Talk The Talk: Walt Sherman, Shut The Duck Up
Ride The Ducks: Perhaps there is nothing in this city that unites us more than our hatred of the foul duck boats that populate the well-trodden tourist attractions of this great city. And while many have complained, and even more have given the finger to these nuisances (which truly do represent everything Philadelphians hate about the rest of America), one man has risen above the masses to say that this duckery must stop. His name is Walt Sherman, a former Park Ranger driven to distraction by the Ducks, and his group, Shut The Duck Up, is a growing cabal of angry city dwellers who are mad as hell and aren’t gonna take it anymore. Tomorrow, Shut The Duck Up will stage its first public protest against the Ducks by attempting to block their path from returning into the river — the ultimate Duckriding moment. The group is staging this act of duckus interruptus to set forth the points outlined in their petition:
The Ride the Ducks Tours are loud, noisy, obnoxious and an ear sore to local citizens of the Philadelphia area. By blasting music, shouting over a loud PA system, and encouraging the tooting of “quackers,” the Ride the Ducks Tours consistently disrupt the life of the average Philadelphian and are violating a number of noise pollution laws.
After the jump, we talk with Walt Sherman about his journey from happy-go-lucky Park Ranger to fierce activist.
OK. So, for those unfamiliar with your cause — your righteous and legitimate cause, which, by the way, is wholeheartedly endorsed by the entire staff of Philebrity.com — please tell our readers what the Shut The Duck Up Movement is all about.
Well, it all stems from my work as a Park Ranger here in Philadelphia. I used to work in Independence Park and anyone who’s familiar with that area knows it’s pretty much duckboat central. Long story short. I had to quit/lose my job do to the annoyance of these ducks. It doesn’t help that I
live along one of the routes… they basically drive me nuts… so I started up STDU as a way of giving voice to the frustration these ducks cause the people of Philadelphia. Because, as you just proved, I’m not the only one.
I’m sorry, I don’t wanna get hung up on this, but you lost your job due to these fat fannypacker motherfucking Philistines with their quackers? Please explain!
Well… As I said these boats came through/around the park almost hourly. Everyday. At first it was just an annoyance. Hell, I thought they were kinda funny. But, day in and day out they where there blasting crappy music and screaming with their quackers. Now add on a few years of this stuff. At one point there was an incident and I don’t think I can or should go into more details.
Sir, I love everything about you. So, you started Shut The Duck Up. What does it do? How does it work?
Thanks! Well at first (and for a while) it was just me trying to bring attention to the problem the ducks are causing in our city. I go out and flier and bring a quacker or two and try to prove my point: No one likes being quacked at. I know it seems kind of hypocritical to do exactly what I am trying to stop, and I really hate doing it, but unless you live and work in east CC you don’t have to deal with it. The ducks don’t go by City Hall, so I DO. After doing this for a while I met made friends with people who share my views or at least sympathize with them so I have a ton of volunteers who flier and go out and talk to people about it. They’ve helped me get more modernized and start the blog and stuff. I mean.. we’ve even got a person helping with PR now. We’re a movement! The Drexel students filmed what I do on average and I feel it’s a pretty good portrayal of me — you should go watch that.
One thing I think people don’t realize is that Ducks are not by any stretch a Philly phenomenon, indigenous to our culture. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: They are classless interlopers. But, so far as I can see, they’re not breaking any laws. With that in mind, what can be done to eradicate them?
Yea. The ducks are everywhere! The paper in Seattle did a piece on me and even put my video on it’s blog because they are ruining their city too! Well, they kind of ARE breaking laws. I mean, South St has signs up that say you get a $300 fine for playing your car stereo loudly but a duck boat can play loud music with people screaming over it and some retard talking to people on the street? C’mon.
Also… I’m not trying to eradicate them. I just want them to shut up. How can you learn about a city when you’re quacking the whole time. Philly needs tourists (for better or worse!) but we don’t need anymore loud obnoxious assholes. We get plenty coming over from South Jersey! ha.
All true. So what’s the deal with this protest you guys are staging?
We wanted to up the ante and do something symbolic so we are trying to stop the ducks from entering the river. It will be like that China thing where the guy stopped the tanks!
How many folks are you anticipating?
Well, it’s tough. I wanted to do it on Saturday so more people could show up but our PR person though we’d get a better media turnout. I hope there will be a ton of people there! But I understand that some people have to work. It’s Tomorrow at 10:00am At Race and Delaware.
Well, God bless you for the work you’re doing. Good luck, and thanks for chatting with us!
Talk The Talk: Walt Sherman, Shut The Duck Up
Posted by Walt Sherman at 11:00 AM