Saturday, December 18, 2010

Into the fire...and farewell

Oh, wouldn't you know it? The minute we announce the retirement of our Hate for Hire blog, floods of requests come in, begging us for some eleventh-hour resentment work. Hating Katy Perry? Hating the DVD release of Eat Pray Love? Hating Gwyneth P's appearance on Glee. Hating the end of Hate for Hire? Sorry, too late for us....

Instead, a do-it-yourself kit to help you when we're gone, based on our own traditional method of dealing with irritating people, places and things. For years now, we've been spending part of each New Year's Eve writing down a list of hates and resentments. Often on individual slips of paper. Sometimes slipped into an air-mail envelope. Then, before midnight, into the fire with them all. The intention is that they will not enter the New Year with us. Well, that's the intention.

The Pope usually makes it into the fire. Moron bosses, past and present (one in particular.) Irritating behaviors of loved ones. You understand. Oddly enough, over the years the balance has tilted toward behaviors of our own that we'd like to shed or modify, things we can actually do something about. Imagine.

When a fire is unavailable, be imaginative. (On New Year's Eve, 2005, we ripped our list into tiny pieces and tossed them into the Seine.) Any of the four elements -- earth, air, fire, water -- in any number of combinations will help to enhance the ritual.

So, now that you know our DIY secret formula, you don't need us anymore. Burn it up, baby.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hate for Hire...yours for the asking.

We're moving on to a new blog the first of the year, so H4H is available to the most enthusiastic bidder. We'll have one more posting next month, one that offers a do-it-yourself approach to make the most of hate and resentments. Then we're outta here.
So to help generate some enthusiasm for anyone interested in keeping this blog alive, a musical number.
Hit it, boys!

Hate for hire,
Appetizing young hate for hire.
Hate that's fresh and still unspoiled,
Hate that's only slightly soiled,
Hate for hire.
Who will buy?
Who would like to sample my supply?
Who's prepared to pay the price,
For a trip to paradise?
Hate for hire.

Let the poets pipe of hate
in their childish way,
I know every type of hate
Better far than they.
If you want the thrill of hate,
I've been through the mill of hate;
Old hate, new hate.
Every hate but true hate.

Hate for hire.
Appetizing young hate for hire.
If you want to buy my wares.
Follow me and climb the stairs.
Hate for hire.
Hate for hire.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hating Lazy Bloggers

One month between posts?
Here, some visuals to convey our repentance.

Lazy bloggers.
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, October 21, 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to School: Six quickies

Sharpen your pencils. Get your sweaters out of mothballs. Deal with long pants. And get ready to hate with the rest of the class. The first day of autumn finds us assembling a few quick hits from the mailbag.

“I hate when people begin their emails with ‘I hope this finds you well.’ No, they don’t. It sets a tone that’s so clearly dishonest, I don’t believe anything that follows.” Whoa. Take it easy. Yes, this reprehensible, cover-all, insincere phrase is fast gaining ground on “Have a nice day” as the most meaningless aside in the English language. But to discount everything that follows? Well, who are we to judge? Have a nice day.

“I hate when your credit-card carriers send you checks to use that are already printed with your name and address on them. You have to rip them up into pieces that are so small that no one could tape them together, Xerox them and use them.” Yes, we agree. And the accompanying letter is usually so noxious as to suggest that these are a way for you to consolidate your debt and come out ahead. When actually these deceptive things wind up carrying hefty service charges for each use and “consolidate” your debt into a pile that carries an APR somewhere in the vicinity of 20%.

“I hate when you go on vacation and you’ve arranged for the post office to hold your mail…and then on your first day away, some Yellow Pages book is thrown on your front porch to remain there for your entire trip, announcing to everyone who passes by that no one is home.” Yep, we agree. And, aside from activating watchful neighbors, there’s not much you can do about this.

“I hate when people have car alarms that beep three times each time the owner opens the car. And three times again when the owner leaves the car. Since when is this OK? It’s noisy and intrusive and it’s become commonplace.” Yes, we hate this, too. Noise like this has somehow become acceptable, even during the hours when people are trying to sleep. We also hate when people’s car alarms go off for long stretches of time and the owners are nowhere to be found to silence them. Another irritant that has somehow weasled its way into the realm of acceptability. Here are some inventive ways that people have started to fight back with glue, urine, dog feces and eggs.

