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Tuesday Hatred: Meritorious Uproar

I hate that last week no one followed my lead and used the verb “nauseate” or its conceptual neighbors to describe what they hated. Even if others had followed my lead and simply used words other than “hate” and cognates, that would have been a balm to my soul and a joy to my heart—but you preferred the familiar and bland to the new and exciting. I was just trying to bring a little variety to you, O heteronomous, and I thought that you might bring, reciprocally, variety to me. But I was disappointed in this as in every enterprise of my life. Familiarity has, in this case, not made mealy-mouthed and phatic my hatred but has rather, as the saying has it, fathered it forth anew with each incident. I do not quite hate you—not year—but I do begin to resent you.

I hate my nose: who has a worse? Damn few, and they’re dead. I have been sneezing constantly and expelling nothing but air, as far as I can tell. Is there, up there, an irritant? Is it spring that does this to me? Am I the reason Greenpeace is protesting Kimberly Clarke? I hate, also, hazy memoirese, the painfully mannered recollections so familiar to anyone who has listened to NPR, read a personal essay, or come into how glancing soever contact with any of many short stories in the past ten years (give or take).

I am REALLY FUCKING INCENSED that Matt Yglesias recently put up a post advocating the demise of the “less”/”fewer” distinction. What, just because he can’t remember he proposes to retire one of the words? The post also contained the phrase “more easier”, which may have been deliberate, but may also have been the mark of degeneracy. (Were it deliberate, that would also have been the mark of degeneracy.) One wonders where he stands on the “much”/”many” issue, which for some reason is often ignored in this context.

The really bizarre part is that the count noun/mass noun distinction would not be abolished if “less” and “fewer” were consolidated into one word; it would just be obscured—arguably making things harder, not easier, to learn.

The post seems of a piece with his significantly earlier post for the food blog with the most ridiculous name, which can be summarized fairly accurately thus: “I bought some walnut oil and didn’t really know what to do with it, and therefore judge it useless.” I’m not really sure what it is about them that has me so enraged. Arrogance? Anti-intellectualism? Arrogant anti-intellectualism? (Is it really anti-intellectualism?) Technocratic utopianism (“after a moment’s thought I have determined how to improve our language/culinary oils forever!”)? Whatver it is it’s fucking awful.

Next he’ll be agitating for the abandonment of “disinterested”.

I would like to say that I titled this post before I had any plans as to what it would contain. However, my uproar is indeed meritorious. I invite strasmangelo jones to tell us all about the actually substantive complaints he is sure to have regarding saiselgy.

I hate the experience of reading a paper whose reading of its topic is utterly wrongheaded. One would like to sit down and bash out a thoroughgoing refutation. This is how fisking got its start. And yet that is often unproductive. The only thing better would be to find the author, grab both h/h shoulders, and shake h/h back and forth in a comical fashion, while crying out, “what were you thinking?”.

I hate cafes that purport to offer whipped cream when what they actually have is aerosolized cream. I hate disc brakes, which are simultaneously nearly impossible to adjust oneself and constantly in need of adjustment.

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June 9, 2009 - Posted by | Tuesday Hatred

14 Comments

  1. I hated Obama’s Cairo speech. Going over to the Mideast and telling the Muslim world to give up violence while we’re bombing them in multiple countries and bankrolling a military that uses violence to starve them in another, while at the same time insisting “America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire”? That is, in fact, the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire.

    I hate that there’s a bill in the Rhode Island general assembly right now to allow garbage incinerators. I hate that lobbyists for the incineration industry have decided to label the process of spewing burnt garbage into the air as “waste to energy.” I hate that it seems, at the moment, very likely to pass, because the state of Rhode Island is owned and operated by corrupt idiots.

    I barely read Yglesias anymore, although not for reasons of spelling or grammar. Not sure if this is Tuesday material, though, since I don’t really hate his stuff these days – I just feel gross for having read it, the same way I feel whenever I click on a link that leads to Slate.

