« Freakonomics Radio

48. Boo…Who?

2011-11-08 | 🔗
Is booing an act of verbal vandalism—or the last true expression of democracy?
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Amendment the governor of Pennsylvania, former mayor of Philadelphia, former life, and you know what we're here to talk about today. Right now, we ve all heard some of us have hurt, at least at Philadelphia is actually the capital of sport, going away. Fans are incredibly passionate. Theirs. Stemmer supporter fans in the world. They will do lack of effort. They will be closing players booby caused by the empires and yet the moon, Santa Claus, Santa Claus thing actually did happen. Beckoned eighteen sixty eight Philadelphia, Eagles football game. It helped cement the belief that Philip, is the town that booze the most the best the war There is one last game of the year. It was right before Christmas, it was in Franklin Feel, are all stadium
the eagles, it won to games. That years of fans were just pissed off in general, and then the regular Santa Claus they were going to use for this have time show got sick, So they went into the stands. The fine guys and Santa Claus suits and see if a volunteer and they they found was described looking dirty suit, It was the worst linking Santa Claus I ever saw and they put up on this lead. I guess paid him. Some Cardiff, Moran and everyone myself included. First, from W and Y, see an ATM american public media, this is Reaganomics radio. This week, blue, who here's your hopes, Stephen up
yo you two anyway, let's get back to Philadelphia, Franklin field December, fifteenth nineteen sixty Santa Claus getting the scrawny looking Santa who got dragged down from the stands at night was named Frank Alito. He was a native philadelphian. You know how you could tell because Here's what a leave of told the Philadelphia Daily NEWS after he got booed and pelted by snowballs. He said quote: I'd have done exactly the same thing. If I wasn't on the field, no keep in mind Philadelphia, not just any city, Edwin Del knows that. Well, if you wanted to get a philosophical here for a minute, you could see,
you know. Philadelphia was the cradle of the political part of the revolution, at least than if we didn't have a bunch of dissenters. We were never country right now to start with. True Thomas Pain was the very first blue bird it is his pamphlets and remarkably effective in don't you know, suddenly nation in mourning the borders, I'm Stephen debonair from New York Thomas Pains, I hope you're the unwary, the more or less up there in New York at this time of year. The loyalists are much of a threat and well that's very good. In fact, I met up with a Thomas pain impersonator in Philadelphia. I like to write in taverns. So just like people right, Starbucks today you would sit down in a tavern
I'd, say it's a coffee chain are no future every house icy in Thomas Pains time there was a tradition brought over from Europe called audience. Sovereignty audiences were expected to react to interact his eyes boots, his sister he's like a snake, a number of people doing it can it can carry quite like this was nothing new. Of course. Here's Richard Butch, the sociologist. It right the university from the ancient Greeks through the Elizabethan Shakespearean era, in to the nineteenth century there early nineteenth century, in the U s. What we find is that in all those areas, as well as in non western areas. What you find as they audiences actually worked, were typically fairly active, but today
going lives on in sports in some places, at least, but overall there's been a real decline in booing me. Come on tell me the truth, don't you sometimes have the urge the theatre, maybe during a meeting with your sick, headed boss, I'm very conflicted about On the one hand, I think it's a kind of herbal vandalism and I'm. What kind of annoyed when people boo around me, on the other hand, if crack of one of the last true expressions of democracy, that's Robert lip site. He's a writer spend a lot of his career, covering sports for the New York Times despair racial and social and political angles of sport, unlike most of his peers, he didn't come to this as a
in his memoir is called an accidental sportswriter he's also an opera buff. I saw the last few performances of Parvati a couple of years ago. Before he died, the voice was gone and with the voice gone, it was also really hard to now. Forgive the fact that he was He was at the school that was known as park and bought these kind of the opera singer Speedo, who just kind of stand there, and not a lot of acting Now a lot of acting, not a lot of moving Stephen Losers, Clark and BAR, and then he would do their bit in in these final performer,
It was even beyond the of the bark the bark was gone in. The parking was almost ludicrous in the final scene where he was to die. A member in task was to die at a fire Skype, no, he he was shot. Twenty times needs careful sword himself very slowly. It took me: four and I remember thinking this is beyond me. Sorry for our hero being pathetic in the sky, should not be doing this If there was any justice people would if I had any kurdish regional group, of course, I'd say two seconds a year. Driving a scenario where, according to the the the rules and regulations and morals of public performance at this guy should have been great end. And you're saying he wasn't it wiser
You didn't you were there. You have the opportunity, I confess had you bought your ticket. Her was, freebie now we're very expensive subscribers. Let me say this: known Bob website for quite a while, and I like em allow things a great writer, but the fact is he's a grump grouch if he will boost something as bad as Pavarotti Park embargo is the cut loose, so they come out on stage and I go Terry teach out is a theatre clinic for the Wall Street Journal.
