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blind hate
glass houses? what glass houses?
by mike julianelle
7.27.01
pop culture


I love to hate. Really. It’s fun; I enjoy it.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not a violent person, and outside of my circle of friends I wouldn’t say I’m particularly vocal about the things I dislike. But when I’m in my apartment or hanging with my roommates, my wrath knows no boundaries.

I’m not talking about anything tangible; my hate is not going to crystallize into action, I’m not going to teach my children, to paraphrase Homer Simpson, to hate the things I hate, and I am not going to mobilize a group of confused youths to fire-bomb the homes of my enemies. It’s nothing like that.

The hate I enjoy is an inconsequential one (yes, I think there is such a thing). It’s the hate we have for celebrities, sports teams, movies, songs, and other things that are in the public domain. Fair game. Things that are part of everyday life, but really have little bearing on what’s important. It’s a casual hate, but a hate that is all the more extreme because it is free of consequences.

A few examples: I hate Emeril. Very, very much. I despise the man, and the idea behind him (chefs as celebrities). This is well known to my friends, and when someone puts on The Food Network, which I also hate, and that obnoxious pseudo-Cajun appears, I start to twitch a little.

I hate Scott Stapp, the lead singer of the band Creed. I don’t particularly like - excuse me - I HATE Christian rock, and something about seeing this man strike the pose of a crucified Jesus is very offensive to me. Not in a sacrilegious way, but in a self-promoting, self-aggrandizing way. After learning on an episode of Pop-Up Video that Stapp got angry at a music video director because he didn’t allow Stapp to indulge his "personal vision" by employing more Christ poses, I branded my hate for the singer onto my brain. Nothing he does for the rest of his life can influence me otherwise. Especially when his band puts out garbage like "Arms Wide Open."

I hate razor scooters, I hate cell phones, I hate techno music (music?), I hate Harry Knowles, I hate "The Celestine Prophecy" (oh my god I hate that new age crap), I hate Oprah’s book club, I hate Oprah, I hate wrestling, I hate Barbra Streisand, I hate the New York Jets (with a passion), I hate Blink 182, etc...

As I said before, this hate works because it has little or few real consequences. I am never going to meet Emeril, or Scott Stapp, and if I ever do, it’s highly unlikely that I will tell any of them how I feel. In fact, I might even shake a hand and suddenly realize they ain’t such bad guys (I highly, HIGHLY doubt that). But the odds are that will never happen. I will never meet them, and I don’t want to.

I enjoy hating them, in an abstract, impersonal way, and meeting them would destroy the illusion.

In much the same way that I become fond of certain celebrities, my hate is largely dependent on my ignorance of the real person behind the image. And I want it that way (I also hate The Backstreet Boys). When I become a fan of a celebrity, Sarah Michelle Gellar, for example, I don’t want her image tarnished by too much information.

But that illusion can be tough for me to maintain, being the media junkie that I am. Inevitably, over the course of my constant ingestion of entertainment news, I’ll run into a story about how Gellar, or another of my current faves, has done something ridiculously cruel, or crass, or vapid. And then the façade starts to crumble, I lose respect, and the illusion is destroyed. It is only through a certain distance that such tenuous admiration can be preserved.

But it’s easy to hate.

Think about it. It’s not too often that you hear positive gossip about celebrities, and if you do it usually smells like a public relations plant. Like Mark Harmon saving a little boy from drowning, or Tom Cruise flying a jet over international waters and shooting down a few migs. That just seems fake.

But when you learn about some diva-trip Barbara Streisand pulled, or when you see Rosie O’Donnell on the cover of her eponymous magazine advertising a staph infection, or when you hear Kathie Lee Gifford’s children’s songs, it doesn’t matter if what you heard is innuendo or fact. Those types of things inspire hatred, as long as you let them. And let them I do.

One thing you need to know about me is I like to talk in extremes. I like to rile people up from time to time, by saying outrageous things I don’t necessarily mean. I use the word hate in places where another phrase, like dislike, or don’t care for, might be more fitting, more diplomatic. But I choose to go all the way. Why mince words? If I like something, I like it. I get into it, I support it, and I sometimes obsess over it.

But that’s not to say that my hate isn’t real. It is. I truly, truly despise the people, or, more realistically, the images of the people I mentioned above. I take pride in that hatred, in much the same way others take pride in their hatred of Angelina Jolie, or Ben Affleck, or Limp Bizkit.

And as long as it’s possible to safely hate people without ever meeting them, I’ll have some way to fill my time. Sure, it’s small-minded and pathetic, but remember, I hate you too.


