
    answer comes back, ʺMore progress.ʺ All the while sane men are wondering how there can be progress without
    direction and how there can be direction without a fixed point. And because they speak of a ʺfixed point,ʺ they are
    said to be behind the times, when really they are beyond the times mentally and spiritually.
    In the face of this false broad‐mindedness, what the world needs is intolerance. The mass of people have kept up
    hard and fast distinctions between dollars and cents, battleships and cruisers, ʺYou owe meʺ and ʺI owe you,ʺ but
    they seem to have lost entirely the faculty of distinguishing between the good and the bad, the right and the
    wrong. The best indication of this is the frequent misuse of the terms ʺtoleranceʺ and ʺintolerance.ʺ There are some
    minds that believe that intolerance is always wrong, because they make ʺintoleranceʺ mean hate, narrow‐
    mindedness, and bigotry. These same minds believe that tolerance is always right because, for them, it means charity,
    broad‐mindedness, American good nature.
    ‐‐‐
    What is tolerance? Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience towards evil, and a forbearance that restrains us from
    showing anger or inflicting punishment. But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application.
    The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to
    truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error.
    What has just been said here will clarify that which was said at the beginning of this chapter, namely, that America is
    suffering not so much from intolerance, which is bigotry, as it is from tolerance, which is indifference to truth and
    error, and a philosophical nonchalance that has been interpreted as broad‐mindedness. Greater tolerance, of course,
    is desirable, for there can never be too much charity shown to persons who differ with us. Our Blessed Lord Himself
    asked that we ʺlove those who calumniate for us,ʺ for they are always persons, but He never told us to love the
    calumny. In keeping with the Spirit of Christ, the Church encourages prayers for all those who are outside the pale of
    the Church, and asks that the greatest charity be shown towards them. As St. Francis de Sales was wont to say: ʺIt is
    easier to catch flies with a drop of honey than with a barrel of vinegar.ʺ
    If some of us who are blessed with its sacred privileges believed the same things about the Church that her slanderers
    believe, if we knew her only through the words of traitors or third‐rate lies of dishonest historians, if we understood
    her only through those who were never cradled in her sacred associations, we would perhaps hate the Church just as
    much as they do. The bitterest enemies of the Church, those who accuse her of being unpatriotic, as Christ was
    accused of being before Pilate; of being unworldly, as Christ was accused of being before Herod; of being too
    dogmatic, as Christ was accused of being before Caiaphas; or being too undogmatic, as Christ was accused of being
    Annas; of being possessed by the devil, as Christ was accused of being before the Pharisees — these do not really
    hate the Church. They cannot hate the Church any more than they can hate Christ; they hate only that which they
    mistakenly believe to be the Catholic Church, and their hate is but their vain attempt to ignore. Charity, then, must be
    shown to persons, and particularly to those outside the fold who by charity must be led back, that there may be one
    fold and one Shepherd.
    Thus far tolerance, but no farther. Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be
    intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a
    plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability. The government must be intolerant about malicious
    propaganda, and during the World War it made an index of forbidden books to defend national stability, as the
    Church, who is in constant warfare with error, made her index of forbidden books to defend the permanency of
    Christʹs life in the souls of men. The government during the war was intolerant about the national heretics who
    refused to accept her principles concerning the necessity of democratic institutions, and took physical means to
    enforce such principles. The soldiers who went to war were intolerant about the principles they were fighting for, in
    the same way that a gardener must be intolerant about the weeds that grow in his garden. The Supreme Court of the
    United States is intolerant about any private interpretation of the first principle of the Constitution that every man is
    entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the particular citizen who would interpret ʺlibertyʺ in even
    such a small way as meaning the privilege to ʺgoʺ on a red traffic‐light, would find himself very soon in a cell where
    there were no lights, not even the yellow — the color of the timid souls who know not whether to stop or
    go. Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in
    their laboratories, and as all of us are intolerant of a particularly broad‐minded, ʺtolerant,ʺ and good‐natured grocer
    who, in making our bills, adds seven and ten to make twenty.
    Now, if it is right — and it is right — for governments to be intolerant about the principles of government, and the
    bridge builder to be intolerant about the laws of stress and strain, and the physicist to be intolerant about the
    principles of gravitation, why should it not be the right of Christ, the right of His Church, and the right of thinking
    men to be intolerant about the truths of Christ, the doctrines of the Church, and the principles of reason? Can the
    truths of God be less exacting than the truths of mathematics? Can the laws of the mind be less binding than the laws
    of science, which are known only through the laws of the mind? Shall man, gifted with natural truth, who refuses to
    look with an equally tolerant eye on the mathematician who says two and two make five and the one who says two
    and two make four, be called a wise man, and shall God, Who refuses to look with an equally tolerant eye on all
    religions, be denied the name of ʺWisdom,ʺ and be called an ʺintolerantʺ God?
    Shall we say that the reflected rays of the sun are warm but the sun is not hot? This we are equivalently saying when
    we admit intolerance of the principles of science and deny it to the Father of science, Who is God. And if a
    government, with the inflexible principles of its constitution, distant from the foundation of government by miles and
    separated from it by lifetimes, can empower men to enforce that constitution, why cannot Christ choose and delegate
    men with the power of enforcing His Will and spreading His benedictions? And if we admit intolerance about the
    foundations of a government that at best looks after manʹs body, why not admit intolerance about the foundations of
    a government that looks after the eternal destiny of the spirit of man? For unlike human governments, ʺthere is no
    other foundation upon which men can build than upon the name Jesus.ʺ
    Why, then, sneer at dogmas as intolerant? On all sides we hear it said today, ʺThe modern world wants a religion
    without dogmas,ʺ which betrays how little thinking goes with that label, for he who says he wants a religion without
    dogmas is stating a dogma, and a dogma that is harder to justify than many dogmas of faith. A dogma is a true
    thought, and a religion without dogmas is a religion without thought, or a back without a backbone. All sciences
    have dogmas. ʺWashington is the capital of the United Statesʺ is a dogma of geography. ʺWater is composed of two
    atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygenʺ is a dogma of chemistry. Should we be broad‐minded and say that
    Washington is a sea in Switzerland? Should we be broad‐minded and say that H2O is a symbol for sulfuric acid?
    We cannot verify all the dogmas of science, history, and literature, and therefore we are to take many of them on the
    testimony of others. I believe Professor Eddington, for example, when he tells me that ʺEinsteinʹs law of gravitation
    asserts that ten principal coefficients of curvature are zero in empty space,ʺ just as I do not believe Dr. Harry Elmer
    Barnes when he tells me that ʺthe cockroach has lived substantially unchanged on the earth for fifty million years.ʺ I
    accept Dr. Eddingtonʹs testimony because, by his learning and his published works, he has proved that he knows
    something about Einstein. I do not accept Dr. Barnesʹs testimony about cockroaches because he has never qualified in
    the eyes of the modern world as a cockroach specialist. In other words, I sift testimony and accept it on reason.
    So also, my reason sifts the historical evidence for Christ; it weighs the testimony adduced by those who knew Him,
    and the testimony given by Himself. It fails to be swayed by those who start with a preconceived theory, rejecting all
    the evidence against their theory and accepting the residue as the Gospels. In the search, it comes across such works
    as those of Renan and Strauss, which are critical, but it also comes across such works as those of Fillion and
    Grandmaison: it knows the name of Loisy, but it also knows Lagrange; it knows the theory of Inge, but it also knows
