Finding What’s Worthy to Hate: MLMs

Hate is platitudinously a powerful word: a summoning of one’s energies to a focal point like a magnifying glass to burn a single mocking ant. Hunch over long enough and eventually your neck is as cracked as the ground. Hates’s a waste, they say. It does more damage to you than it does to the hated. So the lesson goes. Perhaps, true.

But how much gets done when someone’s emotions start flooring the pedal? So long as the driver has a purpose—something worth being mad about—there’s mileage in hate. And the world presents plenty of kindle to burn.

Talk to the right politically-aligned misanthrope and it’s clear there’s more to hate than love in the world—at least in the abstract. Outrages are handed out on a gilded platter, the usual suspects at a wine and cheese party for NGOs: famine, war, injustice, etc. The tastiest morsels require a refined taste: a refined politics. Why bother listing them, again? But the academic hater is a boring type: in more need of the reassurance that there is something to hate, than the object of their hate.

Luckily, there do exist those rare objects of scorn that twist your intestines into ratty gnots. And when you find that object, seize it; let it translate, even if it’s shit out on a blog like bird droppings in Central Park. The smarty-pants quotable philosopher Aristotle said, “Those who do not show anger at things that ought to arouse anger are regarded as fools.” And there is one image in my sights that has inspired a degree of disdain like no other.


My hate, for the time, is reserved for MLM companies, a word considered derogatory by those filed away in its cabinet. MLM PC terminology is limited to “network marketing,” “direct sales;” “pyramid scheme.” But why bother getting mad at MLMs? Aren’t they obvious, easily dismissed? So, I thought.

There is a widespread MLM ecosystem like the fungal highways directing traffic beneath the forest’s floor. There are the scammers (MLMs), companies that support the scammers, and companies that help companies that support the scammers attract the attention of the scammed. Search Google to find SEO agencies dedicated to the cause, raising their pissed-on-flag to help rally an army of idiots. MLMs are members of a universe, with related entities existing as the quantum laws that hold the planets in place.

But I don’t hate MLMs for all the jobs they’re constantly creating. It’s the people work for them.

We have to understand that there are two types of people that fall for the MLM scheme:

  • Get-rich-quick egotists.
  • The desperate.

The former deserve the soiled rot of their harvest—though the successful among them end up as presidents of some MLM venture. It’s for the latter that I hate. MLMs target the destitute, hungry, unsure, indecisive, lonely, old, busy, inexperienced; and instill a religious hope that their product is the spiritual answer the people crave. Is it any wonder that MLM Facebook groups abuse a “John 3:14” sign by holding it next to whatever knock-off garbage they’re selling? It’s a fervor born from peer pressure, crosses, and latex smiles.

But there is no gold at the end of the rainbow. Only a crackhead’s snickerdoodle, more dust than doo. And suckers of MLMs lose everything.

Isn’t it there own fault? “These people brought it upon themselves.” Sure, they did. In the same way a fly becomes trapped in the spider’s web the impudent take out loans for a $5,000 buy-in. It’s the fly’s nature to be ensnared but I can’t help but pity the fly’s foolishness. There will always be ways to take advantage of people but that doesn’t necessitate a shrug.

Should I turn the other cheek; let it go? Perhaps, true. Still, the Western canon begins with μῆνις: rage. And since I enjoy putting the canon on a pedestal, might as well perpetuate the trend. Achilles had it right. Be mad at the Agammemnon’s MLM.

The word “hate” in its everyday usage has been stripped like an Instagram model of almost all of its meaning. We “hate” the vomit of pop-culture, or our neighbor’s tacky Halloween decoration, or paying taxes. When we use “hate” we really mean “dislike.” But there’s an older meaning, an energetic bubbling of disgust that hijacks the mind’s eye, turns whatever is hated into an idol that begs to be torn down.

I hate MLMs.

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