ABOUT MIKE JULIANELLE

Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".

more about mike julianelle

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COMMENTS

adam kraemer
6.26.01 @ 12:17p

Wow. I've rarely been so taken by such an overwhelming sense of apathy.

mike julianelle
6.26.01 @ 12:28p

Adam, I'll assume my one critique is from you. Nice comment. Contradicts your discussion post a bit tho...

adam kraemer
6.26.01 @ 12:57p

I know. I hate when that happens.

mike julianelle
6.26.01 @ 12:59p

Way to keep with the theme.

adam kraemer
6.26.01 @ 1:50p

Well, I figured someone had to. Actually, I tend to reserve hate for those things that deserve it - Anti-Semitism, injustice, the WNBA. Mostly I just greatly despise things.

jael mchenry
6.26.01 @ 2:24p

Before Adam makes the joke, I will: "Let's ask Mikey. He hates everything."

mike julianelle
6.26.01 @ 2:45p

Adam, that's kind of my point. My hate is mostly inoffensive because it's so pointless. I guess it can come off as a bit...intense...but, secure in the knowledge that I'm not as consumed by hate as my comments might make me appear, it's fun.

adam kraemer
6.26.01 @ 3:15p

Jael - we're going to have to start using that one.

And, yeah, I know what you were saying; I just tend to semantically reserve "hate" as the ultimate. Because if I were to use "hate" to describe things I merely dislike, what would I use for things I legitimately hate?


mike julianelle
6.26.01 @ 3:22p

Bullets.

jael mchenry
6.27.01 @ 2:48p

For my part, in an equally benign way, I hate Sharon Stone, I hate Annabeth Gish, and I hate Tom Green. But I do think people throw "hate" and "love" around too much, when they don't really mean it. So I partly agree with both of you. Which is nothing new.

mike julianelle
6.27.01 @ 3:14p

But appreciated nonetheless.

tom scarpelli
6.27.01 @ 6:35p

When I become a fan of a celebrity, Sarah Michelle Gellar, for example, I don’t want her image tarnished by too much information. Then I guess you don't want to hear about the way SMG was whining and ordering Freddie around at M. Frederic on Ventura Blvd. last Saturday.

mike julianelle
6.27.01 @ 10:04p

That's actually okay. I hate Freddie. Bit of a name dropper, eh Tom? Color me impressed.

adam kraemer
6.28.01 @ 12:15p

I don't remember "impressed" being in my "Big 64" Crayola box.

tom scarpelli
6.28.01 @ 2:52p

That's actually okay. I hate Freddie. Bit of a name dropper, eh Tom? Color me impressed. I could really impress you, Michael, by dropping names of congested LA freeways and streets and the shortage of parking but that would probably bore everyone else.

matt morin
7.27.01 @ 1:02p

Sorry Michael, you lost all credibility when you admitted you were a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar.

adam kraemer
7.27.01 @ 1:44p

Hey - don't dis Buffy.

tom scarpelli
7.27.01 @ 2:36p

Is this a summer rerun?

jael mchenry
7.27.01 @ 3:16p

No, Tom, it's a former gallery column appearing as a feature. Don't you hate it when that happens?

adam kraemer
7.27.01 @ 5:35p

I know what you mean...

lee anne ramsey
7.27.01 @ 8:14p

Don't really have a point to relate to the column, but am stalking Jael and Adam to say, "Nice shout-out in the Tuftonian about Intrepid."

joe procopio
7.27.01 @ 8:27p

I'm stalking Lee Anne just because she's cool. Also, what "shout out?" Also, I really related to this column. Oprah is the anti-intrepid media. Or is it the other way around?

mike julianelle
7.28.01 @ 10:28a

Adam, thanks for the back up on Buffy. Oprah is the anti-intrepid media, and, late at night when I feel scared, she's also the anti-christ.

jael mchenry
7.29.01 @ 8:38p

If we're all stalking each other in a big stalkercircle, I guess I'll stalk Mike. And I was informed by -- damn, who informed me? Sheinkin? -- about the Tuftonian shoutout Adam put in. Worldwide, baby, worldwide.

lee anne ramsey
7.30.01 @ 9:21p

I love that we occasionally reference Sheinkin at Intrepid, even though he's "too cool" to play with us.

mike julianelle
7.31.01 @ 2:01p

I'd stalk Sheinkin if I knew who he was.

michelle von euw
7.31.01 @ 4:16p

hee hee -- I love this column.

So, here's my question: is it possible to love Buffy Anne Summers but hate Sarah Michelle?


adam kraemer
7.31.01 @ 4:38p

Very much so. Technically, what you're responding to in Buffy is Ms. Gellar's acting and looks coupled with some top-notch writing. No amount of eyeliner can hide the fact that in person she's fairly vacuous. It's possible to like the packaging but hate the product.

mike julianelle
7.31.01 @ 5:01p

Adam is right. Like I say in the column, it can be very frustrating trying to keep the TV/movie persona separate from the reality. But, in cases like SMG, I try my best to remain ignorant, and therefore preserve the illusion. Shhh! Buffy, and Buffy Anne, rule.



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