How Loving Everything Made Me Hate Everyone
If there’s anything growing up with the unshakable voyeur known as Jesus Christ has taught me, aside from an unhealthy guilt during private nighttime activities, it’s that love is a powerful thing.
Not in the way of the vapid flower child, or the judging Christian, but in a real, tangible kind of way. I decided, long ago, to try and love everything. Every musical genre, every film by every director, every book, and every play, there’s something brilliant hidden in all of them, and I would find it.
After all, my logic went, if I can learn to appreciate the value of whatever media I’m consuming, I’ll have nothing but good media. If I can only learn to acquire a taste for oysters, I’ll have a grand ol’ time at the oyster bar. But after experimenting with this approach to life for the last decade, I’m here to write a message of caution: loving everything might make you hate everybody.
It happened to me. I’m a survivor. A recovering lover of shit, if you will. Cynicism might be the only way I can carry on in this world without my disgust of other human beings turning me into some kind of maniacal supervillian.
The reasons why are simple, and should have been apparent from the beginning; though I can forgive my fourteen year-old cognitive predecessor for failing to think it through. This was the age, after all, when my greatest aspiration was to burn out rather than fade away, to die at the tender age of 27 (fast approaching) and leave the world with memories of a genius gone too soon. Perhaps loving everything was defensive.
In any case, my quest to acquire such broad affinities brought me into conflict with humanity’s peskiest feature: the opinions of other people. I do wish we could do away with those nasty things — they’ve caused me nothing but trouble thus far. But as it turned out, a shared hatred of something will endear you to far more people than a love of it. Negativity seems to be the social bonding agent nobody talks about; how many times have we been told to keep things positive? And yet the more I interact with you weird, pseudo-sentient hunks of meat, the more it seems a communal shitting on something dear to others is the Earthling’s favorite pastime.
Chances are your favorite things will be the victims of this negativity at some point. But if you can’t ever join in, you’ll find yourself constantly defending everything you love, and when you love everything, that’s a lot of defense. It’s easy to feel alone in your love of Pearl Jam, for example, despite the band having millions of fans around the world. But when you finally meet a fellow fan in real life, the conversation fizzles after a few minutes, and they go straight to shitting on something else that you love.
You simply cringe when people trash One Direction and praise Janelle Monae, not only because you enjoy One Direction for what they are, but because the comparison is completely unwarranted. You’ve become familiar with so many genres and movements and scenes and performers and bands that such a random comparison just sounds fucking stupid; as if a child were saying it, only that child is thirty six years old. You want to physically assault that child.
After much thought, I’ve identified two fatal flaws in my approach:
One: I didn’t try to love every person I met, which could easily negate their frustrating negativity.
Two: I am not the exclusionary type, and keeping only positive people in my life wasn’t an option.
Neither flaws are fixable going forward. For one, loving each and every person you meet badly retards your efforts to not be a tremendous weirdo. For two, the idea of culling people I interact with is neither realistic nor appealing. You see, there’s something I haven’t told you:
I love the negativity, but only when it’s directed at things I hate. We all do. It’s all part of God’s grand mistake. I had to stop fighting it. I’m learning to hate all over again, and it feels nice. One Direction sucks.