It was in New York City ballet a number of years ago, not not under the present regime, when the orchestra was in a terrible state of disrepair and they performed a very difficult score by Igor Striven ski to a ballet by George bound chain, and they butchered it. And I was furious and at the end I boot is the only time I have ever done in my life. I think I was the the person in the theater who was doing it, and I doubt if anybody knew why I was doing it to be perfectly honest with you, but I felt a lot better for having done it. It should be said that teach up. The ballet as a civilian that might not, as a critic, I've never heard a single boo on Broadway as long as I've been reviewing, which is going on nine years now. How on earth can that be
I often wonder myself and the conclusion. I've come to other than some vague theory about how Americans are just basically nice people which may or may not be true, is that tickets on Broadway cost an enormous amount in. So people feel, I think, obliged to vest themselves in the performance in a way that they might not if the ticket costs half as much if you're putting out a hundred and twenty five dollars for your seat. You want your show to be good and I think that there may be some built in biased there than inclines you to enjoy. What you see right. There is a phenomenon that site
I'll. Just an economist talk about the endowment effect when something is yours and when you have attached value to at you, you you inflate the value of it, because it exactly right and in when you are in doing a performance with assuming that you bringing a date three hundred dollars or more a pop, not including the incidental costs of travel of having dinner of all the things that go into a night at the theatre, you're talking about a fairly substantial investment in NAM that makes sense. But let's, let's entertain an alternate scenario. Let's pretend that there was a lot of Boeing on Broadway and we might say well it's because the tickets are so expensive and when you pay that much, you expect that the product will be satisfactory to you and it's not and yet it doesn't happen. So so, maybe not
about the money. Well, I can. I can see a case for arguing that demand characteristics of the situation or are shaping the white people respond on Broadway, except that people boo in Opera House is dark and I've heard it. I've heard people absolutely tearing their hair and screaming with dislike, usually over productions. I've never heard an individual performer booed at the met. What they boo is the production of a standard opera that is extremely eccentric in some way not to their liking, see think at route. We should have more booing. I would be encouraged if I heard at once in a while. I would not want the kind of a full scale incivility that is common in italian opera houses. I don't want to see people throwing tomatoes and I actually suggested as a kind of thought experiment what I
the silent blue, which would be you would install in your lobby a pair of of plexiglas bins into which people dropped their programmes as they left Mark cheers in the other mark cheers. Now I see merit of that idea, but I'm here Hand there's nothing remotely visceral about. I mean is that kind of the point of the blue is it reflects the audiences visceral reaction to and investment in the performer and that's a different kind of thing than checking a box on a kind of you know. Customer satisfaction survey right well. There now bear in mind that there is a big difference between checking a box on a customer survey
and storming into the lobby and flinging programme into the jeers, been in full view of a hundred Edna. How I think it's conceive warrant if somebody were to do it. I think that people would in fact see that as an outlet for expressing their feelings about the performance and also one that would not just be cathartic but might well supply useful information to the producers of the show. That said, I agree with you about going. I think, there's something really natural about doing You know sometimes, when I see a really awful show, even though I didn't spend any money and you're getting paid decided furious as a dynamic is exactly the opposite, and yet it still frustrating. While I paid with time I paid with part of my life that I can never get back, I take people to show us because they always give two proceeds and sometimes on the way out I'll, say another two hours closer to the great coming up.
Where audience sovereignty and the boom are still alive and well please miss anonymous little keyboard and it was anyone this is something you don't do. I said more men and what do you do when you get the issue. Thanks to Pennsylvania, lottery, scratch ass, pennsylvanians or scratching their way to fund, and we new games every month, big top rises and second chance, drawings, excitements, always in order. So try Pennsylvania, lottery, scratch offer your ticket to fund and get yours today keep on scratching. Must be eighteen or older. Please play responsibly benefits older pennsylvanians. Every day.
