|A sampling of covers over the years:|
Worth understanding some of the controversy: Slate: Charlie Hebdo’s Most Controversial Religious Covers - Explained.
Naturally enough there is a huge outpouring of cartoon reaction following the events of the 7th of January a sampling of which follows:
iPolitics: The Worlds Cartoonists Fight Back;
Democratic Underground: Je Suis Charlie;
Violence will not silence them;
The Pen Will Survive; and,
Dishonoring Your God.
What about the thousands of people killed in Nigeria early in January? It's a reasonable question. See: I am Charlie, but I am Baga too: On Nigeria’s forgotten massacre, and Why did the world ignore Boko Haram's Baga attacks?, and What made the Paris attack more newsworthy than Boko Haram's assault on Baga? .
Not to mention the Jews killed in Paris on the 9th. Where do they fit in?
One could also ask about the approximately 8 billion souls (that would be all of us) threatened by and in jeopardy (extreme jeopardy that is, possibly to extinction) because of the human-engineered environmental catastrophe.
A few concluding remarks: from Gwynne Dyer (1), Gwynne Dyer (2), and Chris Hedges.
Concluding but not quite final ... one wonders how the Danes manage to get it so consistently right (beginning - in my limited understanding of their history - when they saved their Jews from Hitler), see: For Jihadists, Denmark Tries Rehabilitation.
A year or so ago I sent my kids copies of Richard Brautigan's 'Watermelon Sugar'. As far as I know none of 'em read it, in any event I have had no response of any kind. I keep a copy on-line. Here's what I think is a relevant bit in the context of Charlie:
"I'll show you," inBOIL said. He pulled the blade out. It looked sharp. "This is iDEATH," he said, and took the knife and cut off his thumb and dropped it into a tray filled with trout just barely hatched. The blood started running down his hand and dripping on the floor.The world is filled with trout just barely hatched, none of whom know very much (including myself). Whenever I think of trout now I remember the Swede who demonstrated the effects of less than 5ppb (thats parts per BILLION!) plastic shit on trout sexuality.
Circulation is up. Easy to be cynical.
Chris Hedges is saying no more than W.H. Auden: "What all schoolchildren learn: those to whom evil is done do evil in return," who said it more than seventy years ago - not that it was original then. They don't call it the Golden Rule for nothing - it lasts.
Joe Sacco's editorial appears near the beginning of this post, you probably skipped it, fair enough, but have a look now (click on the frame at the left). Hedges calls him 'the world's greatest' or something in that silly book ... a close and thoughtful reading of this editorial will reveal certain ... flaws, but the process is proper - just that it seems like he stops before he's really thought it through.
The thing about these guys is not that they get it right, they don't - it's that they aren't afraid to get it wrong and in so expressing themselves they present an opportunity to see a bigger picture. Chris Hedges (f'rinstance) doesn't think Charlie Hebdo is funny; well, neither does the Pope. :-)
But sure, OK for so many of the rest of you to keep the blinkers on, don't talk about hunger strikes and self-immolation, don't talk about destruction of property compared with violence against people - shut yer fricken' minds and assume the default position. Stay 'on track' (so the train can come along and run you over).
Things are somewhat more forthright in Brasil:
Laerte gets it:
Rules ... Limits ... Rules ... Limits ... Rules. R ... Stay behind the yellow line.
The rule is stay behind the yellow line. But this line is blue. So ...
a-and Clara Gomes gets it too:
The world is a dangerous place, chaotic, unpredictable, and violent.
Because of this I will live inside myself forever!
It's a tight fit but at least it has the Internet.