I want to have a little band play one of those goofy comedy stingers ("shave and a haircut - two bits", rimshots, muted wah-wah-waaaaaah trumpets, etc.) to underscore the loud ranting he says.While I knew I wouldn't be able to cobble together an insouciant band (especially with a trombone, which can make some of the funniest noises a brass instrument could ever hope to make) I meant it. Too often hate, especially Phelps' kind of hate which compels him to picket funerals of AIDS victims and soldiers killed in Iraq, is countered with more hate and yelling and shouting and physical threats. All these responses give Phelps power. He feeds off it. He can use it as a sounding board for further action and condemnation.
Every thing he says, treat it like a comedy line. Take away his SERIOUS BUSINESS power.
So, I figure, why not counter hate with laughter? Ignoring is a personal act. You can only get yourself to Just Don't Look, unless you have Paul Anka singing a song to help. You can't account for the actions of others. You've only got your own actions to worry about and if you feel as if you want to do something, hell, do it with laffs. Ignoring the hate doesn't make it go away, but if you get people to take it less seriously, you've diminished its impact and that's what counts. Fred Phelps is a coward and a bully and has gained his reputation from angering and condemning people he doesn't even know. He's gained his power to attract media attention solely due to his incendiary and confrontational tactics and the angry, shouty responses to them.
But the more you can make him look like a fool, the more you can point out that everything he says is a joke, nothing but complete and utter nonsense, the less power he has.
Some folks have taken the idea to heart and might be running with it today as Phelps spreads the hate around like so much manure. I won't be around to see it, but I hope it does something, if only to amuse those who are doing it.