Nadia Elkharadly: Haters gonna hate

Nadia LogoThe idea for this column came about last night when I received an email of a peculiar nature.  The email in question was angry in tone, derogatory in content and evidently written in the heat of the moment by someone who had become very incensed by something that the person thought I had done to him/her.  The email, in actuality, was hate mail, in response to a review that I had written.  It wasn’t the first piece of hate mail I’d ever received, and the more I choose to push myself into the public eye, the more likely it is that it won’t be the last.  But it did get me thinking about publicity, the internet and how hate proliferates so easily when the two come together.

hate-mail-responseIt’s funny how a train of thought can spiral from a singular incident.  I’d written a review on a band on Sunday night, a band that is beloved by the youth of today, many of the hipster variety I imagine.  The hateful email I received after publishing the review seemed to be from one especially diehard fan, who took issue with two mistakes I’d made in the body of the article.  In my rush to meet a deadline, I didn’t proofread or fact check my piece as much as I should have, so in the end this person was completely right in calling me out on my errors.  To be honest I’m kind of grateful this person reached out to me; as a result of that email, I went into my article, corrected the issues pointed out, and republished it with the accurate and correct information.  It also re-taught me the lesson of how important editing and proofreading really is when you’re putting pen to paper (or type to website as the case may be).  Being tired or constrained by timing only makes the chance of making mistakes greater, and is no justification to making mistakes at all.  So thank you angry email person, for showing me the error of my ways, though I could have done without the expletives and the vulgar insults and assumptions you seemed to be making about me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to let the vulgarities of a stranger’s email bring a tear to my eye or steal a wink of sleep from my tired body, but it did make me wonder if, without the relative anonymity of the internet, the same level of vehemence and vulgarity would have been employed in my editorial disciplining.

Soundgarden Edge full groupWhat my hate mail experience came down to was that the person writing to me took the fact that I’d made a mistake in writing about his/her favourite band extremely personally.  On the one hand, I really respect this individual’s passion and love for the band.  I once read a less than stellar review of a Soundgarden show, and found myself feeling insulted and indignant.  The writer of the review in question hadn’t actually made any mistakes other than the fact that he didn’t have as awesome a time as I did at the show.  Not his fault in the least, and after taking a step back from the “WHO DOES THIS DOUCHELORD THINK HE IS TO SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT SOUNDGARDEN” state of mind I was in to “well here is a fellow music journalist who had a different opinion about an experience than I did.  Never once did the thought of reaming the guy out, either publicly by commenting on his post, or privately by sending him a vicious email, cross my mind.  My lack of backlash is partly because I am doing the same thing as that writer; putting my words, my thoughts and my opinions out there for the world to see.  Treat others as you want to be treated yourself: that’s a motto I try to live by.  I also don’t see the need to put negativity and anger out into the world, especially when it comes to the creative endeavours of others.  There are enough awful things happening in the world around us – if someone is just trying to speak out and share ideas with others, who am I to antagonize that person?  Lately I’ve felt the same way about all the celebrity hating that’s happening out there, so I’ve tried to minimize that kind of talk in my life as well.  Even though I may be attempting to disengage from the “hater” behavior, there are so many people out there who think it is their right and maybe even their duty to unleash their vitriol upon unsuspecting and hardworking people, simply because those people chose to put themselves “out there”.

JUSTINBIEBERPUSSYThe fact of the matter is, the internet has given judgy, complainy, mean spirited types a mask to hide behind, and a global platform with which to spew their hatred and disapproval with whatever is going on around them.  There have been, currently are, and will likely always be entire websites, Facebook pages, twitter accounts, memes, and every other sort of social media tool or piece of online circulated tomfoolery that is dedicated solely to shit talking, insulting and even threatening things and people that are out there in the world.  Whether lanadelraythe object of that hatred is singers like Justin Bieber or Lana Del Ray, bands like Nickleback, or those who are famous for no apparent reason (the Kardashians anyone?), people just love to hate, and they love to talk about who they hate with others very publicly, but from the privacy with their own homes.

Obviously all of the people I’ve listed have millions and millions of fans out there – people who love and worship them.  But for every fan a famous person has, there are several more people who seem to take pride in hating his or her guts.  But what have any and all of these “hated” famous people done to incite such public rage?  As far as I can tell, besides be rich, famous, and attractive in the conventional sense, the Biebers and the Kardashians of this world haven’t done anything to deserve the rage they seem to incite from millions of people on this planet.  Granted, those individuals aren’t curing haters-gonna-hatecancer or solving crimes, but they do make the world a better place by providing entertainment.  Sure, that entertainment may be vapid and superficial, but people still engage in it every single day.  So why all the hate?

Jealously, fear, boredom, whatever the driver or motivation may be, people will always be driven to hate people who put themselves in the public eye.  Whether it’s a multi-platinum recording artist, a reality TV star or a lowly web based writer like myself, putting oneself into the public eye, no matter the size of the scale, will always invite the judgment and hatred of those on the other side of the looking i heart hatersglass.  Am I going to let that stop me from writing and sharing my thoughts and ideas?  Hell no.  Naturally, I’d prefer that people like what I write but at this point I’ll take all the hits I can get, whether they’re website clicks or the verbal assault I received via email.  Haters are readers too, and as long as people are reading what I write and thinking about it, that’s all that matters in the end.

Until next time,

Xo

N

 =NE=

Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonNadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

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