Chinese Ramen, Japanese Okonomyaki, and Human Hate. What’s the connex?

Yes, you read it right.  Chinese ramen, as served up in Japan.  Japanese okonomyaki, a crepe cabbage noodle pancake as down-home as American hamburger, and so TAY-STEE!  And finally, hate among us.  Stay with me, it’s a lot more promising than you think.  But first I have to take you back to where this all started, to a few months ago.

I love to draw lines between what we think we know, and the behaviors we see.  A lot of our current conceptions about behavior don’t make sense, and I enjoy pointing those out.  But they are exactly that – lines – observations – musings – and though many people find them interesting, nothing else really happens.

I do enjoy this writing business, and I guess you do, too, because you’re probably a writer as well.  I’m looking forward to seeing yours, since I’m showing you mine!  But there also has to be progress, some kind of improvement, a direction of getting better.  I, you, all of us work hard to get our words out there, into the wilds of the internet.  I want to think that all our hard work, all our hopes and well wishes amount to something.  They have to!

PART ONE

It was with this state of mind when I left the country.  It was business, but writing is always on my mind.  China was first.  And before you jump to thinking that Chinese ramen is from China, not so fast!  But to whet your appetite, here’s a picture.

Tender smoked ham, beef, super broth, and FRESH noodles!

Chinese style ramen in Tokyo, a hole-in-the-wall shop a few steps from Daimon station’s exit A3.

 

Bejing was great.  The Forbidden City, Tianamen square, some of the markets, wonderful.  We only had a few days so our visit was limited.  The atmosphere was a bit hard to take, what with pollution and a heavy-handed political presence everywhere.  Now Shanghai, that’s a city.  A bit bigger than Beijing, with way more lights, happy citizens, a better subway system and fun places to eat.  Oh, and for those who plan to visit, check out the BIG Buddha in Fenghua.  Take your walking shoes and prepare to be amazed!

China and Chinese food aren’t the point of this story.  I’ll have to tell you about the Beijing pancake (tasty) and the fried scorpions on a stick (invigorating, they say) and the wine that’s fermented with a huge snake and huge centipede (no, did NOT try it).  Japan is where our story really starts.  China was an important part of the background, but aside from a few foods, the real fun is in Japan.  [1]

If you’ve not been to Japan, I’ll do my best to describe it for you.  If you have, skip ahead, because you know I won’t be able to do it justice.  Japan is a country where public courtesy, cleanliness, and classiness are valued very highly.  Unlike the US, you won’t find their attention focused on greed and celebrity.  That’s not to say bad things don’t exist, they do, but at levels far lower than in the US or Europe.  The Japanese like things to be precise, pretty, and at the same time functional and respectful of the environment.  Japan is the only country I know where a teeny-tiny restaurant may have a rock garden or koi pond buried within, taking up the space of a table or two.  That island of peace and beauty is important to them.  In the US we’d rip it out and try to make more money.  In Japan, it’s not about the money.  And this attitude extends to their foods as well.

There are so many wonderful foods to enjoy in Japan it’s hard to know where to start.  It’s much harder when you’re in the middle of Tokyo, you’re hungry, and you don’t know where anything is!  Do I want Japanese curry (not related to India, sorry), or sushi, or sashimi, or eel (fresh or salt water?), or oysters, or something fried, or a great bowl of soup?

We passed many great restaurants one day in the vicinity of the Tokyo Prince hotel, in the shadow of the Tokyo Tower, ignoring the repeated calls of many restaurant hawkers handing out their menus and trying to entice us into their high-story restaurant.

We came to this hole in the wall, only a few meters wide.  Inside were bar stools for eight and two tables for two.  That was it.  Outside there was a line.  We liked the smell and I got in line.  My wife went to the cashier machine and punched the tickets for our choices, I had the roasted garlic ramen.

