“Let’s use the name and likeness of the patriarch of a family of lawyers for financial gain.” — The worst idea ever.
The death of Fred Phelps, leader of the extremist Westboro Baptist Church, has left a wake of celebration, and for good reason. I’ve seen people argue that it isn’t in good taste to sink to his level and revel in the death of another human being. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t care if it’s bad taste. I don’t care if it’s feeding into the same hate he perpetuated. I really don’t care. Fred Phelps was a scumbag and I’m glad he’s dead, and I’ll never feel bad for saying it. He and his whole hate-practicing family can rot and we’ll be better for it.
However, bands such as Thy Art Is Murder and Touche Amore are beginning to roll out merch using Fred Phelps’ name and likeness, and I believe they’re opening themselves up to legal woes. I am not a lawyer, but the sketchy legalities of these designs certainly could draw the ire of a mourning family of lawyers — attention that touring bands don’t need to be having.
I could just be an alarmist, but I don’t think making merch about the matter would be advisable as much as I agree with the subject matter. Still, that Touche Amore shirt sure is enticing.
Touche Amore’s shirt will be available later today, but Thy Art’s shirt is available now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more popping up in the coming days. Hopefully without legal troubles.