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8 posts categorized "Hatin' With the Phelpses"

July 21, 2011

An Estranged Son of Westboro's Fred Phelps Wants to Help Drive 'The Bus' to Topeka

250sota-JimLantz What do cult filmmaker Kevin Smith and Burlington playwright James Lantz (pictured) have in common? They're both taking on the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., with their latest projects — and drawing support from estranged members of preacher Fred Phelps' family.

Smith screened his movie Red State — which features a fictional antigay preacher extremely similar to Phelps — in Kansas City. Lantz wants to bring his play The Bus — a drama about teens, religion and small-town homophobia — to the "front steps" of the WBC itself.

Smith has fame capital to invest in his mission. Lantz doesn't — he's raising money on Kickstarter. But he does have the public support of Nate Phelps, who's been estranged from his father and the WBC since he left home at age 18.

Continue reading "An Estranged Son of Westboro's Fred Phelps Wants to Help Drive 'The Bus' to Topeka" »

May 19, 2011

James Lantz Takes "The Bus" to Kickstarter ... and Topeka

TheBusThePlayPromo A few weeks ago I wrote a "State of the Arts" story about Burlington playwright James Lantz being invited to take his play, The Bus, to an off-Broadway venue called 59E59 Theaters. In the piece, I mentioned that Lantz would be fundraising to make that happen. He was a little vague at the time about how that was going to work; he was still brainstorming on it, Lantz told me.

This week, he announced his plan, and it has a surprising twist. More on that in a sec.

The unsurprising part is that Lantz decided to use Kickstarter, a web funding platform that helps people who have a creative idea, but no money, to raise some. Actually, the site helps people help themselves by describing their project/need and inviting other people to send them pledges. And despite all the scams and evil in the world, loads of generous folks are indeed sending in bucks to support ideas they like.

Of course, now that CNN's Anderson Cooper (among others) has done a piece on New York City-based Kickstarter, every person in the entire world who believes he or she has an idea worth funding will be using it. But good for Kickstarter; it's a great idea that saves the unmonied from the humiliation of begging bankers (or mom and dad) for loans, not to mention the huge bummer of being rejected. Those who don't present good ideas on Kickstarter, though, may be surprised to find that altruism only goes so far.

Anyway, Lantz has a good enough reason to solicit money: getting his small indie play from Vermont to a NYC stage would be pretty cool. But he's not relying on good will alone. Lantz's twist relies on rousing the power of hatred. Let me explain.

Continue reading "James Lantz Takes "The Bus" to Kickstarter ... and Topeka" »

September 01, 2009

Hatin' with the Phelpses: Epilogue...

...wherein Lauren waxes philosophical and crap about hanging with the haters.

Now that the charming and affable Phelps clan of Westboro Baptist Church infamy have finished up their whistle-stop tour of hate here in Vermont and have zoomed out of the state in their peppy little Kia minivan, it might be appropriate to reflect on the day. Other people more introspective and cerebral than I might offer some sort of analysis about hate and peace and love and all that junk, but I can only tell you what I took away from the day. And in order to tell you what I took away from the day, I have to tell you what the day entailed. So here goes. Apologies if you nod off.

I hauled my fanny out of bed at 6 a.m., which for a reporter is like being asked to do math or not make stuff up. I hit the road to Montpelier by 6:45 a.m. so I could make it to the high school in time to watch the Swiss Family Bonkers picket students as they rolled into school for their first day back from summer vaykay. Of course when I arrived I was the last media person on the scene. Everyone was there- radio, TV, the daily print papers from around the region. No one was going to miss the most exciting thing to happen to sleepy Vermont since gay marriage.

Everything about the scene was predictable. The signs the four adults Phelpses waved were the same ones they trot out for every soldier's funeral, football game and Catholic church they picket. They read "God Hates You," "Fags Wed," "Antichrist Obama" and "Mourn for Your Sins." I quite liked the sign that read "You Will Eat Your Babies." Still not sure why I might be inclined to eat my babies, but I truly hope it never comes to that; I'm a vegetarian.

My personal favorite was the sign that read "Bitch Burger" and showed a picture of a hamburger with a baby making up half the bun. When I asked Shirley Phelps-Roper, the multi-childrened daughter of church founder Fred Phelps — Shirls to me — what that meant, she broke into some tirade about people in California eating baby eyeballs. Right, then.

Continue reading "Hatin' with the Phelpses: Epilogue..." »

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 4

11:15 a.m.- After a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday outside of OZ Synagogue- "Happy Birthday to Kennedy's death, Happy Birthday to Kennedy's death, the Jews lost their favorite waterboy, Happy Birthday to Kennedy's death"- the Phelpses piled into their sweet Kia Sedona and hightailed it out of town. Please indulge me in a few observations:

1. The Phelpses (and I say Phelpses because there wasn't a one of them who wasn't part of the clan. They like to keep in the fam, nomsayin?) are nothing if not law-abiding. There's not a jaywalker among them. They hit every crosswalk and followed every directive they're given by police. When they were told to stand in the greenbelt outside of Chabad, goshdarnit, they stood in the greenbelt. I bet they even drive the speed limit.

2. The Phelpses are really fast walkers. Shirls is a powerhouse. She could go to the Hate Olympics for speedwalking.

3. The Phelpses are really bad singers. No, like REALLY bad. Like braying donkey bad.

4. The Phelpses are not nice. Despite appearances, they're actually pretty mean. Shirls told me I didn't look like a professional journalist. Ok, what part of my jeans, T-shirt, sneaker outfit made me look unprofessional?