We moved up to where we could sit on two stools and  handed our tickets over.  And we watched the magic.  As a pasta fiend I’m passionate about my noodles, and these were freshly made.  They may have even been handmade because they were so roughly cut.  And deep yellow, meaning fresh wholesome eggs.  Two bundles were put into baskets and plunged into roiling hot water.  The broth was spooned from a huge cauldron into our bowls.  I’d seen him hammering away with a huge pestle inside the cauldron earlier, and when I saw the broth I knew why.  In that vessel they were cooking more meat and everything that goes with it so that we had a fresh, extremely tasty base to our soup.  Any soup connoisseur will tell you the true secret to great soup is the stock, and this was good looking stock.  Then came the sliced meat, the egg, and all the other spices and vegetables, and viola! there was our meal in front of us.  Incredible.  Wholesome, inexpensive (about ten US dollars each, not bad for downtown Tokyo!), fast, and totally devoured by yours truly in about 5 minutes.  Then I had some of my wife’s as well.  (Mine was better.)

PART TWO

A few days later we were in Hiroshima.  We always take the bullet train because it’s so much fun to speed along almost 300 kilometers an hour (over 150 miles per hour!) in something that’s so big and smooth.  Hiroshima is wonderful because of the Peace Park (site of the first atomic bomb used in Japan in 1945) but also the wonderful floating gate and temple on the island of Miyajima.  There is also many incredible foods to eat, but they are most famous for their oyster beds.  If you like oysters, you’ll LOVE Hiroshima.

Tucked away in the train station there are a few restaurants, and we luckily found one that was perfect for our needs.  We were even luckier in that we found it when we arrived, and liked it so much we ate there again when we were leaving!

Pictured here is where we sat, right at the griddle!  And it was huge, about 1 x 3 meters in size.  There’s the back of our cook, she was a fun lady and didn’t mind me making ooohing and aaahing sounds the whole time.  That’s a freshly made okonomyaki sitting there in front of me.  You can almost see the layers, so many layers, within each one.

First she starts with a kind of sourdough crepe on the griddle.  As it cooks she dumps on about two handfuls of freshly cut cabbage.  No bulk supplies here!  As that cooks down a bit she puts on some dried and friend shrimp bits, for saltiness and flavor. Then comes a little bit of shredded cheese, and on top of that are three thinly cut strips of pork.  They look like bacon, but they aren’t smoked.  At which point she presses the pork into the griddle, then slides her spatula under the crepe and flips the whole thing over!  This exposes the beautifully toasty crepe on top and starts cooking the pork directly.  At the same time she’s been cooking some ramen on the griddle as well.  Or you could have asked of udon (a thicker noodle) or some soba (a buckwheat noodle).

She then begins phase two!  She takes an egg and cracks it on the griddle.  She spreads the yolk around so that it’s broken and all cooking evenly.  On this she places spices and some veggies.  She will also start cooking whatever else you wanted on your masterpiece: ground beef, squid, more veggies, and of course, oysters!

Phase three. Once those have cooked a bit and the egg is ready, she flips over the main portion of the okonomyaki again, puts on the noodles, places the egg and all your extra goodies on top of that, and then another cook puts on the special sauce (like dark ketchup) and puts it on a plate.  Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a stool next to the griddle, slides it over to you right there!

So hot, so tasty, and so wonderful to watch and then eat.  Absolutely a great time.  For those who might be traveling to Japan, this is Hiroshima okonomyaki.  The same dish in Osaka, or Kyoto is very different.  And this dish in Tokyo, well, let’s say that you’ll be more impressed by the Chinese-style ramen.

 

Hot off the griddle in the train station!

Okonomyaki, Hiroshima style

 

PART THREE

Hungry and ready for more?  To be fair, that’s all for the food portion of today’s program.  Instead, we’ve arrived at talking about hate.  Now, how can one really ponder something as distasteful and slippery as hate, especially after indulging in such wonderful foods like these?

I have to.  I’m doing what I can to try and fight hate so that it doesn’t hurt so many people as it does today.  It’s almost always on my mind, and I have some really good ideas about how we can fight it.  But here’s the rub, no one seems interested.

