Hello Curious Friend. Welcome to my book about Hate. The number tells you where you are in the sequence. I look forward to your comments.
Four Myths (Continued)
Myth Four: Hate Beginning and Continuing as Entertainment
There is one more myth. I’ve never heard anything like this, so I claim it. This also means that all flaws and stupidities of this particular myth are mine as well. Luckily for me, I can’t make the same claim for the previous three myths. They are all commonly accepted as truth by many people, and evidence of this can be found wherever hate is discussed.
Okay, back to the myth that hate originated as entertainment.
For many thousands of years mankind wandered continuously in search of food and shelter. This was before the advent of civilization. At the time, we survived day to day. There was no dating, no marriage, no funerals, and no voting for leaders. Daily life was vigilance and struggle.
Then civilization began. Life wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t a daily struggle for food any more. With civilization came free time, leisure, and opportunities for creativity. We know this because we can find remnants of jewelry, scattered pieces of art, and other artifacts that could have only been created by someone with a full belly and free time.
Thousands of years ago men developed the art of storytelling, a form of performances. Thus the entertainment industry was born.
Entertainment aims to give its audience many things: good acting, drama, story, and insights into ourselves, our friends, and our nature.
But there is one thing common with all forms of entertainment. They all seek to elicit an emotional response. It doesn’t matter what kind of emotion, so long as it’s intense and feels real. Great entertainment is best described as an emotional roller coaster. It may start off with humor. As it progresses, we may be led to feelings of suspense, then terror. Finally, at the end, we may feel rewarded through a sense of triumph and vindication.
Through these stories, we experience all of these, including hate. For this may well be why and how hate came to be and remains with us today. I believe hate survives because people desire emotional energy.
That’s why so many movies feature action, duplicity, betrayal, or romance become successful at the box office. They succeed despite the fact that they may have poor plots. Yes, the intensity of emotion elicited is more important than content, realism or plot for most movie-goers. And the more intense the emotions elicited, the better.
So what is the most intense emotion? Love by far, especially young, rutting love. And what is the number one theme of most modern entertainment? Young love.
Where does this leave hate? As an intense emotion, hate presents an effective contrast to love. It enables a storyteller to create tension between characters so that when love finally blossoms against a background of hate, it shines brilliantly.
Take Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” In this story, their love contrasts with an all-encompassing hate that devours their families, and eventually these two lovers as well.
This contrast is what gives the story such powerful, universal appeal. It’s why the story has survived for over four centuries.
In entertainment, emotion sells. Hate is a profitable emotion because people crave it.
With this in mind, it’s possible that hate originated as a tool for entertainers to captivate audiences, and devolved into an everyday behavior. But can we prove it? No. Therefore, it’s a myth.
There you have it, four possible myths on the beginning of hate. Now we move onto understanding the deep qualities of hate, the last step before tackling hate’s definition.
To be continued …