Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Intolerant of Tolerance

Time for another guest post!  This one is courtesy of Inquisitor M: author, reviewer, snarker, self-described "armchair psychologist," and all-around curmudgeon.  Click past the break to see him tackle one of the more grating subsets of the fandom: the folks who cry "love and tolerate" as though it were a mantra.  Below, British (i.e. wrong) spellings and controversial opinions abound!


Ever since my first foray onto Equestria Daily, there has been something that has rankled me about the whole ‘Brony’ thing. Well, two things, actually, but one I at least understand—the unreasonably assertive way that some fans ‘defend’ the terminology—is a sign of how precious the collective label is to them, the other is the ‘virtues’ of love and tolerance. Never more does this chafe than with the assertion that ‘I’m going to love and tolerate the shit out of you’. For a long while, this was something I wanted to rant about, and I didn’t think that was to anybody’s benefit.

Times change, so let me make it abundantly clear where I stand:

Tolerance is a social disease.

Well, hopefully that’s gotten your attention. What I need to make perfectly clear here is that it doesn’t mean I take any issue with the underlying intent with which the words are used, but I do take issue how they’re used, and the word itself. Consider this a challenge (I’m always happy to be proved wrong, it’s the only way I can become more right!). I truly believe there is only one application of tolerance that is a positive one: our inner considerations about interpersonal conduct. But that isn’t want is meant by the Brony ‘virtue’.

For me, the crux of the problem is this:

Tolerance is a word that has been granted a social bias of being a de facto good thing; I would say that it’s the exact opposite. To be tolerant of one’s emotions is the one time I believe it can be applied to good effect: know thyself. But what does it mean to tolerate another person? It means that you hold their actions to be disagreeable and hold a position of self-righteousness in not responding to it. It means that you hold the other person to be wrong, either without due cause to believe so, or without the courage to do something about it. After all, if they aren’t actually wrong in some way, what is there to tolerate?

This, I believe, is not only unfair to those whom we would claim to tolerate, but unfair to ourselves as well. Neither of these implementations are just or virtuous. If the words or actions of another person cause you pain, then either the problem is within you, and you need to find out why if you ever want to be free of it, or the words were genuinely unreasonable and should be fought if you hold yourself to be a virtuous person. The problem, I suspect, is that people associate being intolerant with hate, and bile, and bigotry, and I can understand why. I think we all know there is a lot of it going around in this world we live in, but it doesn’t have to be that way. No, I think it’s high time we started talking about what we really mean, rather than hiding behind words that come with too much baggage and ignorance to carry a well-intentioned message.

Be intolerant, but do so with a grace and humility that can only come with self knowledge, and genuine compassion. If you think something is unjust, unfair, or hurtful, then raise your voice and speak your mind. Remember as you do so, that if your cause for complaint is your emotional reaction, then you may as well be arguing that cheese and onion flavour crisps are ‘better’ than ready salted [Point of order: cheese makes everything better.  -Chris]. The only place tolerance can be a virtue is in overcoming your emotions to approach the things in life that you believe are important with clarity and truth instead of anger and bitterness. Anything less is intellectually dishonest, and both you and the subject of your intolerance deserve better.

I, for one, like rocking the boat. I do not accept; I challenge. If you disagree with me, then speak your mind and tell me why, because I don’t think there is another debate more befitting this community than how to be more open and compassionate. If I am wrong, then I need to know. If I am right, then I want you to understand. When you tolerate another, you blame them for your own fears. ‘I’m going to love and tolerate the shit out of you’ is more akin to counter-bullying than it is compassion, even if that is not the intent. Such conflict gains us nothing except further scorn.

I say this here, because my experience has been that this is something the vast majority of the community genuinely cares about, either because of their own feelings, or in the defence of others. I say this because I think that not actively encouraging consideration and debate would hurt us all. I say this because it matters to me: because you matter to me, whoever you are.

Intolerance is nothing more than honesty, and that’s a virtue we can all agree on.

Scott ‘Inquisitor’ Mence
- Intolerant and proud if it.


Thanks, Scott, for the insights (and for giving me some breathing room to finish Allegrezza, too).  To toss my two cents in: I think of tolerance as recognizing when airing a disagreement would be less fruitful than ignoring it, and I can think of times when it is a (relative) virtue.  For example, I may root against a given sports team, but I don't need to let every man, woman, and child whom I see wearing that team's colors know.  But one thing I'm sure we agree on: "love and tolerate" was never particularly clever, meaningful, insightful, or anything else of the sort.  


