Okay, so I admit it. I’ve been very neglectful of my poor Kaleidolings over the last 9 months or so. No one seems to have voiced too much displeasure (BOO!! HISS!!) but even so I’m going to make a concerted effort to get back on top of regular posts.
I’ve been absorbed in the writing of my dissertation, and am currently working on a section regarding the voicing of dissent and displeasure in the public arena. So imagine my delight when I stumbled across an episode of Freakonomics (the podcast dedicated to “exploring the hidden side of everything”) that dealt with exactly that: the voicing of displeasure in the public sphere.
Looking at the decline of booing and hissing as aural expressions of discontent in American culture and politics, the Freakonomics episode presents an interesting and entertaining look at how dissent is voiced, and why there seems to have been a steady decline since the heyday of the boo. That said, the boo continues to thrive in the sports world (as well as in standup comedy - who doesn’t love booing a terrible comedian??). Freakonomics asks, is booing just a hangover from a different time? Or are there concrete reasons why sports fans feel comfortable voicing displeasure during a game, but this sort of aural activity is rarely heard outside the arena, field or court?
The “Boo..Who?” episode of Freakonomics radio can be streamed for free directly from their website, here. Or you can subscribe and listen (also for free) via the iTunes store.