I don’t know how I manage to get dragged into these things, and I don’t know who is to blame. (It’s not as if anyone makes me click these links.)
But anyway, there I was, minding my own business and trying to read this piece about Muqtada al Sadr which Glenn Reynolds had linked. What Glenn says is true; Muqtada al Sadr does not like the surge (good!) and he is holed up in an undisclosed location (good in a way, but it’s bad that they can’t find him and take him out!)
Anyway, as I was mulling all this over, I reached the bottom of the piece and then over on the right I saw some Huffington Post links. I probably should have just left this well enough alone, but when I saw the words “Jerry Falwell on Global Warming: It’s a Myth,” I couldn’t stop myself.
Hell, it’s just a little click, right?
Wrong. It was a click on the road to hell! For, I soon discovered to my horror that not only were gays implicated in the Falwellian assessment of Global Warming, but they were partnered with some strange new force I had not seen before — the force of Teh!
According to David Roberts, Falwell believes that the “nefarious secret agenda of the global warming crowd” is meant to thwart “Teh Gay” hatred:

…to redirect the church’s focus, distracting it from its core mission of hating Teh Gay.

Global Warming is intended to distract the church from hating “Teh Gay”? Who or what is Teh Gay? How come I’d never been told about this before?
Determined to find out, I went directly to Google, and found out that indeed there is a phenomenon called “Teh Gay” — with a viable presence well known for years. According to the Urban Dictionary, there are two meanings:

1. The non-existant malady that one cathces by being around homosexuals (males especially).
2. Term used mostly by those denegrating anti-homosexual positions of religious leaders and far-right wing politicians.

Sorry but “cathces”? In a dictionary? This word mutilation stuff must be cathcing.
Lots of bloggers have written about Teh Gay, in posts such as “Where Teh Gay Originates,” and it’s in wide enough circulation that Kevin Drum used it to title a post (although his more clueless commenters kept asking repeatedly what “teh gay” meant).
It means a lot of things, and some of them are worse than you can imagine. For example, Satan is teh gay, and the GOP are the Defenders of teh Gay. (Does that mean teh GOP defends Satan? Or just teh concept of teh Gay satan?)
If you’re really into the nuances, Snopes has a long discussion. Basically it’s an imputation of stupidity and bigotry via a gratuitously imputed spelling error.
I was so fascinated by all of this that I just had to watch Falwell’s anti-global warming rant. (See how out of hand things can get when you dare click on a link?) Anyway, it was disappointing, and there was Not One Mention of Gay. Or Teh. Or Teh Gay. No Teh Homos either. Just a few words about how the church would be distracted from its focus on morality. While doubtless that morality would include his typical pulpit condemnations of homosexuality, I watched the video closely and saw no signs of gay — “teh” or otherwise. This screenshot accurately sums up what he said:

FalwellWarming.JPG

It goes without saying that I’m far from happy with Falwell. By expressing skepticism, he’s probably doing more to win over the skeptics to Al Gore’s side than Al ever could (especially considering the latter’s conspicuous consumption and carnivorous gluttony). Why can’t he get with the program like Pat Robertson? That way, we few remaining genocidal libertarian skeptics could at least point to the “religious right” in the hope of swaying maybe a few members of the emotionally hysterical left. (I hope I didn’t commit a triple redundancy there.)
The worst part of this is that because I clicked on a couple of links I should never have clicked on, I now find myself in the embarrassing position of defending Jerry Falwell. The fact is, he said nothing about gays in the global warming remarks.
So the Teh Gay business in this case has turned out to be an imputation of bigotry via a nonexistent spelling error involving a topic that wasn’t there.
This Teh meme is obviously very powerful stuff. It’s not only blowing up the meaning of words, it’s blowing up the meaning of language that isn’t there.
I’m wondering though, why the haste to have Falwell blame Teh Gay? Couldn’t the problem just as easily be “teh Global Warming“?
I should have stuck with Muqtada al Sadr. Or maybe his allies from Teh ran.
MORE: Wikipedia has an entry on the teh phenomenon. It’s a leet thing. (u wunt undrtsd.)