“I hate when a woman is ahead of you in the line at the grocery store’s deli department and orders a quarter-pound of something. When she’s presented with it, she then orders a quarter-pound of something else. And on and on and on.” Yes, agreed. Though it’s not always a woman. But most of the time it is. We imagine a family of young small brats, each with his own finicky sandwich preferences that prevent the woman of the house from buying one lunch meat in bulk. And these eating disordered young-un's are humored in their defiance, making us even more fearful about the growing selfishness of the upcoming generation. You have been warned.

“I hate when dog owners don’t silence their pets’ at-home barking, especially when it goes on for more than 15 minutes.” We here at H4H are dog lovers. That said, yes, we agree and do blame the owners, not the dogs. We have a neighbor whose German Shepherd barked out an open window for two hours and 45 minutes one night. Another who lets her sheepdog out on her deck when she does errands and the dog barks the entire time she’s away. (See “car alarms” complaint, above. We're thinking that perhaps some strategically placed automobile feces might do the trick.)

Insincere well-wishing, pre-addressed unwanted checks,
yellow-pages clutter, car alarms, bad deli behavior,
insensate dog owners.
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, September 21, 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Role model repents!

Faithful readers will recall Kingsley, the sassy teenager whose "Things I Hate" video catapulted him into the enviable position as the original role model honored here on H4H.

Sadly, we have had to update our initial April posting about him.

Here's a link to the update.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A moment of silence, please...

We mark with great sadness the passing today of a good friend. The least of her countless fine qualities was providing the inspiration for this site many years ago. Smile, Jane, there are pets in heaven.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Role model 3 (on the right)

This delightful misguided-hate image was sent to us from a frequent visitor to the H4H site.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hating Self-Righteous Signage

It's a bumper sticker. No, it's a T-shirt. No, it's a way of life. Well, maybe the first two, but rarely the third. How easy and how lazy it is to plaster a slogan on your bumper or your chest. So easy in fact that those who do so can then comfortably take the moral low road and stop right there. Why bother to embody the philosophy as long as your car or your made-in-Sri Lanka cotton tee does?

Our petitioner this time: "Know what I hate? Those stupid bumper stickers with all the religious iconography that some moron thinks is so clever." Oh, but let's not stop there. How about "Celebrate Diversity," the bumper sticker that means absolutely nothing beyond "I'm a better person than you are, so there"?

Above, a gallery of easy-way-out slogans for the publicly moral. Below, a more honest if less appealing spokesperson.

Self-Righteous Signage.
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, July 24, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hating Julia Roberts

At long last, the much-anticipated and richly deserved H4H nod to the talent-free Julia Roberts. She’s been on our back burner for some time now, but the upcoming summer release of the film version of Eat Pray Love has kicked her candidacy into high gear.

For those two of you unfamiliar with EPL (aka “Trust-funder whines her way around the world”), it’s a “woman’s book” with high annoyance potential for readers of both sexes. Spooning out pre-digested philosophical “insights,” it has, needless to say, become something of a sensation among a certain needy, self-help-hungry demographic. And though our hearts sank when we heard that Roberts would star in the movie, we weren’t surprised.

Our patient petitioner notes: “Who likes this jerk anyway? She overacts in every movie she’s ever been in. And she always seems quite pleased with herself.”

May we add that she’s a potty-mouth egomaniac, as well? (We began to suspect this when she tried to shush the Oscars’ orchestra as they appropriately tried to stifle her lengthy acceptance speech for Erin Brockovich with, “Hey, this is MY moment.”) One listen to the first 45 seconds of Roberts’ foul “tribute” to Tom Hanks (he’s another one) should pretty much let you in on both the level of her vocabulary and her ability to put together sentences when no script is provided.

Not that a script is much help for this one. In our exhaustive research, we submitted ourselves to watching the venal Eat Pray Love trailer. And people, all we can say is that her “I want to go someplace where I can...marvel at something” (:41) is already the leading contender for all-time vapid delivery of a film line, edging out Tom Cruise’s “You complete me,” the unchallenged title holder up until now.

We’re not big fans of organized religion here at H4H, but even we were irritated when we heard that Roberts’ filming her Eat Pray Love “spiritual enlightenment” segment in India blocked a congregation of Hindus from entering their temple during religious holidays. Didn’t they get the memo that they’d be interfering with HER “moment”?

Julia Roberts, we hate you.

Julia Roberts
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, June 27, 2010.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hating obnoxious morons: three examples of rude behavior

Just who do you think you are anyway? That’s what our petitioners would like to ask the selfish, obnoxious blockheads who’ve prompted our entry this time. All three examples are symptomatic of the evaporation of good manners in an ever-increasing “me first” world that’s only getting worse.