  1. Ooh! Possibly inflammatory material!

    Yeah. Gonna agree with Chris here and suggest that some sort of middle ground is the place to be. A complete lack of tolerance (even with your idealist compassion, Scott) is a path that leads to violence more often than not (even if it isn't being sought), and winning 'that' side of things carries nothing of worth. From personal experience, I would much rather acknowledge that I disagree vehemently with someone but recognise their right to hold that belief than risk something escalating further than it should.

    Because that doesn't end well for anyone, or anything.

    1. God damn it, Scott. I should be studying right now. This is all your fault.

      Anyway, something extra to consider. Personally, I would have to agree with sticking up for what you believe is right, and doing so with conviction. I think the point that needs to be stressed is reasonableness. You have to ask yourself whether or not taking the chance to get your desired outcome from a disagreement is worth the inevitable conflict. In most cases the answer is almost certainly no, because people are unlikely to ever change their minds (especially if you are 'telling' them why they are wrong, but that's a discussion for another day).

      If something is that darn important, then perhaps it might be worth 'not tolerating', but honestly, especially on the internet in a fandom about cute pastel coloured ponies, those moments are few and far between. People get too caught up on the little things, and they look five years old doing so.

  2. I was not around for all the 4chan stuff that happened when the brony community started taking off (I'm a 2nd generation brony, I guess?) so I always felt a certain disconnect with the love and tolerance mantra. It's like talking with veterans; you just can't quite grasp why this symbol meant so much to them because you weren't there to experience it. So I've always felt a little out of the loop when it comes to love and tolerance, and I've never used it myself.

    Now, that said, I think the love and tolerance meme did serve a useful purpose, even if the slogan itself is flawed. The phrase isn't great, but the way it was deployed had some benefits.

    Being a huge wikipedia user and an administrator on another wiki site, I'm a really big fan of the idea of "don't feed the trolls." In fact, if there's one thing that really bothers me about the brony community is that we make too much about "the haters." There's just way too much focus and paranoia spent on combating what I see as a pretty small group of people.

    For me, the thing I thought was brilliant about love and tolerate is that it was often used as a tool to shut down pointless argument. And knowing how to shut down pointless argument is an incredibly useful skill on the internet, one more people should really learn. If a troll was bashing bronies to a brony's face, the brony could post the love and tolerance meme, basically saying "whatev." Is it clever? No. Is it insightful? Heck no. But is it effective? Damn straight it is.

    Now in most scenarios I hate the idea of shutting down debate. The notion of "let's just agree to disagree" is one I deplore. But I make a huge exception for pointless arguments where neither side is going to be convinced of anything or learn anything from the other side, and the only result is hurt feelings all around. In that case, shutting it down as quickly as possible is, I believe, the best course of action. Continuing it any longer is just feeding the trolls.

    But back to your point - while I do see value in the meme as this tool, I agree that the concept was flawed. I feel like someone put it together, not really thinking very carefully about it, and by accident it just caught on in a way other memes didn't. Then when bronydom became this huge thing, we collectively decided that we needed that origin story of battling through the darkness and emerging in the light. Hence, love and tolerance gets enshrined as some kind of holy mantra.

    But I think we're already moving away from it. Even in the barely +1 year I've been a brony, I see that phrase way less often than usual. As new bronies come in, these old memes are fading in importance. Which is fine by me.

  3. John Perry has the right of it. When we were on 4chan, where wars were fought and won with memes, we had to strive high to the Skyforge to construct a weapon with which to defend ourselves, an invincible barrier that would justify our new beliefs in the face of utter, unreasoning hostility. That barrier was the phrase 'Love and Tolerance', and as a sword it struck at everything that surrounded us and as a shield it allowed us to justify a new type of change.

    But using it within the fandom is like using the army to do the work of the police; that's not what it's for. I like to think that someone who calls themself Brony is, or at least should, be ready to receive constructive criticism.

    On the other hoof, sometimes people are dickwads sufficient to justify calling in the army, especially when it comes to petty cultural purity like anti-Lyra hate (lost the comments section of DNSTP to that fucking nonsense), brony hate mail avalanches, rejection of rule 34 artists, etc. You don't have to like it, you don't have to look at it, but you should tolerate the existence of people you don't like.

