The Rise of the Takedown

C-boys unite! You have nothing to lose but your own obscurity. And your time has come, my friends. The New York Times ran a feature this last weekend on the role that heckling plays in social discourse, and the piece basically proclaimed fruit fly supremacy:

For decades, hecklers who railed at entertainers, politicians and athletes were confined to the margins — they were often drunks or crackpots, tolerated (just barely) by polite society, like litter on a city street…But no longer do these self-styled cultural assassins merely snipe from the shadows. Lately, hecklers have moved toward the mainstream, making headlines, torpedoing careers (ask Mr. Richards), and exploiting a new stage of their own on video-sharing Web sites like YouTube, where clips of their antics are seen by thousands. 

Apparently somebody has gone and made a movie about the phenemonen, which argues that hecklers have become more scathing in recent years, and that it’s the Internet that’s emboldened them to become increasingly more harsh with their criticisms. “It’s not enough to give performers a simple thumbs down,” the article reports. “They must be personally lambasted, humiliated, even virtually willed out of existence.”

There’s even a new psychological term for heckling. It’s called the “disinhibition effect,” defined as people who express themselves more bluntly online than they would in person, people for whom “the old filters — namely, good manners — atrophy offline.”

Of course, we know all about that here on xxlmag.com. The art of impaling has been practiced here for over a year, and, frankly, you c-boys have really perfected your craft. I think you all can go ahead and take a little credit for the explosion of heckling that’s taken hold of the nation.

Jokes aside, I’m not convinced that an increase in the power of the peanut gallery is really a negative thing. Obviously, it’s not a good thing when the dialogue involves over-the-top threats and hostility. But—impotent rage aside—I don’t think anyone can discount the fact that blogs have really forced journalists to become accountable and accurate, in the same way that the boooooo-boys force aspiring rappers at open mikes to come with skills or be gone.

The director of the Heckler film posits that the rise in sideline sniping comes from cultural narcissism, a heightened sense of entitlement—the feeling that the hecklers themselves should be getting attention, damn it. My feeling is that it’s less a sense of entitlement and more a recognition that most of pop culture has spiraled out of the control and has become surreal, bizarre garbage, and that the time has come to throw in your own two cents. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that the current generation refuses to be passive consumers.

  • NickeNitro

    Fuck you bitch, I’ll kill you!

    Also, FIRST!
    (and to make sure the Mounties don’t track me down, the first part was a joke)

  • agee

    2nd oh so close.

  • dj noyd

    deuxieme bande de con

  • no

    Jokes aside, I’m not convinced that an increase in the power of the peanut gallery is really a negative thing.

    Have no illusions, you as an unpaid blogger are part of the make up of the peanut gallery.

  • no

    Have no illusions, as an unpaid blogger you’re indistinct from “the peanut gallery”.

  • Chozen

    Good Post…I call the current phenomenon the “Simon Cowell/Ann Coulter” effect. What we see online is the trickle down effect…the proletarianisation of the uber politically incorrect fad…

    The democratisation of the medium has opened the waves to anyone bold enough to borrow an opinion. plus the lack of any form of editorial control gives real license to the meaning of freedom of expression.

    Now the thing about it is that…the trend for all intents and purposes is seeming to continue unabated..True every 2 months..a Micheal Richards or Imus pops up….but we are too happy at the thought of our progress to seriously undertake to understand how this new extreme liberalism in expression, obscene…racially inciteful…etc. is detrimental to social cohesion as opposed to strenthening it.

    Of course…the peanut gallery is likely to just respond “Shut da fuck up u nappy headed ho” and its alright…cos unless big names jump on the issue…we are all likely to grin glibly and say…”its the age of YOU” (remember Time’s Personality of the Year 06?)

