For new readers: every Friday, in honour of it being the weekend, I put up a movie instead of a long post. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re serious, sometimes they’re weird. It’s whatever crosses my desk as I wander around the internet, and it’s all for you on a Friday!
As you may know, I am a musician in addition to being a scientist. I began playing violin when I was 6, began singing lessons at 8, picked up the guitar at 14, and have kind of been going strong ever since. My long stretches of 9-5 at a desk are punctuated by weekends full of rawking out. I like to call it my Clark Kent/Superman life – I even take my glasses off.
One of my favourite musicians of all time has to be Dave Grohl. The first time I heard In Your Honor, I nearly lost my mind. I played it on endless repeat, transfixed by the skill and care that clearly went into each song. Sometimes you hear a song that seems like it’s speaking directly to you – every cut on that album (and it’s a double album) did that for me. One By One was also top-notch, and Echoes, Patience, Silence, Grace is a goddamn masterpiece.
This, however, is my favourite thing he’s ever done:
Dave Grohl: epic troll.
I often hear people ask what the best way to deal with the Westboro Baptist Church is. Should we slash their tires? Should we beat them up? Should we counter-protest? Should we point out the errors in their theology? Should we stand up against their hate?
Folks like the loonies in the WBC are like Bobo dolls – no matter how hard you smack ‘em, they keep coming back smiling. They are a machine that is fueled by controversy, and the more agitated we get, the more they think they’re winning.
The only sane response to an insane opponent is open, unashamed, joyful and unrestrained mockery. The WBC are a joke. They are self-parody, and the only strength they have is in the anger they can stir up in us. They should be mocked – not because it would piss them off, but because they’re silly! It’s a backwater basement church full of lunatics with weird signs and comically offensive messages. If you put Fred Phelps up on a stage opening for Don Rickles, he’d have the audience rolling in the aisles.
Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have shown us the truth: once we realize how monumentally silly the Westboro Baptist Church is, all that remains is a bunch of sad, lonely people following a confused and deluded old man in his vain attempt to return to the 16th century.
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