Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo Killings: When Horrific Things Happen to Disgusting Newspapers

Just to be clear: THE STAFF OF CHARLIE HEBDO DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE FOR WHAT THEY PUT IN THEIR NEWSPAPER.

Jacob Canfield wrote an article on The Hooded Utiliarian site that perfectly sums up my feelings about the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Click here to read it. It's important that lots of people read it, especially in the current reactionary climate in the wake of the recent murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff. (This Tumblr post from "avantblargh" also sums up the kind of sentiments I share about the situation.)

I don't have much to add to want to what Canfield wrote, except to reinforce and underline what he said. From what little I've seen of it (and I've never heard of the publication before last week), I also think Charlie Hebdo is a disgusting, insulting collection of racist, sexist homophobic, xenophobic, and poorly drawn cartoons that have no purpose other than to insult and demean the less powerful.

That the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo appears to be made up mostly (entirely?) of white men, and the targets of their "satire" seem to be mainly made up of marginalized people (immigrants, homosexuals, the poor) only underscores this particular rag's main function as a way for those who have power to make fun of those who don't.

I don't speak French, so maybe I'm missing the joke. From my perspective, though, Neo-Nazi and KKK circulations can't have done a better job of producing the kind of bullshit that people who love freedom are now being asked to embrace and support in the name of Freedom of Speech.

I will not buy a copy of Charlie Hebdo to show my support for Freedom of Expression and I will not declare "I Am Charlie Hebdo" in French or any other language. I don't want it or its poisonous ideas anywhere near me. To me, their crap belongs in the same cultural cesspool as American media entities I'm more familiar with like Fox News and "transgressive" TV comedies like Family Guy that specialize in all kinds of stereotypes and insults as humor.

There's an old saying I've heard from time to time since I was in grade school - "I don't agree with your opinion, but I'll risk my life to defend your right to say it." As an American, I still feel this way, but it's getting harder to do so when the only rights I'm being told to stand up for are the rights of privileged white guys to riff on darkies and rag-heads.

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