I’m Charlie, You’re Charlie, Unfortunately We’re All Charlie Hebdo
“Killing people is bad. There, I said it. Now, can we start talking about the deeper issues going on?” — Hubert Humdinger, exiled cultural philosopher.
An awful lot of people are going around these days calling themselves Charlie. Well, I am not one of them. And before you get too sentimental, you might hold your tongue and save yourself the embarrassment.
I was almost Charlie for quite a few years. Charlie Hebdo, I mean. The satirical French paper whose staff was savagely murdered January 7th, allegedly for their crass depictions of the Prophet and Muslims. I’ve always liked satire. DDA used to do more of it. Some people even mistook it for the Onion. Which is why I stopped.
Much of my satire was as trivial and boneheaded as Charlie’s is.
A couple of years ago I would have offered the same platitude everybody else is offering. “Violence will never silence freedom of speech!” That’s a fair expression if you don’t mind sharing brain cells with the masses. “Je suis Charlie!” For twits and chowderheads, it’s got a ring to it. Especially in San Francisco (see photo above).
To be certain, there is no room in society for the killing of innocent people. The terrorists who murdered the cartoonists and their editorial staff should be hunted down like coyotes and imprisoned for life, and certainly not afforded conjugal visits or access to TV.
But when I say there is no room for violence and killing of innocent people, I mean that to go for everybody. I’m going to “ruffle a few feathers”, as the exiled cultural philosopher Hubert Humdinger often says from his undisclosed location in Northern Europe. “I hope I’m stepping on people’s toes here,” he shouts over Skype.
Charlie Hebdo was stupid comedy meant to belittle and humiliate groups of people already beleaguered and embattled by Western aggression.
You can paint a picture of George W Bush with droopy balls and a monkey’s face. It’s your right. Many Marines flooded Fallujah for that privilege. Or so that’s what we were told. So very few of us would disagree that freedom of speech should always remain carefully guarded in every society, but let’s not confuse being edgy with being stupid.
Maybe we all need to work to raise our stations in life. Otherwise we’ll continue this debate about whether or not mud is more beautiful than dirt.
The masses can rally behind a cartoon, that’s for sure, but can they rally behind the ending of the demoralization and dehumanization of Muslims in France? Can they stick up for the Muslims who have been driven out of society, into ghettos, and marginalized? Do they not have a breaking point as well?
It’s easy to say I Am Charlie, but it’s not as easy to understand the long running genocide and occupation of Muslim lands, like the Arabs in Palestine being ground out under Zionist-controlled Israel, and the unabashed way their land is being stolen. The major world governments glance the other way.
Thank God there aren’t more attacks carried out in the Western world. And don’t thank the top-notch global surveillance of the NSA for stopping such planned assaults like the one on Charlie Hebdo’s offices.
The restraint of Muslims and Middle Eastern people everywhere is something to marvel at.
You just don’t think so because you identify with the dominant team. As long as gas is cheap and empty carbohydrate foods are plentiful, most Americans won’t step out of line for the rights of our brothers and sisters overseas who see nothing but endless destruction of their way of life.
When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked if the sanctions in Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of roughly 500,000 children were worth it, she answered yes, that she thought it was.
When the Obama administration sends predator drones into sovereign lands in search of low- to mid-level Al Qaeda bloggers, they blow up marketplaces and apartment complexes in order to nail their targets. The innocent dead are ‘collateral damage’. They weren’t even good at drawing offensive cartoons. But we still took them out.
If that’s not enough, ask yourself how you’d feel to have one million of your countrymen killed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Some of you might get testy. Some of you might lash out at even the littlest offense if a world power took down your electric grid, bombed your major cities, and posted troops to control your country.
Is that not an act of war? And people wonder where the terrorists spring up from. And people wonder, How anybody can hold such aggression toward a cartoonist?
I’ve got an answer for you.
Let the most dominant half of the planet team up to manipulate, control, and destroy an entire population of people, mostly of the same world religion, and watch the majority of people not care, and you will find there are a few latent terrorists on the fringes ready to kill for what they will undoubtedly view as decades of unjust, unmitigated aggression.
For the record, we all must repeat it like school children: Murdering people is bad. What happened in France cannot be justified.
“Kill one, and you kill all of humanity,” the Qur’an says. Muslims are only allowed to defend themselves in an imminent attack. The attack on Charlie Hebdo was foolish and it is worth our tears, it is also a terrifying omen for Muslims’ relationship to the world, but the ignorant kindergarten assessment why there are violent Muslims is enough to make a person vomit.
Especially when the masses think the answer is to stand tall for the work of a few obnoxious cartoonists.
[San Francisco ‘Charlie Hebdo’ rally photo by Eloquence]