Top Ten Things You’re Not Allowed To Hate
‘Yes,’ as the mob shouts in unison in The Life Of Brian, ‘We are all individuals’. It’d be a very dull world indeed if we all felt the same level of fanatical devotion to exactly the same things; there’d be no cinema genres, no local cuisine, and no need at all for Simon Cowell*. For the most part, we accept that light debate is healthy, and that specialised interests make meeting new people a spicy exercise indeed. And yet there are some things people just aren’t allowed to hate. Things whose denigration, no matter how mild, gets everyone extremely upset. Things it’s practically illegal to dislike. Here are our eleven Top Ten things beloved of, and zealously protected by, the masses.
Quite the local issue, this. Tea is more than just a diuretic relief in Ireland; it’s a social ritual. Studies show that 79% of the electricity used in Ireland is down to the incessant boiling of kettles, and Pauline McLynn still struggles to be taken seriously as an actress against the foreign misconception that her Mrs. Doyle was a classic comic character. To say you don’t like tea is to spit in the face of your heritage. To turn down the offer of a drop of scald is to turn up demanding fisticuffs. It is an offense, especially in rural Ireland, to baulk at tea. Best to just develop a taste for it and avoid bloodshed.
When Valve released their first-person, platform puzzler, Portal in 2007, it garnered great reviews and shortly thereafter a rabid fanbase. With its idiosyncratic humour and clever physics, it quickly reached iconic status and it’d take some sort of collective psychosis to knock it back down again. Its follow-up only prolonged the adoration, even though it had Stephen Merchant in. Now, the Portal series is a yardstick for gaming knowledge and a necessary bullet point on the CV of anyone wishing to be accepted into the community. If you don’t like Portal – whether physics puzzle games float your boat is inconsequential – you’re not a gamer. You must set fire to your joypad and take up crochet.
9. The Wire
If you don’t like The Wire, you don’t like when shit gets real. That’s a problem because this is a world in which shit gets real. Stop kidding yourself, you juvenile tumbleweed.
8. Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books for children, but what would she know? She’s only a children’s author. The Harry Potter series has transcended its original genre and become some sort of cultural creed, where everyone is expected to know which Hogwarts house they belong to or why exactly every single British actor ever birthed had to preen their way through the movie adaptations. If you don’t like Harry Potter, you are some sort of terrible snob for whom the joy of existence has long since been snuffed out by the piss stream of your own conceit. You’re also jealous. Don’t be jealous of J.K. Rowling, for she can write books that can crack skulls.
7. Awful pop music in nightclubs
If you are out for the night, and you’ve had a couple of Babychams, it is required by law that you fritter your buzz away in a neon dive filled with desperately horny people who walk, dance and wee like they’re playing hopscotch on a listing ship. If you don’t like Rihanna, Flo Rida or the jarring interjection of ‘Brewing Up A Storm’ at half one on a Sunday morning, then when, pray tell, are you going to grow a sense of humour? Bad music, being groped by wonky-eyed boggers, and being rendered momentarily disabled by a sticky patch on the floor is all part of being a funmeister.
Everyone likes chocolate. It’s because, chocolate. It’s scientifically proven. If you do not like chocolate, you’re clearly a creationist or you trollin’. For shame.
Beyoncé is fierce. She is a fierce lady who does fancy dancing and is more coordinated than a fussybreeches’ tie rack. She is also driven, hard-working, ambitious, determined and motivated. It is an absolute feat of human endurance that she can be all of those things whilst dancing at the same time, and also sometimes singing and helping Jay-Z with his PR gaffes. Even if you don’t usually like bland pop music about boys, dancing, and being fierce, you are required by… something to be madly in love with Beyoncé and her achievements. Haters ain’t gonna hate. NOT ON OUR WATCH.
When Bridesmaids came out, it was the funniest film ever that had women in it and a perfect antidote to all of the other films that had women in them that weren’t funny at all, because Bridesmaids was really funny. Bridesmaids spoke to all women who were occasionally funny and slept with men and had problems with their mothers and went to the toilet. People who don’t like Bridemaids are misogynists or those women that are just jealous of other women, which is most women. Don’t be like women, like Bridesmaids!
Sexism is bad in an arranged-marriages or not-allowing-ladies-to-vote kind of way, but otherwise it is totally innocuous. Not only that, but it is just a bit of fun, and in fact, you’re being nocuous if you take it seriously. Boobs are fun to look at, bums are fun to pinch, and being leered at is a rite of passage and a damn fine compliment, second only to being passionately made love to by Heathcliff in a patch of gorse. Sexism is the also the only reason the human race has been able to maintain for so long. Stop hating humanity, Andrea Dworkin.
Such is the regard for cats in the Information Age that one is entitled to theorise that the internet was created by Ancient Egyptians or, indeed, some sort of possible therianthropic cabal or super-secret Legion Of Furries or something. Why, you can even download special apps which turn your Facebook friends’ baby photos into photos of cats, or redirect you to charming, relaxing pictures of cats when you inadvertently click on offending material, like the Daily Mail or the home page for Crufts. It is therefore a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a dose of ailurophobia must be in want of a kick up the arse. All praise our feline overlords!
Delicious bacon. Bacon is the greatest foodstuff known to mankind; even those religious fellas who deny themselves porcine facegasms are only doing it because it’s the ultimate test of god-given willpower. Fry it, grill it, bake it, boil it, fry it again… bacon has turned us into a tribe of Homer Simpson clones and for good reason, because bacon is delicious. If you don’t like bacon, don’t eat bacon, or don’t have feelings about bacon either way, you may as well be exiled to the boundaries of civilisation, because you are a broken person who gets some sort of sexual thrill from being contrary. Vegetarians? Eat the fuckers; that’ll learn them.
*Though we concede that having no further use for Simon Cowell actually would make this world a better place.