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News :: GLBT/Queer
Fred Phelps and the Snaggle-toothed Bigots: A review
08 Jun 2005
When it comes to live performances, the Rev. Fred Phelps stands turds
and toilets above his colleagues. After all, this is the man who, along with
his Topeka, KS, band of bigots, rocked Laramie, WY, in 1999 with a show
that not only included plenty of fire and brimstone hits, but a set that was
decorated with signs reading, “God Hates Fags” and “Save the Gerbils.”

A 2001 show in New York City was equally as good, though not nearly as
earth-shattering. Get this: While workers were pulling bodies out of the
wreckage of the Twin Towers, Phelps and company hoisted placards which
proclaimed “Thank God for Sept. 11” and “Towers Crash, God Laughs.”

What is it about Phelps that inspires the masses to flock to his shows?
Maybe it’s because Phelps hates homosexuals. Maybe it’s because he
blames them for all of mankind’s woes. Maybe it’s because he believes that
the end is right around the corner with hair care product in one hand and
lube in the other, ready to tszuj our mangy manes and bugger our
backsides. Or maybe it’s because he’s utterly batshit crazy.

On Sunday, June 5, Phelps and company were scheduled to pay a visit to
Brookline as part of a barnstorming 11-stop tour of Massachusetts. The
visit coincided with the school’s graduation day ceremonies. Expectations
were high for the show. After all, Phelps had recently called Brookline High
a “sodomite whorehouse” and “teenage fag dating service.”

Like usual, the gang showed up right on time, but right off you could tell
something was amiss. Phelps wasn’t there. He pulled an Axl Rose. Still,
enough of his followers were there for a performance. The leaderless band
stepped into an aluminum pen that had been erected for them across from
the school and started in. The absence of Phelps didn’t deter those who
came out for the show. They rushed the barricades and began shouting
“Bigots Go Home” and “Fred Phelps, Go Away. You’re Racist, Sexist, Anti-

All in all, the bigots did their best to entertain, although Phelps’ presence
was sorely missed. The bulk of the group was reliably offensive, if a little
stale, hoisting signs that read “Matt, 6 Years in Hell,” “Fags Eat Scat” and
“America Is Doomed.” But amid this mediocrity, it was a 5-year-old kid who
really stood out. His “Pope in Hell” poster was so sick, I think I need to get
an HIV test. It featured a picture of John Paul II with horns sticking out of his
head. It was the kind of image that would make Jello Biafra consider
reforming the Dead Kennedys just to use the image as an album cover. I
wanted to ask the kid whether the Pope was being punished in Hell, or if he
was appointed a high-ranking official for his supposed adherence to the
party line, but the child was too busy repeatedly dropping his sign and
wandering off to tug on the shorts of an adult presumed to be a relative. I
think he had to pee. I kept expecting the adult to hand him a Mason jar
back and tell him to get on with it.

While the aforementioned kid functioned serviceably in the absence of
Phelps, others seemed totally lost, like the 7-year-old girl who wore her
trademark pink pants, shirt and visor. Evidently unable or uninterested in
connecting with the audience in any meaningful way, Pinky did little more
than stare out at the crowd through her Coke bottle glasses. I don’t know if
it was the ‘ludes or not, but her mouth never shut. It was as open as a
memoirist at an AA meeting. And let me tell you, it would’ve been nice if
Pinky had shut her mouth just once. Seriously, that girl needs an
orthodontist. Later on in life when she’s filming barnyard porn with
Seabiscuit 2, she’s surely going to get a kick to the head for her snagglies,
and then she’ll be out of work for weeks.

One woman, however, let’s call her Calamity Jane, was the bee’s knees.
Wearing a revealing tank top and a pair of short shorts, Jane stood above
the crowd shouting, “Blah, blah, blah,” and “waah, waah, waah” over and
over again. A cell phone and a set of keys were attached to her shorts,
and the weight from the phone and keys pulled the shorts down ever so
slightly, exposing Jane’s belly which spilled over the waistband of the shorts
like George Lucas’ neck fat spills over the collars of his flannel shirts. I don’
t know about you, but I know I’m not the only deviant in the crowd that day
who popped a chubby when I saw those stretch marks across her belly.

Blah, blah, blah? Ooh la la!

Calamity Jane and the piss kid aside, though, the show was disappointing.
The act has become mostly pedestrian and predictable, and the players
seem barely able to summon the manic energy to replicate the
effectiveness of some of their older performances, which is hardly
surprising. One can only hoist a “God Hates America” sign so many times
before burning out. The transience of fame may seem cruel, but it’s simply
a reality of the business.

Chris Haire
chris (at)
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Re: Fred Phelps and the Snaggle-toothed Bigots: A review
08 Jun 2005
Good review.
Re: Fred Phelps and the Snaggle-toothed Bigots: A review
08 Jun 2005
Hahahahahahaha. Good call.
09 Jun 2005
This review also ran in the Weekly Dig, and whether reading it there or here, I'm not impressed. Some of it is good--reviewing Phelps like a piece of performance art is relatively insightful and funny.

But you know what? Spending a paragraph on a 7-year-old girl's bad teeth and blank expression is a bullying cheap shot. What's the matter--couldn't get enough witty copy about the adults, so you needed to churn out a few hundred words picking on a kid? Since you're so concerned, are you going to help her get an orthodontist? Think her parents have dental insurance?

Tear apart Phelps all you want. But lay off a kid who's being used as a prop. Your hipster friends from the suburbs may laugh as they read it with you in your Allston apartment, but other folks think you sound obnoxious. You can do better.
Re: Fred Phelps and the Snaggle-toothed Bigots: A review
09 Jun 2005
Whatever. Chrs Haire is the same guy who dressed up like a homeless man for a day so he could write an article making fun of homeless people. He's got one more serious strike against him, too. This one just barely dinged the bat, though it is seriously fucked up when you realize he's making money making fun of working-class children who have the misfortune of being raised by batshit-crazy religious fundamentalists who force them to travel around the country as props in their twisted game, homeschool them and are probably seriously, seriously fucking them up physically, mentally and emotionally in the process. But hey, that's cool--Chris is going to go and cash his check, giggling all the way to the bank about how they'll probably be sexually exploited as adults too. If this guy gets one more serious strike against him people should sit down and have a word with him...
Re: Fred Phelps and the Snaggle-toothed Bigots: A review
09 Jun 2005
Well, what do you expect from a newspaper that gave Lyndon LaRouche a fawning interview and has a known white supremacist on its music staff?
Re: Fred Phelps and the Snaggle-toothed Bigots: A review
09 Jun 2005
The Dig gave LaRouche a fawning review?!? I went to one of the LaRouche people's "cadre schools" and they're this really pathetic political cult.

Actually, the Phelps fuckers make it a point not to homeschool their kids so that they can't be accused of brainwashing then.

I take back my earlier comment.