Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Je Suis Charlie
This morning I was going to post something cute about Guardians of the Galaxy. I really was. And then this awful thing happened. In case you're unaware, today three armed Islamic extremists stormed into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine, and slaughtered twelve innocent people, including cartoonists, writers, the editor, guests and guards.
In case you’re wondering, this is the sort of thing the extremists had their panties in a bunch about:
(it says, “If Mohammed Returned…”; the kneeling man is saying “I’m the Prophet, you idiot!”, and the man with the knife is saying, “Shut up infidel!”)
Offensive? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely. Joe Randazzo, comedian and former editor of The Onion put it better than I ever could:
“Satire must always accompany any free society. It is an absolute necessity. Even in the most repressive medieval kingdoms, they understood the need for the court jester, the one soul allowed to tell the truth through laughter. It is, in many ways, the most powerful form of free speech because it is aimed at those in power, or those whose ideas would spread hate. It is the canary in the coalmine, a cultural thermometer, and it always has to push, push, push the boundaries of society to see how much it’s grown.”
There will always be people who try to stamp out criticism, silence those who would point out the faults of humanity. If anything, the horrific acts committed today only reinforce the necessity of the satirists; if evil this dark exists in the world, it must be ridiculed.
As a cartoonist myself, I’m picking up a weapon and fighting. And I hope you’ll do the same.