    DʹHerbigny. And this reason finally leads me to accept the testimony of Jesus Christ as the testimony of God. I then
    accept these truths — truths which I cannot prove, as was Professor Eddingtonʹs statement about Einstein — and
    these truths become dogmas.
    There can thus be dogmas of religion as well as dogmas of science, and both of them can be revealed, the one by God,
    the other by man. Not only that — these fundamental dogmas, like the first principles [elements] of Euclid, can be
    used as raw material for thinking, and just as one scientific fact can be used as the basis of another, so one dogma can
    be used as the basis for another. But in order to begin thinking on a first dogma, one must be identified with it either
    in time or in principle. The Church was identified with Christ in both time and principle; she began thinking on His
    first principles and the harder she thought, the more dogmas she developed. Being organic like life, not institutional
    like a club, she never forgot those dogmas; she remembered them and her memory is tradition. Just as a scientist
    must depend on the memory of the first principles of his science, which he uses as the ground for other conclusions,
    so too the Church goes back into her intellectual memory, which is tradition, and uses former dogmas as the
    foundation for new ones. In this whole process she never forgets her first principles. If she did she would be like the
    undogmatic dogmatists of the present day, who believe that progress consists in denying the fact, instead of building
    on it; who turn to new ideals because they have never tried the old; who condemn as ʺobscurantistʺ the truth that has
    a parentage, and glorify as ʺprogressiveʺ a shibboleth that knows not either its father or its mother. They are of the
    school that would deny the very nature of things: free the camel of his hump and call him a camel; shorten the neck
    of a giraffe and call him a giraffe; and never frame a picture, because a frame is a limitation and therefore a principal
    and a dogma.
    But it is anything but progress to act like mice and eat the foundations of the very roof over our heads. Intolerance
    about principles is the foundation of growth, and the mathematician who would deride a square for always having
    four sides, and in the name of progress would encourage it to throw away even only one of its sides, would soon
    discover that he had lost all his squares. So too with the dogmas of the Church, of science, and of reason; they are like
    bricks, solid things with which a man can build, not like straw, which is ʺreligious experience,ʺ fit only for burning.
    A dogma, then, is the necessary consequence of the intolerance of first principles, and that science or that church
    which has the greatest amount of dogmas is the science or the church that has been doing the most thinking. The
    Catholic Church, the schoolmaster for twenty centuries, has been doing a tremendous amount of solid, hard thinking
    and hence has built up dogmas as a man might build a house of brick but grounded on a rock. She has seen the
    centuries with their passing enthusiasms and momentary loyalties pass before her, making the same mistakes,
    cultivating the same poses, falling into the same mental snares, so that she has become very patient and kind to the
    erring pupils, but very intolerant and severe concerning the false. She has been and she will always be intolerant so
    far as the rights of God are concerned, for heresy, error, untruth, affect not personal matters on which she may yield,
    but a Divine Right in which there is no yielding. Meek she is to the erring, but violent to the error. The truth is divine;
    the heretic is human. Due reparation made, she will admit the heretic back into the treasury of her souls, but never
    the heresy into the treasury of her wisdom. Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is
    wrong. And in this day and age we need, as Mr. Chesterton tells us, ʺnot a Church that is right when the world is
    right, but a Church that is right when the world is wrong.ʺ
    The attitude of the Church in relation to the modern world on this important question may be brought home by the
    story of the two women in the courtroom of Solomon. Both of them claimed a child. The lawful mother insisted on
    having the whole child or nothing, for a child is like truth — it cannot be divided without ruin. The unlawful mother,
    on the contrary, agreed to compromise. She was willing to divide the babe, and the babe would have died of broad‐
    mindedness.

