Back when I wasn’t very aligned with the normal work schedule and really loved Mondays because I started with a head full of ideas and a lot of free time in front of me, I created a feature called “‘'I Hate’ Mondays.” It wasn’t about hating Mondays, it was about celebrating Mondays with a big stream of hatred, which is a great way to celebrate.
Hate, a perfectly fine emotion, has unfortunately gotten mixed up with oppression in our popular conception: we think of “hate speech” and “hate groups” and other ways of describing horrible behavior and horrible people. But the real problem there is the shape of power and the way that hatred gets reinforced and directed against people’s humanity and externalized in the world, not the emotion itself, which is just a thing that humans feel and not wrapped up in all that bullshit. We can’t be afraid to hate just because some monsters are complete dicks about their hatred. Many of them would be, and are just as bad without emotion at all, whereas someone who’s not hurting anybody should always feel free to use a little hate to get through the day.
(I think a big influence in my pro-hating point of view was Amelie Gilette’s “Hatecast” for The Onion AV Club - I rarely listened to it because I kind of hate podcasts even though I’ve hosted them and would gladly be on them – it’s so little work – but I remember her saying something about how hating was good and it made a lot of sense at the time.)
Since my Mondays and Fridays have flipped, I’ve gotta change up the title and keep the same basic game Just like the restaurant TGI Friday’s, I’ve got food on the menu:
This image taken from the page of the restaurant TGI Friday’s, with the hope that the free advertising they receive makes up for me taking it without permission. Is it the best restaurant out there? No, but eating ribs and fries makes people feel good and sometimes making yourself feel good on a Friday is a good call.
I Hate Things That Sound Like Food But Aren’t Food
Usually I’m hungry. When you’re hungry, the best thing in the world is food, and a lot of food in the world tastes good. In these times, I think about eating food, and it makes me really happy. Actually eating it: even better. When I think about things that aren’t food, it makes me really mad, like people think it’s a substitute for food, like they don’t understand at all what’s going on.
Drinks are the biggest culprit of this. Restaurants and bars like to push drinks, and there’s a whole culture around making it seem fun and I guess valuable, but it all seems like a fucking scam to distract you from the fact that it isn’t food. When I see a drink on a menu, all I can think about is how I could upgrade to the better food if I avoided spending money on the drink. I do like alcohol if there’s an open bar (which you should still tip at, you assholes - bring $1s if you know it’s gonna be there) or if someone is picking up the tab, but for the most part, damn… like, I get why it’s fun, but have you tried food? Not only does it taste better, but it makes you not hungry.
At least drinks are relatively honest about what they are. What really gets my goat (mmm… curry goat… or barbacoa tacos… maybe some nyama choma) is when something is titled like food, which makes me think of the food and think I might get to eat it, and then it’s a bait and switch and I feel the cold, cold, reality that nobody involved in the thing cares at all about providing me any food, even if I pay them.
This happened recently with Dumplin’, which is a good, sweet, important movie with an aggravating title. A lot of people on Twitter are out there talking about Dumplin’ and I’m thinking “dumplins? where!? how do I get them!?”
Then I see it was a film, and I think “Oh, okay, it’s a documentary on dumplings. Someone’s finally taken the time to note that they taste very good, and this documentary might have good ideas about where to acquire them.”
Then I find out it’s like, just somebody’s personal journey, and that’s nice, but you can’t eat a personal journey. And none of the conversations about it have any good roadmap on how I can eat some dumplings around me. Obviously, the creators of the movie had bigger issues than worrying about how the title would make people hungry. But my hungry stomach knows no reason.
Some other fake foods that have gotten to me…
Nacho Libre: Now, at the time this movie was coming out, I didn’t know that “nacho” meant “Ignacio.” Also, I was a lot stronger in my early 20s, which meant I was a lot hungrier all the time, because my metabolism was through the roof (do not ever get in shape - the eating you’ll need to do will consume all your time and energy). So I’d see this commercial on TV and they would just keep saying “Nacho Libre” and there weren’t any nachos anywhere. I was hungry enough to even be excited about nachos caros, so the promise of nachos libres was way over-the-top thrilling. “Goddamnit, I want some nachos! Fuck you, fuck you with your wrestling movie that isn’t even about nachos!” What was that movie anyway, was it a white guy making fun of Mexican wrestling culture? It always seemed really off to me. I never thought Jack Black was funny and you know what, I’m beginning to doubt that was his real name.
LuLu Lemon: You would think this store would be full of stuff made out of lemons. There used to be one of these on Vanderbilt Ave and sometimes on a hot summer day I’d be walking down the street and see the sign and I’d start to get excited about the possibilities of delicious, refreshing snacks. Fuck that place and its goddamn clothes. I have clothes already and if you could eat clothes I wouldn’t have so many left.
Pink Olive: This is another clothes (or something?) store that I would see in Williamsburg, Brooklyn when I was on my way to the comedy theater called The Annoyance. I would be running close to on time, and looking for places that could get me food quick before class. Aside: that goddamn rainbow bagel shop was around the corner from it, and let me tell you that place suuuuuuucks. I mean, the bacon and egg and cheese is reasonably good, but the restaurant is so fucking slow as to be nonfunctional. You saw all those lines for the rainbow bagels and it looked impressive, but it’s less impressive when you consider that it probably took all day to serve all those people, and if any other restaurant ever had its entire day of customers lined up all at once it would like popular too. Anyway, Pink Olive. Yeah, it doesn’t even sound good, right? You’d look at it and think “Pink olive? Huh. Sounds like an unappetizing olive. Probably kind of bitter and sour and a little off. But fine. Fucking fine, I need some food, I’ll settle for a pink olive.” And just when you’ve talked yourself down, the restaurant’s like “You know what? We’re rejecting you from our restaurant because we’re not a restaurant at all!”
I don’t know, man. Sometimes I have all sorts of ideas, but sometimes I get hungry and all I want to do creatively is express the frustration of people caring about things that aren’t food. (The closest I ever got to doing that professionally was writing this headline/concept for an Onion video, but the whole project part of the disastrous pivot-to-video swindle, unfortunately, and basically Facebook video is designed to pass through you and get shared without an impact, so… eh)
I’m running out of time, here. So speaking of that...
I Hate the Shortage of Time
I suspect it’s related to the passage of time, another thing I hate, but it feels like a much different side of the problem. The problem with the passage of time is that it makes everything decay and fade, but the shortage of time attacks right in the moment, smashes things up actively and shit, drains the blood out of whatever it is you want to do or just started. I think the shortage of time is what’s gonna stop us from solving the passage of time problem in the long run.