#434, November 27, 2006
COLUMBUS: Thanksgiving is over for another year. We complimented the chef on the turkey and trimmings and went back to our usual selves the next day. There were so many battles for Playstation 3s and Plasma TVs, Black Friday turned into Black and Blue Friday for some.
Naturally the big news for the holiday weekend, even bigger than shopping and deer hunting, was football. Southern Cal rose to the occasion, downing Notre Dame. It was a tough week for football fans in South Bend, not to mention Morgantown, Fayetteville, Stillwater, Austin, and a few other college towns. Ann Arbor lost a notch, and they didn’t even play. But any sadness in those places was offset by the joy in others, especially Boise, Idaho. They are undefeated, and even if they can’t play Ohio State in January, they can say they played on the same field in January as Ohio State.
Down through history as long as there’s been public speakers, politicians, ballplayers, and comedians, there has been Hecklers. And the good ones figured out how to deal with them. But here lately there’s a new breed of heckler. They don’t come alone to harass their target, instead they arrange to be accompanied by a video crew and a shyster lawyer. If they can’t afford a lawyer beforehand, they just broadcast the video later on You Tube and a dozen pull into their driveway. For shyster lawyers, heckler videos have replaced ambulance sirens.
There is no single deterrence for hecklers. Every public figure has to find their own. Personally I found that carrying a lasso kinda intimidates the heckler. If the jokes aren’t going over so good, get out the old rope and do a few tricks. If the loop accidently lands around the ear lobes of a heckler, why that’s just a chance he has to take.
Sometimes Presidents have a way that’s worth emulating:
“But [President Coolidge] left town the minute the speech was over. That’s kinder like we have been on our tour. We always arranged to have the train stand by and get out if possible before the audience did. Of course it shows weakness and lack of confidence in your speech or lecture, but it also shows excellent judgment for your personal safety.” WA #158, December, 20, 1925
Here’s how a prominent presidential aspirant handled a heckler:
“My old friend William Jennings Bryan made one of his characteristic speeches. He said that if they split the Democratic Party with [a particular issue] that another great party would arise to take its place. Some guy away up in the gallery started booing him. He just stopped and waited a minute until the heckler quit, then Mr. Bryan said: ‘But no great leader of any party has ever come from the gallery.’ After that they laid off him.” WA #82, July 6, 1924
Historic quote by Will Rogers (on Thanksgiving Day):
“In the days of its founders they were willing to give thanks for mighty little (for mighty little was all they expected). But now neither government or nature can give enough but what we think it’s too little.
Those old boys in the Fall of the year, if they could gather in a few pumpkins, potatoes and some corn for the winter, they was in a thanking mood.
But if we can’t gather in a new Buick, a new radio, a tuxedo and some government relief, why we feel like the world is agin us.” DT #2594, Nov. 28, 1934