Way out there on the wicked, broken fringes of society, those ugly and savage edges that always seem to be moving ever closer to the mainstream and appear more dangerous to the collective soul than ever, there live some masterful miscreants of the human drama, bizarre creatures so moldy and low they can't but help you see the world anew.
You can, for example, happily read about the latest wanderings of Fred Phelps' adorable "God Hates Fags" cluster of manure clumps from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., right now picketing everything from military funerals to high school musicals, Laramie Project lectures to various modest Christian churches that dare to promote tolerance and love. Phelps and his little bucket 'o bile are widely considered the finest freakshow in all of Nutball Godsville.
Then again, competition abounds. Perhaps you've read about that other amoral chunk of anti-spiritual razor wire named Terry Jones, a leathery little Florida pastor with his tiny flock of 50 whack-nut imbeciles who've decided to go forth with their T-shirt-ready "Burn a Quran" day on September 11th? Talk about your genius marketing. I predict a new reality show.
Jones' charmingly repulsive event has not only outraged the easily outraged fundamentalist fringes of Afghanistan (really, it doesn't take much) but also a very unhappy American general who thinks Jones' flagrant idiocy could endanger the lives of American soldiers. Not bad for a shriveled, pea-sized soul from Florida, eh Terry? Jesus would be so proud.
Don't stop just yet. What about that (now-ex) Tea Party slug named Tim Ravndal, suddenly infamous for posting a sweet little joke on Facebook about lynching gay people to death -- a thoughtful reference to Matthew Shepard -- because apparently Ravndal's God-given right to be a tiny-brained macho cockroach from Montana are threatened by the fact that some people are far more secure in their sexuality than he will ever be? Oh, Tea Party, will your nefarious gifts never cease?
On it devolves. How low do you want to go? Nazi skinheads? Black Tea Party inverto-racists? The 57 percent of Republicans who think Obama is a Muslim? Feverish Glenn Beck sycophants loading up the pickup truck with shotguns and Coors Light, on their way to take out an abortion clinic or maybe a Gay Pride parade, but who take the wrong exit and/or drive into a wall because they can't read the GPS?
Comedic horrors thrive, moronism seems to inbreed and fester, and most of it manifests under the banner of a mutant Christian God, or extreme conservatism, or some form of fundamentalist moral outrage that can't exactly be explained but which often makes its most devout adherents appear to be nothing more than frenetic fleas sucking blood from the Great Hound of life. The beast merely scratches and sighs, and keeps right on gnawing the bone of eternity.
Perhaps you stop to ponder, as I occasionally do....
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Mark Morford is the author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, a mega-collection of his finest columns for the SF Chronicle and SFGate. Get it at daringspectacle.com or Amazon;. He recently wrote about the world's most perfect product, the wonderful hoax that is global warming, and the dark, magnificent horror of the BP spill. His website is markmorford.com. Join him on Facebook, or email him. Not to mention...
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