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which way you rose. They they have the shade to match with more than eight thousand wines, four thousand spirits and twenty five hundred years to choose from you can always expect the unexpected what'll it be. Today, explore more in store or at total wine dot com. From W and Y, see and eight p M american public media. This is for economics. Radio, I've never been booed, but I think that a bad thing, because I think, in order to get food, people actually have to have high expectations about you that Steve Levitt, my free economic friend and co, author and I'll think anyone's ever had high expectations about me. Bother to one issue I mean you think about baseball is never the number nine here the sharks up who bats to twenty who gets food? I mean everyone knows these terrible. It's a guy like ready
yeah or or or David Ortiz, whose whose very bonds guy who spoke, to be good and then disappoint you who end up getting food. I get what Levin saying if you ve made the big time if your professional flip booze kind of combat the territory, if you aren't getting You probably haven't gotten where you wanna go. Nobody Boozer fad, clown and kids birthday party do things they dont boot amateurs We visited the legendary APOLLO Theatre in Harlem for amateur night. Brace yourself, Ella Fitzgerald Billy. How
Jackson, five, they all played amateur night near the place, can be pretty unforgiving among the future stars who got booed James Brown Luther Ban Dross and a thirteen year old, Lauren Hill an amateur night. The embassy encourages the audience members to vote with their voice. Once you see tonight, cp lazy is wearing, ran suit, I would have his work here for nearly twenty five years. I've been here for me he's the executioner, the guy that performers do not want to see. It is my job to read the stage of any unwanted acts. In other words, well,
Hey you sing a song yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda ban stifling a totally different found in one using an. I come out tapping Tell you get up the state, they don't even know what's happening because so much is going on. There still thing it is on the cards, the idea I'm getting backstage dancers are running through their acts. Singers, warming up, here's Ellis gauge, M twelve years old I'll, be singing eight, no mountain high enough. Now, if you mean call me no matter where you no matter how small draw worry, baby,
called out my name, how they were very soon after it was didn't get in part, because we really really good, but even if you weren't, you would have been spared at the APOLLO you're, not supposed to be a kid, but this net, guy he wasn't it,
images, Nobody wants to boot. There's a big neighbour. Have mercy.
People get an owner are so. Let's see you shouldn't book kids, but it is ok to boot in the name of those are some of the rules of Boeing at the APOLLO, Ed Randal, the former governor of Pennsylvania, he's done a lot of thinking about the dews and don't of Boeing is well. He once wrote a newspaper column with the headline randalls rules for booing. I wonder if we could walk through them quickly. You may be community. Ample of each one. Sure you write that good natured booing is always allowed, and I say, good major brewing like say Buddha popular politician I remember once I get It is a mare with eighty one percent of the vote and the next night, I went to a seventy Sixers game. They made still you introduce me and I got bird but good natured. I would say, probably
ninety percent of the people in there in the stands voted for me, but that was good nature boy I so you re doing a politician is all acceptable Allworthy, whereby we did our vision. Who ventures out the field you ve had that experience a few times you through your share first balls and doesn't go well. Does it they never goes. Well. I, throughout the first ball at the opening of has birds, new stadium, and, I guess, two states Army game, half of the money. I still got that doesn't seem fair. Does it Wrendale get booed at a stadium that he helped fund? But if you're a politician you got to learn to live with the boo. Oh what to do with them save climate and I'm a professional sociology. You see, I claim and once wrote a paper about booing and applause and political speech.
Analyze more than forty hours of material, including some presidential, is IRAN. Talking to Iraq, about peace, you'd, on the record. Are the soviets coming out of Afghanistan? How does it look and of programmes? It calls for a year some one of these marvellous Boston, adjectives apparent about and go now. We every chance now several boss, you don't like it, but the rest of the country will understand. Now we have it that was George Bush, the elder Michael Dukakis, to be in nineteen. Eighty eight. We don't actually here Dukakis there to talk to me about this one. Yes, I thought it was an excellent example of the way a speaker can respond to doing response when it happens, Bush how to come back for the booming that turned out to be quite effective. So he's talking about foreign policy and in the course of his remarks in an embedded in
the way he makes it. Derisive remark about Bostonians and that gets people in the audience. To begin to, he said several Bostonians, don't like it, but the rest of the country will understand This is a way or method. If you will for dealing with doing when it occurs, and the method he's using, to marginalize. The Boers at is to characterize the people in the room who are doing the billing, as not representing the majority but rather as a narrow self interested slice, so he managed to turn the opposite of going into a supportive episode of upon right, he turned the booze back, and it was a boomerang. I guess what that's right. In our attempt to understand the blue, you ve got one more story to tell you and if you ask me this one is the story of the ultimate boomerang
