The Hate List – Volume 18

  1. Progress bars which reach the end, and then spend an indeterminately long time paused on 100% before finally completing the task.
  2. When someone, on a training course for example, lists sources of information, and one of them is “the internet”. You might as well say, “reading”. The internet is not a source. The internet is a means of communicating with innumerable sources.
  3. “Free” wifi spots which you have to register with to use. I don’t need any more username and password combinations in my life, certainly not for some random wifi hotspot I’ll never use again.
  4. The word “webinar”.
  5. People who complain about technology, especially saying things like, “We managed to survive for millions of years without mobile phones.” Yes, we did, but in a slightly less convenient way than we do with them.
  6. Technophobic scaremongers who say we don’t communicate with each other any more. Billions of emails, messages, blogs, comments, tweets, pins, shares, updates and posts are connecting people around the world every day. Instead of interacting solely with the small, narrow-minded group of people you happen to live near, you can talk with people from completely different cultures and broaden your mind. Instead of thinking you must be the only person with some weird niche interest, you can google it and find whole communities of people to explore it with. You want to go back to a world where everyone writes their thoughts down in a little book and hides it away forever? Fuck you.
  7. When someone asks you to fill out a form and send it back to them, so you do. Then they get back in touch to ask you further questions. The answers to which are already on the form, their form, that you’ve completed and sent to them.
  8. People who are amazed by the lengthening or shortening of daylight hours. “It’s surprising how light it is in the evenings now, isn’t it?” No, it’s a regular and predictable process which has happened in exactly the same way, every year of your entire worthless life.
  9. Toilets with cisterns too far forward, so the lid and seat won’t stay up.
  10. Toilets with broken joints on the seat and lid, so they slide around.
  11. People who complain about other people leaving the seat up, and then go and leave the lid up themselves. The lid is CRUCIAL – unless you want vaporised urine and faecal matter all over your toothbrush?
  12. Disabled toilets – not the facilities themselves, which are obviously essential, but the idea that they should be RESERVED for disabled people. Why? The aim of disability provisions should be to negate, as far as reasonably possible, the extra inconvenience caused by someone’s disability. The fact that there are disabled facilities provided achieves that. But occasionally queuing for a public lavatory is an inconvenience common to all. Unlike disabled parking spaces, where there’s a sound reason for reservation, there’s no reason not to let able-bodied people use disabled loos too.
  13. Paper towels packed so tightly into a dispenser that they rip rather than pull out of the bottom.
  14. Body language “experts” – pseudoscientific nonsense. Make quantifiable, testable predictions or get out.
  15. Coffee shop drink size terminology. I’m not going to learn it, I’m not going to use it – especially when every chain has its own competing set of jargon. There are perfectly good, unambiguous English words to describe the three sizes of coffee you offer: small, medium and large. So that’s what I’ll order. You can translate it into whatever corporate newspeak bollocks you want, but don’t expect me to play along.
  16. Korean food. Cabbage may have been the only food you had once, and letting it ferment in a pot of vinegar for several months the only way you knew how to preserve it. But you have access to better food now, and ignorance is no longer an excuse.
  17. Hookah pipes – safe, sanitised exoticism for the middle-classes.
  18. People christened with nicknames. ‘Charlie’ is short for ‘Charles’. Giving a baby ‘Charlie’ as their full name is a sign of mental deficiency.
  19. Drunk girls looking around in confusion for their coats.
  20. Drunk men falling over on the dance floor and thinking it’s hilarious banter.
  21. Any man who puts a topless photo of himself on Facebook is a prick. No exceptions.
  22. Bands who say that their influences are “everything from X to Y”. For a start, you’re only 17 years old, so I doubt you’ve listened to everything. Besides, depending on your definition of “influence”, it’s either trivially true, or utter bollocks. You’re just trying to sound cooler and more knowledgeable about music than everyone else. Except that every up-and-coming band in existence says the exact same thing. What’s more annoying is the choice of X and Y. Usually it’ll be something like, “the Smiths to Dusty Springfield,” as if to show the extraordinary breadth of the band’s influences. It makes no sense: as if there’s a single linear scale of musical genres, with the Smiths at one end and Dusty Springfield at the other… and all other genres somewhere in between. In reality, the choices usually boil down to this: X is the real influence and the band which they want to be, while Y is a random “quirky” choice to show how interesting and diverse the band are.
  23. People who repeat the mantra that James Blunt is a cunt. If it hadn’t rhymed, I doubt anyone would ever have thought it. Every time I’ve ever seen him being interviewed, he’s come across as a genuinely nice, humble guy who enjoys making music. So his songs are a bit sappy for your tastes – fine, don’t buy them (or better, buy them for your mum, she’ll love them). But lay off the guy himself, he seems fine.
  24. Unlike Badly Drawn Boy, however, whom I’ve seen with my own eyes, and is a pretentious, self-important whingeing chod-bin.
  25. The loss of the concept of artisans. It’s a shame that in our current culture we think that highbrow art has a monopoly on beauty, and everything else has to be dull, functional, everyday tat. We’ve separated the small, elite circle of designers from the masses of construction drones, human or machine, who churn out their consumer items to pattern. We’ve also separated ‘talent’, the sort of thing an artist or musician might have, from ‘skill’, which a plumber might have, with no space for the two to meet. There used to be a category in between: artisans, people who had the practical skills to make things, and the creativity and aesthetic sense to make them beautiful, so that everyday objects could be well-built and nice to look at. By discarding that idea, we’ve sentenced ourselves – the vast majority of us – to be surrounded by ugly rubbish.
  26. The fact that the only place you still see the word ‘artisan’ used is in ‘artisan bread’. An artisan product should be a beautifully carved piece of wooden furniture, not a loaf of bread with some sunflower seeds chucked on top.
  27. People who jokingly say, “Hey, Jedi, that’s an official religion now, innit?” Or even worse try to use it as a counter-progressive argument in discussions of religious and cultural sensitivities: “Why should [insert religion] be treated differently and allowed to [do something their religion requires]? What if I declare myself to be a Jedi, and say I need every Friday off for lightsaber training? Cos it’s an official religion now too.” IT’S NOT A FUCKING OFFICIAL RELIGION YOU DICKHEADS. There was never any rule that a certain number of census answers automatically triggered legal recognition. It was a funny campaign for the 2001 census, with impressive results, which inspired a brilliant press release from the Office for National Statistics (“390,000 Jedis there are”) which was worth the effort alone. But all those results were treated, correctly, as a joke.
  28. People who still answered “Jedi” in 2011 and plan to continue doing so in future censuses. They may have been recognised as a joke, but they were also classified as religious responses under “Other”. Next time, if you have no religion, for God’s sake say so under “atheist”, “agnostic” or “no religion”, and help counter the religious lobby in public policy-making.
  29. The way the Americanised version of Halloween is eclipsing the traditional British celebration of Guy Fawkes Night. It’s driven purely by commercial pressure: companies can make much more money selling Halloween tat for several weeks than they can selling fireworks for the limited regulated period. Also I think people are embarrassed about a festival glorifying the execution of Catholics, but why should they be? They were executed as conspirators to bombing and assassination, not as Catholics. The Gunpowder Plotters were the religious fundamentalist terrorists of their day. The defeat of a religiously-inspired conspiracy to murder and destroy SHOULD be celebrated.
  30. People who don’t understand the difference between disagreeing with an opinion and suppressing it. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean the freedom never to have your beliefs challenged in debate. It actually means the opposite. I defend your right to idiotic opinions; I also defend my right to call you an idiot.

