Quiet Desperation

Hate is a hunger that consumes with no chance of being sated


Hate” is a brutal word. It’s final, and it comes without nuance. It gets the job done if your vocabulary is, uh, um, like, limited, or if you need something right now in the heat of the moment.

“I hate you” works if you are a marginalized teenager.

“I hate you” works if your old Datsun won’t start.

“I hate you” works if you are on a cabbage-soup-weight-loss diet the week before your wedding.

I have not used the words “I hate” before in my columns, but if I were to use them, I’d use them like this: I hate hate groups.

I strongly, incontrovertibly, irreversibly dislike many things.

Opera. Can’t take it. Don’t understand it. Perhaps if they sang in English? Nah. Not even then.

Failures to say “Thank you” get my goat.

However, I don’t hate anything or anyone enough to parade or prank, bully, bomb, target, burn to the ground, or call in the Weathermen.

Others love to hate.

Noelle Phillips wrote in The Denver Post, “In 2017, 21 hate groups called Colorado home, representing a wide swath of extremist views such as white supremacy, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT views, as well as black nationalist groups known for hating Jews and white people.”

This is concurrent with all of the other strong dislikes that are going around the president, between Republicans and Democrats, and amid the perception of “toxic masculinity” in our culture.

The “Summer of Love” is long gone.

I have heard some strange things coming out of these hate groups. They love their kind. How can you love someone who is a hater? It’s antithetical.

White supremacists love other white supremacists?

Crips love other Crips?

Neo-Nazis love other Neo-Nazis?

I strongly dislike rap. So I don’t listen to it. Live and let live. I’m not headed to Kanye’s with a pipe bomb.

In some parts of the world, hating is a career. With June weddings coming up, how many of you have booked Syria for your honeymoon?

My mother and father not once said, “Son, we hate the Russians.”

Nor blacks, Jews, or gays.

I think my father strongly disliked Ohio State. But that’s different. And I know he respected the university.

The Wolverines versus the Buckeyes is referred to as a “friendly rivalry,” and that’s what it is most of the time.

It’s not “The Troubles.” That was the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in late 20th-century Northern Ireland.

As an educator, I was sometimes strongly disliked, especially at the end of the semester when grades came out.

Grading degrades education, but it’s always hanging around in the atmosphere. If a student accepted his or her grade, fine. If not, I saw a bad moon rising, from grievances to false claims to favoritism to you name it.

Over the difference between a C and a B, my life could turn into a leathery turmoil.

Admittedly, I look for errant and excessive human behavior to scaffold many of my columns. But I don’t wake intent upon bringing anyone down.

What a life it would be to plan against others all day.

“Honey, where’s my bandolier?”

The truth? This is a county, a state, a country, and a world that comes with verdant campgrounds for the intolerant.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.


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