Zaturdays: Citizens of a Hater Nation Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Zaturdays: Citizens of a Hater Nation

Posted on Saturday, July 25, 2015 by Paul

So last week’s Zaturdays was a short and relatively pointless reflection on political correctness or the lack thereof in skateboarding. I’m not PC, but as someone who’s thin skinned, sensitive, and insecure I don’t love being offended any more than the next guy so I generally try to steer clear of bumming people out for no reason. I feel like people work better when they’re met with approval and support, and the more you stir the pot the more hate and disapproval you attract.

I want to feel how Rudy felt at this moment all the time.

But even when you don’t stir the pot you can attract hate. I know from experience. But when it comes to social media I tend to follow the lead of celebrities who don’t look at reviews of their movies or the attention they get in gossip magazines. The few times I’ve read the comments on the SPoT Life shows that Schaefer and I host on RIDE Channel I’ve quickly gotten a dose of what has lead the celebrities to disengage. Not saying we’re celebrities, but hey, I’ve learned from one hater that my nose looks like Michael Jackson’s. Other comments have called for Schaefer and me to be fired from the job of hosting the show because we “don’t skate.” As if we auditioned for positions as skater guy hosts at Universal Studios. A lot of you also don’t like us because we’re too old, too into high fives, and cause you a certain level of secondhand embarrassment. The problem with having been exposed to these opinions is that they do nothing in the way of making me any better at what I’m doing. Instead they just make me feel like a weird old high fiving phony.

There I go again, high fiving, not skating, and looking like an old Michael Jackson.

But when the comments started pouring in to the @SPoTTampa Insta post about my PC column last week I couldn’t help but read a few of them to see what the consensus was. Were people stoked? Bummed? Or indifferent.

89 comments…on an article that only one person actually read.

Here I have to hand it to you a lot of you who left comments, because what transpired for the most part was a good-natured debate on the place of political correctness in skateboarding. “P.C. Takes our freedom from us.” commented @alan_hamby. The fact that the title and the caption made it seem like I might actually be weighing in on the side of being PC added fuel to some of the commenters’ fires. “nobody cares what’s politically correct” said @sadpapaya. And then there were the more enlightening comments from @mrfber who said simply, “gay” and @ryzevelli who went with “Hella gay,” and finally @isaac.hernandez98 who took it a step further with “Gay af.”

Just a small sampling of comments. You be the judge.

I could tell that 99% of the people commenting didn’t actually even read the article referred to in the post. That said, one comment which later disappeared said: “I just read it…it sucked. What’s the point?”

Later that day, out of all of the comments posted, that one stuck in my head. I was left wondering “What WAS the point?” And did it really suck?

Fine, I guess it did suck. Probably due to the lack of a discernable point. But the larger question is this: Does anything have a point? I’m sort of big picture type; I hate small talk, petty disputes, etc. One of my fall back positions on the importance or lack thereof regarding anything in the world, or universe for that matter, is that in 5 billion years the sun will burn out, leaving Earth to its destiny as an ice covered and lifeless ball of trash floating in the vastness of space for all eternity. So in that sense, nothing in the world matters, or at least won’t. Eventually. Maybe the point is to get us to think about something for a minute, no matter how useless it might be, before scrolling on to the next Instagram post, and the one after that, and the one after that.

Yes, Hater Nation is a place on Earth, but give it some time and it’ll freeze over.

-Paul Zitzer


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