Activism and... Hate

IssueMarch 2010

I don’t think I would label any of the emotions I have in relation to activism as “hatred”. But there are things that come close.

When I think of Tony Blair, it makes my blood boil, and I feel sick, but is “hate’ the right word? Maybe “hate” is too bland a word to capture my emotions towards people like that! Ah. There are people I really, really hate!

Bono. And Bob Geldof.

I don’t feel disgust towards them, like I do towards Blair, I actually hate them! Because of their message and the way they go around: “they’re the heroes saving Africa”. I find it really arrogant.

Brands like RED, the celebrity-isation and the depoliticisation and the de-grassroots-isation (I’m making up a lot of words here) of politics. Whenever I even see the word “Bono”, I just exclaim out loud: “I hate Bono!”

This is maybe going to reflect on my very recent experiences but I hate bad timekeeping and meetings overrunning.

I hate being late, so I always turn up early. Then if I’m hanging around for two hours while other people are slowly amassing, I hate that because I could be doing something more useful with my time than sitting in a field or drinking lots of tea.

I hate people who use overcomplicated words or who bring up obscure irrelevant points to make themselves sound clever. That annoys me a lot, because I don’t tend to understand.

I find it difficult when people are silent throughout the whole meeting, and you think you’ve reached consensus, and then you go outside, and they say they’re unhappy with everything.

Maybe they don’t feel they’re being listened to or don’t feel they can contribute, but in terms of getting decisions made... it makes it all twice as long and twice as difficult.

Bravado, one-up-manship, machoism I find quite offputting.

Also, within the activism scene, there are a lot of characters with strong personalities, I suppose that comes with having deep convictions, but it can make it difficult for others to get involved if these people are very embedded, and there are informal, unspoken hierarchies.

I find it hard when people think that one particular form of activism is THE form of activism.

Things that annoy me most about being an activist are sleeping in cold places and having to do things as a group and reach consensus.
Sometimes I think dictatorship has a place in the world of activism….

I hate people you think you can trust, who turn out to be untrustworthy. I hate the misuse of trust. I’ve come across that a couple of times.

I hate the mobile phone. I hate the fact that people will hear the mobile phone going in their pocket and then they will just walk away and ignore you….

I hate infighting and minor disagreements that damage the wider movement over petty personal differences, minor faux pas – like someone’s not done the washing up.

Topics: Activism
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