Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How I hate them

After nearly two years of blogging the clerkmanifesto I have become aware of how I am both extremely well suited to it and extremely poorly suited to it.

The fractured, new subject every day quality of blogging, the requirement for concision, the way I can sometimes complete something, a whole post, in as little as half an hour to an hour, the ability to share it around within a few days, the ever ready vehicle for all my whirring fevers of theories, jokes, satires, raves, and reveries. This blog is like having a perfectly tailored suit of clothes. It fits me everywhere, it moves with me. It is beautiful.

And yet I don't do so well out on the Internet. I sort of hate the Internet, and my blog is a creature of the Internet. But it's not exactly the Internet, and hating it isn't quite right. It's something else, something I struggle to express.

Fortunately I think I have found a way to say it.

I warn you that you will probably find it a bit off putting or even alarming. You may even be a little concerned for my mental health. And well you should be. It is one fierce emotion.  But speaking truth to our feelings is the first step to recovery.

Here it is:

I hate everyone who is not reading this.

I hate them. I hate them with a great hate.

Seven billion people or so, and I am hating them all, hating them from the bottom of my heart, hating them forever.

Oh how I hate them.

People I admire, my favorite authors, Ursula K. LeGuin, Jasper Fforde, Daniel Pinkwater and so on. I hate them. I think I even hate my favorite dead authors, Kafka and Farley Mowat and the like who could at least try. I hate old friends who aren't reading this. I hate that person who is sitting next to you, your dog, your cousin, my favorite soccer player Messi, random strangers. Oh how I hate them all! I hate people who do beautiful things, I hate artists, the campaigners for peace and justice, my nice co-workers, all those friendly library patrons at the library I work at. If they are not here, reading this, and oh how incredibly many of them aren't, I hate them.

Did I mention that I hate them? I hate them. Hate, hate, hate!

One simple line to cross. On the not reading clerkmanifesto side of that line my hatred rains down, heavy, endless. A rain of fire? A rain of water? No, a rain of dazzling drenching hate. I hate the hosts of angels in the heavens and I hate the demons in hell, but not if they read this. Convicts, Saints, custodians and presidents. I hate Reddit and Facebook and Google Plus and Stumbleupon and Boing Boing. I hate every road that does not lead here.

There is a hierarchy to it if you want. I certainly hate people more who have had the opportunity to read my blog, who have heard of it, or those who choose not to click on some link to it, or those who read it once and said "whatever" and never read it again. I hate all those people the most. Whereas someone in China, or maybe just someone who could hardly know such a thing as this blog exists, them I hate just a tiny bit, comparatively speaking.

Though you mustn't get me wrong, I still hate them.

I hate them all. I hate every single person on the planet and floating in the void. I hate people I cannot imagine, through history and in the future, every intelligence in all of time and space, who is not reading, or has not read, this.

I am not a sociopath. I might even be the opposite of a sociopath. I am a writer.

And my audience is everyone I do not hate.


  1. How about Mickey Mouse? I don't believe he's read your blog but I can't be sure. Please advise.

    1. Just what I thought. Mickey M. pretending to be you pretending to be Mickey M. I hate that!

    2. Not to be critical, but you might want to be careful about throwing around the word "Hate". Some people are all like "Hate this, hate that, hate hate hate." and just, you know, they should be careful with stuff like that, is all I'm saying.

    3. I mean, not to hold myself as some magnificent example, but I only used "hate" 33 times in my post, which I feel is judicious, and a lot of people could learn from that.

  2. Inspiring. Wonder if you have any intricate ways of discerning who is a reader and who is not a reader when you come in contact with them at random places like the library or an intersection or the grocery store?

    1. Oh, no intricate ways at all. I just always try to assume the best of everyone I meet and, when it comes to the blog, I have enough sense of my being slightly unhinged that I do my best to protect myself from being disabused of my good opinion of those around me.

      In other words I live in a delusional fantasy world that everyone is an avid reader of clerkmanifesto and try to be emotionally strong enough to cope with the inevitable constant collapsing of that fantasy.

    2. I admire that approach. I might try that in another context. Thank you.

    3. It's, um, challenging. I wish you good fortune.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.