I hate the term “hating.”
I hated the original term “playa hating” and now I hate how the word has spread and is now applied to everything. You can’t do any decent criticism without being accused of “hating” nowadays. This isn’t because hating doesn’t exist. Au contrar! The internet has made hating bigger (and more anonymous) than ever. Hence when you do have a legitimate point like, let’s say, “Solange Knowles is of average talent and her album sales reflect that,” you could be called a “hater.”
If you say, “I’m not a fan of this modernization of staid tradition, so I don’t like it when the Obamas are overly casual in their demeanour,” that’s hating.
There’s “hating” and there’s opinion and there’s the honest truth, but no one bothers to tell the diference anymore. Not since Master Percy ruined he term in the 1990s, rendering any attack as mere “you’re jealous” even if you were not jealous and in fact, actually disliked his music. Negative opinions and critiques didn’t matter anymore because every comment was perceived as an attack. It was the ultimate cry of machismo and confidence.
Every mention of an error is either a burgeoning flamewar for those who take the time care that things are done correctly or an affront on “bringing someone down” when they work in a competitive industry that involves criticism both constructive and mean-spirited.
It’s a gauzy, unrealistic world. One where we think we can put our heroes in cocoons and protect them from the fact that if they were forced to compete in the mainstream they might not do as well. After all, those who could “cross over” did. Now we sit holding the “losers” hand making up reasons why it didn’t work out. Every reason but they truth.
Maybe you weren’t that good.
Of all the “hateration” I hate the most is when there is a national radio call out for some NATO of hating. Where an act against us one is perceived as an act against us all. This happens a lot. (OJ, R Kelly, Michael Vick, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Michael Jackson, Tavis Smiley, DL Hughley, 50 Cent, etc.) that happens when someone says something moronic or, worse, vaguely racist against a “protected” individual. (How you get this protection and maintain it, I’ll never know. Didn’t help Tavis in the long term.)
During these NATO style call out you are ordered for your outrage t9 match everyone else’s outrage lest you be some haterade drinking, sympathizer.
Point out that Tyler Perry’s films are poorly made in comparison to other independent studio, Sundance quality or art house films: Hating.
Point out that Beyonce, already a multi-talented woman, might not be that good of an actress: Hating.
Don’t enjoy some sitcom or celebrate a black TV show or have the gall to call it shyte in public: Hating.
There is need to protect our own, whether they deserve that protection or not after years of mutually assured collective persecution. Well, I hate to say it, but “I’se free now. We’s all free. So I’se can finally say I’se don’t like dem chitterlings dat young ‘un is sellin.’ And I ain’t not never gwine to eat dem nows dat I’se free and I’se don’t care what yoose tink!”
The latest act of NATO-style defense against “HOW DARE HE!” hateration due to our overall sloppy, excuse making standards as the mutually oppressed involves the case of Chris Chambers, trapped between a middling celebrity book and an angry author claiming plagiarism.
Now, the latest comes from comedian/radio jock Steve Harvey. I sat in Barnes & Noble over coffee and stale scone and read the whole thing in about 30 minutes. I don’t know if that’s good, bad or by design–given that a big demo in his audience are…okay…bammas who crave something “uplifting” yet a quick read from one of the their superstars. The book’s nothing offensive or sily, yet nor is it exceptional. The thing that sets it apart is that some people are claiming Steve plagiarized.
In this craven publishing world (now a subset of the craven mass market entertainment sector) that’s not a sin. Truly. Furthermore, why plagiarize in such an elementary genre? Recall the target audience. Indeed, how many such books merely puke up cliches, Biblical passages, the obvious or the false? The celebrity or pseudo-shrink or false prophet mega pastor (what would Jesus think of that word: mega-pastor? ha!) authors get nice advances for shoveling pablum to an eager public. Think about it this way, in Steve’s defense: You gotta be of meager talent to plagiarize stuff like this. Or, more insidious: you and your agent, publishers think your fans have infantile tastes and don’t know any better?
Chambers, a regular reader and commenter at this site, wrote a piece on Steve Harvey’s new book and some accusations of plagiarism that have surfaced online. Negroes across the interwebs shrugged. (Or bitched, depending on their level of racial solidarity.) At Facebook, Chambers met his first real resistance.
Status: Christopher Alan Chambers is snickering at a woman who’s buying Steve Harvey’s book. Boy, you all are you own worst enemies sometime.
7:56 a.m.: aw, let the sista buy the book! what’s it to U anyway, U R happily married to a wonderful sister. 🙂
7:57 a.m: What do u have against the book?
8:03 a.m.: [CHAMBERS] First, it’s dumb. Second, he’s clearly writing it–if he wrote it himself–to get back at his ex’s (hmmm). Third, why take advice from a celeb? Fourth, it’s dumb (repeat). Fifth, has he plagiarized it? Sixth, if you’re going to plagiarize, plagiarize something important. lol Time to take a stand against crap. This is the age of Obama.
8:06 a.m.: If I’m blunt, I apologize but it is indeed time to draw a line in the sand…
8:12 a.m.: Awww, give the man a break, Chris. Every book can’t be a about the tragic mulatto. LOL
8:40 a.m.:At least she’s reading!
8:54 a.m.: Sounds personal…did Stvev Harvey diss u @ a book signing or something?
Around that time I stepped in for my two cents. (Granted, I was all, “What book?” When someone suggested it to me last week.):
Did you know that another black woman wrote a book with a similar title and content that was more widespread than Sharon’s book (Gail Evan’s “Play Like A Man, Win Like A Woman”), so technically Harvey is ripping off pretty much every self-help book made in the last 30 years since Betty Friedan’s “Feminist Mystique?”
Harvey didn’t create a … revolution, he (and his underwriter) just found a clever way to put common sense to a price tag.
Dude is talented, but this ISN’T NEW, starting with the list of self-help books that target women by telling them to use tools men use. Once you include books by white folks you will find there was never shit novel about this book from jump.
The point is, if you go all over the internet you will find accusations of “hateration” in this “dancerie” over pointing out obvious things about Harvey’s book. Crabs in a bucket mentality is bad, but blind love of subpar crap is just as awful. Just … just stop it.
I’m proclaiming that it’s OK to think something sucks if you’re not making personal attacks on their character. Re: Steve Harvey is funny sometimes but overrated and I don’t really know the difference between his and Tom Joyner’s shows, but I was with him when he was raising hell over Merlin Santana’s murder and that’s all I know about the man.
Oh. And the “church” versus “chuuuuuuurch,” plus “packed club in hell” routines from the 90s were funny.
But seriously, black people, we don’t need to leap to everyone’s defense over every thing. Some shit is just baaaad. It is OK to admit that it is bad. The white folks seriously aren’t paying attention. At least not THAT closely. As a famous man once said, jokingly, “If there is hate in your heart, let it out!” Don’t pretend to like things that suck just because a black person is there. Demand better so we can get better of our own. So we can stop pretending to love one pitiful thing, then giong to see “Iron Man 2” just like everyone else and shrug, forever settling for less because we execpt less.
And this isn’t NATO. The boys in the robes aren’t coming right now. Criticism helps you improve, grow and create better art. If we sit around going “I’m OK, you’re OK” all day we’re really gong to start slacking. So while there’s no need to be mean, do the right thing.
If the shit sucks, say so. (Even if it’s me.)
If there’s hate in your heart … let it out. And the Limits of blackness are back ya’ll.
This is where the healing begins.
Talk to me.