  4. The whole idea of "Love and Tolerance" was just to fend off trolls, nothing more. Turning it into a personal mantra was one of the worst things bronies have ever done, as it becomes a smoke screen to shut down discussions on the grounds of "tolerating" someone else's opinion. That being said, the idea behind tolerance (accepting another's right to enjoy what they like) is still a good one, even if the execution is horribly flawed.

    As for the debate side of things, I have to confess that I'm one of those spineless slugs who can't hold a debate in any way, shape or form. Perhaps it's the lack of self-confidence, or my realization that I'm always wrong about everything, but I try to avoid getting sucked into a long-winded debate as much as possible. Nevertheless, the free exchange of ideas is important, and should not be stifled simply to promote an artificial harmony across the community. People have a right to dislike things, and they should be allowed to present their dislike in an intellectual way.

    I hope this is relevant. I honestly have no idea anymore.

    And Chris is right. Cheese really does make everything better.

  5. Tolerance may fail when dealing with opinions. You should not be expected to tolerate people whose opinions are demonstrably wrong. However, when dealing with personal taste tolerance is needed.

    There are a bunch of things we may be able to justify, but where there is no inherent right or wrong, such as art, or things where analyzing all possible consequences - and thus how right or wrong it is - is impossible at the moment.

    There is a case for tolerance here, since the alternative is shutting off all dialogue.

    1. I'm going to call you on that as an internally inconsistent argument.

      You make the statement 'There is a case for tolerance here, since the alternative is shutting off all dialogue', which I believe is fundamentally flawed. It's not a difference of opinion, it's a logical analysis, and I am intolerant of an assertion made that I believe to be demonstrably incorrect.

      I am intolerant of it, and yet by this very post, I am inviting discourse intended to reach an agreement on why. That very fact in itself proves your assertion to be false. Intolerance does not shut down dialogue (if anything, I think it is intolerance that is the basis for debate), which means there must be another reason for your assertion.

      Alternatively, I have simply misunderstood your point.

    2. I say that tolerance is needed not of the arguments - I refuse to tolerate things that are demonstrably wrong or based on false assertions. However, I believe that if you are intolerant towards the person making the assertions, you may lose the opportunity for dialogue.

      Politics is a good example of this. You may disagree with good reasons about the stance of the other side. However, tolerance about the difference is necessary when trying to discuss and reach a hopefully better middle ground. Otherwise we may throw away all the points of an argument while only disagreeing with a portion of it.

      Oh, and using "L&T" to stop disagreements is extremely intolerant to people who like to discuss. There is a terrible notion that disagreements are bad and should be stopped, and not just on this community.

      Maybe I am conflating tolerance and respect here. Reading these comments with so many instances of "tolerant" kinda makes the word lose its meaning.

    3. Yeah, I think that's what I've been driving at, and trying to refine my point. Somewhere between tolerance and intolerance, there is respect. I don't accept that tolerance and respect are the same thing.

      Thanks for helping to refine my position :)

  6. I generally agree with your opinion, Inquisitor M (and Chris' two cents, too). I think this article pretty much sums up the whole 'Love and Tolerance' thing:

    On a minor note, I wouldn't say that cheese and onion crisps are objectively 'better' than ready salted; but have you ever heard anyone say that they prefer ready salted to cheese and onion?

    1. Yes, but that is exactly the point. I prefer cheese and onion (or any other derivation of cheese flavouring), just like I prefer the colour red, and music that I can feel through the floor via my subwoofer. I don't 'tolerate' people who have different preferences, but it seems to be the social norm to tolerate differences of opinion in other, less obvious areas.

      This is where I see the mantra being used negatively, more often than not when someone has an unpopular opinion on something pony related: an episode, a story, a song, etc. By announcing that you are tolerating that opinion, that person is labelling the opinion as fundamentally wrong, when it is just an opinion, as you allude to.

    2. Well that was supposed to be a rhetorical question on my part, but fair enough if you want to actually answer it. And that's another fair point on 'tolerating' opinions. Props for being on point.

  7. I think I can sum up my response to most of the ideas here in one fell swoop:

    To me, the very fact that I composed this piece is an act of intolerance. I think the words and the meme have little or no benefit at this point, and the potential to carry harm, so I speak out about it. I don't think anyone here took my work as an attack, or overly aggressive, or unreasonable. I disagree, I state my case, we have a discussion. Yes, it would be fair to say that this is not the kind of response we can reasonably expect from more day-to-day situations, but we don't get anywhere if we don't start looking at why that is, not as a fanbase, but just as people who want a nice world to live in.

