Hecklers get center stage in new film
I've been to a handful of comedy shows in my life, and I can't say I've ever seen a bona fide heckler. I have seen people who want to converse with the comedian during their set, which is probably just as annoying.
However, hecklers aren't only found in the back of comedy clubs. They've gotten under the skin of everyone from movie directors to sports figures to politicians, and the anonymity of the Web has allowed for even more of them to pop up on messageboards and forums to let everyone know just who sucks and who sucks even more. If there were a way to make money from telling creative people you don't like them and that they should die, we'd have a lot more millionaires.
Comedian Doug Stanhope once told me in an interview that he'd much rather play to an audience who disagrees with him; he prefers the "threat of violence" to simply preaching to the choir. I also know people who write online and create stuff for the Web and absolutely thrive on negative comments: to them, it's all part of putting yourself out there.
A recent article in the New York Times about heckling and the upcoming movie with Jamie Kennedy called Heckler claims that the vitriol and hatred common of online hecklers has found its way more and more into the "real" world.
I think the most profound reflections from the article come from Kathy Griffin, who acknowledges that we live in an age where YouTube videos and reality programming have made everyone a relative celebrity, and that the lines between celebs and the rest of us are becoming more and more blurred. We don't feel the need to keep our mouths shut because we see everyone as being on equal ground.
I'd like to know what the rest of you think about this. Ultimately, my feelings are that anyone willing to put themselves out there, to create something and slap their name on it, is going to face some backlash. In those situations, I'd always rather be the person creating than the person criticizing. If you're creating something that absolutely everybody loves and no one hates, then you're probably doing something wrong.
[via CC Insider]