Suggested Audio Candy:
 Slipknot “The Devil In I”
 John Cafferty “Hearts on Fire”
Hate is such a vile little word and one which has little to no place in my vocabulary. I will admit to using it from time to time in the heat of the moment but it is always sparing. The reason for my omission of a fully legitimate word from the English language is simple; it has a tendency to breed. I’ve watched people become consumed by hate all my life and it always seems to yield the exact same result; negativity. There have been those in my life who have wronged me; in school there were a couple of individuals I gave a rather large berth on account of their less than honorable actions. However, I never really got drawn into the whole hate debate and instead pitied the fools. For whatever reason, these treacherous swines saw fit to belittle those of a lesser social standing and make their lives a living hell. Kids in particular can be cruel and calculating but this kind of unscrupulous behavior isn’t exclusive to those still finding their voice. It perpetuates throughout our lives and it would appear that some of us are consumed with so much rage that we have simply no idea what to do with it. It’s all rather tiresome.
I have plenty of strong dislikes like the next man. My school experience was chequered at best; on one hand I was one of the cool kids while, on the other, I was the only one aware of such. I didn’t quite fit the criteria of being regarded noteworthy; my family were living on disability benefits and couldn’t afford to decorate me in Nike or Adidas. I had the same pair of trousers for five years and they were tailored for a stick man. In addition, when I finally saved up enough for a brand new pair of shiny boots, I mistakenly purchased a pair three sizes too large, leaving me resembling a pair of nine irons as I struggled to make an impact with my peers. Consequently there was plentiful light ribbing and no girl in her right mind was likely to be seen dead with me. During lectures I actually managed to endear myself to many of the cool cats but that was possibly on account of being obscured from the waist down. As soon as the final bell chimed and I made my way out into the school yard to continue bonding, they would appear awkward and hide away from plain sight. I can almost hear the jibes now. “Look out here comes clown shoes” On occasion I would even hear their surreptitious remarks but found it easier just to turn a blind eye and take the walk of shame back to my own kind.
I wasn’t looking to infiltrate their ranks or dismantle their organization from the inside out. It was only ever about making friends to me; like any adolescent identifying their first steps into young adulthood, I just desperately wanted to be somebody. In fairness I didn’t go about it the best way; fitting in can be a troublesome endeavor at the best of times but wearing slacks that were practically Jodhpurs and boots which entered the classroom a full second before I did probably wasn’t going to win me any accolades. Fortunately, once your scholarship has been completed, you are presented with a fresh set of options. McDonald’s are always hiring so you could walk straight into drive-thru duties should your need for pocket-money be too strong to resist. Alternatively, you could further your studies in college and I snapped up the chance like an alligator with lockjaw as I knew full well that it offered the opportunity for reinvention. To some who joined me in this guest, I was the same lanky streak of piss I had ever been. But there were plenty present who didn’t know me from Adam. Fate played its kinder hand as my enrollment coincided with me finally growing into my skin.
What’s more, I had a regular part-time job so I gave shoe shopping a second crack. This time I got it spot-on; the best pair of British Knight sneakers on the market, a three-quarter length brown leather jacket, and a shaved head with the letters XTC shaved into the back. That’s right, I found the Shaft in shafted. Suddenly, I wasn’t quite so undesirable. From mallard to swan; I rose through the ranks until which point as I had my very own public standing. Now, when approaching a group of fellow students, I would hear an altogether different heads-up. “Check out that savage footwear” or words to that effect became commonplace and I began to learn the art of the strut as my confidence began to soar. It wasn’t all deep-sea fishing and galoshes; the coolest clique had received intelligence from my former associates that I was, in fact, an intruder. “He’s a dickhead” knocked me from my pedestal from time-to-time but, when this occurred, I dusted myself down and reconvened strutting. Needless to say, I enjoyed my further education far more than any prior engagements and came away with my very own identity.
Marrying the most popular girl in the history of school got me plenty of haters. They were incensed that such an absolute zero could come and snatch away their most valuable asset and again the whispering reconvened. It was astonishing to me that these same bullies from school considered me something of a clandestine threat. Granted, it felt good to prove that I was right all along and did have something to bring to the table; but it wasn’t my cunning plan, more blind luck and being in the right place at the right time with precisely the correct amount of judgement-impairing alcohol. Once I netted my queen; she found me to be rather agreeable and we took our vows with the very best intentions at the time. Once she remembered my school trousers, it all turned awry and, at the precise moment she put me out of my misery, all the lizards came scuttling back out of the cracks. At no point did I pluck off their tails and dangle them over a vat of sulfuric acid like Adam West in the sixties; instead I took it on the chin and let them have their shits and grins at my expense. I didn’t care; I was too busy mourning the end of my first significant infatuation.