I figure it’s my fault.  Like any restaurant, you create a dish and hope people like it.  The two restaurants above have crafted these foods to where they are extremely effective, even perfect.  But there’s a good chance they didn’t start that way.  Many hours and customers had to pass through those doors before they found the right combination that makes perfection.

Here’s where you can help.  What can I do to serve up a tasty meal that’s good for us to think about, but may be terrible to consider?  After all, there are many people who cringe about eating oysters, or raw fish.  But these things are delicious, and the Japanese have perfected many dishes.  How can I do the same?  Let me know your thoughts.

Sincerely yours – Tusok

 

Notes and Disclaimers:

[1]  For my Chinese friends, don’t get upset!  The China portion of my trip included more business entertainment, and when I’m with vendors and colleagues it’s important to let them lead the culinary crusade.  There was Peking Duck and Shangai Dumplings and several of those delicious Beijing Pancakes, but overall most of the meals were standard business settings.  You know the kind, where a huge table with a huge turntable gets filled with a hundred different dishes NONE of which I know the name of.  Several staff are always hovering about your private room and they keep filling your tea or drink (no, no NO snake wine please!) and the dishes don’t stop coming until you can’t eat any more.  There were TOOOOO many of those meals!  But we had such gracious hosts.

 

 

Believe me. Don’t believe me.

It dawned on me the other day that I’ve been cursed.  I’ve carried this curse since childhood, but it wasn’t until only recently that I recognized it as such.

It’s not a bad curse, like having things break when I touch them.  It has more to do with people telling me things.  I have a problem believing them.  Not the people, the things they tell me.  See?  There’s part of the curse.

I don’t combine the person with the thing they tell me.  To me, they are two very different things.  A person I love can tell me “We ate asparagus last night,” and I know that she believes that what she is telling me is the absolute truth.  The thing she said, we had asparagus for dinner, might be true, but then again, maybe not.  I check my memory to review.

Good news!  My memory and her statement match.  Yes, I believe her statement, but only AFTER I checked my memory.  But what if it doesn’t match?  More good news for my relationship, she’s always been right.  Well, almost.  But when she’s wrong it doesn’t matter.

The point here is that accepting any statement and immediately putting it into a box marked “true” is something that many in our society seem to have lost.  Perhaps we never had it.  This is most evident when watching any of our partisan political parrying. [1]

Is it just me or do Republicans in general seem to accept the statements made by their favorite entertainers lock, stock, and barrel?  I hear some of these statements repeated by friends or relatives of mine, and I think, “How can they actually believe this is true?”  Here’s two that come immediately to mind: “The arabic culture has never contributed anything of value to society,” [2] and “All teachers are being indoctrinated by a socialist out of New York City.” [3]

Their talking heads, whether it’s Fox or Rush Limbaugh, espouse incredible nonsense on a continuous basis.  Supposed experts back them up, but such false authority isn’t even needed.  There is something about the continuous vitriol and wild conspiracy theories that keeps these “conservative” minds drinking from the same unhealthy cup time after time.

The curse continues.  All I can do is shake my head, and worry about the future of my friends, and the future of our world.  Is the answer to let their leaders continue to manipulate them for their own greedy ends?  Or to somehow spread the curse, my curse, that some call skepticism.

I don’t know the answer – but perhaps you can help.  Any ideas?

 

[1] Full disclaimer: I started out as a Republican.  I converted to Democratic.  Then I became liberated.  Today I’m a fully committed Scientific Conservative.  But that’s another column.

[2] I took this one personally, as my culture also originated from the fertile crescent.  In fact, all of our cultures did.  I carefully pointed out that the terrible arabic culture has contributed many major advances to civilization, such as the arch, arabic numerals, and algebra.  And that was only for “A.”  They responded, “What have they done lately?”  I rolled my eyes.

