Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Protest! (in an indignant, accented voice)

Apparently, Westboro Baptist Church is protesting a funeral here in El Paso, TX tomorrow, for a Marine who died in Afghanistan.

Having lived in KS, I saw, read, and heard tons about Westboro. That whole group is a train wreck. Unfortunately, it's the kind you find it hard to look away from. J and I have both been protested, in a way.

A guy I went to college with, my piano teacher's son, actually grew up in Topeka, KS, close to the Westboro church. I remember him telling us once about their weekly protests right on their church grounds. How he and his friends would tease them. They would politely offer a donut, and get hatred spewed at them.

Of course, with Topeka being so close to Lawrence, KS (where we lived), they showed up a lot. If you are a hippy, pot-smoker, or otherwise non-conservative in KS, chances are you live in Lawrence. So needless to say, Westboro didn't like a lot of stuff that happened in our town. They came to protest some event on the KU campus once, and J decided to check it out. He got some good photos of the protesters that he used in his screen printing class.

Westboro also, apparently, protests everything done by the Episcopalian church in Topeka, because they decided it was ok for their clergy members to be homosexual. So, when my secular community choir performed at the Episcopalian cathedral (gorgeous venue), we were protested, even though we had no ties to that church. They offered us a free venue, so we performed.

I've never really understood the point of protesting. Back in Lawrence, there was a group that held weekly protests in front of the court house. They weren't always protesting the same thing. Often they protested to legalize pot. Or at least a few of them did. I never saw how standing on the street with a sign was going to make anyone pass a new law.

I just don't get it. What do they expect to accomplish? Honestly, most protests don't get attention. I beg you never hear of the vast majority of protests. And what does give a protest power? Attention. Westboro has power because they get attention.

My kitty thinks I should pet him instead of blogging.

Silly kitty.

Anywho, seriously. The only reason to stand on the street with signs is to bring attention to your cause. But in this world of the internets, I personally feel that the street protest is growing obsolete. Want to get attention for your cause? Start a damn facebook page.

Look at how much crap you see on fb everyday. Tons. And you find yourself reading crap that you would never bother to waste time on elsewhere, just because someone you know, or kinda know, posted it on fb. Want attention? Go to the internet. Social media is where it's at, people!

I say, put up your protest signs and hit the nets. Want attention? Get online. 

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