The job hunt continues for yet another week. I heard back from a few jobs telling me that they found someone more qualified, or at least who lives closer to where they are. I’m not crying – hey, this is life in the “real world” – because I know I just need to keep applying and throwing my resume out there until some library decides I’m the right person for them. Sorry, but there really isn’t anything new or exciting to report on the job front.
I feel the need to share two bits of news this week, one that made me say “Wow!”, and one that made me groan a little in bibliophilic outrage. The first is the story from South Africa of a breaching whale that landed on a sailing boat. I mean, what are the odds of a whale breaching right there? Fortunately everybody (the two humans and whale involved) were OK, and while the boat was kind of wrecked it got the people back to land.
The second story is one I got last night from a friend. This one is about Fred Phelps, his clan, and their attack on the much-loved institution of comic books. I just finished Neil Gaiman’s Newbury Medal-winning Graveyard Book yesterday (highly recommended), and I’m a fan of his Sandman graphic novels after reading Preludes and Nocturnes a couple months ago. To be honest, I remember having an illustrated bible as a kid, and thinking back it was pretty much a highlights version in graphic novel format. I know that comics and graphic novels are wildly popular, mostly with good reason, and that they help a lot of kids who might feel nervous about text-heavy books learn how to read. I don’t know what deity Phelps and his crowd are talking to, but I agree whole-heartedly with my friend’s sentiment: “Comic books. Seriously, have these people NOTHING better to do?” The article, as I received it, follows:
If you are not in a financial position to donate yourself, please pass this on to people you know who love comics.Fred Phelps’ clan is traveling to San Diego to spread their new message…”God hates…comic books…?”
WBC Protests Comic-Book Convention, Helps Raise Funds for Comic-Related Good Causes.
Fred Phelps’ clan is coming to the San Diego Comic-Con! The “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church is planning to picket the convention with their hateful anti-gay, anti-American, and now anti-comic, message.
Fred Phelps and his group travel all across the United States spreading their message of hate and lies. However, when the Phelps group comes to San Diego Comic-Con to protest, they will actually be raising money for two organizations dedicating to doing comic-book related good!
We are hosting a Phelps-A-Thon to counter Fred Phelps’ hateful message. For every minute the “God Hates Fags” clan is protesting, we will be collecting donations to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Hero Initiative. (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The Hero Initiative is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.)
The Phelps clan will be protesting at the event for 45 minutes, from 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM on July 22nd. You can pledge any amount you chose, whether it be $0.25, $0.50, $1, or even $2 for every minute they protest. You can even pledge a flat rate for the entire time the group will be demonstrating. (Pledge Online)*
The point of this Phelps-A-Thon is two fold. First, we are using Phelps’ own hateful message to raise funds for a good cause, one that will help counter the lies that are being spread by WBC. Second, after the event, we will send Phelps a card, telling him how much money he raised. This will certainly upset the group and it is possible that they will stop protesting in order to stop our fundraising.
During a three month trek across the United States in an effort to promote tolerance and equality, Chris Mason, Founder of Phelps-A-Thon.com, stopped in Topeka, Kansas to visit the Westboro Baptist Church. He sat down for a conversation with Shirley Phelps, the daughter of Fred Phelps and new leader of the group to get a better understanding of why the groups feels the need to spread hate.
On the “God Hates Fags” website, Phelps has this to say about the upcoming protest:
“San Diego Convention Center 111 W Harbor Dr. WBC to picket Comic Con 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center. Are you kidding?! If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here. They have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them they do! Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent – so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry.” We can turn these hateful words into positive change.
*Sorry, the link wasn’t working when I got it.