So Tuesday I was watching The Chew while I ate lunch. It's been in re-runs for awhile and I just noticed it was all new episodes this week. Well as I watched I noticed they were doing the tricky camera shots with Daphne Oz, kind of hiding her behind things and she was dressed in an odd fitting top. So on Wednesday I noticed it again and thought, "I wonder if she's pregnant" so off to Google I went. I wasn't the only one to wonder if she was pregnant, there was a LOT of discussion out there about it, and it turns out she's not pregnant she just gained weight. Which is pretty understandable, if you watch the show. They eat and drink a LOT over the course of an hour. And for her, especially, coming on as a vegetarian who didn't even drink to the end where she was game to sample a little of everything you can see how the pounds could have added up.
And then I thought to myself how happy I am that I'm not famous. Because I watch her on a TV show I was able to Google her and see the most personal details of her life. Is she pregnant? No. So then the discussion turned to her being fat. And there was a huge amount of chatter on that. And then the next few linked articles were about how Mario Batali supposedly hates her (I watch the show and never thought that), and then other people talking about how they hated her. And then there was the next link from someone who watches The Chew and wanted to rail about a guest they had on.
I clicked through to his blog because the name caught my eye. He calls himself the MarlboroWoman and writes a blog dedicated entirely to how much he hates the Pioneer Woman. (She calls her husband the Marlboro Man so see how he was being "clever" in his name) I'm not talking about a one off blog about her, I'm talking about his entire online persona in that area dedicated to how much he hates her. What is his problem with her? Well from what I could tell (and I didn't read all of his stuff because I couldn't stomach it for long) he used to be a fan of hers and then discovered that she does not, in fact, live in a covered wagon but is a very well off rancher's wife. *gasp* I know right? How dare she be rich? And not only that but the recipes she uses, she didn't make them up. They are old recipes that she has picked up from other places. Again, shocking stuff. AND...she tells bad jokes. Which coming from someone who obviously thought calling himself the Marlboro Woman and taking a picture in a blond wig and dress was hilarious I am not so sure he should be judging....
Anyway, this got me thinking. What has happened to all of us? I've talked about this before, that I think the anonymity of the internet lends itself to people being ruder on discussion boards and the like than they would in a face to face discussion. But this is just beyond that for me. This man spends a lot of time dedicating himself to how much he hates someone he doesn't even know. He does a detailed analysis of why her TV show sucks, why her books are awful, why her cooking is no good, why the shirt she wore during an interview was unflattering and on and on. I just don't get it. And he has a lot of people who read his blog and comment on it. The comments were all in line with his opinion with their own spin on it. A few were upset because she describes herself in broad terms, wife, mother, blogger, photographer and accidental country girl. There was a lot of anger towards her making them feel badly about what they were able to accomplish. How dare she do so much! And then the trashing would begin again.
But here is my question. If you hate someone why spend that much time letting them take up space in your head? Watching the DNC this past week (I will write about my impressions over the weekend) former President Clinton said something that so resounded with me. There used to be a time in politics where you could disagree with the other party (passionately, completely) but you didn't have to hate them. It seems like now you have to hate the opposition, not just disagree with their policies. I don't get it. And I really don't get then turning your life's mission in to spending time focusing on things you hate.
I see it on some of the blogs I read. I "like" Slate on facebook. Now Slate is not bipartisan and doesn't pretend to be. It's extraordinarily liberal leaning. I pick and choose what I read because I think their spin can get to be too much. And I'm pretty liberal. I just don't feel like everything needs spun. So if I am picking and choosing what I read I always have to wonder about the people that read it just to piss themselves off and then comment about how much they hate everything Slate stands for. Why did you just read it? Why did you waste the time in your day to seek out and read something that you knew was going to make you mad?
I cannot stand Ann Coulter. Anytime she ends up on a show I am watching or someone sends me a link that I just "have to" read that she wrote or is mentioned in I can feel my face scrunching into that I smell something nasty look. So here's the thing...I don't seek her out. I don't devote a lot of time or brain space to her. When she shows up on my radar I read what ever I have been sent or watch the segment she is in and think, "Yup, still a nasty sac of venom" and then I move on.
What is the point in dwelling on the hatred all of the time? And really what is the point of the hate in the first place? Can't we say we disagree with something without hating it? Or can't we just not watch The Pioneer Woman if you can't get past the fact that she isn't the first person to ever make chocolate cake? It truly puzzles me. And it leaves me feeling that the Marlboro Woman must lead a sad sad life indeed.