ON THE VIRTUES OF UTTER DISAGREEABILITY
A manifesto for everyone tired of pretending to like things--really, really bad things. Hater begins from a simple premise: that it's good to hate things. Not people or groups or benign belief systems, but things. More to the point, it's good to hate the things everyone seems to like. Scan the click-baiting headlines of your favourite news or pop-culture website and you're likely to find that just about everything--from a premium cable adaptation of a novel to Will Ferrell singing a Whitney Houston song at a college commencement ceremony--is, supposedly, "what we need right now." We are the victims of an unbridled, unearned optimism. And our world demands pessimism. We need to curb our collective enthusiasm. It's vital to be contrarian--now, as they say, more than ever. Because ours is an age of calcified consensus. Criticism has been supplanted by aggregation, be it in the form of Rotten Tomatoes or the cumulative Metacritic score--metrics that make even the thumbs up/thumbs down schema of Siskel and Ebert seem highly sophisticated. Consensus is the inertia that keeps our culture snowballing. And Semley hates that. In this scathing and funny rebuke of the status quo, journalist and pop-culture expert John Semley provides a rallying cry for a generation struggling to agree on what stuff is actually any good. Looking for and identifying nonsense isn't just a useful exercise for society, it's also a lot of fun. But Hater doesn't just skewer terrible TV shows and hit songs--at its core it shows us how to meaningfully talk about and engage with culture, and the world. Ultimately, Hater is what we actually need right now.