  • EReal

    I think that the fact is the voice of the common man is finally being heard. Screw your polls and studies and focus groups. Hit the net, go on a blog and see the raw honestly of what people really think about you, your music, your work, your art. You can see that there a two sides, those that support and those that hate, some are in the middle. Yet, from reading the comments you can get a sence of what the actual public thinks. Some smart people are taking hold of this, i.e. acceptable t.v. (Kiss my ass!!) I think its a great thing. Blogs are credited for the whole IMUS thing. I heard Stephen A. Smith (Whom I highly respect) say yesterday that he credited bloggers for taking ahold of those comments and really forcing them to the forefront. The brave new world is upon us where everyone has a platform and everyone has a voice. Its not just the rich people, the T.I.s, The Managers, Focus Groups, Ect. Now its every one with online access can voice their opinion. I think its a great step forward and this Imus thing shows that this new format of communication can and does make a difference.
    So you bettah be nice Tara-Squad!! lol.

    You know all about hecklers dontcha Tara-Squad. You have an ugly fat cow of heckler that comes to this site specificly to hate on you and you alone. You number one stalker, thats gotta be an honor to have someone love to hate you so much. lmfao. I see you Trannah Smith, you sow.

    1 hunned.

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    Im sure rappers view these sites to see what people are saying about them. It is kinda like a female looking through her man’s pockets. If you go looking for it you will probably find it. I think the consumers need to speak up and have a voice because the state of hip hop is on the decline and we must voice our displeasure. Blogging is the perfect medium to share thoughts and express opinions (good, bad, ignorant, hate-driven). It is called freedom of speech, we still have it right or was THAT secretly taken away to. Hip hop is a culture and it doesnt just involve music it involves everything that affects our lives from Politics to Racism. Art imitates life and vice versa. The hip hop nation is a demographic that has a lot to say about society. What the corporations are trying to do is dumb down this movement. In closing, POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

  • DA KID TIM

    BITCH IM DA SHIT

  • My Effin’ Opinion

    If the internet wasn’t so anonymous, I can guarantee you that you’d have less “fuck G-unot”, “fuck Gayme”, “this persons gay, that person is a pussy” talk.

    The internet has become the “virtual corner” on the block from which cowards yell obscenities, turn the corner and take off running.

  • NoMamesBuey

    Tara & Noz, use the term “peanut gallery” or something similar, not “fruit fly”

    Why offend the only 100 or so fans of yours that enjoy reading your blog posts. Show some respect.

    Anyways, the term is self-ethering, since you’re also a “fruit fly” by commenting on each others’ blogs, and no doubt other non-XXL blogs

  • thecollinb

    -impotent rage aside-
    OOF!

  • DocZeus

    C-BOY IS SHORT FOR COWBOY!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGf9yi8V5Dk

    He’s Chosen the G-Day Lady!

  • meenstreek

    Tara this is a good blog. As much as I can’t stand the way people act online, I do appreciate their candor and honesty at times.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka Sin Piff

    my only opinion is instead of the senseless “hate”, we should be offering more “constructive” opinions in regards to speaking on entertainers. shit i used to go through it all the time on a few sites, an quick audio drop of some of the hottest shit a person heard all week go from a 3 step phase.

    1. the cricket club (meaning no views)

    2. bump and grindin (thread bump 4 exposure)

    3. Loveland (praise for the mainstream alternate material)

    4. Hatefest (because some dudes just mad they can’t live my life on or off a mic)

    its kinda sad that the average fan is too dumb to realize we the only reasons some have a career to begin with. alot of these dudes witout the internet presence don’t even exist in anyhood,usa.

    I know the internet has helped me pique interest globally. I didn’t even know how drastic shit is til some dude told me a chick he just met had me as her screensaver and i to this day neva even met the chick.

    on that note i’m once again bewildered because i look like a Gremlin/Gargoyle/Alf on a great day. But either way, i mean sometimes i heckle muthafuckaz when bored, just to see their legion of male-groupies go ape-shit over a simplistic opinion along the lines of “Afroman >>>>> Def Jam Roster”
    to enhance a a pen-break smoke session.

    at the end of the day though, they are humans too, the same pains we feel they are subject to feel. the same shit we go through, they go through. Just because they are on TV and Radio don’t mean they exempt from emotion.

