I have an inner heckler. It’s somewhere out there in the audience. I hear it all the time.
It started riding my ass when I was about 12 years old or so. Its wisecracks aren’t very wise. It says stuff like, “You suck” and, “Don’t quit your day job!”
I hear my inner heckler loudest in those quiet, meditative moments. But I’ve never seen its face because the audience is a black abyss. I’m blinded by all the bright lights shinning on me. That’s how hecklers like him operate. They’re brash and bold as long as they can remain in the dark. They’re anonymous bullies, like those faceless commenters on the internet.
And I don’t think I’m the only one who's being hounded by an inner heckler. I see people watching wrestling, spellbound. I see people wearing those virtual reality goggles and vigorously sword fighting nobody. I see people in churches, surrendering their souls to an invisible deity.
It seems to me that these people are all trying to drown out their inner hecklers. But it’s a futile game. You can’t win. If you pay any attention at all to the inner heckler, it wins because it just wants to distract you.
Please don’t get me wrong. I know heckling can be a good thing sometimes. It can be a constructive force, if done for the right reasons. It all depends on who’s heckling whom. Like for instance, heckling a fascist is always a good thing because then you’re distracting them from being a fascist, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
But other than that, the way to beat a heckler is to not pay any attention to them. So the best thing to do with your inner heckler is to try your best to ignore it and carry on, unless you’re a fascist.
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