[3]  The idea that any large group of people could be so indoctrinated so that they all believe the same thing is so absolutely ludicrous that I didn’t know what to say.  Even today, if we were to ask everyone in the world whether the Earth was round, we could find those who say “No.”  Even more incredible is thinking that such (generally) wonderful people as teachers could be taught to all think in the same way and accept a common doctrine.  I’m still not sure how to react to this one.  Ideas?

 

 

Fiery Fears

Pains real. Fears not.
Pains denied, Fears alive.
Pains accepted, Fears rejected.           (anon)

There’s a pair of decent books tackling the tricky subjects of hate and fear. [1] I’ll say more about them later, but Rush Dozier makes one particularly provocative statement; humans are the only species that isn’t innately afraid of fire.

Is it true? An internet search doesn’t tell us very much. Maybe it’s one of those universal truths that modern science doesn’t deem interesting enough to verify. Scientists, like the rest of us, assume that it’s true because everyone else since the beginning of time has also assumed it’s true. I don’t want to make any waves, so let’s agree. Humans are the only species on Earth that isn’t afraid of Fire. We’ll take this as a fundamental truth, and call it axiom number one.

What I mean by innate is that there is nothing about not being afraid of fire that isn’t learned. In fact, what I’m saying is that babies like fire. I’m pretty sure that most parents teach their toddlers to avoid fire. It’s pretty, it’s red, it’s inviting, it goes snap crackle pop, it’s warm, and – WATCH OUT! You’ll get burned! Did this ever happen to you?

This is yet another statement that science should check into, using the same tried and true methods that have gotten us into skyscrapers and airplanes. Since it’s not a scientific fact, let’s make another bold statement; humanity’s lack of fear of fire is totally due to nature. This means that nurturing, or learning, has nothing to do with it.

Any behavior that is one hundred percent nature comes from our program. Our program is something we all know with no training required. Sucking mother’s nipple for food is something we want to do as soon as we get shoved out the birth canal. One hundred percent natural. And there’s axiom number two.

Biologists know that our program is written in DNA. That’s like saying this essay is written using letters of the alphabet. Our DNA program is extremely large, so it is divided into subroutines and extra apps, called genes. These are like the paragraphs and concepts in this essay. We have about thirty thousand genes, and they probably all work together. On top of this our genes have preferences, just like the apps on your phone. The settings are somewhat randomly chosen for us as soon as we’re conceived. There’s about three million settings for each of us. The professionals call these settings SNiPS – for single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Somehow, shared among all people, is a combination of genes and SNiPs telling us not to be afraid of fire. It’s one of the biggest things making humans totally distinct from all other animals. The same DNA, written differently, tells chimps, mice, birds and snakes to fear fire. We lack this trait, and all other animals have this trait. Yet, if you go back far enough in time, we will find an ancestor that links us to all other animals. Somewhere along the line, a bizarre combination of genes and SNiPs gave rise to us, modern man, with a new type of strange behavior. Biologists call distinct behaviors like this, phenotypes.

Here’s the craziest thing about fire. It’s powerful. It cooks meat and veggies so we can digest them more easily and stay healthier. Fire keeps bad animals away. Fire allows us to work when it’s dark outside. Fire changes ordinary Earth into extraordinary tools, like arrowheads, pottery, glass and steel. We are a species and a society born of fire. Yet, we take fire for granted. That’s too bad, because we should appreciate it for the great abilities it gives. So, the first step is to think back in time, to a period when we didn’t have this ability.

Go back far enough, say two hundred thousand years ago, and you’ll see our distant ancestors, hiding in trees, eating fruits and dirt, probably hanging about in small groups. They very likely acted much like today’s chimpanzees – our closest cousins. Let’s call this particular tribe ‘the standing up people,’ or Homo erectus. [2]

Now, as happens in successful tribes, there are babies. One particular baby was born with a set of genes and SNiPs that were very different from all the others in her tribe. It was a difference no one could see, but it was still there. She grows up, safe, sound, and happy. Then comes that fateful day.

