With the announcement this week that a woman in the USA was threatening legal action after she was anonymously called a "whore" on YouTube, Folklaw thought it would be an opportune time to look at some of the best, or worst, anonymous insults ever.
(1) Bob Dylan is called "Judas" - When the great man first came onto the scene armed only with an acoustic guitar and his "poor boy's" hat, he was held up as a poster boy for the burgeoning folk scene. Revolution was in the air, and a young Dylan was at the vanguard, penning songs like Blowin' in the Wind and the The Times They are a Changin' which became anthems of that era. However, the darling became the villain when he "went electric" and donned the dark shades and left social justice behind to pen more introverted songs.
While touring in the UK in 1966, a disenchanted fan called out "Judas" during a concert at the Manchester Free Trade Hall. Dylan's response? He told his band, later to call themselves "The Band", to "play it f***in loud".
(2) Yabba's Hill - For many years in the first half of the 20th Century, the famous Australian barracker known only as "Yabba" would sit on the hill at the SCG and sledge opposing cricket teams. Some of his more memorable quotes include telling Douglas Jardine, the captain of the England team during the Bodyline Series, to "leave our flies alone, they're the only friends you've got here" and telling a particularly boring batsman that "I wish I was a pigeon and you were a statue". There is now a statue of Yabba at the SCG.
(3) The sledge itself wasn't that great, but the retort was. When the former British Prime Minster Harold Wilson was campaigning in the Old Dart in the 1960s and outlining his policy on Vietnam, a skeptical member of the public called out "rubbish". Wilson retorted, "We will get to your special interest in a minute sir". Class under pressure.
(4) An example of a lack of class under pressure goes to the former Toronto Blue Jays baseballer Alex Rios. After a game last year, where Rios performed poorly, a heckler yelled out to him while he was signing an autograph that "the way you played today, you should be lucky that someone wants your autograph". Rios retorted to the heckler by stating over and over "who gives a f**k?", until he was removed from the arena. The Blue Jays sold him a little while later.
(5) Kerry Packer was a man famous for delivering the odd acerbic tirade or two, but there is a story doing the rounds that one day while waiting at an airport, he was on the receiving end of a witty barb. A man, who he had never met before, told Packer he was about to meet an important business contact and, to give him an air of importance, asked if Kerry could walk over to him and say hi. Packer agreed and when the contact showed up, right on cue, Packer went over and said hi to his new friend. Expecting a round of introductions, the man, without blinking an eyebrow, said words to the effect of "F**k off Packer, don't interrupt me when I am already talking to someone else". It is said that Packer walked away with a chuckle.