Phenomenology of hatred

That’s how Resty O describes the reasons behind the “hatred” recently directed toward TV personality Willie Revillame.  It seems that those who dislike Mr. R do so for many reasons, none of which are factual, at least in the view of Mr. O, who says in an aside to Mr. R that “[y]ou are certainly not what we think you are.”

So there.  There is no factual basis for disliking or hating Mr. R.  As I myself said previously, “Willie is, after all, a great guy.”

This is nonetheless puzzling.  Do we have to explain why we like or dislike someone or something?  Time after time I have been lectured upon that there is no explaining love or some other emotion.  It’s just out or in there, so to speak.

A possible Deus ex machina for all this is to think that we don’t hate Mr. R.  The one right (even Christian) thing to do is to love him because he is another human.

Of course, it is perfectly OK to hate the situation that allows folks like Mr. R to get away with whatever he does:  making a lot of money, beating up a major TV network in the courts, making poor people happy, telling Lea Salonga et al to shut up,  and threatening to sue a blogger for his strong criticism, etc.

But why should we hate this thing we can now call The Situation? I suggest that the reason is that if we didn’t we would condone the poverty in the Philippine economy and the schadenfreude aspect of the “concept” that underlies TV shows like Wowowee or Willing Willie.   We may be picky, envious (have that infamous Filipino crab mentality), shallow, unimaginative, and all sorts of other pejoratives that emanate from the mouths of self-proclaimed intellectuals.  But certainly, we are not the kind who secretly enjoy the misfortunes of others.  That seems a bit too “modern” or even “post-modern.”

But borrowing a title from a column by Conrado de Quiros, wait just a minute.  Are we really immune from schadenfreude?  Hmmm.  Perhaps we’re growing up after all.


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