Cell phone yakkers.
Are people getting stupider? Or is it that nowadays we can actually hear what they’re thinking (whether we like it or not) as they yammer on and on, on public buses, in supermarkets, even just walking through an otherwise quiet park? “And then I go…and then he goes…” Shut UP, will you?

Our petitioner moans, “I once had to listen to a girl tell her friend all about her sex-filled weekend, how drunk she got, and how happy her bf was that she wasn’t pregnant.” Just one example of many. We hate these rude people.

Mercifully, as cell phone rudeness continues on the upswing, there are equally increasing examples of cell phone rage. One report: Two men in a cafe were beaten and their phones destroyed by two others after the pair ignored repeated requests to curb their loud and continuous yakking on their phones. Yesssssss!

Yogurt-container scrapers.

Noise bothers us, too. And each of us has his or her own peeves. Music in the workplace? No, gracias. Windchimes when we’re trying to sleep? See our March 28 posting. Here’s a complaint with a decidedly “niche” slant.

Our petitioner writes: “You know what I hate? The sound of people scraping yogurt containers with a spoon.” OK, we’re on it, mister. Now we hate it, too.

Obsessive photo-maniacs.
A petitioner from overseas writes: “I hate camera-toting people who insist on shooting everything in sight in a museum or at a popular sightseeing venue. It's one thing to take a snapshot of yourself or friends in front of the Louvre. That's perfectly valid, even desirable. But hordes of museum-goers cannot resist the temptation to shoot anything and everything on exhibit -- instead of looking at the objects through their own eyes.

“I mean, who needs to take a photo of the Mona Lisa? What is going through these people's minds as they race through galleries snapping hundreds of pictures of EVERYTHING -- yet failing to pause and appreciate ANYTHING?” What, indeed? We hate them!

Obnoxious morons:
three examples of rude behavior
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, June 20, 2010.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hating Via Matta

One of the unfortunate side effects of the recent deification of “celebrity chefs” is the unfortunate degree of snobby rudeness that some restauranteurs have developed. Where do they get off being so deliberately nasty to their customers? And since when are we supposed to just take this behavior without retaliation. Our petitioner this time is fighting back.

“When two friends and I visited Boston's Via Matta, we ordered ‘Seasonal Roast Vegetables’ ($10) with our entrees. The main courses arrived along with one sliced tomato, one sliced cucumber, which we assumed was a salad. We inquired about our roast vegetables and the waiter indicated the tomato and cucumber. This was in September at the peak of harvest season, so vegetables were not in short supply. The waiter disappeared.” Wait, it gets worse.

“When the waiter returned, he said the chef had a message for us, ‘Tell them if they want a carrot, I’ll try to find one.’” Excuse me? What warranted this abrasive, unprofessional reply from someone in the hospitality business? The menus are printed daily; if an item doesn’t exist, then don’t list it…and be civil to your high-paying guests. (Entrees alone at Via Matta average $26-39.)

We hate Via Matta and will never return there…or to any of the other “chic” restaurants that Via Matta chef Mike Pagliarini (above) and then-owner/partners Michael Schlow (left) and Chris Myers (below) have a hand in. (We’re giving former general manager Esti Benson Parsons the benefit of the doubt.) The list includes greater Boston's Radius, Alta Strada, 606 Congress, Great Bay and Myers & Chang. We encourage you to boycott them, too.

Let these abusive morons know that this type of reprehensible behavior is just not acceptable. There are plenty of kinder places to eat. With better food. And, from time to time, seasonal roast vegetables.

Via Matta:
Officially registered at Hate for Hire,
June 13, 2010.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hating HR morons (one in particular)

Have you noticed how the most inappropriate people tend to gravitate toward certain professions? For example, how many unbalanced people do you know who have become therapists? And we need both hands to count the active alcoholics we know who are (or were for years) substance-abuse counselors. That kind of thing.

Perhaps the most heinously ironic match, however, is that of the Human Resources “professional” who is completely lacking in any modicum of people skills. (Anyone who works in a business should be nodding in agreement right about now.) In many of the jobs we’ve held through the years, we learned early on that in order to get something done efficiently or to get accurate and necessary information, avoid HR at all costs. (We think they got on their high-horse just about the time of their unfortunate name change from Personnel. There are exceptions, of course, but damn few. Damn few.)

Our petitioner this time, an experienced web/print writer and published author, sends along a brief note from one particular HR moron, a tossed-off email reply to an inquiry about the status of a job application (and follow-up requested writing sample) that had been submitted weeks before. The email reads: “We’re interviewing 3 people this week. If they are not suitable, we may be back in touch with you.”

