I love it when people suggest topics for the daily screed.  Not only is it way easier to write to a prompt, but it lets me know what sorts of things are on your minds out there.  Today’s topic was suggested by my old friend Eric, who found a treasure trove of heckler clips on YouTube.  To quote:

For great YouTube action search “Heckler” to see how comedians silence idiots. Last night Daniel Tosh told a heckler he’d pay for her funeral if she would “Pls jump”, from her balcony seat. Tons of clips of a very unusual, sadly common situation.

I agree but maybe there’s a positive in there.

There are a lot of names for heckling but basically it’s a comment directed at someone to disrupt what they’re doing by breaking their stream of concentration or the flow of their performance.  Typically, comics, politicians, and athletes get heckled.  The general advice you’re given as a speaker is to ignore the hecklers – they’re trying to draw attention to themselves so why give them what they want?  I think I disagree with that.

For one thing, sometimes it’s the hecklers who provide the defining moments.  Think about the famous (or infamous depending on which side of the aisle you’re on) “you lie”  remark during the State of the Union.  Does anyone remember much about that speech other than that?  In politics and in business, there’s way too much scripted stuff going on and not enough conversation.  While I’m not a big fan of rude interruptions, maybe getting heckled is a sign that there are issues which need addressing?

Then there are the great sports hecklers.  The epic battles between Spike Lee and Reggie Miller provided more entertainment than did the series between the Knicks and Pacers.  Then there was Robin Ficker, who was so good at heckling Michael Jordan that Charles Barkley paid for Ficker to come to Phoenix and harass Jordan during the playoffs.

I think we all get heckled.  We do it to ourselves more often than not.  This dish isn’t good, this presentation won’t sell.  For me, the golf course is where I find myself heckling the life out of my game.  Maybe it’s just when we heckle someone else that the issues start?

Heard any clever heckles?  Anyone heckling you besides yourself?

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