Dislikers Anonymous

Coming of age in the Hatin’ Eighties, I tried to embrace the lovey-dovey touchy-feely ethos of the 1990s and the Aughts. I even used expressions like “It’s all good.”

But it didn’t take. I have to admit–I’m a hater; I dislike people. They bother me, they disappoint me, they lie, and I prefer nature. When I see land being cleared for new houses for happy new families I cry. When I hear about new breakthroughs in medical science I mutter “Yeah, and it’ll cost you your net worth.”

I’m not a Despiser, however, let’s get that clear. Just a hater. Ok, technically speaking, as per my 8th grade English teacher, I’m a Disliker, not a hater. Hitler was a hater. I’m not that.

(Moment of self-doubt:  Am I?)

But still, everyone knows the pathetic history of the word “dislike”–after hundreds of years it’s gotten nowhere–no one uses it! One of the English language’s poorest performing elements. People hate “dislike.” They despise it!

Google “Haters Anonymous” and you get hundreds of thousands of results including a new pop song. Google “Dislikers Anonymous” and you get nothing. Google “dislikers” and you get something about people on YouTube who don’t like the new pop songs.

In fact, I was going to call this piece “Haters Anonymous” but I had to cancel that when I saw there were so many other people with similar ideas. I’d hate to be part of a big group of people. I’d rather be alone, even if it means using that lamest of words, “dislike.”

Google “dislikers anonymous” now and all you’ll get is me, by myself, standing apart, terminally contemptuous, hopelessly negative, wallowing in pessimism, exulting in misanthropy.

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Having Said That

I checked the Bible, the Bhagavad-Gita and the Koran, and God never uses the expression “Having said that.”

Why everyone else seems to be saying it is one of the mysteries of existence.

Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_Father_JokeIt’s hard to think of any great statements from history that would be improved by adding on a “Having said that,”:

MLK-having-said-that-jokeIf “having said that” does not improve any statement, why is everyone having said it?

And if “Not having said that,” makes no sense, what are we really saying by its opposite?

If it means anything, it’s a backtrack phrase, really–a slight retreat on one front so as to consolidate the overall import of the statement.

On the other hand, there’s a guido TV weatherman in Orlando who uses “having said that” as a verbal segue bridging tonight’s lows and tomorrow’s highs with the seven day forecast. No semantic content at all: “Having said that, I now say this.”

I suspect that the phrase in question makes people feel important or authoritative when they say it, and that’s part of its recent popularity. As if: I’m so important and informative even the modulations of my opinions are worth discussion.Nathan.Hale-Having_said-that_joke