That fucking guy, I swear to God. I can't believe he's still breathing. But it reminds me of a blog post I've been intending to write since before I even had a blog. Unfortunately, since Phelps hasn't had the courtesy to just die already (not that he's done a courteous thing in his whole miserable life, so I shouldn't be surprised), I haven't had the chance to offer my obituary. And by now, it would hardly be worth it anyway. Phelps has so diluted any kind of mystique he might have once had as the boogeyman of homophobic vitriol that he's barely worth the effort. Between protesting soldiers' funerals and the weirdo incestuous cult, he's become easier to dismiss than even his contemporary hateful religious freaks like Robertson and Falwell. What's the point of even believing in hell if you're going to cast Matthew Shepard and George W. Bush there?
But here's the thing: There are maybe four news events in my lifetime where I remember exactly where I was as they unfolded, down to the spot in the room I was sitting in. I remember being home from kindergarten in the living room while my mom folded clothes as we watched the space shuttle Challenger explode. I remember holing up in my dorm room for hours the afternoon of the Columbine massacre. I remember stepping out the shower as the second jet hit the World Trade Center and standing in my towel for a good hour and a half before I could leave the room long enough to put on clothes. I'm willing to bet a whole mess of people remember where they were for those three.
Number four on my list is the funeral of Matthew Shepard. This was my freshman year of college, and while I was living on campus, I was home a lot. I'd been hearing about Shepard's beating and how he'd been on life support and how he ultimately died, but if you know me and my spotty news-following habits, you won't be too shocked that I wasn't staking out cable news for updates. Which is indeed weird considering what a high-profile gay-bashing it was. I mean, I wasn't out at the time, but it's not like these things weren't important to me. But whether I was too busy to follow the news or "too busy" to follow the news, whatever the case, I was home from school on a weekday and saw that CNN had the funeral on TV. I remember it as clear as anything I've ever seen. It's snowing in the middle of October in
I wonder, sometimes, how many people have had their eyes opened by Phelps and finally saw bigotry and hatred for the ghoulish and ugly thing it is. I wonder how many converts he's made to the idea that our shared humanity is too valuable to be wasted on such flailing and impotent anger. Not enough, I suppose, but I bet there have been some, which I guess means Fred Phelps isn'tso worthless after all. God may hate fags, but let no one say he doesn't have a plan for even His lowliest creatures.