I like hate. It's delicious, hot or cold. It burns clean. It makes office work bearable and it shapes nations -- even and, perhaps especially, ours.
That's why I hate to see it wasted.
It's not news to anyone with an Internet connection that we are awash in hate, an epidemic, decry popologists, caused by psychothis or sociothat or anything except the most obvious: the hate was always there, and now it's streaming.
My concern today isn't the quantity of hate, but its quality.
Last week saw some of the most trivial vitriol spewed in a long time, following a performance by the singer Lana Del Rey on Saturday Night Live. Correction: during. The actress Juliette Lewis famously kicked it off, thumbing "Wow, watching this 'singer' on SNL is like watching a 12-year-old in their bedroom when they're pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes" (Lewis, perhaps remembering some of her own reviews, later deleted her hatetweets.) What followed was an orgy of odium that somehow ensnared NBC news anchor Brian Williams and included a surprise pile-on by the feminish site Jezebel.com, Lana Del Rey Single-Handedly Ruins SNL, Music for Everybody.
This, over someone singing a song not to everyone's liking.
Much purer, more powerful hate was being wasted in Rhode Island, where last week a judge ruled that a prayer mural hanging in the Cranston High School West auditorium was very likely a prayer mural and had to go. Rather than venting their wrath on the demons who wrote our Constitution or an uncaring god who refuses to smite all civil libertarians, mural supporters have decided to go after the 16-year-old girl who ratted them out to the ACLU. State Rep. Peter Polombo called her "an evil little thing" on the radio, quite quaint compared to what her fellow students were saying online. The printable portions, about damning her to hell or punching her in the face or giving her a beat down, don't do their bile justice (Screenshots of the actual posts are available here. They are not safe for work or life.) One student also printed her home address, for anyone who might want to hate f2f.
All over a simple school prayer, which included the line, "Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win."
So much hate, twittered away, when it could have been used for something important, like winning a football game.
Originally published at Time.com, January 24, 2012