Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > December 2018 > EDITOR’S CHOICE Haters gonna hate

EDITOR’S CHOICE Haters gonna hate

John Semley’s short manifesto advocates the usefulness of contrarianism in an age of bland consensus

Hater: On the Virtues of Utter Disagreeability John Semley

Viking Canada

“To be in opposiTion is not to be a nihilist,” wrote Christopher Hitchens in his 2001 volume Letters to a Young Contrarian. “And there is no decent or charted way of making a living at it. It is something you are, and not something you do.” In this conception, running against the grain of conventional wisdom is not some pose or conscious choice for the committed contrarian; it is something that is embedded in a person’s worldview on an almost genetic level. The impulse to rejection or argument is not a role one plays, it is an essential facet of who one is. Hitchens’s short book is a foundational text for John Semley, the Toronto essayist and columnist, and provides a kind of template for Semley’s own attempt at producing a considered justification of naysaying, criticism, or simply bucking cultural trends for the sheer pleasure of it. So significant was Hitchens to the adolescent Semley that he includes a coda to his own manifesto on contrariness composed in the style of a letter addressed to an anonymous “X.”

“Nowadays, admitting to liking Hitchens feels vaguely unfashionable, like still caring about Ricky Gervais or U2,” Semley writes.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Quill & Quire - December 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - December 2018
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 5.00 per issue
Or 4999 points

View Issues

About Quill & Quire

Books of the Year; Experts pick 40 of 2018's most notable titles; Plus: Looking forward to 2019