    • Donald Campbell

      Excellent point that we hate the wrong thing. The love of novelty requires we hate all that comes before. It requires we accept any definition of anyone as an authority simply because they are new and different. Logic is the pretty flower that smells bad. Discard logic and do not require argument or reason, just label the other, the old idea with a bad word and continue on. Progress for progresses sake. The hamster in his spinning wheel.
      Cultural relativism again demands the old 2,000 testament and foundation of Modern Civilization is no better morally than a five year old make believe, or that accursed Lennon song “Imagine”. Imagine civilization reaching where we are today if we were all sharing all the mud huts in all the world.

      My problem is that while he makes a good stab at what is wrong in the world, he doesn’t give us the path back to sanity. The denizens of the Diner are not the ones suffering the mental breakdown; they consider hate an emotion as a literary device, not a weapon to bludgeon their fellows. The crazies are roaming the streets of Portland, hating everyone they see. How do we “fix” them? I don’t see it.

      • In fairness, he was speaking when folks were just dragging us off the path– it was obvious what the way back was, he was pointing out “Hey, yeah, that turn? Bad idea.”

        • Donald Campbell

          Yes. Before we hit the bridge at 100 mph and flew over the rail to the river below, the solution was step on the brake. Once we are in the air falling, the brake isn’t going to help.

      • Well, other than the stuff where there it’s kinda a “have to fix it for each individual” type issue…..

  12. The reason we’re all ‘Love’ or ‘Hate’ is that we are coming to the end of a cycle. In the middle the dominant social elite can enforce their will with lesser emotional levels. But as they become used to that level of control, elites inevitably push for more control, and the people who just want to be left the hell alone start pushing back. And that rapidly degenerates into ‘Love’ as a reward and ‘Hate’ as a punishment, and hysterical accusations of monstrousness.

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    There are very few things or people I can say I hate. Tends to sort out as “I care about this and love it”, “I don’t care one way or another” or “I dislike, but don’t care that much”. I have to care more to actually hate something.

    • For some reason people hate it when I say or type “whatever” and end the conversation. Hey, it worked (is it still a thing?) for youngster’s and teens (more or less.) Works better for oldsters 🙂 One word, without actually saying it, I’ve stated “not worth my thought, consideration, or time; I don’t care.”

      Yes. It is rude. The point?

  14. IIRC, people who don’t like Jefferson Davis are transphobic.

    • Donald Campbell

      Ah, US 1 in Northern VA, formerly the Jeff Davis Highway. The only thing that surprises me was it took so long for them to realize it.

  15. On my (dormant) blog, I once made a pitch for a return to the concept of ‘vulgar’. Not an increase in vulgarity of which we have an oversupply, but a return to naming vulgar things AS vulgar, as opposed to claiming that they are blasphemous, racist, triggering, etc.

    Because a great deal that’s wrong with today is that things that should be dismissed as tiresome and in poor taste get taken entirely too seriously. I don’t ‘hate’ Andres Serrano’s PISS CHRIST. I think it’s vulgar and the very antithesis of ‘Art’. The same goes double for Duchamp’s FOUNTAIN. Instead of arguing over the nonexistent ‘merits’ of these pieces of ‘Art’, we should be dismissing them as beneath consideration. And, by extension, dismissing anyone who champions them as hopeless.

    Think of how MANY sacred cows on the Left deserve this treatment. If it caught on it would infuriate the attention grubbers of the Left (I almost said ‘Whores’, but whores have SOME value.). And it would do much to reduce MY blood pressure, and probably others’ too.

    • Feather Blade

      I’d second this notion.

      The part where you get to explain that “vulgar” means “common” and “ordinary” would be oh-so-entertaining as it took the wind out of their “shock the squares” sails.

      • ‘Shock the squares’ can be fun. I recall playing it at several Cons. But ultimately it is a pastime for adolescents. That we have allowed it to become a part of the Art world kinda baffles me.

        • Considering a signed urinal pretending to Say Something is over a century old, we merely inherited “shocking the squares is Art!”

  16. I’ve borrowed some terminology from pop psychology: I don’t hate people or things, I hate the emotional state that contact with those people or things produces in me. Sometimes I can explain why I have that reaction, sometimes I can’t; when I can’t, I immediately classify it as something beyond debate or justification.

    (Example: Reggae music. I recognize it as a legitimate form of music and I respect those who like or love it, but I’ve never heard a reggae song in my life that by the end of it didn’t make me want to pull my hair out as a distraction from its sound.)

    Likewise, I’ve never hated coworkers, but I have hated the state to which having to deal with certain of their behaviours (micromanaging in one case, refusal to take direction in another) drove me.

    I do hate certain ideas. But you can’t condemn an idea without most of the people who uphold it taking that condemnation personally, so safe opportunities to advance that hatred are few and far between.

    • I’ve borrowed some terminology from pop psychology: I don’t hate people or things, I hate the emotional state that contact with those people or things produces in me.

      With you on that one. On another forum I frequent and moderate, there’s one person whom I can’t say I hate. I find her annoying, sure, but I don’t want to hurt her or ruin her or anything. But I hate how when I’m around her, every bit of petty cattiness that I didn’t have the opportunity to express in high school tries to come out.

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