Sending Hate Mail: A Tutorial

October 23rd, 2008

Let me begin by saying that I’m no expert on the subject of hate mail. I haven’t ever sent hate mail to anyone. It’s just not my style to open an empty mail message and write about how much I hate someone. But some people do it. Some people compose dreadfully cruel letters. Perhaps they need to get something off their chest and writing it down makes them feel better. Perhaps they get high on the adrenaline rush. I guess those people and their actions make some sense.

It’s the people that actually send the message that confuse me. What brings them to press send? What type of response are they hoping to invoke? What type of person opens a new window, composes a lengthy, hateful message and then sends the message to someone they haven’t met before?

This person remains a mystery to me, so I do not claim expertise in this area. But I have been on the receiving end. So pretend I’m like a male gynecologist; I may not have the parts firsthand, but I’ve seen enough to make some sense of it.

Today’s post will hopefully act as a basic tutorial regarding the dos and donts of writing decent hate mail.

Statement: OH MY GOD! I HATE THIS PERSON! I HATE WHAT THEY WRITE! I HATE THEIR VOICE!

OK, that’s cool. So, you hate this person. Believe me, there have been a few people I haven’t been too fond of over the years. I have grown so annoyed, sometimes I’ve stopped reading a person’s Web site all together. Crazy, right? Actually looking away from someone or something that fills you with hate isn’t easy. I mean, who in their right mind wants to avoid someone that makes them angry? Who in their right mind wants to avoid something that makes them feel like hitting caps lock?

Sometimes, whenever I feel angered by something I read online, I go for a jog or a walk. If I am unable to do that, I’ll put everything down and read to my son or sit with my cats, because no matter how badly I feel, they always make me smile.

If none of that works, I vent to my husband and he usually shakes his head and makes me feel silly for caring at all, which in turn makes me stop caring so much.

Try and find some other way to calm yourself down even if it requires the use of an illegal substance.

Statement: OH MY GOD, I CAN’T LET IT GO! I AM JUST SO ANGRY! I NEED TO TELL THIS IDIOT BLOGGER JUST HOW ANGRY I AM!

You’re mad. I get it. And all the bubble baths and yoga breaths in the world aren’t going to calm you down. You simply must write that email! Before running off to some anonymous email client, I really think that you should use your own email client and name. Why? Because it makes what you’re saying matter. Otherwise, you sound like a coward.

I really think you owe it to yourself (and the object of your enmity) to give a name. I speak from experience when I say that those who write anonymously are seen as cowards. After the initial “Wow! They did NOT just write that!” wears off, it becomes downright amusing. Your mail is shared with friends and spouses and everyone gets a chuckle out of it. Your mail is then filed away in a folder called “Cowardly Douchebags”.

Statement: I REFUSE TO USE MY OWN CLIENT! I WILL TELL THIS PERSON HOW MUCH I HATE THEM AND WHY THEY SUCK SO BAD USING AN ANONYMOUS MAIL SERVICE!

Alright, so, you’re not one to leave the light on during sex. You have no desire to share your name with the person you hate. You hate them so much, you wish to anonymously let them know. Let me at least help you pick the right anonymous email client.

I have received email from both Anonymous Speech and Send Anonymous Email. I have also gotten hate mail from impromptu email accounts like Janehatesmihow666@hotmail.com. To each their own. If you want sign up for a new Hotmail or Gmail account, by all means, do so. That’s what people have been doing for years. But there are sites designed specifically for this purpose.

I went to Anonymous Speech today and discovered that they are currently moving to Malaysia and their site is down.

If you wish to anonymously write them letting them know how angry you are, I might suggest using Send Anonymous Email instead.

Any site whose number one selling point is “catch a cheating spouse husband or wife” is a surefire winner in my book. Who needs wedding vows, communication and trust when you have this passive aggressive, highly retardable way of finding out if your husband is sticking it to another woman?

You might as well pick the most passive aggressive site you can find. That way you’re in like-minded company.

STATEMENT: I CAN’T WAIT TO FILL THIS EMPTY WINDOW WITH MY AWESOME AND HATEFUL WORDS THAT WILL MAKE THIS PERSON WISH HE OR SHE WERE DEAD!

Now you’re ready. But before you write your hate mail, I would like to suggest following a couple of rules first.

1). Do not use the caps lock.

It’s weird. I don’t know what else to say about it. It’s just weird. You’re weird if you write in all caps and you already have two strikes against you (you’re sending hate mail and you’re sending hate mail using an anonymous client.) If you turn on the caps lock, you’re out entirely.

2). If you wish to belittle someone, show some validity.

I once had someone write telling me that I SHOULD JUST GO TO NEW JERSEY ALREADY!

I was baffled by this. It was by far the most bizarre email I have ever received. It went on for pages and pages about how I was pathetic and that New York hates me and that I just don’t have what it takes to live here. Finally, she just started yelling at me and told me to move to the suburbs. She ended her rant by voting me off the island and sending me to NEW JERSEY ALREADY!!

While some folks think having to go to New Jersey is like the worst thing ever, there are about 8,685,920 who disagree.

Make it count, people! If this is the type of argument you have prepared, you may want to sit down and ask why you’re so upset. Ask yourself if it’s really about that person at all.

3). Your mother’s ugly and she dresses you funny. FACE!

