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The Hate In Art

10 Aug

Recently, I read an article about a young adult novel under fire by the YA twitter community. Influencers claimed the pre-released book was racist. They questioned the publisher for publishing it. Members of the campaign advised their followers to stay clear of it. And whatever good reviews it previously received… well, those were buried under a 1-star average rating on Goodreads. But, while I scrolled through the article – it was really long, so I skimped through – I found myself frowning. I frowned not because the book was supposedly racist – I frowned because I felt for the author. And after I wondered how she faced the criticism without breaking down, I feared… for myself. Reminded that this world is unafraid to voice its opinions – most of the time in a brutal manner – I was anxious.

Yes, we know not everyone will love our work. There’ll be haters. Many will bash the good out of our art. Some will even take it personally and attack us as creators. It’s a scary world we live in. And as much as we wish for harmony, kindness, and our faith in humanity to be restored, the reality stirs warranted anxiety. It’s something we, unfortunately, cannot avoid. So, I guess now’s the perfect time to say, we can change the world, right? Alas, I can’t say that. Because, we can’t. At least, we can’t change how people chose to respond. We can’t convince others to go easy on us. We can ask, but it doesn’t promise a kinder response. However, there is hope. Because amidst the hate, there is love.

Out of curiosity, I headed to the questionable book’s Goodreads page. There, I found an average 3-star rating. Outside of Goodreads, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it had an above 4-star rating. It’s safe to say, the heat it took prior to its launch didn’t burn it to the ground. Now, I’ve not read the book itself nor do I intend to -I’ve long past my teenage years obsessed with supernatural YA novels – but I’m glad. I’m glad for the author. Though the review section alternates between good and bad ratings, the book has its defenders. There are those who saw what some found negative to be positive. There are those who chose to give the author the benefit of the doubt. While I don’t dismiss the bad reviews, because some of them are objective, not all hope is lost for the future of this book.

Using this book as a case study, I realised how fleeting events are. No matter the intensity of a campaign, for or against something, it will come to an end. It has to come to an end. Though some crusades last decades, there’s always a finish line. Just like a ripple, its waves eventually abate. We cannot predict how long it takes, or when the remaining residue evaporates, but we can find rest in knowing it’ll end. And such is the case with hate.

I believe hate has no lasting throne. Despite its countless attempts to crown itself, through events, people, and circumstances, it’ll ultimately be dethroned. So the next time we find hate in a battle to take us down, let’s look at the end. Let’s find love in those who’d stand by us. And let’s not forget, that in time, it’ll be over. Hate may have the power to set us off track – detouring our dreams and destroying our passion – but hate can only do so within its short term. If we stand firm during it’s brief tenure, it’ll lose its power… and we’ll win the war.

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4 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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4 responses to “The Hate In Art

  1. moonika

    August 10, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I love what you say here about hate not having a lasting throne.

    I think I know which book you mean, and I was as baffled by the hate-campaign. And I can relate to your fear. And like you I have been happy to see the book have it’s defenders, people actually tackling the source material to find out the truth instead of joining the flock of hatred without checking, and discussing it in a level-headed manner.

    It’s an ironic thing, that social justice warriors seek to defend and protect marginalised groups, but their solution far too often is to pour more hate into the kettle.. One finds, what one seeks, and sometimes even if it isn’t there.

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      August 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      That’s so true – and oddly enough, these warriors don’t see how their actions are stirring more discord than anything else.

       
  2. zoey808

    August 17, 2017 at 4:08 am

    It’s at these times that I recommend “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” by Jon Ronson. It’s a book on this mob mentality mindset. Things that may start off innocently enough with fine intentions turning vile because of dangerous demands of “justice” which spiral misunderstanding and human err into potentially violent events.

     
    • Jeyna Grace

      August 17, 2017 at 8:50 am

      I came across his Ted Talk on this topic awhile back. Definitely a season to be diving into this issue – the more aware we are, the less likely we’ll fall into it.

       

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