A friend of mine asked, yesterday, in another online venue, why it was so much ‘cooler’ to hate things that to love them. She dredged up all manner of legitimate examples: it’s more fashionable to be disillusioned with the government, cooler to make fun of a celebrity or artist, hipper to express disdain at a new trend. I think she has a point, but I don’t think hate is somehow ‘cooler’ than love. If it were cooler to hate things than to love them, then Pat Robertson would be the James Dean of our time.
This is nothing new, I know, but I see hatred as sad. Hate is little more than a sign of insecurity and bitterness and a sense of lack. Our culture places a great deal of emphasis on both ownership and comparison. If you hate something, you don’t need to worry about the fact that you don’t possess it. You don’t need to be envious. You don’t need to worry that someone else has it and you don’t. Love takes egolessness. Love takes self-assurance. To be able to look at something clearly, to see it for what it is, with all its seeming flaws and imperfections, and to love it regardless is a radical act.
I believe this.
But you might not want to listen to me. I’m the one who, at the end of this week, broke down in tears, at random, on the sidewalk, because of how in love I felt with the whole crazy perfect messed-up world.
(And now I wished I’d written about that, because I think in some ways we were shedding the same tears.)
I went to San Francisco last night to see Modeselektor with a new friend (whose last name happens to be Qua. If I weren’t already engaged I might have proposed to him on the spot; Qua is possibly the best surname I’ve ever heard); it was the first show I’d seen in well over a month and the mere sensation of being back in the city at night was blissful. The show – which was held at the Rx Gallery, an art gallery / wine bar not far from Union Square – was excellent; the crowd wove a pleasant intersection of chill and enthusiasm; and I danced my skinny little ass off. I love living where I do – the peninsula is cultured and quiet and in general provides a nice retreat – but those occasional forays into the city make me wonder whether I shouldn’t look more seriously at moving there.
Not that this, now, is a real option. I have two more years of school to go. Still, I do like the reminder of what I’m missing.
I still feel clumsy, writing here; my words used to flow more easily. It’s a delicious clumsiness, though, ripe with the memory of how natural this odd public expression once felt. It’s like a combination of the awkward guilt I feel when I run across, accidentally, someone whom I’ve been meaning to call for months, and the more physical memory of strapping on a pair of skis at the beginning of a new season. Classes will be over at the end of May, and I’ll have a summer of truer writing ahead.
Or so I hope.