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Page 5

Love and Hate

If a malicious, self-centered man pretends to be a great philanthropist, should he get away with it? If an angry bigot joins the altruistic Human Rights movement and comes to me with the latest news from Bosnia, why shouldn't I tell him:

"Go love your baby! Love your garbage collector! Be a good friend and neighbor. That's goodwill! Don't sugarcoat your hard, selfish ambition with this phony tenderness for Muslims halfway around the world. Your long-distance love affair is wrecking your home life."

A greeting like that would, of course, be rude and ungracious, but truth is handsomer than phony love.

Your goodness has to have
a bit of an edge to it,
or it isn't real.

The doctrine of hate has to be preached, as the antidote to the doctrine of love, when love starts to whimper and whine.



I shut out my father, mother, wife, and brother when inspiration calls me—I might just stick a sign saying "whim" on my door and lock myself in.

Of course, I hope what I write
eventually turns out somewhat better than a whim,
but you can't spend all day explaining things.

Don't expect me to justify why I want company or why I avoid it.



And don't tell me, as a good man did today, that it's my obligation to find good jobs for the poor. Are they my poor? Listen, you silly do-gooder: I resent every dollar, every dime, every penny I give to people who don't belong to me and to whom I don't belong.

There is a group of people to whom I'm spiritually bought and paid for; for them I'll go to prison if I have to. But your random popular charities, sending fools to college, handouts to drunks, and the thousands of food banks and soup kitchens—

though I confess with shame
I sometimes cave in and give the dollar,
it is a wicked dollar,
which some day I'll have the guts to withhold.

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Last Edited: May 03, 2000
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© 1997 Richard Brodie. All rights reserved.