Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The power of words


There's a lovely article over at Laughing Squid about the power of words - even rather random words. Last week Westboro Baptist Church turned up with their usual hate-filled signs outside Twitter's San Francisco office to find a larger group of people were already there carrying random signs. (I have no idea why the WBC was protesting against Twitter but maybe they don't need a reason.)

I'm not sure what was most effective in countering the hate attack: the gentle mockery of the signs or the cheerfulness of the counter-demonstrators. Either way, the self-styled Baptists left earlier than planned, cutting out a scheduled protest against Fiddler on the Roof.

The article and more pictures are here. Thanks to Pewari for the link.

22 COMMENTS:

Richard N said...

The best possible counter to bad faith and bad humour is good faith and good humour - both of which were present in truckloads with the counter-protestors. :-)

Also, kudos to the (sensibly) anonymous cop who asked for the spare "I was promised donuts" sign to tease their sergeant with... if there were more cops like that the world would no doubt be a happier place!

stacy said...

Hah! I love that!

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm glad you wrote a post about this.

I live in Cambridge, MA. We actually have a group in the public schools called LGBTA (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance). A religious group recently picketed the high school because of it. Know what happened? The students at the high school had a counter-demonstration which was well-attended! I was proud hearing that the students rallied to support their gay fellow students.

There's hope.

Old Kitty said...

Hi

You know what always, always makes me not despair at the capacity for human beings to be evil to each other? Other human beings showing immense humanity, humour, selflessness, courage and above all love. And Love, always, always, always triumphs. Always.

:-)

Take care

x

Bevie said...

What could they possibly have against Fiddler on the Roof?

I'm glad more people are finding non-violent (and effective) ways of combating hatred. We need more of this in the world.

maybe genius said...

They've taken to writing parodies of Lady Gaga songs in which they say God hates her and she has a whore face, so I'm pretty unsurprised they have something against Twitter. All the people they hate are probably on Twitter. Which is everyone outside their group, of course.

I do so love counter-protesters :)

fairyhedgehog said...

Richard, you're right of course!

stacy, glad you liked it.

Theresa, it's good to hear about students rallying round against hatred.

Kitty, I'd like to believe you're right and that Love always triumphs, I really would.

Bevie, isn't the fiddler on the roof Jewish? These people don't just hate gays, they have a long list of people that they hate.

fairyhedgehog said...

maybegenius, we must have commented at the same time! I didn't know that about the Lady Gaga songs. I think you're right that they hate everyone who isn't them. Not a good advert for their religion but maybe that isn't the point for them.

Peter Dudley said...

Thanks for letting us know about this.

fairyhedgehog said...

You're welcome!

Whirlochre said...

Organised hatred is so repellent, I'm tempted to say that anything goes as far as countering it.

If bananas work, then all well and good.

Richard N said...

maybe genius - Not only have they been writing parodies of Lady Gaga, they seem to have developed an obscene parody of Christianity too - and that's the real shame because their views in no way reflect the huge majority of Christians who are a loving and caring community that embrace difference in the same way they say Jesus did, or at least in my local experience of working alongside them while being openly 'different'.

My response to haters of any flavour has always been to love them - whether they like it or not.

Their responses can be priceless ;-)

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl, bananas are always good!

Richard, I've had experience of various sorts of Christians and I haven't found them all to be accepting of difference but I've met none as hatefilled as the WBC lot.

David said...

ROFL

I have seen a Sign!

BucksWriter said...

This story brightened my day immeasurably. I love the randomness of the signs, the humour of the 'protestors' and the sheer brilliance of the idea!

I think we should start a global movement to counter all of the ill-informed, hate-filled protest groups that exist :-)

fairyhedgehog said...

David, I have seen a Sign! indeed ROFL

BucksWriter, what a good idea!

Lindsey Himmler said...

This makes me just feel so happy. It's the kind of moment that makes me think there's still just so much good in the world. It just needs a kick in the pants sometimes!

fairyhedgehog said...

Lindsey, I'm glad it made you happy!

Kate said...

Oh what a happy story! I find this immensely moving. I was deeply involved in the LGBT community when I was in college and remember how hard it was to fight our opponents without ever sinking to their level. This is a master class.

fairyhedgehog said...

Kate, not sinking to their level isn't always easy!

sylvia said...

It makes me want a sign. :)

fairyhedgehog said...

sylvia, I wonder what yours would say! Maybe "Can't Backspace" or possibly "Fear of Landing".

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