    Am I an idealist? Hell yes, but I don't see that as any reason not to strive for the ideal when I'm in the minority. Indeed, it only makes me feel it is more important.

    The comments about a 'middle ground' are really the exact place I wanted to hit with the article. I honestly don't think that the middle ground actually exists with regards to tolerance, because I don't feel that what you're talking about is even 'tolerance' at all.

    If acting on a situation would potentially cause violence to occur and you avoid it, that isn't tolerance.

    If you respect someone's right to have an opinion that differs from your own, that isn't tolerance.

    If you choose to hold your tongue in an argument where the other side isn't listening, that isn't tolerance.

    I can be intolerant of something and so absolutely noting about because I simply don't know how to engage on it. This is exactly what I meant by saying that 'tolerance' has a social bias that makes it dangerous to use. In fact, I'd go as far as to point out that by using the 'Love and Tolerance' meme, the fanbase was being intolerant of bullying, and reasonably so.

    My point is not to say that we need to act differently, but to better define the words we use to describe what we are doing, so that others can learn from the examples we set (for better or for worse). I think everyone here has a healthy sense of intolerance, mixed with reasonable minds capable of reasonable discourse. The middle-ground that Chris mentioned, in my opinion, is exactly what I was trying to espouse in the first place--apparently with only marginal success. Be honest about your opinion or dissatisfaction, and then think about what is the optimum way to act on it, including the possibility of inaction.

    Is that roughly what you had in mind Chris? Mystic? I don't think intolerance leads to violence unless you lack self-control, in which case, the tolerance or intolerance isn't really the problem.


    P.S. Cheese does make everything better. So do ponies, apparently!

    1. Doh. Pressed publish too quickly again.


    2. Yeah, that's resonating with me. I think that something people forget is that you have to have some sort of understanding. For me understanding and tolerance are two sides of the same coin. And what I mean by that is that there will inevitably be people who will have opinions very different to your own, and they will hold those opinions with the exact same conviction that you hold onto yours. Notions of right or wrong aside, that is a fact, and it is one that has to be accommodated if everyone wants to get along and not tear each other to pieces.

      Perhaps it is a realist position, but honestly, if everyone can learn to accept the fact that people will disagree with you, and understand that that's okay, then we've won half the battle already. As foundations go, that's a pretty solid one to start opening calm and rational lines of dialogue.

      In other words, baby steps! Tolerating difference is a much better position to be in than fighting over it. If we can tolerate first, then we can aspire towards more fundamental change.

  8. Oh, I've been wanting to weigh in on this one for a while! I agree with your whole idea that simply tolerating something is a bad idea. I also understand that 'love and tolerate' was how the fandom dealt with trolls and bullies in the early days. I can see that it was a good weapon for shutting down arguments. However, I think part of the trouble is word choice. Getting along with someone you don't like goes beyond tolerance; you can respect a person and still disagree with them and I'll bet you bits to doughnuts that's what the original message was. Some people who aren't totally familiar with all the connotations of the word 'tolerate' probably picked it because they couldn't find a shorter word for 'I respect you as a human being even if I don't share your opinion.' And the thing is, that's how bronies treat each other - with mutual respect (with some exceptions, but there are always exceptions because we are only human). If I had to rewrite the brony motto to something more accurate, it would be 'love and respect everyone, even if you don't agree with them.'

    So, I'm trying to say that you can slam the word 'tolerance' all you want and I'm not going to stop you, but you should know that how the bronies treat each other on the whole, as well as most of those outside the fandom, goes beyond mere tolerance. It really is love and respect. It's awesome.

    1. I'm not quite sure how to take that last bit. Did I fail to put across that I think that's exactly what I thought was going on the whole time?

      Bronies my treat each other that way on the whole, but it's those that don't that I feel are being harmed by the message. You can't say they've missed the point, when the point was poorly made to begin with.

    2. I suppose that's what I get for commenting without a complete understanding of the topic. I do get it now. It seems my own comment was a little off-topic, so I'm sorry for any confusion. In my defence, I read it this morning at 6:30, which might account for it.

    3. Hey, that's what discussion if for! Better to speak up and get to the heart of the matter, one way or the other.

  9. But you still like love though, right?

    1. In a sense. I think it's also a horribly misused word that means very little. I don't think 'love' exists, but I'm a big fan of understanding and promoting what we mean when the term is used. That, however, is a whole new ball game. Such is the life of a philosopher :)

    2. Love is all you need!

      Not even 15 minutes. Curse my weak will

    3. I prefer to use specific terms, like compassion, acceptance, understanding, support, and on the negative side, attachment, obsession, and fear.