    So if you hecklin an artist in hopes they take heed to switch up the format, continue to do so. If u doing it for ya own lack of attention, find a new hobby preferably the one i indulge in called “findin new ways of gettin legit $$$”

  • harlem B

    this is the only place we can just say what we feel without any trouble. All of these rappers are putting out trash and these corporate bastards(mtv,xxl,and the source)are letting them get away with it.

  • Moe Real

    I disagree; you are NOT more intelligent because you read the New York Times.

    Look at your own political system. Parliament is based on heckling…as is journalism, really.

  • Incilin

    Yeah that’s right Tara, we’re all trying to will you out of blogging and into sending nude photos, lmao. Whatever.

    “The director of the Heckler film posits that the rise in sideline sniping comes from cultural narcissism, a heightened sense of entitlement—the feeling that the hecklers themselves should be getting attention, damn it. My feeling is that it’s less a sense of entitlement and more a recognition that most of pop culture has spiraled out of the control and has become surreal, bizarre garbage, and that the time has come to throw in your own two cents. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that the current generation refuses to be passive consumers.”

    It is cultural narcissism, and I think it’s more prevalent in hip hop because rappers seem like thier just like us. Most rappers just come off as boasting show-offs who r always right no matter what they do. They feel like thier entitled to tell us what it is, and hip hop fans quickly come back with the same attitudes here.

  • SukedowN

    Sweeeeet.

    I wonder if those same writers came up with a term for online columnists who are unable to write consecutive columns without berating their readers…

    How about the “Abstract Compensation Effect”?

  • thoreauly77

    yeah, we pretty much rule. i don’t necessarily think its a generational thing though/ for example, i am 30, n-cred is either 13 or 43, meka belize and others are in their 20′s, and there are obviously a lot of teens that come through. to me this indicates that it’s much more about the actual advent of the forum; the forum allows the criticism, and the criticism comes from many different generations.

    anyhow tara, i don’t know if i expressed that very well, but i do know that i enjoyed your post.

  • thoreauly77

    damn mikey, why you so salty?

  • Hannah Smith

    “Jokes aside, I’m not convinced that an increase in the power of the peanut gallery is really a negative thing.”

    Yes, hip-hop really needs more idiotic viewpoints…

  • J.R.O.

    I never truly hated a rapper, nor was I a stan of one. A fan, of course. They’re getting their money…
    All I want is for the good ol’ days of Hip Hop to come back. Simply put, now days, rappers are garbage, but their hustling skills are amazing.

  • http://blogs.hiphopdx.com/meka Meka Soul

    quite simply, it’s much more easier to talk shit about the things we don’t like than to praise the things we do.

    by the way, where the hell have you been?

  • Bump

    lol @ thoreauly being 30.

  • Dr Flav

    MEO said it! A lot of these cats are losers that throw rocks and hide thier hands. Criticism should generally have substantial merit, but a lot of it is just reckless insults and uninformed fat mouthin.

  • Maddi Is Gully

    hmm that was interesting
    NOT!!
    Fuck dis Fat Bitch
    (LOL I’m jokin Tara Don’t Get Mad)

  • Yoda

    I just wonder why when a blogger is proved wrong and has their point(s) rendered invalid they never come out and admit they’re wrong or they see the issue more clearly. I think that would stop a lot of the comments you have, Tara. Especially when you go off on tangents about anything concerning the mixture of women and entertainment.

  • SukedowN

    It’s not so much salt, as it is a misunderstanding on my part. Why do half the XXL bloggers always go out of their way to take cheap shots at the people who support them?

    I do understand the shots are directed at those who have trouble forming sentences, not those who can elaborate their thoughts.

    But it seems like a waste of a platform such as this to always take shots at those who keep you where you are. I guess everyone, myself included, compensate for our shortcomings in one way or another.

    On another note, where do I copyright the “Abstract Compensation Effect”?

  • thoreauly77

    hey now bump, i was 29 when i started commenting on here! respect the o.g.’s!!!!

  • Bang

    kramer deserved his shit and so do most assholes who get heckled. stop crying folks

  • Cuban FUCKING Link

    what is a C-Boy?I mean really, what IS a C-boy.Like how do u define a C-Boy from a non C-Boy?