Empty insults should be removed. YOU’RE A RACIST! or YOU’RE A NAZI! are both overused. It’s right up there with calling someone fat or retarded or fat and retarded. Unless this person is actually a member of the KKK or they were seen at one of the recent Midwestern GOP political rallies, don’t call them a racist.

(Also along these lines: telling someone they are going to Hell, New Jersey, or that they are an anti-American, liberal terrorist.)

4). Unless you’re perfect AND you’re a parent, do not tell someone that they are a terrible mother.

This is a no-brainer. I don’t need to explain this one. Just don’t do it. We all know there are some people out there who are abusive toward children. If you are out to save the children, I might suggest donating some of your extra time—the time it takes you to send hate mail, for example—to a local children’s charity.

5). Don’t make caveats.

Letting the person know that you don’t really read their site, but you stopped by just for today, is unnecessary. Leave things like, “I don’t usually read your site and I regret it now…” out of your hate mail. It says stalker. It reminds me of some dialogue from Howard Stern’s Private Parts.

Researcher: The average radio listener listens for eighteen minutes. The average Howard Stern fan listens for – are you ready for this? – an hour and twenty minutes.

Pig Vomit: How can that be?

Researcher: Answer most commonly given? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”

Pig Vomit: Okay, fine. But what about the people who hate Stern?

Researcher: Good point. The average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours a day.

Pig Vomit: But… if they hate him, why do they listen?

Researcher: Most common answer? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”

You know you read their site, they know you read their site, you don’t need to tell them how often you don’t read their site or how embarrassed you are that you don’t read their site. About 75% of the hate mail I receive includes a declaration about how the sender doesn’t normally read my Web site. There’s no need for it. You’re right up there with the folks who say things like, “I don’t hate gays, but I really can’t stand seeing two guys hold hands.”

6). Don’t call someone what they are in an attempt to hurt their feelings.

Things like “YOU STUPID VEGAN!” or “YOU BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL!” beckon a “Yeah, so what?” response. If this is all your hate mail is going to say, I highly suggest avoiding it entirely.

7). Use hard returns.

This falls in line with caps lock. Some people write long hateful posts without giving the reader a break. This is tiring and you look insane. Hit return. It helps get your point across and the recipient doesn’t pass out.

Combining caps lock and refusing to use paragraph breaks is hateful all its own. So I might suggest just copying and pasting a continuous stream of UPPERCASE Lorem Ipsum into an email.

8). Read it out loud.

This may be the most important rule. Before you send that hate mail, read it out loud. Because if you can read your email out loud and not feel like a giant loser, then it’s either OK to send (and will therefore help said recipient) or you need to get your head examined.

But in the end, the choice is yours.

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14 Comments »

14 Comments on “Sending Hate Mail: A Tutorial”

  1. I Hate Mihow said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Dear Mihow

    I hate you because your kid is completely adorable and your cat is funny and deep down I wish I had your life.

    Sincerely,

    Hater

    **How was that? ;)

  2. anne nahm said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    This is made of awesome. Thanks for giving me a grin today.

  3. Josh said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Mihow, I don’t hate you. I think you’re awesome.

  4. jenblossom said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Dear Michele,

    I want to have your babies.

    Love, me

  5. Daphro said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    I, and I’m sure tons of others, enjoy your blog and respect your opinions even when they are different from my own. But I do agree that sending anonymous hate mail is retarded and cowardly! Those people are lame and probably don’t have a life. Just dismiss those losers, your blog is awesome!

  6. StFarmer said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Absolutely hilarious!

    I’ll be waiting for the companion piece on annonymous love letters.

  7. Jill said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Mihow-
    They just hate you for your mavericky status, you have an awsome way of teaching us to stand up to the media.

    Thanks,
    Sarah Palin

  8. CrazyRideLady said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    I hate that you compared a Midwestern GOP rally attendee with a member of the KKK. Even though I am an liberal leaning Independent, I still find it offensive.

  9. erin said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    ruh roh…did some one send you hate mail? lame! You should do what dooce does and post their emails and make fun of them. So hilarious.

    I once left some snarky comments on a women’s website (not anonymously either) and she completely attacked me, sicked all her online friends on me. That didn’t feel so good. But they weren’t hate comments.

    Also, I totally got your reference to those folks shouting hate speech about Obama at the Palin rallys…unlike some of the other commenter’s…I know you weren’t comparing all GOP attendees to KKK members!.

  10. egirl said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Ha ha! I really enjoyed this post, though it wasn’t about the usual sorts of things I come here for (babies, cats, funnies, NYC love/hate relationships, etc.). Maybe you should consider a comedy act? Cuz girl, you are darn funny!

  11. Amanda said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Anonymity equals bizarre, abnormal, obsessive, chicken shit behavior. I used to find it disturbing but after a few years of dealing with it, I find it’s either funny or really pathetic and pointless.

    But, there are people out there who are full of anger and hatred. My guess is that they take it out on everybody that crosses their pass, in some form or fashion.

    I feel thankful that I don’t absorb their anger anymore. I enjoy being happy. I’m weird that way.

    Anyone who has anger or hatred towards you has serious mental issues. You are one of the kindest people I know.

  12. Brad said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    Dude, this one went to 11.

  13. torrie said at 4:30 pm on October 23rd, 2008:

    That was awesome.

  14. carol said at 7:02 pm on December 11th, 2009:

    lol, you gave a a laugh. I completely agree that sending hate mail is such a cowardly thing to do. I understand why some people may have the need to write it, but sending it is a whole other matter.


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