  10. First, and most importantly, Chris is absolutely right about cheese. I keep telling people it goes great with apple pie, but nobody believes me! Odd, considering the historical connection between apples and cheese

    I didn't join the fandom until late September of last year, right as season 2 was starting up. My impression of "love and tolerance" was that it was a passive aggressive way of dealing with trolls and haters. It wasn't for a couple months that I began to see others who took it to be a mantra and accused others of not being true bronies if they failed to live up to that philosophy. Said gap, coupled with the fact that many interviewed fans claiming their obsession with the show centered around its morals were teenagers, lead me to believe that there was an influx of new fans who had misunderstood the phrase and the fandom

    Older fans: is my assessment correct, or was there a significant group of people early on who took "love and tolerance" more seriously?

    I'm fond of reappropriating slogans - oftentimes inverting them, as in the case of "from each according to his ability..." - so as to make sense of them, authorial intent be damned. "Love and tolerance" is no exception. Ponies have a strange power to compel men, especially during their "honeymoon" period, to shove the show down others' throats and sever ties with those who resist, not unlike a cult (colt?). It can be useful to remind members that they shouldn't let the show spoil their life outside of the fandom. Continue to love your friends and family, whether they're apathetic towards, or even hate, ponies. Just as we can like something others don't, so too are others free to not like what we like

    Really, though, why are we taking any of this seriously? "Love and tolerance," "brony," "-hoof" is all a joke. We watch a show called My Little Pony. It's silly and we should embrace that, much as the show itself does ("Namby Pamby was a great editor!" - Berry Pinch)

  11. Okay, if you'll allow me to get hung up on your terminology for a second, "intolerant" is not how I'd describe your stance. You're unwilling to let plainly idiotic or wrong opinions slide by under a mask of "tolerance", and I get that, but calling yourself "intolerant" invites misunderstandings of the worst kind. You can't argue for prescriptive use of a term ("that's how it should be used") when the world out there goes the descriptive route ("that's how it IS used", and can you tell I study linguistics?). The term bears a negative connotation that one single person won't overturn, and I don't think you're about to start a movement here. ;) "Tolerance" implies a certain amount of caring; without that, it's just indifference, and no, those are NOT the same thing. Not even close. People tossing the terms about as though they were interchangeable admittedly even turn me into a 19th-century prescriptive linguist for a second. Grrr.

    Apart from that, well said, even when you're someone who tore my fanfic several new ones. I don't "love and tolerate" your opinions, and I've made myself clear on that front, but everyone who creates in this fandom has to live with criticism, and not all of it will be positive. I've seen people try to shut off others who were making valid points with the "love and tolerate" thing, and that's inexcusable. If you don't care enough about your work to counter pointing out flaws with more than "TLDR" and "whatever, L&T yo", why would I care about it in any way?

    1. Heh. By my standards, that review was virtually glowing. All things are relative, I guess. I am content with being harsh in the hope that people will return the favour (and yes, I do consider it a favour).

      As for the use of the term, I hold my hands up and admit that I'm not really sure what you're driving at. I consider myself to be arguing for an understand of what we mean in using the term, not for any adjustment in the use of the term itself. It is the current use of the term as I see it used in the real world that I object to as being problematic.

    2. As an afterthought... I do wonder if there are slight differences in how the term is used between parts Europe and the US. I know that over here (UK), tolerance is used as a term for allowing cultural divisions to get away with stuff that is clearly against the actual laws of the land. I'm firmly of the belief that the tolerant multiculturalism experiment is an abysmal failure.

    3. Ah, now I get it. You're arguing the same thing I am, which would be to not confuse "tolerance" with "indifference".

      I'm not sure whether we have the same kind of problems with tradition clashing with laws that you Brits do, but we recently had a huge debate over the Jewish/Muslim tradition of circumcision (a court of law judged it to be personal injury, and therefore against the law, which obviously caused a massive outcry from the affected religions). There will always be issues like these whenever cultures collide. But there are also lines that no tradition should be allowed to cross, and I say that as someone who wouldn't even exist without a certain measure of multiculturalism. (Turkish father, German mother.)