My name is John Master. I am a sporting goods store owner at this time. Oh my business in Kosovo with a baseball and that's basically what other Johnny the master is being a little bit humble. He left out the part about playing major league baseball for twelve seasons, mostly for the San Francisco giants. Now he was hardly the best baseball play that ever lived. In fact, he was a short stop with a career batting average of about two twenty. The very kind of play, Steve Levitt talked about who usually isn't targeted for booing, I'm just an ordinary person, but of live in an extraordinary laughin. That's all because of baseball during this long career years with the giants. There comes a time, I believe in nineteen, seventy nine, when the giant
fans are in San Francisco or, and I guess a sour mood. The team is not doing as much winning as they like. In the end, they got particularly unhappy with you and that led to a a situation. Can you walk me through that sure besides aim was playing real, where I was in plain real oil and booing star. I guess I'll became the whipping posted per se if, if you wanna call TAT and it s later than started getting worse each each game. Even when I just bought my head ALA dug out, it would be blue or something of that night and what's it feel like from the athletes perspective, to be booed like that, as I assume that you're trying hard ran it. I think that everybody knows there is a difference between booing, for when someone you know doesn't put out effort when they and when they make a mistake, there's a big difference in those two things. So what I could ever both my fur
for a lack of air for lack of hustling, but an athlete wants to please his home crowd more than anything in the world and its a crushing. It's a thing that hurts so bad when your own plans blue, but I want my fans to be pleased with what I'm do, because they are the ones that pay my salary they're, the ones it come in and cheer ass on. There are the ones that care about is the most God we as some diehard giants, I'm still a giant fan and heart and how we will by now. Why was it you? Why were you the guy that they started to build people, or I don't know I say, fickle- wants something like a start is gonna snowballs and the
that month. I guess I made a few hours at the wrong time and again said a few things in the newspapers that are probably I said at the time by a young idiot key and what kind of things you said in the newspaper Johnny Aware: Hug Hydro, probably just keep it to myself, was it about baseball or was it kind off topic? It was off topic. It was more about some political size. It going on in that that never works? Well. Does it know it's I'm a very conservative person and that's more than one more of the most liberal places, a tourism in the world and some of the things I didn't say I M to hurt anybody, but I said, and to try to make people think this is. Francisco this wasn't about. Homosexuality, maybe was it. It was ok, so so in San Francisco- and you say something that could be interpreted as a concern.
View on homosexual. That's not gonna go very well and blaming the booze escalated. This went on for weeks. The master was pretty happy about it and, finally, one they lying in bed with his wife. She an idea for how he ought to handle the booze. The next day I went, our equipment manager, I said Like me, a jersey up with my number on it and put instead of my name, will master ass. It put both on the back of an it hung in my locker for a couple of weeks, and I finally got enough nerve to put it on and where it Annick panic game, but I only got aware for the top here for the first anti after the game. There's a ladder in our minds
in front of my locker up, my general manager, family, five hundred dollars for being a uniform, but here's. Here's the whole thing about the fans loved. The media love it got. The fans of my back and it got the media off my back. An you decided to wear the Jersey. I guess when you decide to make the Jersey what are you trying to say we just trying to make fun of yourself for you trying to acknowledge it. You heard the booze. Are you trying to do the fans back? What was the kind of message you think I was trying to the funds away instead of Boeing Gyro master that whenever they say they were gonna blue that they were actually cheer. Because I was now man, my new name, but I, good time with two. Don't get me wrong here. We are still talking about thirty years later, but here tears
I guess what brings it all back to reality. The last year I played I was with the Elk UNAIDS, I'm sure you ve heard of Reggie Jackson to your head. Reggie was on that time. It was last year. Play it also, but we were up in Seattle and I went down early for breakfast one morning. I was thereby myself that's time. I got rate order, Reggie Walk, Danny's cases by certain words, ass an already come also down. I will eat breakfast go and he came over said that we Chit chat and a little bit and he looked over at me. He said here you get Buedir once in a while, I said ready, I thought the hasty and he looked at me across a day with a sigh about about cases. Let me tell you something: he said people dont blue nobody's now why he told me that I don't know, but he made me feel, like a million bucks,
So, what's it all went up to, I'm not sure we never uncovered any grand unified theory of booing. We found a treasure trove of booing data. Just found stories of booger. Louise Boomerangs, like the stories hope you did too Fr Economics. Radio is produced. By W and Y see a pm, american public media and governor productions. This episode was produced by Diana Win Staff include Susie, Lichtenberg, Catherine Wells Borri, Lamb, calling Campbell increase ban in our into is enchant and David Herman is our engineer. Especial thanks to Josh Barnett Historic, Philadelphia, incorporated Anne Elliot Force, W Q ex are
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Transcript generated on 2021-03-16.