The tribe is taking shelter from a storm, lightning and thunder surrounding them. They huddle together. Suddenly, nearby, a bolt of lighting ignites a pile of dead wood, bringing fire to life. The thunderclap, the light, the flare, and the living combustion of wood makes the tribe hoot, holler, and run away. That is, all but one. Our heroine has no fear, and has not learned to be afraid of fire. Instead of running, she gingerly approaches the bonfire rising before her.

She advances, observing everything in wonder. She picks up a long stick whose end is engulfed in flames, noting how it has acquired a smoldering sharpened point; the first hardened spear. Or she may have found a cooked squirrel, the first fast food.

Or, and this is the truly most wonderful moment in our ancestry, perhaps she looked up from her smoking spear and roasted squirrel and sees, across the flickering and snapping wood, another Homo erectus. He’s not from her tribe, and he, too, is not afraid of fire. The moment is right, she and he spend time together. And eventually you, I, and everyone we have ever known throughout history comes into existence.

In that moment, that Promethean portal gave birth to their love, their offspring, and an entirely new species. It’s quite possible that a single blaze sparked the rise of ‘people who think,’ or Homo sapiens. Our heroine was, in fact, Eve, the mother of all humans today.

What makes us so special? Our laugh? Dogs laugh, so not quite that. Our brains? Dolphins are bigger yet, and birds are proving to be pretty darn smart. Wars? Watch insects duking it out sometime. Our tools? Nope, birds and even some insects have those. Our high technology? There’s something to this. Where does all that technology ultimately come from? Fire.

We are a species forged in fire. It never would have happened if we hadn’t evolved the phenotype that describes not being afraid of fire. So, assuming that only one species, Homo erectus, isn’t afraid of fire, and assuming that behavior is one hundred percent natural, then we must conclude that this behavior is one of the most critical factors in differentiating us from all other life. Therefore, what made Eve so special was that she wasn’t afraid. It may be two hundred thousand years too late, but thank you Eve.

Think about that the next time you have to confront one of your own fears. Perhaps YOU could be the start of a whole new species.

[1] Fear Itself – Origin and nature of the powerful emotion that shapes our lives and our world.
and
Why we hate – understanding, curbing, and eliminating hate in ourselves and our world.     Both books by Rush Dozier. Published by McGraw-Hill, 1998 and 2002 respectively.

[2] Sequencing Y Chromosomes Resolves Discrepancy in Time to Common Ancestor of Males Versus Females, G. David Poznik, Brenna M. Henn, Muh-Ching Yee, Elzbieta Sliwerska, Ghia M. Euskirchen, Alice A. Lin, Michael Snyder, Lluis Quintana-Murci, Jeffrey M. Kidd, Peter A. Underhill, and Carlos D. Bustamante. Science 2 August 2013: 562-565.
and
Y Weigh In Again on Modern Humans, by Rebecca L. Cann. Science 2 August 2013: 465-467.

Hate. Part 5.

Hello there. Yes, you’re reading an essay about hate. No, I’m not a fringe lunatic, I promise. It’s an exploration of something we are all familiar with, but don’t talk about much. This is the fifth experiment in this series, and I’d appreciate your feedback as to whether it works. A good subtitle for this essay is, Understand hate and make more money, today!

Hate isn’t one of those things we joke about often. Don Rickles was great at making fun of hate, because his audience knew he was joking when he said that he hated everyone. He would then call them by every pejorative name known to man, and the audience would laugh.  He was a comedian during the Civil War.  Look him up.

Today, even though we live in an age of comedy, hate gets short shrift. Why is that? Are we afraid of it? Will the very mention of its name give it power, like Voldemort? Or are we paranoid? Let’s do a thought experiment and find out.

Got your lab coat on? No, not the one with long arms that nurses buckle in the back, the regular one. Alright, here we go.

Hello, Hate? How do you do. Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Reader. Gentle Reader. Gentle, this is Hate.