5. The Phelpses don't really have their facts straight. Shirls called Seven Days a "fag paper," which I take exception to since neither of the female owners of the paper are fags. They're not even dykes.  WTF!!! Factcheck, Shirls, before you make outrageous claims like that.

IMG_3316 Oh, how I love college kids.

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Nothin' says get the hell out of our state like a little pie in the face.

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 3

10:22 a.m.- Phew, hating is exhausticating. I'm pooped from all this picketing. The singing and the running and the sign-holding- I'm not sure if they work out to train for all this hating, but I can barely keep up.

So here's what's happened so far- I sprinted from Montypee in my little Vibrator, passing a few cops along the way at 80 mph to catch up with the Phelpses at UVM. It's not like anything new would happen- they're still hating, only now they're changing the words to John Denver's "Country Road." Their harmony is pretty beautious.

At the present moment, Shirls is outside the Chabad of Vermont wearing a bloody apron made from Israeli, U.S. and rainbow flags, is screaming at a man wearing a t-shirt that says "Super Jew," telling him to wipe the feces from the corners of his mouth. Classy.

Now they're heading over to Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, the last stop on the tour de hate. Stay tuned.

IMG_3285
Somebody did some good preparin'.

IMG_3277
Shirls, your apron is sorta gross.

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 2

8:32 a.m.- Ok, I'm freezing my sweet ones off with all this hatin'. I'm wondering if the Phelpses brought the chill with them from Kansasss.

Things have been pretty amusing thus far. Here are the highlights:

- As I was taking pictures on the sidewalk in front of the hate clan, I was called a brut and told to get off the sidewalk. Shirls was all like "Just because you're a dyke doesn't mean you can block the sidewalk." Ok, so how did she know I was gay? She has some pretty finely tuned gaydar for a breeder.

- Props to the Montpelier High School students who came out to counterprotest, especially the fellow sans shirt and the girl with braces who called them "media sluts." Love it.

- Many people have driven by and screamed out the windows at the Phelpses. They seem unfazed by it. Like when the guy in the pickup truck yelled "Fuck you and fuck Jesus, too" they didn't even balk. They just kept on singing their hate tunes. Brills.

- Shirls is a pretty awesome lyricist. She's like Bernie Taupin, only she hates fags. And she's bankrupt. Anyway, she's all singing up some craziness to the Beatles "Let it be," changing the words to blah, blah, blah, thank god for dead soldiers or some such nonsense.

- Bake sale!!!! Some kids organized a bakesale outside of the statehouse during the picket. If I had more than two nickels to rub together, I totally would have noshed on one of those love cupcakes. It'd certainly be better than Shirls' bitch burgers.

- Awesome quote from Shirls: "Whenever God smacks you, we'll be there." Um, how can God smack me? He doesn't have any hands. Or arms.

More pics:

IMG_3234

What is Santa's Little Helper doing on her sign?

IMG_3232

This is what Vermont looks like.

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 1

Today the great state of Vermont is being visited by Kansian hatemongers, the Westboro Baptist Church. As expected, the morning got off to a rollicking start full of singing and hating and flag-stomping. Fun for the whole family, including 7 y.o. Luke Phelps-Roper, ringleader Shirley Phelps-Roper's 11th child, who has been shivering his hate-filled socks off for the past 40 minutes.

8:03 a.m.- The Phelpses have just taken up their station in front of the Statehouse. They are joined by about 100 counterprotesters wearing everything from clown suits to God getups. It's pretty sweet. I asked Phelps-Roper what a "Bitch Burger" is and she talked to me about p eople in California eating their babies eyeballs. Cool. Here are some pics:

IMG_3238
This is what child abuse looks like.

IMG_3247
This is what balls looks like.

Ok, I'm going to get back to the hating. More later.

PS- Shirley is a mad-good singer. I'm going get one of her albums.

More later.

August 18, 2009

Westboro Baptist Band of Crazies Coming to VT?

God-hates-signs Friends, I cannot tell you how excited I am. OK, I'll tell you. On Sept. 1, in the year of our lord two thousand niner, Fred Phelps, the hate-spewing sign-monger from Kansas, will be gracing us with his presence here in the Green Mountain State. Well, he'll probably just be sending his minions, and by minions I mean his toothy daughter Shirley and her umpteen inbred children. They're coming to protest our little state for crimes against a wrathful God or some such nonsense.

Here's a little background on Mr. Phelps (no relation to human fish cum mad toker Michael Phelps) and his Westboro Baptist Church. Apparently God visited Phelps and was all like, "Yo son, what's wrong with this world? Dudes are doing other dudes and it goes against my will 'n' shit." And Phelps was all like, "Oh, word, homes. Guys screwing other guys in the poopshoot ain't cool. I gotta do sumpin' about this." And God was all like, "Dawg, you need to represent me on Earth. Ain't nobody down there listening to me." And Phelps was all like, "God/Jesus/the holy spirit, I feel you. You can count on me." Then he started making crazypants signs that say God Hates Fags and Thank God For AIDS and other awesome stuff like that. Sign Guy Steve totally ripped them off.

Continue reading "Westboro Baptist Band of Crazies Coming to VT?" »

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