Heckler

Back to work tomorrow. Time for a joke.

Russell Brand and a clueless heckler

Caution:  Language

H/T:  Throng

Epsom Candidates meeting

Last night was the first of the “Meet the Candidate” events  in Epsom. Here’s the feedback from Whale;s spies who were at the meeting.

There were three performances worth remarking on.

First was the performance of John Banks, whose successful candidacy for ACT is critical if ACT are to make it back into the next Parliament. Banksie, the warhorse, didn’t disappoint, with a number of people noting his strong performance last night. He handled the heckling from the Labour Party thug squad with tact and humour, and stayed on message with his “strategic voting” line – “A vote for me will help John Key”.

Second was the performance of the Labour and Green thug squad, whose heckling probably served the interests of Banks and ACT by effectively disrupting and unnerving National candidate Paul Goldsmith.  Active, noisy and in good numbers, the Red and Green hecklers were enthusiastic to the point of counterproductive for their cause. Though his volunteers aren’t likely to listen to any instructions, David Parker might want to restrain his hecklers if he wants them to be more effective. Right now they are proving to all that labour are the nasty party.

Lastly, Paul Goldsmith failed his first major outing in front of the public, by fluffing key lines and showing visible signs of agitation in front of a concerted effort by the Labour and Green thug squad. However, this public speaking collapse may have been all part of the plan to help show Banks as a superior candidate and thus win him votes for his crucial tilt. Nevertheless, if Goldsmith overdoes his incompetency he might accidentally start losing party votes, which would be a no-no. Having some National supporters turn up to cheer on Goldsmith might help his confidence too.

Word of the Day – Heckle

Heckle

To heckle – originally the process of removing knots from wool, by combing. In eighteenth century Dundee, workers who carried out the task, hecklers, were political radicals and would interrupt their colleague responsible for reading out the daily news

from Wikipedia:

The term originates from the textile trade, where to heckle was to tease or comb out flax or hemp fibres. The additional meaning, to interrupt speakers with awkward or embarrassing questions, was added in Scotland, and specifically perhaps in early nineteenth century Dundee, a famously radical town where the hecklers who combed the flax had established a reputation as the most radical and belligerent element in the workforce. In the heckling factory, one heckler would read out the day’s news while the others worked, to the accompaniment of interruptions and furious debate.[1]

Heckling was a major part of the vaudeville theater. Sometimes it was incorporated into the play. Milton Berle’s weekly TV variety series in the 1960s featured a heckler named Sidney Spritzer (German/Yiddish for “Squirter”) played by Borscht Belt comic Irving Benson. In the 1970s and 1980s, The Muppet Show, which was also built around a vaudeville theme, featured two hecklers, Statler & Waldorf (two old men named after famous hotels). Heckles are now particularly likely to be heard at comedy performances, to unsettle or compete with the performer.