Christ knows what it's gunna be but there is something to be learned from our collective experience of the Westboro Baptist Church. Armed with nothing other than hate and the masochistic desire to troll the fuck out of every living thing that ain't Westboro, they've achived global fame and the sort of Internet traffic most would be envious of. Yep, for a group with only 40 members, Westboro has achieved a lot.
This could only happen on the Internet which of all things allows groups with monumental agendas the opportunity to go global in the way that a parish newsletter cannot. I would like to picture these guys singing hyms or collecting money for the poor, you know, regular church stuff. But that's not what they are about. Part of the Westboro success package is the catchy USP of their 'godhates' prefix. Westboro is proof that the internet is a sewer and that the most bouyant shit is always going to float higher, further, faster, louder, shittier, longer. By simply adding 'godhates' on to anything, Westboro have created a brand. It started with a modest project called godhatesfags, and horrid as that seemed at the time, it now seems that god hates everything. Lately it's fallen into tragic self parody, and the master site itself seems more sterile than actually threatening. Still Westboro Baptist Church have come out as the biggest fucking trolls on the planet, and so of course they're going to do well on the Internet. If they weren't the biggest fucking trolls on the planet, then why would Westboro have a website called godhatesthemedia, and on that website you will find the only people who believe that the Ricky Gervais' original version of the The Office is way worse than the US one, which just goes to show you how far you can take this kind of tendentious behaviour. There is something for everyone to hate at Westboro. There's godhatesuk, and the crowning glory in their anti-papal campaign: priestsrapeboys.com. Despite our temptation to block your ears and walk away, Westboro shout louder until they get the trouble they crave, and if they don't get it from you, they just troll harder and troll nastier. They troll shittier. It is symptomatic of the popularity contest that is the Internet, that one big troll, Fred Phelps, and his immediate family can motivate 100,000s of people to act, donate, and care enough to return fire. You're not bothered by the belief that Barack Obama is a fag pimp (whatever that is), a murderer, or even The Antichrist. You recognise these views for what they are. Westboro is a miniscule neighbourhood church in a wooden building, in a small town, in a country far far away. But Westboro, of good old godhatesamerica.com fame, is not that. It's an Internet presence, and as such we'll just have to wait for it to die. Link to an image of Westboro posted on Wikipedia by Americasroof