Haterade: it’s drunk with the ubiquity and ease of those that carry mystery whiskey in hard, little, metal flasks, because why pay for others hate when yours is so readily available, and much, much cheaper?
Of course hate is not hate in this context; it’s criticism. But like most things, it’s not inherently bad on its own; it’s how it’s used that imbues it with its acridity. Because most people don’t sip their haterade—they spew it. It sprays from their lips, it slops out their glass as they boorishly walk through a crowded space to return to their circle, it dribbles down onto hands, cuffs, tables, devices. And now it’s available everywhere, accessible from the airwaves and groundwaves, seawaves and fiberwaves, coaxial waves and telewaves.
What bothers me, a critic if there ever was one, is that hating or debasing is a thing to be kept proper, handled in form, and recognized. Sipped, aerated, swirled, even enjoyed.
Because this is about taste, about ideas, judgment, art, feelings—things that are impactful. I’m constantly a witness and participant in discussions, small-talk, debates, banter, arguments, and the like, where the territory takes turns quickly and spritely, and the immediate response of someone to the subject broached is “that is good” or “that is bad” or “I like that” or “I hate that.” But rarely are those ideas elaborated on, elucidated about, given life and air to breathe and float and receive input. When pressed, people fumble around the basest notions of their opinion, and, if we’re lucky, how they arrived at it. It’s one thing to be a critic with a breadth of knowledge of a field, and to be able to discuss, critique fairly, to put into context. Though for the vast majority of what I witness everywhere around me is just flaccid opinion presented as de facto correctness. And if not that, a pure statement of boring taste.
If you’re going to undercut something in conversation, whether it be a film, an album, a book, a piece of art, the way someone sings, give a good reason, give openings to others to connect the dots as to how that thing fits into the greater scheme of things, of what we can access as beings on one little, bursting planet. If you can’t sip your haterade through a crazy-straw, or swirl it up and out of the glass into your gullet in the manner of a magician, or blow bubbles into it like a lovely child before slurping it up humbly and winkingly, then just sit there and drink quietly. Then try a different drink.