On Hate-Reading, Diversity and Drones

“I never hate-read work by someone I actually know. A few times I have gone on to learn too much about the writer of one of these books, and the pleasure went away. The wealth of available information may feed some kinds of animus; mine depend on the hermetic isolation of my own obscure prejudices. They must not be humanized.” – Sadie Stein, The Paris Review Daily

I’m going to have to be frank about this: all of my reading is hate-reading. Sci-Fi, contemporary literature, comics, econometrix, pop psychology, trash research, all fiction, all journalism, every book I’ve ever read… even friends’ books, yes. Something sealed within me gives no one the benefit of the doubt, I’m never excited and always cringe, sometimes on every page… often many times per page. And it’s always masochism: the more lovely the writing, the more dynamic or enthralling or thoughtful the story, the more I hate it… so much, I hate it.

I even hated Sadie Stein’s article, I enjoyed it so much.


Via the wonderful illustrator Will Terry (http://willterry.blogspot.com/2012/06/whos-got-your-back.html), who’s work is obviously so lovely it transcends my ability to hate it.

How can one translate such intimate feelings to words? How do words have the ability to do this at all? I’m lost, and infuriated, and resentful of all of them. I read my own writing and wonder who that guy is, I know him so well, he’s not even worth hating. I read the writing I am proud of and hate that I was this person once but not him now. I’m old now, and embittered.

This is compounded by my first real read of Gustave Flaubert’s A Sentimental Education and this news:

The family of Gabriel García Márquez wrote on Monday in a letter published by the newspaper El Tiempo that the Nobel winner and Colombian literary giant was in stable health following an eight-day stint in the hospital for dehydration and a respiratory- and urinary-tract infection, adding that “he is still very fragile.” The 87-year-old left the hospital in Mexico City on April 8, returning to his home in the San Angel neighborhood where he lives. His wife Mercedes Barcha and sons Rodrigo and Gonzalo, who thanked the public for their support in the letter, say there still “exist risks of complications.”

Is it worth hating a world where you’re introduced to such talent and wisdom and then watch as it, he, is taken from you and everyone? Flaubert’s long gone and that idea only redirects my hate back onto itself: that I cannot allow myself to enjoy his writing so much because I know there is only a finite amount of it.

I read this article today about the defense industry developing a hive mind for drones for better coordination and wondered about the threat of diversity. Without it I could not expect such multifaceted writing on so much topics from so many perspectives. And with it, we can work to understand one another. Diversity of thought makes each book worth hating, to me: that the author can approach their topic or style from such a unique perspective that it is as solely theirs as it is integrated into the human tapestry.

Not to say that drones will one day become more creative and/or intelligent when they are allowed to work on their own in conjunction with central command as opposed to work as extensions of that singular mind, but “yes” to say that my own hate is only placated by a steady stream of unique writing beauties. Without more, all the time, I’d re-read my favorites and hate-read myself to death (though–spoiler alert–I will likely do this anyway).

Hive-minded drones, on the other hand, disgust me… and are obviously something altogether different. When everything is the same, every target is game without passion at all:

Furthermore, as Ars Technica points out, DARPA sees the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq, where US drones have operated with almost no danger of counteraction, as child’s play compared to a future where drone technology will surely be more widespread and enemies more “hardened” than insurgents drones have hunted thus far.

Sickening, the lack of emotion towards the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly, no one at drone central command has read anything from the perspective of the people they fly over coldly.

And never read Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude: “There is always something left to love.” Or, in my case, hate.