Kurt Cobain is often quoted as having said
I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.
Cobain seemed intelligent enough to have come up with this himself but it seems more likely that he was paraphrasing French anti-colonialist and Nobel Prize for Literature winner André Gide’s
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.
However, each time I see this quote or similar ones like the Dr Seuss epigram
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
I always think that, although they are clearly meant to be taken as nice little self-esteem builders for the weak and meek, and that for the majority of folk the majority of the time it’s all cool; they don’t fully make sense and could simply be used by dickheads as an excuse to carry on being dickheads.
Take a moment to imagine those words being parroted by Adolf Hitler or George Bush or Darth Vader or Simon Cowell or those frat brothers in Borat or…
See what I mean? All these quotes fail The Hitler Test.
Anyway, Cobain (there are kids about to take their GCSEs who weren’t alive when he shot himself and I was taking mine) came up with far more interesting lines. I much prefer him when he is railing against the jocks:
I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they’re out there and it really bothers me.
or denying the ubiquitous cliched reason for picking up a guitar:
I just can’t believe anyone would start a band just to make the scene and be cool and have chicks. I just can’t believe it.
Have a mind.