5 thoughts on “The Hate List – Volume 18

  1. I’ll say it again: The Hate List is the greatest synergistic accomplishment of our time. The blog format takes it to the next level.

    I’d love to see the old numbered list format reinstated – it makes it easy for people to refer to particular items which resonate with them.

    “Webinar” would be on my ambivalence list, had I one. It’s an horrendous word, but it gets the job done so efficiently.

  2. There is a good argument for keeping disabled toilets free for people with poor continence. I know some sufferers of severe irritable bowel disorder carry small cards briefly explaining their condition and requesting use of any toilet facilities, the idea being that they could hopefully dash into a shop or office and use otherwise private conveniences the moment they feel a movement.

    Other than that yea, wait. I know in my workplace we wouldn’t have the required number of toilets if the disabled loo was reserved just for disabled people.

    • People with poor continence – which could be IBS sufferers, or just any of us on a bad day – don’t need a toilet with special facilities (extra space, support rails, etc). They just need to get to any toilet quickly. The card system is a good idea, although I think just politely asking everyone in the queue if they mind you jumping ahead because you’re about to poo yourself would probably work equally well, though the officialdom of a card might help you past the occasional dickhead who wouldn’t grant the polite request. So having a disabled toilet available but usable by all solves the special facilities problem, and the card system solves the incontinence problem – and someone in a wheelchair with incontinence problems would use both, skipping any queue of able-bodied people waiting for the disabled toilet by flashing their card.

      I wasn’t sure about including this item on the list, as it seems a bit mean. And I even have sympathy with the argument that since disabled people have a pretty rough deal generally, and there aren’t facilities everywhere to come close to evening things up for them, that having a better deal than abled-bodied people on the queueless toilets might be a small perk we should concede.

      I decided to include it though after an experience at a training centre I attended recently. There was one pair of toilets, one standard, one disabled, to service half a dozen classrooms, which could in theory be used for training up to 180 people at a time. The disabled toilet had an MS Word-produced sign stuck to it which said, “Disabled and staff only”. There were always long queues for the standard toilet, while the disabled toilet was unused, even though there were no disabled people on any of the courses that week, and the sign itself revealed that there was no genuine reason to reserve it, other than the maintenance of a toilet apartheid for staff members.

  3. Numbered list format reinstated for ease of reference.

    Individual hates should be referenced as “X.Y” where “X” is the volume number and “Y” the item number, eg webinar is 18.4.

    Items on the amalgamated lists 1-7 should be referenced as “1-7.Y”.

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