    I hate that I accidentally shrunk a number of really good shirts in the wash last week.

    Comment by stras jones | June 9, 2009

  2. i hate that my neighbour is too quiet, i thought he moved out, but it seems no, i asked the super, instead of enjoying quietness now i’m afraid about whether he passed out there in his apartment and i’m the person who would know it first and didn’t do anything about it now for about a week, but hopefully that kind of stories happen only in books and oddly news, god forbid
    hopefully he just went somewhere, at least i told to the super about his seemingly absence

    Comment by read | June 9, 2009

  3. -to

    Comment by read | June 9, 2009

  4. +to, i checked google
    i hated to read all the prosecution scenes of the first christians in Quo vadis, so truly barbaric sensibilities of the Romans, never heard anything like that in our most barbaric days, at last i finished it yesterday, perhaps the longest read book ever for me, strange that they died without any counterstruggle resistance, but i think they were perhaps the non-violence strugglers like Mahatma Gandhi, so they won

    Comment by read | June 9, 2009

  5. Now that I’ve clicked through, I hate that entire Yglesias thread. And I hate myself for reading it, and Ben for bringing it to my attention.

    Comment by stras jones | June 9, 2009

  6. I hate communication via passive-aggressive note.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 9, 2009

  7. not year

    I hate pedants who can’t be bothered to proofread their own shit.

    Comment by bitchphd | June 9, 2009

  8. Everyone already knows that I am scrupulously correct in all I do, so I don’t need to prove it to anyone anymore.

    Comment by ben | June 9, 2009

  9. I’m sorry, stras.

    I didn’t read the comments, myself, because I didn’t want to punish myself.

    Comment by ben | June 9, 2009

  10. I hate that my in-laws are being honored by a Jewish/Israeli organization, and that I’m going to go to the luncheon and be politely quiet. (I have been given permission not to go.) I hate that I haven’t come up with a long-term strategy for dealing with my in-laws’ Israel politics. I hate that my wife, who is much closer to my side of things, has made it clear that she expects me to mostly shut up about it around them in the interest of badly needed family harmony, although I’m fairly certain that the in-laws understand that if they’re ever audibly, explicitly racist on the issue, they will not have a relationship with their grandchildren. (Who do not yet exist.)

    I hate how much I got worked up just thinking about this. I partly like the feeling, though. I’m hoping that my wife will let me craft a couple of low-octane pro-peace political remarks for her speech about her parents.

    (Tony Karon liked the speech more than Stras, in case anyone’s curious.)

    Comment by Wrongshore | June 9, 2009

  11. This bit I’ll grant was odd:

    For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.

    I remember a war in there somewhere.

    Comment by Wrongshore | June 9, 2009

  12. I love Tony Karon, but I think he’s way off on this one. Obama’s rhetoric on settlements, for instance, has so far been limited to a settlement freeze, largely sidestepping the question of dismantling the existing colonization/apartheid scheme in the West Bank – and that rhetoric has yet to be accompanied with any real pressure on the Israeli government. Bush scolded Israel over settlements, too, as did Clinton, as did Bush Senior. Words are nice, but empty here.

    And a lot of those words, of course, were just ridiculously arrogant. It takes some brass ones to tell the Muslim world that “it is a sign neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children… that’s not how moral authority is claimed; that’s how it is surrendered” while you are, simultaneously, using rockets, missiles and predator drones to blow up their sleeping children.

    Comment by stras jones | June 9, 2009

  13. Update: 10 happened today, and wasn’t all that bad (or rather, turned out to be not that excruciating politically, and totally excruciating for my wife based on family-emotional reasons.)

    Part of the reason it wasn’t that bad was that, it turns out, it was just for dentists.

    Comment by Wrongshore | June 14, 2009

  14. Blah blah blah anti-dentite yadda yadda.

    Comment by ben | June 14, 2009


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