"Now let these words be like a switchblade to a haters rib cage
And let it be known that from this day forward ..
I wanna just say thanks cause your hate is what gave me the strength
So let em bic's raise cause I came with 5'9 but I feel like I'm 6'8."
- Eminem "Lighters"
If you are a person who continually and deliberately goes out of your way to make somebody feel bad .. you're an arsehole. Simple as that. I picture you sitting at your computer, opening up your browser, clicking around and spewing your venom out in the dark. Quickly, like a snake.
In 1991, U2 took themselves away to Berlin when the wall was falling, to reinvent and reconstruct themselves. They were hated on by the press, critics and journalists. For being "self-important and insufferable." It was really hard and they almost split up. Self-doubt was huge .. they kept going anyway. Even though all their sounds and songs were wrong and it was freezing and there was no magic.
The breakthrough point came during the first workings of Mysterious Ways. The two extra, unused bridges at the end were used as a whole new song ... One.
It's in our nature to want to create. It feels good. Beautiful meals, poems, a garden, a song ... a blog post. We make something. Sometimes we make something and even share it with other people. Sometimes people respond in kind, a shared humanity opens up, and we feel connected.
Sometimes people take a huge dump on it. People will always do this because people will always be arseholes. I'm not talking about critical thinking or opposing views here .. I'm talking out-and-out vicious and hurtful behaviour. Thing most worrisome about hate websites? The sheer volume of commenters on them. I've been around the net since before Chickenliver came and abruptly left. I've seen attacks, stone-throwing, suicide threats, closed-down blogs. Anonymous twitter accounts trawl the net every day, looking for blogs and people to publicly shame.
I have a thick skin ... manskin. I know that my personal memoir genre of blogging is looked at as pretty strange by members of the general public. But I keep doing it anyway, for lots of reasons.
Know this ... every single word I ever write on my blog, I am accountable for. I've said it and I own it. Nobody can use my own words against me. I wrote them! And I'm being very deliberate when I choose them. I'm not going to stop the anons and haters who try to get in via email and hurt me, especially as they appear to be getting more personal.
I just want to thank you, haters. For feeding me fuel .. making me push past and be ballsier than ever before. How dare I write a website that people read? How dare I be honest and open? Actually, how dare I not? My light burns bright. What am I supposed to do .. run inside my bedroom and hide it under my bed and plug the doors, to not offend people who limply live their lives in their limp jaded houses?
You can gnash your teeth, gnashers, but you can never hate me as much as I hate me. I win at hate - and if I *was* a hater, that's just another thing I would be better at than you. I'd aim for the fuckin' jugular. Your words make me better and stronger than before, and I sincerely thank you.
When the band finally made Achtung Baby and nobody knew yet and they were STILL getting dissed in the press? Bono said:
"Let's use the force of what's attacking us .. to defend ourselves."
And he swaggered out there in his rockstar jeans and fly sunglasses and filthy attitude. To this day, people hate Bono and call him a megalomaniac arsehole. It's hilarious - he's not, and he know's he's not. And now he's past the point of caring. He went back out there but couldn't do it without armor.
"If I was going to expose my heart, I needed the right kind of armor. To protect the rest of me."
My armor is cowboy boots, the Buddha on my back deck, the knowledge that I stay clean in this godforsaken world. And the power I feel in knowing that although I'm nowhere near perfect, I still have integrity.
It's sad to see so many people scared or worried about what people will think or say, if they dare to start creating something. What if you were about to create the next masterpiece? Even just a masterpiece that five people see? Do it despite the haters .. hell, do it to spite the haters.
We need a call of arms to the risk-takers and the seekers of truth. To keep going, past the gnashing naysayers of doom. To look at a blinking cursor and think, "You know what? Imma write my heart today."
Lastly, if you are one of the few people hatin' on me .. and you wake up in the middle of the night with a distinct sense of somebody sitting next to you in bed, don't worry. It's just my psyche, stroking your hair.