Post by D B Davis Post by a425couple
Thoughts on short story "The Public Hating" by Steve Allen.
Yes, THAT Steve Allen. He was also an author.
Here is an SF short story by the creator and original host of
NBC's Tonight Show.
23 short stories were put together in a book, with this
story used as book title.
They seem generally to have been NOT WELL RECIEVED!
From Publishers Weekly
These 23 stories by the versatile comedian, songwriter and
author include some interesting twists, but most fail to rise
above the ordinary. Even his attempts to show the underside of
the TV and film milieu he knows so well fall flat."
This site has some interesting thoughts on today's
media "loves" turned quickly to "hates".
"Whenever someone becomes the Monster of the Week in the media,
I always recall the short dystopian sci-fi story by Steve Allen
“The Public Hating“, in which right-minded citizens could
publicly execute criminals by the sheer force of hatred."
Some people do believe in telekinetics.
Plenty of sci-fi stories in 1940s through 1970s used such
ideas. I will not that NFL crowds of around 65,000
get their wishes fulfilled about 57% of the time!
"The Public Hating" works for me and brings to mind "The Lottery"
(Jackson), the "two minutes hate" of _1984_ (Orwell), and _Firestarter_
Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying
agents. It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self,
makes him oblivious of his weal and future, frees him of jealousies
and self-seeking. He becomes an anonymous particle quivering with
a craving to fuse and coalesce with his like into one flaming mass.
Heine suggests that what Christian love cannot do is effected by a
From _Gray Lensman_ by Edward E. Smith:
Much has been said and written of the binding power of love. That, and
other noble emotions, have indeed performed wonders. It seems to this
historian, however, that all too little has been said of the
effectiveness of pure hate as a cementing material. Probably for good
and sufficient moral reasons; perhaps because--and for the best--its
application has been of comparatively infrequent occurrence. Here, in
the case in hand, we have history's best example of two entirely
dissimilar peoples working efficiently together under the urge, not
of love or of any other lofty sentiment, but of sheer, stark,
unalloyed and corrosive, but common, hate.
Both hated Civilization and everything pertaining to it. Both wanted
revenge; wanted it with a searing, furious need almost tangible: a
gnawing, burning lust which neither countenanced palliation nor
brooked denial. And above all, both hated vengefully, furiously,
esuriently--every way except blindly--an as yet unknown and
unidentified wearer of the million times-accursed Lens of the
The Eich were hard, ruthless, cold; not even having such words in
their language as "conscience," "mercy," or "scruple." Their
hatred of the Lensman was then a thing of an intensity unknowable
to any human mind. Even that emotion however, grim as it was and
fearsome, paled beside the passionately vitriolic hatred of the
Overlords of Delgon for the being who had been the Nemesis of
And when the sheer mental power of the Overlords, unthinkably great
as it was and operative withal in a fashion utterly incomprehensible
to us of Civilization, was combined with the ingenuity,
resourcefulness, and drive, as well as with the scientific ability
of the Eich, the results would in any case have been portentous
indeed. In this case they were more than portentous, and worse.
Those prodigious intellects, fanned into fierce activity by fiery
blasts of hatred, produced a thing incredible.