The Difference Between Heckling & Legitimate Criticism

The internet is full of hecklers who think they are providing valuable criticism when really they are just being a painful nuisance.

Chances are that you clicked on this writing from a social media post. Let us call that post the stage. I am the performer. This writing is my performance. You are the audience. Also, the show is free.

If this were an actual stage there would be audience members who did not care much for the performance or the performer. If someone came to the stage and started judging my act in the same space it was happening, we would call that person a heckler. And nobody likes a heckler for obvious reasons. They violate the performance and performer, and sully the stage.

Another person might not like the performance and decide to pay close attention and take some notes to fully understand why they did not like it. After they left the show they might spend some time writing up a criticism. That is how legitimate criticism is done. Most performers do not care much for critics, but they understand their role in culture, and begrudgingly respect the trade.

Now let us say that you write criticism on the internet. After getting heckled in the same ways over and over you turn your criticism at the contents of the heckler scripts. Now you are in a situation in which you are to be heckled by the hecklers over your criticism of their heckling. Finally you have to write a criticism of heckling in general that explains to the hecklers that they are not critics; they are hecklers. That is the fucked up mess you are reading right now. And there is a good chance that I will have to write yet another piece to explain this in even more detail…ad infinitum.

Read the rest at The Dungherder.