Fred Phelps is dying, to the internet’s unbecoming glee. A Wisconsin woman has created a Facebook page called Fred Phelps Death Watch, which announces that “1 like = 1 death prayer for Fred Phelps!” The exclamation point makes it fun. “Sometimes it’s easier to make light of an ugly situation and to just laugh at everything,” she told USA Today, missing an important aspect of being good-humored: you laugh at bad things that happen to you. The Westboro Baptist Church brings out the worst in everybody. For example, a Twitter account that once belonged to Phelps’s daughter announced over the weekend that the church would protest Phelps’s funeral.
AFP photographer Roberto Schmidt took this picture of President Obama, British PM David Cameron and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt posing for a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Not in selfie: Michelle Obama, who remains sternly otherie. In his account of the image, Schmidt notes that he took the picture approximately two hours into the service, when much of the crowd was dancing and singing. Quote:
The atmosphere was totally relaxed—I didn’t see anything shocking in my viewfinder, president of the US or not. We are in Africa.
So start using “African funeral” as a euphemism for a really fun party. Also get ready for some top-flight outrage from such deeply investigative outlets as Fox News, which has already declared the photo an “international incident.”
Common has fucked up. The man who last demonstrated his relevance to contemporary hip hop by performing at the White House has disappointed former United States poet laureate Maya Angelou, by commissioning a poem from her and then using it in a track in which he says the n-word. Maya Angelou does not like the n-word, which is too bad because it’s really fun to picture her saying it to everybody.* Angelou told the Post that she did not believe Common would “sing the line of least resistance”—although perhaps she is not totally familiar with his work, since on the same track he also expresses his dream to live in Miami with “exquisite thick bitches.” Compare to Angelou’s contribution: “From Africa they lay in the bilge of slave ships / And stood half naked on auction blocks /. . . and still they dreamed.”