    4. Ospero, I thought your point wasn’t concerned with Inquisitor’s views on the fandom’s gross misuse of “love and tolerance,” but his particular use of the word “intolerance,” and the misconceptions it could bring about the points he’s trying to make.

      My two cents: “Tolerance,” as it should be used in most contexts relevant to this fandom, means to maintain an objective and fair attitude towards opinions that differ from one’s own (where “differ” includes, but is in no way, shape, or form limited to “contrary”). As Ospero stated, “it implies a certain amount of caring,” and I’d add it also implies a healthy amount of respect; not given blindly, but awarded once the differing opinion has been given proper consideration.

      As an illustration, Inquisitor, in one of your previous thread replies you stated, “If you respect someone’s right to have an opinion that differs from your own, that isn’t tolerance,” and I’d agree with that—respecting the right is simple courtesy. However, respecting the opinion itself is tolerance, but if that respect is given without merit, then it was given by an over-tolerant fool.

      Now, “Intolerance” does not simply equate to “disagreement,” just as having zeal doesn’t equate to being labeled a zealot. When Inquisitor stated, “. . . people associate being intolerant with hate, and bile, and bigotry,” it should be noted that description does cover the general definition of the word when it comes to opinions, implying complete unwillingness to consider any aspect of those differing from one’s own. Intolerance is thus viewed as fixed, inflexible, and irrational, and that’s what I saw as the core of the point Ospero’s trying to make: Inquisitor, you’re not going to be successful in arguing for a new perception of the word “intolerance”—which your essay does seem to call for—and calling for people to be “intolerant” isn’t doing your viewpoint much favor.

      "If you think something is unjust, unfair, or hurtful, then raise your voice and speak your mind," isn’t being intolerant, it’s voicing your opinion and standing up for your beliefs.

      "Intolerance is nothing more than honesty . . ." No, intolerance also describes a closed mind, which is nothing to be proud of. You are honest, Inquisitor, not intolerant, and honesty is a virtue we can all agree upon, even if it’s brutal.

    5. I can't agree on that last point. 'Intolerance' doesn't describe a closed mind, it's just commonly associated with it. Intolerance is nothing more than not being tolerant, and anything else is exactly the kind of baggage I alluded to at the beginning—albeit on the other side of the case.

      To try and bring it down to a very simple analogy: if I like red and you like blue, it would be ridiculous to say that I tolerate your preference for blue. It's got nothing to do with tolerance, it's a non-issue.

      Similarly, if I find someone bullying another person, I'm not going to tolerate it, but that doesn't make me closed minded.

      That's the issue I can't get my head around, irrespective of the dictionary definition of the words. I mean, I totally get what you're saying, and completely agree with what your stance is when we look past the semantics. If tolerance were to be synonymous with being open minded, then I can't see how the word isn't being watered down to near-uselessness.

    6. The word "intolerance" may have begun where you say it did, as the mere opposite of "tolerance", but these days it bears a certain amount of negative emotional baggage, which is what I was referring to earlier. There's a world of difference between literal and actual meaning (or locution and illocution, if you'll allow me to speak from the top of the linguistic ivory tower for a second), and that's what I meant when I said you couldn't redefine the meaning of "intolerance".

      Then again, we're arguing semantics (or even morphology) here. The general point you raised stands. I just went off on a linguistic tangent.

  12. The "love and tolerate" mantra was just something the original bronies of /co/ came up with to counter-troll the people calling them faggots for liking a little girl's show, so it's no wonder you identify it as another form of bullying rather than a form of compassion. That's because it is. It was made with the intent of causing more rage; something that the vast majority of the fandom that came after didn't seem to pick up on.

  13. I can't really add anything other than to say I agree with Scott's characterization of the term "tolerance" in the world at large. It's too often used as a non-starter to cast aspersions on another's opinion preemptively.

  14. Heh, this topic.

    Two things within the fandom have bothered me greatly - people who scream "love and tolerate" and "haters gonna hate". The first is because I find it to be ridiculously hypocritical, that you would demand someone "love and tolerate" when you aren't doing it yourself, in conjunction with the second. I am aware that this is a sweeping generalization, that some people truly do respect each other, but it's those kids I'm talking about - the ones who do it without substance, thought, rhyme nor reason except "because it's the thing to do". Both are just ways of venting against someone being annoyed with you (I don't believe true hate is possible on the Internet) without the grace of keeping it to oneself, I feel, and the result is that one ends up looking like a child who can't stop whining after someone called them chubby.