The Heckler’s Veto

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A heckler can shout down a speaker, preventing the audience from hearing the message.  This activity is known as a ‘heckler’s veto.’  The heckler is abridging the freedom of speech rights of the speaker and audience while asserting his own freedom of speech right.

A troll can shout down a poster by thread-jacking or multiple inflammatory posts, thus preventing the audience from reading the message.  This activity shall henceforth be known as a ‘Troll Veto.’ The troll is interfering with the free exchange of ideas between the poster and readers while hiding behind the rules of etiquette for polite society which the troll refuses to follow himself.

Unbounded liberty without order is anarchy.  The first requirement of ordered liberty is order.  In both examples, a balance of the rights justifies removing the heckler/troll.

Drop the ban hammer.

Joe Doakes

I’m loathe to do arbritrailty what the group is perfectly good at doing organically.

But thread–jacking is wearing out its dubious welcome.

18 thoughts on “The Heckler’s Veto

  1. Greg; agreed!
    As long as Progressives/ communists use the government to fund the arts they will have a stranglehold on culture.

  2. MO, who do you disagree with, Joe or me?

    It’s okay and even encouraged to disagree with Joe, but hey, I am more fragile.

    Expect flames.

  3. Who paid for the arts before they were publicly funded?
    Aristocrats & churchmen.
    Things could be worse.

  4. Aristocrats & churchmen.

    And look at the art they produced. Stunningly beautiful.

    And who sits on Arts Boards now?

    Might explain why modern churches look like spaceships and why idiots marching around backwards wearing motorcycle helmets is considered art.

  5. When the trolls thread-jack, call them on it, and don’t take the bait. They don’t want to discuss the original topic of the post because they are not confident about “winning” the debate, the same way a pigeon can knock over the pieces of a chess board, crap on it, and strut around like it won something. They seem to prefer working their way through a list of logical fallacies, like it’s a how-to guide or checklist.

  6. Well, not all modern churches look like spaceships. When we travel my wife and I play a game called Guess Which it is, a Wells Fargo or a church.

    Having poor eye sight, I always go with Wells Fargo and still get 3 out of 12 right.

  7. Greg, if we really defunded the arts, Bill Gates and Bezos would immediately hire the dismissed boards of the NEA and NEH to direct their projects. The way things are now, the NEA and NEH are at least theoretically responsible to the public.

  8. I’ll match you, Greg, with this raise: there is no reason that middle class and poor taxpayers ought to be subsidizing the entertainment of the prosperous.

  9. John Carey, in The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia 1880-1939 (2012) describes how the arts devolved away from pleasing the public to pleasing the elites. Basically your taste in art was made into a social class marker. The goal was to make art that common people would find incoherent ot objectionable. Fred Siegel wrote a similar book covering the US intelligentsia in his The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class (2015).

  10. Basically your taste in art was made into a social class marker.


    In the 70’s, I spent most of my time at the U hanging around the art department. I was studying frozen mud at the time (that’s another story) but the art department had the best parties.

    But to your point, why should plumbers fund the U of M Art Department, even though they have great parties. Why should shoe store clerks fund creative writing classes?

    There is another model other than colleges for studying the arts.

    Minneapolis has a private (nonprofit) center called The Loft which teaches creative writing and literature.

    It is run mostly in the evenings and oriented to people who work for a living.

    Of course, it has turned into a progressive cesspool – but the notion of, “I want to make the arts my avocation and not bill the taxpayers” is a great path forward for the arts.

  11. Hey, this thread-jacking thing is fun.

    It is a skill I try to teach my grandkids.

    “Pssst, hey, you bored with that Algebra thing? Just whisper a single word and the teacher will launch into something fun.”

    “What word is that, Gramps?”


    “Oh yeah, like everyone know that.”

  12. Ban screwdrivers! No matter whether the stabbing, or liquid kind. Just BAN ALL SCREWDRIVERS!

  13. JD, are you suggesting that a troll who exercises Troll Veto should experience Veto Troll?

  14. I keep saying ‘stop reading them, stop responding to them” and they will go away.

    I know, I know, I was guilty of taking on kraphead last week, he is just so nonsensically ridiculous, I couldn’t resist.

    Stop responding to them and they will go away. I know that will be hard for some of you but trust me, you will be happier not reading their drool.

  15. To be serious….

    It all depends on why we are here. Personally, I am here for information and entertainment. I learn about things here. I also like to entertain and be entertained. It is why many of my comments are light-hearted and (hopefully) humorous.

    – but being here for the chest-thumping food fights?

    Me, not so much.

    Frankly, I can’t see the value.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.