What Went Wrong With… The Word “Hater” And Its Use In Popular Culture?

What Went Wrong With... The Word "Hater"? An image of the word hate with a question mark

The word “hater” is nothing new, it was extremely overused in the nineties, in fact it began to gain so much momentum that it subsequently overran into the noughties. The word has even become a horridly hoary term in the teenies thanks to the appropriation of Hip-Hop culture. These days you’ll hear the word “hater” from the kind of people who say things like “throwing shade”; a wannabe young cretin stuck in the tackiest part of the last century endlessly regurgitating out-of-date slang like a cryogenically frozen, Cristal-sipping débutante. Thanks largely to this outmoded crowd, “hater” has now become the go-to word to counter anyone the masses disagree with, speak ill of anything and anyone, and watch how quickly someone will brand you a “hater”. Unfortunately for the rest of us, these pop culture sheep outnumber us free-thinkers and in contemporary society this word is now kept in every moron’s toolbox of tenuous comebacks. Along with labelling people “trolls”, the term “hater” is probably the most trite and clichéd word used today.

“Hater” is so obvious in its definition and yet in contemporary society it is used as a disparaging term. The word “hater” is in itself correct, obviously the person in question hates something, but the connotations of the word are such that the said person is not allowed to air their opinion, it is a derogatory label to curtail or cover-up criticism of anyone or anything. So these days if you say something against people in positions of power the tabloids will instantly label you a “troll”, similarly if you say something about a celebrity no matter how true or valid your argument, watch how a bunch of door-mat flunkies will rush to call you a “hater”.

The idea behind the word (similar to the word “troll”) is that the person in question is “hating” for the sake of it, that they’re merely being mean about someone or something just to be different or to be troublesome, or worse still that they’re someone who hates everything as a matter of course. But if you think about it, this is probably the least likely scenario, how can someone hate everything? Nine times out of ten the people who are described as “haters” are simply those who don’t agree with the current state of affairs, or those who disagree with the people involved in a given situation.

No person and no thing ever created in the history of our world has been universally liked, people have varied tastes and desires and that’s what makes a well-rounded, diverse, and tolerant society. Imagine if everybody had a hunger for the same things, and think what it would be like if everybody liked every single thing that was served up to them without question. That would never organically happen, in fact that’s only possible under a repressive regime, to think and act like the establishment tells you is essentially fascism and that’s what people who use the word “hater” seem to want.

Thanks to pop culture tit-turds like Taylor Swift or pop culture arse-kissers like E! Entertainment, the word is now a verbal Polyfilla, a quick-fix used to cover up the cracks in their crumbling reality, but peak beneath the packaging the word is wrapped in and you’ll see that labelling people “haters” is merely a method of suppressing opinions. The amount of times I’ve heard presenters on E! call criticisers of the Royal Family “Royal Haters”, but these twats fail to recognise that the Royals live off the people, it’s because of our taxes that they get to live in the lavish way they’re accustomed to. If the people feel the Royals aren’t doing their job properly, are a waste of money, or just generally annoying to watch, these people aren’t “haters”, they are exercising their right to free speech and saying what they feel. Similarly if someone criticises a member of the Kardashian klan for being talentless, is that not also a valid criticism? What talent do they possess? Why are they famous? People who ask this question aren’t “Kim Haters” or “Kardashian Haters” as E! puts it, they are surely the sane ones in a society that’s lost the fucking plot.

On the topic of questioning celebrity and celebrities, “hater” is spewed out of the mouths of many an offended fan, say something about their false-gods and you’ll hear them cry…. “Who are you to say that about so and so…” or “I’d like to see you do such and such”. It’s quite telling that the opposite is never uttered if you approve of somebody, I mean when was the last time you ever heard someone say “who are you to say you enjoy so and so”? I guess it’s fine to “like” but god forbid you “hate” something these days.

This way of thinking is so asinine that if it were transposed to another sector of life it would sound downright absurd. Suppose you were at a restaurant and you said you didn’t like the food, imagine the waiter saying to you “you’re not a chef, what do you know? I’d like to see you cook this….. you hater!” This never happens because in most other aspects of life people have learnt to deal with criticism; you can tell your partner they don’t look good in their outfit, that isn’t “hating”, you can protest against the establishment, that isn’t “hating”, you can even yell at the television as you watch some sporting event, that isn’t “hating” either (and it damn sure isn’t “player hating”). So if we can air our opinions about various people and various issues, then why not about people who are famous? Are they not financially compensated enough to be scrutinised or ridiculed now and again? They made themselves a commodity, they put their skills (or lack thereof) out there for the world to consume, don’t the consumers in turn have the right to outline the faults of a product that’s being sold to them? More importantly, do we want to live in a world where we can’t say what we think for fear of being called names by a homogenised subservient society?

The word “hater” is readily dished out to criticisers and free-thinkers, but conversely these kind of anarchic, radical, and defiant nonconformists are exactly those the masses retrospectively look upon with admiration and respect. Society as a whole always shuns and discriminates against a minority, but many times the opinions of a minority are correct and their determination to revise, modify, or abolish a certain aspect of life is the very thing that brings change and progress. “Hater” is a buzzword which is used by idiotic twits to describe anybody who questions the status quo, but by this remit it would encompass pretty much everybody who has ever criticised anything throughout history. Imagine the amount of people these fools today would have classified as “haters”…

Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Cochise, Black Hawk, Red Cloud, Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton, Nelson Mandella, Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Emmeline Pankhurst, Sophie Scholl, Yuri Kochiyama… all haters! Public Enemy, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Ras Kass, Bob Marley, Pete Seeger… all of them haters! Bill Hicks, Eddie Pepitone, Stewart Lee… haters! And what about Mark Kermode or Roger Ebert, or Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot… yep they’re all haters too!

The most annoying aspect of this word however is the people who use it, they seem to think that by simply throwing that word into the mix they’ve somehow gotten to the root of the matter. By ignoring all the points someone may have brought to the fore, these morons seem to think they’ve won the argument by lobbing their one-size-fits-all retort at you. A debate is a healthy thing, a person will outline why they dislike something and they’ll give their reasons; points a, b, and c, but imbeciles who use the word “hater” won’t even bother to counter any of these arguments, they’ll simply glaze over everything and yell “hater!” and then bugger off like some schoolyard brat. People who use this word are basically the adult equivalent of someone crying out “are you jealous?!”. The word is essentially a nonsensical, dismissive, knee-jerk reaction to any form of criticism. I guess everybody is fine with people having an opinion as long as it’s the same as theirs.

Don’t Hate The Sayer, Hate The Fame.

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