Yesterday, I learned to hate Zack Snyder. It’s not for his lukewarm remake of George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead. It’s not even for his universally overrated adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300, a blissfully short film stretched to a terminally long trainwreck by slowing down every action scene to a slow motion crawl. It’s not even because I’m pretty sure he’s going to trim the incredible story of Watchmen to a whiz bang seminar on how to use CGI effects to make people forget that you’re not actually telling much of a story. I find all these things annoying, certainly, and I think they are all reasons to dislike Snyder. And I did. But up until yesterday, hate would have been far too strong a word to describe how I felt about the guy.

No longer.

So what happened? Zack Snyder didn’t do me any personal slight in the last twenty four hours. He didn’t punch me in the nose or publish a snarky blog post about me or puncture the tire on my bike. In fact, I’m sure Snyder is a perfectly nice guy who calls his mom every week and would never dream of kicking a puppy, even an ugly one. But yesterday, in an NPR interview about the return of Brett Favre, I found out that Snyder is a Green Bay Packers fan. And as a life long Bears fan in the mold of Bill Swerski, I am thus honor bound to dislike the guy.

I put it to you that there is nothing wrong with this.

While I, like any other liberal arts major in the U.S., abhor racism, sexism, and pretty much all “-isms” as a matter of principle, I firmly believe that hanging on to a couple of bone deep long held prejudices do much to build character, to give one a complete and fully realized personality. In this day and age, so much of our identity is tied into the things we like. The bands we listen to, the clothes we wear, teh food we eat – we display the things we like for all to see. But what we dislike, we hold closer to our chests. But as any playmate questionairre teaches us, our dislikes say as much about us as anything we enjoy.

Now, like any properly prejudiced person, I have a few buddies who are gold and green diehards. Some of my best friends and all that. I’ve learned, through effort and practice, to play down my distaste for this deep and basic personality flaw. I like having beers with these guys. I would be sad if any of them were struck by a heavy object moving at a high velocity, and I would make the appropriate hue and cry. But at the end of the day – well, it’s like knowing someone you’re close to is a pathological liar. There’s not much the poor bastard can do about it, sure, but it’s just sort of an oily thing for a person to be.

And why shouldn’t it be so? Does this hate make me a bad person? No, it doesn’t. It makes me a person who doesn’t like things, and we all don’t like things. Lots of things. People who, in the year of our Lord 2008, still cannot use an ATM, bad grammar, the clicking of pens, people with no inside voice, cell phones in movie theaters – these are all things that incur our wrath, and rightly so. But rather than grit our teeth at these petty irritations as polite society dictates, I’m urging the opposite. Embrace your hate. Be comfortable with the things that annoy you. As Peter Finch would put it, “Get mad as hell!” and don’t feel bad about it. Because it is as much who you are as your loyalties, your loves and your My Top Rated playlist. And it deserves a little respect.

Advertisements