The culture of agreeability has undergone a metamorphosis post the birth of the internet. Obnoxiousness/disagreements are resolved through various channels; sometimes through peace, sometimes violence, and frequently through the medium of dismissal. Social networking has somewhat proved to be a Messenger of Goodness, agreements only need a Like/RT, while disagreements meet with a quick end with a ‘this space is too short to elaborate’ sign-off.
With so many frolicking in an atmosphere of amiability, a major gap exists for practitioners of the opposite. A guide to Hopefuls, on perfecting the fine art of odiousness, is warranted.
Familiarity is Amiability’s best friend. Interacting with subjects – both topics and humans – that we are aware of facilitates quick processing of information in arriving at consensus. For instance, an admirer of nonviolence might look askance at Israel’s predisposition towards adopting a belligerent stance in international affairs. Those aware of the nonviolent’s personality may nod resignedly. Should a stranger overhear though, the interpretation may well be different. Depending on the listener’s nationality, religious leanings and personality disposition, the (mis)interpretation could trigger reactions across the emotions scale.
Consequently, Hopefuls are strongly encouraged to seek company of complete strangers. Unblemished by familiarity, strangers are less likely to fall prey to correct interpretation and silent approval. Hopefuls should then skillfully steer conversation towards ‘iffy’ topics, under the guise of banter. A timely offhand comment – appropriately offered as an opinionated retort bordering on the judgemental – will work its magic, giving birth to obnoxiousness.
Different categories of opinionated, ranging from the open-minded to the obliquely biased, exist. The open-minded, corrupted by tolerance, are irritants for Hopefuls keen on building reputations. It is the latter category that holds much promise. Hopefuls should consider choosing ignorant and obliquely biased individuals for maximum effect. Under the influence of ignorance, people are more likely to misread incoming information. Even among the ignorant, preference should be given to those that are unaware of their ignorance. Ignorance and biased-opinionatedness is a highly combustible mixture, susceptible to frequent explosions by benign catalysts.
As we live in a society that places implicit demands on reflecting consensus, popular views, Hopefuls could choose from a wide range of topics that are the fashions of the day. Anti-capitalism, pro-Green energy, pro-animal rights are some worthy candidates that are at the Hopefuls’ disposal. Arguably, the best candidate though, is feminism/women empowerment/liberation/equality rights; the works.
Hopefuls could throw caution to the winds and use one of the many disagreeable words to refer to women (preferably beginning with a B or a S) to cause an immediate furore. Howsoever genuinely humourous the speaker’s true intentions, the tag of misogynist is likely to arrive uninvited. The outrage would be enormous and is a near fail-safe method for furthering the odious.
A word of caution for lady Hopefuls. Reciprocal name-calling is likely to fizzle out without a whimper. Calling a woman names is sacrilege but calling a man an asshole/bastard is likely to be met with approvals accompanied by laughter. Lady Hopefuls keen on engendering misconstrual may consider indulging in pro-man rhetoric in the company of fellow women.
Hopefuls may contemplate batting for Capitalism, praising finance publicly, as a potent tool for fostering misinterpretation. Doing so, particularly in a group of Left-leaners and/or the unemployed/foreclosed, would virtually guarantee the Hopeful an epitaph reserved for the Greedy.
Finally, Hopefuls are advised to pull all the above suggestions together to plot an interpretation disaster of gargantuan proportions. Misplacing content, context and audience with a potently explosive subject is one of the surest ways to building a reputation for odiousness.
Can we have some disagreement please?