At this point you shake hands, and we all sit down for a drink. By the end of our chat you and he discover that you’re old friends! Turns out that we’ve all known each other for a long time. Well, perhaps not you and I, but we have Hate as a mutual acquaintance. Though I dare say, you and I certainly seem to becoming fast friends as well. But I digress.

It turns out that Hate has been with us since we were born! Surely, as wee babes we didn’t need his services much, Mum and Dad sheltered us enough. But as we grew and became mobile, more independent, and curious, his services were needed more. Mum had to prepare us infants for the real world.

She would say: Don’t touch that! Don’t go in there! Don’t put your fingers in the socket! Why, Mum, why? She’d explain, Because terrible things will happen. In the simplest of ways, Mum prepared us for survival. She taught us, in direct terms, to stay away from hot stoves, the stairs, electrical outlets, or trying to put pencils into our baby sister’s nose. Mum was brainwashing us! Some Mums continue even while we’re adults, but it’s particualrly important for a child to be properly brainwashed. Our brain is open and unorganized. We don’t know danger’s face.

Mum and Dad altered the way we think, without us having to know why. That’s the very essence of hate.

Hate, as we talk about him today, dresses like a Hollywood vampire (black or white hoodie, take your pick) and always has a darker side with a predilection for the dramatic and violent. Not so! This is not who Hate really is! Hate is a different animal than that charicature. Hate has depth and nuance, a ‘good’ side and a ‘bad’ side, much like anyone else once you get to know them well enough.

Let’s go back to that electrical outlet, figuratively. To make this more exciting, you and I are toddlers, and you found a paper clip! First off, the paper clip was tested for edibility. Yuck! Double yuck! So, paperclip edibility test has been performed AND replicated. This is very important in science, even babies know this! That’s why you often see them repeating their experiments, like dropping the spoon off their high chair. Conclusion – not tasty! But now I’m holding the paperclip, dust-free and dripping with saliva.

Ooh! I spot the electrical outlet. Exciting! We share the joy of discovery as we toddle closer. We go towards the outlet because we like it. It looks interesting, and what we like we are drawn towards.

But wait. You remember a lesson from Mum. “No” she said. “Bad” she said, along with many other words we don’t understand. Even No and Bad are meaningless to us, because we’re still learning the lingo. But Mum looked upset, angry, even agitated. And even as a newborn we know when Mum is upset. It’s one of many instructions we receive from the DNA machine as it’s putting us together. It’s part of our toolkit as soon as we’re out of the womb. We HATE to see our Mum upset, it’s part of our genetic makeup!

So, we no longer like the outlet. In fact, our Mum’s remonstrations have convinced you to stay away from the outlet. I give you the greater share of common sense throughout this, Gentle Reader, because history proves that I would always be the one most likely to put something into an electrical outlet. You stop. You scream. I stop, bewildered. What’s wrong with you?, I think.

In that moment you have turned from liking the outlet to hating it. Your hate, without reason, says “avoid the outlet!” You communicate that information to me in your inimitable voice, I ponder. I still like the outlet, and head towards it. At that moment, our stalwart Mum appears, instantly seeing what happened, and saves the day. Along the way, she gives both of us yet another lecture on why we hate outlets, and paperclips. Of course, baby lectures are nothing like college lectures. For one thing, they are very short, and usually entail one word, “No!” Then again, a bably lecture is very much like a college lecture in that none of us take notes, and our retention is about 5 minutes, or until dinner is served, which ever comes first.

Hate, by its very nature, means to avoid something without reason. It is a way to influence our thinking in the most basic of ways. Stay away! Bad! Don’t ask questions! These are the slogans of the Hate family. And we all have friends in this family, whether we admit to it or not.

In the next essay, we’ll explore our deeper relationship with hate. Why? Because there’s a good chance you’ve grown up and , by way of example, are no longer afraid of electrical outlets. In fact, I’m willling to bet you’re sticking things into outlets all the time. Go on! Tell me it’s not true. See? Your ealiest introduction to hate is gone.

