The Hate List – Volume 9

(Originally published on 6th September, 2000)

  1. Charlie Dimmock. It’s a shaming reflection on men in general that this woman has reached such a level of fame and success, simply by not wearing a bra. The fact is that she’s actually profoundly unattractive, yet she enjoys a huge popular celebrity status which can only be attributed to her poor, saggy, unkempt breasts.
  2. Richard Whiteley. I can’t believe this man has escaped my lists so far. Countdown is turned into string of bumbling discourse and awkward silences by a man who is simply an incompetent presenter.
  3. The coccix. If I were leading an advanced biotech research team investigating human gene manipulation, my first priority would be to get rid of this little bastard.
  4. People who have crossed eyes, a single tooth set back half a centimetre behind the rest, and who pronounce ‘tuesday’ as ‘toozdeh’
  5. Men who wear garishly-patterned, faded luminous trousers, and think they’re justified in doing so because they’re jogging or cycling.
  6. The word ‘mate’ used as a universal term of address.
  7. Sexual strikebreakers. Not having sex with ugly women is like a huge, general, unspoken strike that men participate in. Some, however, still break the strike and boff absolute munters, selling out the whole cause in their desperation.
  8. That half the cocktails and drink combinations being sold in bars now include Red Bull.
  9. The “CAUTION: cross only with the green man” signs at the pedestrian crossings on Broadgate in Lincoln. Everybody knows that they should only cross with the green man, but they also cross when there are no cars near. If they’re going to disobey the lights, an extra sign isn’t going to add anything. No-one is going to think, “Ah, no cars, I’ll cross even though it’s on red. NO WAIT, the sign says I mustn’t! I’ll obey the instructions after all!” I want to know what idiots are in charge of planning these things, and have such a miserably poor understanding of human nature.
  10. Other people’s kitchens. They all have idiosyncratic systems of storage and utility, yet you’re expected magically to know them all. You have to search every drawer just to find a spoon. You search around the edge of the room unsuccessfully looking for a bin, and then have to start going through cupboards in case it’s on the inside of a door. Something as simple as making a cup of tea becomes a labyrinth of confusion.
  11. Thrips – or thunderflies, or whatever you want to call them. The little black insects, about 0.5mm across and 2mm long, that swarm onto every surface during the summer months. This is a life-long hate of mine, and a major factor in my broader dislike of summer.
  12. Endive lettuces pronounced “enn-dive”. Frisée lettuce pronounced “frissy”. And worse than this, that both of these mispronunciations are endemic at Bourne Salads. You’d think people who worked in a fucking lettuce factory would be able to pronounce the names of lettuce.
  13. Insurance. It’s quite simple. As in all gambling, if they’re making money, the odds are against you. In the long run you’d save money without it. Maybe if you’re in a higher risk category you’ve got good odds and the company makes up losses on you from lower-risk clients, but as they get more information and become better at predicting and categorising, this possible advantage disappears.
  14. Being forced by law to play these losing odds if you want to drive a car.
  15. Big Brother. No, it’s not compelling viewing. I’ve seen a couple of ‘episodes’ and found it spectacularly dull. Someone I said this to said, “Oh, I thought you’d be one of those people. You think it’s immoral or distasteful or something.” No, I’m not against it morally, I don’t care whether it’s voyeuristic or an erosion of civil liberties or a vehicle for exhibitionists. It’s just a television programme, and it’s not a very good one. It’s not qualitatively different from anything done before, it’s just the scale and depth of it that’s new. But mainly, it’s very, very dull. All the contestants are quite moronic, and I have yet to find any interest in watching the continuing interactions of a handful of halfwits locked up in a house together.
  16. I’ve always been distrustful of hyped-up commercial gimmick technology, but I was forced into using possibly the quintessential example of it when my mother randomly bought me an APS camera last summer. It’s been a nightmare ever since. The film is expensive to buy, and expensive to develop, even a basic first print. Extras are even worse, for example the shocking £15 for a single poster print (plus I had to go to three different places before I found one that would do it at all). The camera as well is awful, because the “automatic” flash is rather temperamental and the viewfinder has little in common with the result. I know viewfinders are an easy excuse for bad photographers, but this one really is appalling. Thankfully the rise of digital cameras seem to have destroyed it.
  17. Sci-fi explanations, like this one from Crusade: “Everywhere you go you’re shedding skin cells, which contain DNA unique to you. By analysing this soil and counting the number of different DNA patterns, I can calculate the number of people who have been here recently.” Firstly, we don’t need it. “DNA samples in the soil indicate that about 20 people have been here recently” is perfectly acceptable, and is much less patronising. Secondly, it creates an embarrassingly noticeable difference between those technologies which we have (or almost have) now, and those we don’t. You never hear someone giving an explanation of faster-than-light drive before they engage it. If they didn’t patronise us on the basic stuff they’d have more credibility on the fictional technology.
  18. Clowns, acrobats, magicians, ice-skating bears, and all other circus performers.
  19. The claim that you can’t slag off the Millennium Dome without having visited it yourself. If it’s not valid to make judgements about something without having experienced it first-hand, where does that leave the study of history?
  20. Junkmail from UCAS. I don’t seem to remember any “Tick this box if you do not wish to receive information about promotions” box on the UCAS application form. Bastards. And the way they say, “UCAS does not endorse promotional literature from any organisation”, yet they will send everyone a letter the sole purpose of which is to distribute the advertisements.
  21. The pathetic, panicking reaction to the September 2000 fuel ‘crisis’. The same thing is going to happen again in twenty years, except that then fuel won’t return again a few days later after the blockaders get fed up. There won’t be any more fuel. Cope with it, you morons.
  22. The economic ignorance of fuel protestors. One that I saw being interviewed by a lunchtime business programme came out with three gems: a) that fuel tax should be cut, no other tax need be introduced or increased to make up for it, and that public spending shouldn’t be cut (the interviewer had quite a difficult job convincing him that he couldn’t possibly have all three), b) he couldn’t understand why Esso had increased fuel prices again after the blockade (supply and demand, and you’ve just restricted the supply?), and c) he knew exactly what the situation was, and how much money was going to whom from the price of a litre of petrol, because he’d “seen a documentary on it last week”.
  23. Fake widescreen – this occurs frequently on TV adverts trying to give themselves a false air of big-budget Hollywood (eg. car and beer adverts). They add black strips across the top and bottom of the screen so that on a normal-width TV it looks like it’s originally widescreen and has been shrunk by the TV to fit. However, on a widescreen TV there are black strips down each side to hold a normal-width broadcast, so you end up with the advert, which is the same ratio as the screen but half the size, contained within a two-inch black border all the way around.

2 thoughts on “The Hate List – Volume 9

  1. Internet is written with the capital letter in a sentence, by the way. And hundredths are written not with a point but with a comma. This is according to the standard. And actually everything is very good..!

    • I’m not sure which bit you’re referring to regarding the hundredths, but in British English, decimal fractions are indicated with a point, rather than the comma which is standard in French and other languages.

      As for the other, “Internet” may be the journalistic convention, but these are the same jounalists who think that “hacking” means breaking into computers, and “trolling” means online harassment. I don’t recognise them as the authority in these matters. One of the glorious things about the internet is that it’s not like a country controlled by a government, and it’s not a brand controlled by a corporation. My refusal to capitalise it is a mark of respect for its universal and democratising nature.

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