Once I left my bubble of solace and reentered society; I was a child no more. There would still be bullies, only now they would often be the ones paying my wages. I call them smiling assassins and if you don’t believe me then ask Rowdy Roddy Piper. I had my shades; suddenly I could see all gorillas in the mist and, as the knives began to sharpen behind my back, I would learn of their origins and sidestep accordingly. The way I see it; there are countless billion people in the world all vying for existence and each with their own identity to uphold. While many of these will be benign; there are always that chosen few who will tie your shoelaces together whilst wheeling in a bed of nails to break your fall. So be it; that’s one of life’s harsh realities and there’s not a damn thing I can do to change it. There are bigger fish to fry than the ones on somebody else’s grill. It’s already hard enough finding yourself in the locomotion of everyday life without focusing on whether or not the unscrupulous can be taught. At that point it becomes about selection; you surround yourself with those who make you feel like a better person as that is what you aspire to if you’ve been taking notes the whole time.
I find that the best way to deal with the negative minds of this world is to hone in on the positive instead and let them wallow in their own misery and self-destruction. Should infidels learn the error in their ways then I’ll gladly pat their endeavor on the back and hand them a shiny gold star for their efforts. However, while you can lead a horse to water, if it hates you then it will invariably tell you to fuck off so it can drink from the river in peace. There are so many things in life which, try as you may, you will never change. But there are also a handful of other things which you can directly influence. Hate will always be there whether you like it or not. It’s necessary when you think about it; something needs to be in place making love look good. I will continue to search for alternatives for the word as I have no real need for it in my vocabulary. I can tell you I strongly disliked my school trousers and I’m unimpressed with ignorance in all its forms but do I hate it? Nah. I’ve got more important shit to be getting on with; that’s some other poor asshole’s job.
Love vs Hate: The Showdown
The very first round and hate comes out swinging
the crowd are all out of their seats
By all accounts it appears hate is winning
for love this could end in defeat
Love takes all hate’s blows and nobody knows
if it can withstand for much longer
Its knees appear weak as it clings to the ropes
it appears that hate may just be stronger
Eleven rounds in and hate’s winning hands down
this battle is all but decided
but don’t leave your seat yet instead stick around
it’s about to get much less one-sided
Hate expends energy leaves one fatigued
leaves you wide open to blows
meanwhile love is just finding its reach
just waiting to bloody hate’s nose
Hate suspects it has the win in the bag
foolishly lets its guard drop
it gets a bit cocky has been known to brag
as it claws its way to the top
It’s here the tide turns hate’s blind while love learns
the exact moment it needs to strike
it’s weathered the storm and waited its turn
to impose itself on this fight
No low body blows that’s not how it goes
flaunting and taunting not needed
love pulls all its punches and lands all its blows
none more so than when near depleted
As hate hits the canvas awaiting the count
it wonders where it all went wrong
alas its unlikely to figure that out
where love knew it would win all along
Hold up, hold up. That doesn’t mean I’m finished you know. One rousing Rocky interlude and you’re all grabbing your coats and heading for the exit. Stick around; just for a little longer. There’s no rush is there? I’d love to tell you that I have baked macaroons but there appears to be no conceivable way of uploading them to WordPress. However, remember it’s the thought that counts. Mental macaroons are better anyhoots; they don’t take so long to bake. My whole head is one big cookie jar and I love nothing more than to facilitate a little rummaging. I’m afraid I’m all out of hate biscuits; they went stale you see so I threw them in the trash. They’re in the dumpster if you insist although one taste of Keeper’s love brownies and I’m assured you will never look back. Sleeping dogs are better not disturbed; let them lay and purr like love cats…that’s where it’s really at. Now if you will excuse me, I had ten bucks on a love TKO in the twelfth and the bookies close in ten minutes. Do me a favor; help hate up before you leave will you? Buckled legs are no laughing matter. Alright, you got me, I hold my hands up… they are somewhat amusing.