Excuse me? How rude! Is this someone whose job should be dealing with people? It gets worse. Following the above text, she adds “Thanks for reaching out.” Period. No signature. Gag.

As it happens, an additional H4H petition about this same HR “broad” was submitted independently by a third party: “To be Officially Registered at Hate 4 Hire, WITH A BULLET… May they rot in Hell.” Man, this dame is on somebody’s shit list big time. And now, happily, she’s on ours, too.

No one needs to be told that times are hard. Many talented people are looking for work. They should not have to endure the insulting shenanigans of an insolent RueLaLa malcontent such as this. We hate her.

HR morons (one in particular):
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, June 3, 2010.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hating Katie Lee

Oh, Jesus! Must everything be dumbed down? And down and down? It’s bad enough when Hollywood changes its Demi Moore screen version of The Scarlet Letter to have a happy ending. (Moore claimed, “It’s OK. Not that many people have read the book.” So noted.) But when food gets messed with, specifically by “celebrity chefs,” it’s time to man (or “to person”) the battle stations.

Our petitioner this time around singles out one Katie Lee, though any number of eligible candidates leap to mind. Ms. Lee, the former child bride of singer Billy Joel, has parlayed her photogenic face, figure and Greenwich Village townhouse into instant entrée to the ever-increasing ranks of food wannabes. Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Katie Lee, the list goes on. Who are these people? Where did they suddenly come from? And how can we send them back pronto? Enough!

Lee’s claim to fame, it seems, aside from her five-minute marriage and her former hosting duties on Top Chef, is a deft hand at making cheeseburgers, an award-winning skill she proudly displays online, on TV and at celebrity events. (A recent New York Times profile with accompanying online video had its tongue planted comfortably in its cheek as it ooohed and ahhhed over Lee and her oeuvre.) Sounds like something we should be laughing at on community access TV, not reading about in the newspaper of record.

Julia Child and James Beard were the first to bring the art of preparing fine cuisine to the masses via television, and through it all they remained dignified, respectable, entertaining and true to the art they espoused. This new crew of backwoods experts seems happy as all get-out just to be on TV…and so what if they use canned frosting, garlic powder and processed cheese-food? (Though not all in the same recipe. Not yet anyway.)

Kiss of Death: Katie the L (along with her ex, “William”) is extolled in the pages of Gwyneth the P’s unctuous newsletter, Goop.

Ms. Lee, you seem like a sweet young lady with a lovely family, you really do. Why not just shut up and go home? Thanks.

Katie Lee:
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, May 13, 2010.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Amusing if amateur

Doesn’t anyone listen? We’ve already gone over the fine points that distinguish real hate from plain ol’ whining.

Landing squarely within the second category, the insipid caviling found on this upstart website. Claiming to be the latest in a long and respected line of public shaming vehicles (from Puritan pillories to Hollywood studio PR execs), the Violation Report brings “disgrace mongering to the everyman,” urging users to submit phone photos of routine offenders whose individual behaviors might be considered rude. Whatever.

We’ll assume their hearts are in the right place…and move on.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Role model 2

We just couldn't resist posting this photo of an ardent H4H fan, so totally does he embody the high moral standards that we hold dear. And while we're a bit more focused in how we direct our hate, this guy takes an admirable, broader view that could accurately be described as "world class." Onward.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hating the Nike Tiger ad


OK, everybody, had enough time to let "last week's" TV spot simmer for awhile?

Embodying the high moral standards that American advertising has come to represent (“Sincerity and honesty, back seat please”), this tumor recently appeared on-air and fired-up several petitioners enough to make almost-instant submissions to H4H. (At least two of them, alas, have labored long in the service of marketing communications, so they well know whereof they speak.)

To wit: “That Nike commercial was so ridiculous. It's a piece o' shit as an ad and it's also laughable: Like his horndog father is his moral compass? The old man was a notorious womanizer and now he's Yoda?

“It's just more of the same ('I can screw everybody…without penalty') from the whole entitled crew: political, corporate, Wall Street, banking, sports, celebs, clergy, not to mention the media machine that keeps enabling this behavior while piously decrying it. Worst of all, it forces me, once again, to face my shaudenfreude habit. I HATE that!”

Another ad veteran laments: “I wasn't sure it was possible to dislike Nike anymore than I did, but the Tiger commercial might be the creepiest thing I've ever seen.

“As if it weren't bad enough that Nike pays some kid who can play great basketball $90 million to be its public face while it pays the kids who stitch together the shoes 90 cents a day, now they've really outdone themselves with the newest commercial starring a dead guy and his philandering son.”

