I know a lot of people think good things are, well, good. It’s an incredibly popular sentiment. But I never have. I think good things are terrible.
I am an iconoclast who is willing, nay compelled, to go against the grain. Hell, maybe I’ll even go as far as to say the grain doesn’t even need to exist. Boom. Your mind is blown.
If you have an opinion on something — even if it is something I know less than nothing about it — I already know it is wrong. And I will explain such in 800-1000 words. I do this because I practice the art of the hot take. I give ‘em all day, every day. And the hot take I’m about to give? It will make Slate look like a goddamn Christmas card from your granny. You probably shouldn’t read any further because I know you can’t handle it.
Still here? Sucks to be you. But I’ll continue…
At no doubt you are by now asking yourself, “When did you first get the courage to form such contrarian opinions about everything?” If I had to pinpoint an exact moment — besides the obvious answer of “when I was breastfeeding and realized how passé milk was” — I would go with the moment I first discovered the internet. I became acutely aware that a lot of people have a lot of thoughts. And I was capable of saying something about those thoughts. Usually, that they are wrong. You won’t believe how wrong they are, but to be safe you should still go ahead and click on my articles.
I almost felt joy when I realized that every transcendent aspects of our universe frankly sucked. Unconditional love? Blows chunks. A sense of awe, a sense of accomplishment? MAXXX YAWN. Compassion? More like (fart-noise)-passion. These are all truths. Not many know this.
Ah, but a hot take is not just about hating the good. You’ve also got to like the good harder than everyone. After all, things are better right now than they’ve ever been in human history. This is 100 percent an undeniable fact. Life is perfect, so how about a little of gratitude for once? I for one am not afraid to call people out on this.
“But wait,” you’re saying. “Didn’t you say earlier that good things are terrible?” Okay, let me explain this again: contradictions are OK. You’d know that if you’d read my article “Nothing I Say Makes Sense. Get Over it.”
You know when terrible rappers point at their head when they’re saying something obvious about the government? I’m like the writer version of that. Always making you think while letting you know I’m making you think. It can be sort of hard trying to type while simultaneously high-fiving myself and saying “YOU ARE ALL OWNED,” but nobody said hot takes were easy. Remember, writing free-form opinions without looking anything up or having any guiding principle besides your own anecdotes is not something just anyone can do.
Like a frog that won’t jump out of a boiling pot, I’m going to warm things up first so you stick around for the unbelievable heat of this take. Here are a few to get you started: Tom Hanks is unlikeable trash. Shawshank Redemption is for people who think Kenny G is too abrasive and tapioca is too spicy. All three branches of government should be replaced by Tim Tebow. The best movie performance of all time was Stephen Baldwin in Bio-Dome. Nobody has the guts to say these patently false things. Because, I mean, who knows if they’re true? I had to go on Wikipedia to even remember which Baldwin was in that movie.
Did I just say that I know in my heart what I write is poorly researched? That while presented as bravely confrontational it’s actually born out of a deep-seated need for approval? Do I fantasize about being a fiercely independent thinker, while fearing any negative blowback from my own peers? Do I fear my own mediocrity and think that the discovery of my lack of in-depth knowledge on any one subject could expose me as an intellectual fraud?
Not at all. OH, NOT AT ALL.
And thus we get to my hottest take of all: hot takes are flaming garbage. I only write them because I am desperately trying to carve out a niche in an ever-shrinking media environment. But I promise to change forever, right now. I promise forever I will not rush to judgment and not give shallow, harshly worded opinions on everything just to say I did it before anyone else.
That’s right. The hot take? It’s over. Forever.
And you heard it here first.