In Praise of the ‘H8er’ and a Case for Ethical Hating

In “It’s Not OK To Be Shitty: Guy Fieri, BuzzFeed, And The Tyranny Of Stupid Popular Things” on Deadspin this week, Will Leitch has written essay he might otherwise have titled “Why Everything Is Bad Now.” Winding his way through the Guy Fieri v. New York Times fiasco of last month, on toward the tyranny of lowered expectations across the cultural board, and the dashing of thousands of once pure writerly souls on the shores of pageview-chasing Buzzfeed-style stunt posts, he comes to a point that stuck out for me coming, as it did, just as I was posting what must’ve been somewhere around my second dozenth reactionary Buzzfeed hate-blog.

This inclination of mine to rail, (in futility, I’m well aware), against the oppressive blandness of the internet behemoth (just kidding if you’re hiring) places me firmly in a category which you might call a “hater,” or “h8er” if you’re short on characters and/or a teenager and/or a rapper and/or a teenage rapper short on characters. So be it. It’s time more of us speak up in defense of the hater, or at least differentiate ourselves by a small, but significant matter of degree.

It’s probably not a coincidence that in the age of the “like” and the “favorite” and the “<3″ that we’ve assembled an oppositional army pushing back in the other direction, but it’s one that’s easily neutered. The brilliance of the hater rebuttal in diminishing criticism of any sort is that, like its cousins “U MAD?” and “U JELLY?”, which Mobute See Seko deftly delineated here, it reduces the slight to one based in an irrational, emotional reaction.