Ratto: The Aubrey Huff Conundrum, for anyone who still cares

The best play is to just let him head toward the void on his own

Ray Ratto
February 18, 2020 - 12:16 pm

Aubrey Huff has claimed that his right to free speech, offensive or otherwise, is under assault because the San Francisco Giants have refused to invite him to their celebration of the team's 2010 World Series, but he conveniently forgets the equally enforceable right to not listen to him.

More to the point, though, Huff, the former Giant turned shock jock on the hoof, has already won what he wanted to win — more notice. In fact, I'd be willing to bet a quid or two on him turning up at the stadium August 16, the day of said fete, to make more publicity hay. He will be trying to co-opt the day in his own revolting way, and if he chooses to take this path, he'll do it.

To which I say, fine. The new rules of public notice make such guerilla tactics the most effective way to get people to notice behavior, and Huff is working on his unchained crackpot disruption game.

Yes, there are troubling ideas about the Giants trying to change this part of their history because Huff is now aggressively revolting and therefore inconvenient to the show they are assembling in August. He has made the calculated choice to trade in his baseball life for one of free-range provocateur, and the Giants have taken the bait, as both he and they knew they would. It's the dance they are all agreeing to do.

That said, he has chosen this particular forfeit largely to attain the attention of people who would not otherwise bother with him, and those who find his views unpleasant and even deliberately hateful would probably be best served ignoring him as an increasingly desperate irrelevance. I mean, he isn't a policy maker, he isn't changing anyone's mind one way or another, and like many folks who tackle the wasp hive of social media, he is shrieking into a void.

And he gets to do just that, just like the people he incites get to object to him. But as a tactical and strategic matter, the better play for those who object to his uniquely repulsive view of the world is to just let him head toward the void on his own. Paying him no attention is also the play most folks cannot resist — outrage leads to counter-outrage fuel feeds on fuel, and the next thing you know, the garage is a pile of soot and the insurance company is trying to contrive a way not to cover the damage. It's 21st century America, kids. Strap in for the ride and don't be surprised if the road ends before the car does.

And with that, we bid everyone involved in the new Huff thing a not so fond farewell. Remember, he's not a policy maker or even an influencer, so he makes no impact unless that he is given by those he antagonizes. So we'll just say this and then move on: You can't miss him if you won't let him go away.

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