Westboro Baptist Church are back. Sigh.
You probably recognise this group from their baffling God Hates Fags protests, but they've been branching out to rail against popular culture in recent years. Targets have included Steve Jobs and Taking Back Sunday, though Foo Fighters have countered the group with their own protest.
This time Westboro targeted Radiohead, who they called "freak monkeys with mediocre tunes". Not an entirely unreasonable claim, but still.
The group picketed their Kansas show, waving signs and calling homophobic slurs. Their signs included warnings that God was Radiohead's enemy, and one hilarious sign showed the British flag with the slogan "FAG FLAG".
Their longterm producer Nigel Godrich later tweeted that the protest was the "highlight of the tour so far".
The group later posted a statement to their site which said:
"God is undoing this nation and effecting [sic] all of your lives, with the moth that quietly eats the very fabric of your national garment. Radiohead is just such an event. Freak monkey's [sic] with mediocre tunes keeps you busy and focused by lightness."
Whatever that means.
Meanwhile, Vice spoke to one of the protesters, Steve, who complained that Radiohead weren't using their voice to spread the word of God - but then admitted to listening to Radiohead at home.
"At some level you have to be able to separate the art from the artist," said Steve. "We're music lovers at the church. I listen to Radiohead, Audioslave, Band Of Skulls. I listen to lots of good stuff.
"But the point here is, when these musicians come to town that put themselves off as a voice of moral authority and yet reject the standards of God for a more bohemian outlook, we're going to preach about it."
It turns out Steve's favorite Radiohead album is "OK Computer", and grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who. In fact, Steve thinks most Christian rock sucks, and says his Westboro Baptist Church is the equivalent of an edgy rock band.
"Dude, you think what people like about rock is that it is edgy? Do you think the Westboro Baptist Church is edgy in terms of the way we put ourselves out there?" he asks.
Interesting take from Steve, but guess what: Your church is still bats--t crazy, judging by your medieval view of modern culture. Try protesting that.