I feel like I don’t have a dedicated group of haters, which is sort of too bad because I think I’d be really well equipped to handle them. I’d say things like, “Haters to the left” or “If they hate, then let ’em hate; watch the money pile up.”
Observational evidence suggests that the best way to accrue haters is to get into the hip-hop industry. Unfortunately for me, hip-hop is a young person’s game. My own chosen field (economics) does inspire some hatred, but it’s less of the “they hate me ‘cuz they ain’t me” type of hater and more of the “they hate me ‘cuz they live in a country ravaged by my preferred policies” type of hater. I would prefer the former. They can be dealt with using a simple “talk to the hand ‘cuz the ears ain’t listening” — the anti-hater-craft-gun of phrases.
Really my best weapon against the haters would be my even-keeled temperament. You see, haters don’t want to rise to your level; they want to pull you down to theirs. A couple years ago I saw an elementary schooler that had stickered a binder with the phrase “Hatters gonna hate.” I think it was supposed to say “Haters gonna hate,” but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be a hater or a hatter. That’s the sort of resilience and restraint that haters simply can’t abide.
Admittedly, some people hate some of the stuff I do. I have this extremely funny joke where it’s cold outside so people say “I can’t even feel my face right now,” and then I reach over and touch their face and say “I can.” This is when the haters rush in and say things like “Don’t touch my face,” but I’m like “Don’t touch my comedy.”
Also I recently learned that the symbols that we call “Arabic numerals” (the numerals used by most of the world—including America) actually originated in India; we just call them “Arabic numerals” because they came to Europe by way of Arabic traders, academics, etc. I shared this fact with not one, not two, but three separate groups of friends and none of them found it to be mind-blowing. Hey haters: it’s mind-blowing. Wake up and smell the Arabic coffee.
People also hate it when I’m right and they’re wrong, which happens pretty frequently. Like one time I was on a road trip with my family, and I mentioned that a lot of Michigan license plates start with the letters “A” or “B.” My family insisted that I was making this up or suffering from confirmation bias or deluded in some other way. They insisted this for quite some time despite me being a data-driven person and being the only family member living in Michigan at the time. Knowing I was right, I decided to look it up, and guess what? I was right; Michigan had recently starting issuing license plates from the beginning of the alphabet, so a disproportionate number of cars had license plates beginning with “A” or “B.” My family spent the rest of that road trip being haters.
So I guess the only way to guarantee haters is to be so good that the only possible reactions are admiration or jealousy. I’ll just continue being great. Anyone who thinks I’m not should let me know; you can be my first full-time hater.
Tony graduated in 2012 with majors in mathematics and economics. He now lives in Chicago and is pursuing graduate study in economics. He also has a very good cultural trivia podcast called “Here’s My Number, So Call Me Ishmael” available on Libsyn, iTunes, and Google Play.