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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Ralph and I have a new initiative. It’s the Don’t Say Hate proclamation.

It started because of the new Destiny season.

Ralph loves Destiny. He plays it most days, sometimes by himself, sometimes with members of his game clan. Does he love every part of it? No. Some things are boring. Some are too hard. But overall he gets hours and hours of enjoyment out of it.

A new season starts every six months or so, and one started about a month ago. It went as these things usually go, with general outcry from players about how terrible and awful and stupid it is.

The word that comes up a lot is hate.

And Ralph decided he had enough.

Everyone hates everything. If they hate it that much… don’t play!

I agree.

Change is never simple, but too often it brings on fits of outrage all out of proportion to the subject of the wrath.

I’m guilty of flinging the word out with some frequency. In reference to the construction trucks. And the church bells. When technology thwarts me. Or the internet is particularly stupid. On any given Monday. And if I have to leave the house in the cold.

Every time I lift weights.

A two minute search on this blog turned up a stew of hated things. Rhyming cards. Electric stoves. Going clothes shopping.


At some point in your life I bet your mother told you that it wasn’t nice to say hate. That hate was a strong word.

So it has been banned.

But I disagree. It is not a strong word.

It is a lazy word.

In the past week or so since I’ve been extra-conscious of how I express my vehement complaints, I noticed that it’s required a great deal of creativity.

Yesterday we went to see a play. I absolutely loved the play – also a lazy way to describe it, but this isn’t the love blog.

The play was in the theater in the Factory, which I do not love. Anymore.

You may recall from a fairly recent rant that some developers bought it up and turned it into a bathroom-tile-clad suburban mall.

Gone is my cozy coffee shop where we used to work. Gone are the leather sofas and battered wooden tables.

I may have said I hated it.

But I’m working on expressing myself a bit more elegantly. Instead of saying I hate it, I can confidently say that it is an insipid combination of suburban nightmare and tourist destination purgatory.

I am comfortable telling you that it is public bathroom meets Ikea meets doctor’s office waiting room chic, with a pitiful nod to historical preservation that can be found nowhere in the cheap laminate bar counters and gaudy food court décor, but wedged into forgotten corners with woefully insulting signage explaining what the space “used to be.”

See? Isn’t that much better than saying I hate it?

I no longer hate the church bells, either. There are merely a skull-piercing intrusive gong of sound that invades my mental space thirteen times a day. Fifteen on Sunday. They are an unnecessary imposition on the rest of the neighborhood by a self-absorbed and presumptuous group of very unChristian-behaving people who think it is their job to count down the hours of your life.

Good, right?

I don’t hate the electric stove…

Nope. I hate it.


Anyway, mom was right about one thing. It’s not nice to say hate. It’s also boring, which might be the more unforgivable of the two. And Ralph is right that we fling the word around way too often. So I fully support the Don’t Say Hate proclamation and I’m on board with being marginally more positive, while being much more creative about my excessive antagonism toward unpleasant and mind-crushing stupidity.

Photo: don’t know where that came from but it seemed appropriate.