Wait, folks. She’s just warming up. “Everyone should stop pretending he's coming back from battle, or that he's overcome some life-threatening illness. He's been caught up in a completely self-inflicted nightmare brought on by his own selfishness…made even creepier by bringing back his dead father to lecture him -- and pretending it's some touching father-son moment. It's gross!”

The wrap-up: “Tiger, if you wanted to impress people on the father-son front, you should have kept it in your pants and stayed home with your actual son once in awhile.”

Sing it, sister! (And this bride-to-be is from Maine, well-versed in “the way life should be.”)

On top of it all (shudder!), we don’t even think the spot is “world class.” So, if the many spoofs of the Nike ad don't do it for you, we offer for your palate-cleansing refreshment this agenda-free classic from the H4H archives. Forty years old and still as fresh as ever. With none of that icky moral aftertaste.

Nike Tiger ad:
Officially registered at Hate for Hire, April 18, 2010.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Role model

This inspiring young individual was recently brought to our attention, probably because his sensibilities align so nicely with ours.

On his YouTube profile page, ItsKingsleyBitch (alternately known as You Can Sit The Hell Down), he entreats us to think of him as Beyoncé...except when he posts a video, on which occasions we are to think of him as Sasha Fierce. Whatever.

All we know is that he is an inspiration to us here at H4H, so straightforward and unfettered is his ability to articulate his "pet peeves."

Unfortunate 8.26.10 update:
Kingsley has decided to become more "positive" and has removed his now-classic video. Instead, he gives us this:


He'll be back.

So while we're waiting, two related items to amuse you. It seems that Kingsley has become something of a small-time cult figure, so much so that remixes of his "Things I Hate" video have popped up all over you-know-where. We'll add one below...followed by a fan's re-posting of the Ur-video that originally enshrined Kingsley here on H4H, albeit with a new title.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hating eBooks

Ain’t nobody better call us a fuddy-duddy. But we can’t quite cotton to the idea of eBooks, even the name seems self-contradictory. So we were not surprised when two (count ‘em!) petitioners contacted us here in our New England offices to request that the newfangled gizmos be added to our growing roster. No problem. (Especially no problem as each of the petitioners is an international author, he from Hamburg, she from Milan. Were we impressed! Hate knows no boundaries, it seems, something that came as no surprise to us.)

From Hamburg: “I love books. And part of that love is physical. I love the feel of a book in my hands.” And reading about the “inevitable” invasion of eBooks around the globe? “I already miss the tactile qualities of books,” he tells us. “The weight in the hand, the cover design, the scent of glue and paper. We are losing a tactile experience.

“I feel like an ancient scribe, many centuries ago, who has only ever known parchment scrolls and who is being shown one of these newfangled 'book' things for the first time. He sits there with this block of bound paper in front of him, not knowing even how to open it.

"A novice priest impatiently shows how one proceeds, page-by-page, without the tedious rewinding involved with scrolls. And the older priest, knowing he is defeated, fondles a scroll and says, 'But it's just not the same, is it?' "

From Milan, our second petitioner notes, “The book in itself, as object, cannot be substituted in my mind by an e-version, albeit a portable one. I still like pages, fonts, colophons, covers, blurbs, forewords and post scripta, lists of characters and glossaries -- even maps and illustrations where needed. The tactile quality of paper has nothing to do with virtuality, and everything to do with virtù (‘good quality’ in Italian).”

Stone tablets to papyrus, parchment to paper, now this. Our Milanese scribe continues, “We were already asked in our lifetime to go from fountain pen to ballpoint to felt-tip to keyboards of all kinds, and without taking anything away from the wonders of the Web, which include so many scholarly and cultivated sites in addition to online banality and trash, I'll go as far as saying that I even like old-fashioned encyclopaedias, dictionaries and thesauruses. Call me a fuddy-duddy, I can take it.”

The demise of small bookshops. The fact that Kindles hate sand and water, not to mention magnets, hot coffee, iced tea and a whole lot of other things. And can you really in good conscience read an eBook on Shabbat? The list of infractions goes on and on. Here’s one of our favorites:

Have you ever seen a book someone was reading on the subway…and then made a satisfyingly self-righteous snap judgment about that person? With a growing number of people turning to Kindles, iPads and other electronic readers, it’s not always possible to see what others are reading. (As recently reported in the New York Times, “Some digital publishers suspect that one of the reasons romance and erotica titles are so popular in electronic editions is because e-readers are discreet.”) Instead, we form our opinion based on the very fact that the person has chosen the eBook format. So there.

After all, you can’t tell a book by its cover if it doesn’t have one.

Officially registered at Hate for Hire, April 5, 2010.