But other members of the Hate family are still your friends, perhaps without you even knowing that they’re still living in your mental house. We’ll talk about some of them next, so that we can get a better picture of how hate still lives with us in society.

Now, lest you forget, Gentle Reader, the real reason we need to get re-familiar with the family of Hate is because it is one of our most powerful emotions. And understanding how it plays out in our own minds is crucial in making good business decisions. Good writers, directors, and politicians know this and use our hate as a tool for their own success. Isn’t it time you capitalized on their secret? Step right up and make some money off your hate! Master it and make a fortune! Are you ready? Can you handle the truth?

Hate. Part 4.

My dreams of humanity’s future include limitless energies, space-faring families, a ravenous curiosity for the unknown, boundless optimism, ceaseless enthusiasm, confidence just short of arrogance, elimination of hunger and control of disease. Most importantly, my dreams for future generations includes eliminating hate. In many ways this one component of behavior is the single greatest obstacle between today’s civilization and the future of my dreams.

Why is hate important? More to the point, why is hate a monumental obstacle? Because, by its very definition, hate influences the way we think, the way we see, hear, and how we feel. It is hatred of “the others” keeping many children of Sudan, Angola, or Ethiopia impoverished, malnourished and mistreated. Such children become soldiers who, by rote, hate “the others” enough to continue the cycle anew. It is hatred of science keeping otherwise intelligent people away from knowledge. Such knowledge deniers are more likely to be swayed by peer pressure and lax logic. It is only by learning to see clearly that we can create the future of our dreams.

Then, why does hate exist? And, if we recognize hate as evil, why do we allow it to persist? There must be a strong biological reason for hate to be with us since the dawn of history. However, this essay is not going to explore that reason. Suffice it to say that, in certain primitive settings, hate can improve your chances for survival and reproduction.

Why then does it persist? Buddha, Jesus, and other prophets have recognized and warned us against hate. Why then do we keep it? Perhaps it’s because we like it? No, it is not the same like as liking ice cream, but the kind of like that is only recognized for the indirect impact it has upon our lives. Allow me to elaborate.

We are emotional creatures. This is not a choice, but how we are made. We can, and do, fight our emotions to some extent, but in truth our mental organism requires emotion as food. Witness the onslaught of both fictional and real drama bombarding us. Who likes whom? Who hates whom? Who has made up and made love to whom? The popularity of romance novels, mysteries and thrillers are ample evidence that we, as humans, require exposed emotions as our major source of entertainment.

If you accept that premise, please now consider this; hate is the most potent emotion driving most other strong emotions. [1] Hate makes drama. Imagine the Big Brother house [2] in which there is no conflict, no hate. Nothing happens. Everyone gets along. You would never watch such a boring show. You would never have the chance, because the producers would never air such a show. Good producers choose contestants who are strong emoters, and likely to conflict with others. They lock the contestants in a house together, turn cameras on, and Presto, you have instant entertainment.

Hate drives our conflicts. We love to watch conflict, that’s why hollywood produces so many. But to make our future dreams become real, hate must be abandoned, buried. How can this be shown in a simple book?

I don’t know. Emotions are not the answer. People want emotions for entertainment, not for serious study. Dry philosophical analysis? Doubtful, for even mention of the ‘ph’ word glazes the eyes of most, including me. What if there were a way to wrap a study of hate into its more nascent biological state, fear? And from our study of fear, we wrap again the entire package into a form of self-help and get-rich book? It may be that this is the best way to show the average person that their hate hurts themselves more than anyone else. And that by understanding and controlling their hate, their fear, it will be possible to see business opportunities that were hidden.

Perhaps we can create a future without hate after all, not by clamoring about how evil it is, or how the world will be a better place without it. No, perhaps the only way to get rid of hate in all of us is to show each one of us how much more money we can make without it in our lives!

 

[1] Love being the great exception.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Brother_(TV_series)