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Friday 30 June 2017

Going in harm's way

It's unfashionable (and dangerous!) to admit to hatred. Yet, it seems, I - alone in the developed world - was born with this capacity. Should I suppress it? Freud would say no. I may examine it.

Cucumber. Neural reaction between the vegetable's juices and my fungiform papillae which sickens me. No further explanation needed.

Orff's Carmina Burana. Similar to cucumber. Music seeks to stir emotions; this work's insistent rhythms, plus the sentiments of its libretto, does so admirably. Hatred is an emotion.

Austin Cambridge (an inadequate car). As an owner I endured its shortcomings. In retrospect I hate the fact that it was possible to sell it as adequate.

Margaret Thatcher. Not her, as such, but her willingness to reduce complex human relationships to gross over-simplification in order to support a harsh ideology.

A nameless living comedian. Unexceptional humour underlaid by an obvious, perhaps pathological desire to be loved. Better jokes might help.

Those who hate "pure evil". Their target is non-existent and an intellectual affront. Time spent in refining this claim might remove its supporters from this list.

Unthinking nostalgia. Frequently an enemy of rational thought.

Trump. Not him, as such, but those who support him merely to stay in power. Watch DT closely and you may detect pathos. Lear brought up to date. All we need is another WS.

The mis-selling of Brexit. Through gritted teeth I can – just about – admit Brexit offers certain attractions. But even now its risks and, especially, its costs remain undefined. The lying (which I truly hate) was predominantly by omission; by the time these omissions have been filled in it will be too late.

Long-distance flying. Resembles an extra period of National Service - a subtraction from the life I prefer to lead.


  1. I hate receiving no comments on my posts. As it's tawdry to DIY such matters, let us continue to depend upon one another.

  2. MikeM: The blogosphere is shrinking fast. It will eventually be reduced to a handful of feebly piping solo voices, separated both geographically and by need, desperately mining the literary potential of a similar number of belly-buttons. The race is on to be the last piper, gathering one's rosebuds where one may and pitifully thankful for whatever interdependence remains. Neither of us could be regarded as rosebuds but your suggestion has made contact and I will continue to respond this side of the grave and/or the onset of ga-gaism.

  3. Well, here's a bit of "feeble piping". What makes you think you may be alone with the capacity for hate? I could make a list also, but just one example will suffice: people who litter. Top of that list in that category are those who throw their MacDonalds wrappers and empty Lucozade bottles from the car.

  4. Sir Hugh: How about those who clutter the South Col with empty oxy-bottles and the slopes with their dead bodies?

  5. Fair comment. The thought of a trip, event to Everest base camp repels me. From photos I have seen it looks worse than many of the refugee camps.

  6. When my daughter reached that age when things and people were divided into what she loved and hated, I tried to stem the worst outbursts by telling her to not waste such strong emotions on meaningless drivel, the wrong deodorant or careless people. Instead encouraging her to reserve them for when it really matters.

    In my case, I hate gooseberry meringue pie. Truly, deeply, forever. And cigarette smoke.

  7. Hatred? Really? That's strong. I'm not sure how you are defining hatred.

    Well, I see lots of people on Facebook with Trump-rage....

    I don't seem capable of strong hatred. Mainly because I have a keen sense of my own flaws, I suppose. Not sure. Many things make me feel grief when certain people seems so broken and terrible or I feel horror at cruel and wretched events, but that's not really the same, is it?

  8. Sabine/Marly: As I said, it's unfashionable to hate. Proof that one is un-adult. But we may dislike, we may be antipathetic towards, unenthusiastic about. Hatred (I think) is unacceptable because many regard it as only a half-step away from a physical expression of that emotion.

    In my case it would be dishonest to pretend I am not occasionally prone to hatred, even if this state would stop short of blipping someone on the head. But how would I express hatred; might I prefer to disguise its existence? I put together this list as a way of testing my intellectual relationship with hatred. When it was finished I saw immediately there were gradations; ironically the most extreme instance was Carmina Burana.

    More later, perhaps. The cleaning lady is due and we must retreat to the caff, leaving her full sway.

  9. Sabine's story reminds me of when, as a teenager, I used some writable space to itemise the things I hated. I told my mum about it and she said 'when you've got a piece of paper the size of a postage stamp try writing down the things you like'. Thus was my sunny and glass-half-full disposition hammered into me with condescending irony.

    To love to hate is a just cliché; I think perhaps your feelings for cucumber and Huw Edwards have settled into such a state. I don't think it necessarily does us any harm.

    ELT textbooks make the rule that certain verbs, including 'love','like' and 'hate' should not be used in the continuous sense, though global mass-market English has wilfully breached that rule, starting with a notorious hamburger chain, so now 'I'm loving...' is a frequent usage. At the moment I am hating waiting to hear from people about important, costly or worrisome things, which seems to be happening a lot.

    I sometimes feel nostalgia for being an enthusiastic blogger, yet I fear it was a happy highway where I went and cannot come again (that's for Marly should she see it).

    I really will write to you properly and give you news of our projects and displacements once the news stops changing every five minutes and I've heard back from all those people.

  10. Lucy: There's so much packed into this, suggesting that you may be missing the various advantages of blogging. Launch another and call it Poubelle

    I read this one with delight then allowed it to slip my memory. Hence this late reply, not too late I hope. I trust you share that tendency of dogs, to return to their... No, I cannot complete the sentence. Makes me gip.

    I know there's a joke here, perhaps a sort of double-negative joke, but I don't see you as sunny. Too much of a realist. Anyway the laugh's on your mum. Box Elder, read between the lines, was mainly about things you liked. Better still, things that deserved your exploration. Liked is feeble, isn't it?

    I have in mind to write a sonnet about Huw Edwards. Even after all this time I have never satisfactorily pinned down my antipathy towards him, and it irks me. Verse may provide the pin.

    The continuous form of verbs is not something I've dwelt on. Nor practiced (Should that have an s?) But now you've raised it I'm all agog. Where does the temptation lie? The notorious hamburger chain will not provide a hint since I've muted all commercials since 1984 when I first acquired a remote. I doubt I'll succumb - there's an incipient gushiness I seem to hear.

    You don't complain about your detached existence yet I sense it and ache on your behalf. Box Elder often implied dormouse-like tendencies, an ability to curl up into something like knitting or the contemplation of a meal yet to be made and to take pleasure from the inaction. I feel you may be denied this. I look forward to the news about projects but - a grannyish phrase pokes up its head - "in your own time". More profound than I imagined; we own our version of time.