I am also Charlie. If you haven’t heard about the Je Suis Charlie Movement yet, you haven’t been paying attention to the news. If you’re honestly clueless, have a look at this page before you read further, or just Google “je suis charlie.”
As a writer, and someone who has been involved in theater, the subject of censorship has always been on the edge of my awareness, and it’s possible that I have sometimes written material while the voice in the back of my head was whispering loudly “Your audience isn’t going to like that, that’s going a bit too far.” Hopefully I ignored it, and it didn’t alter what I wanted to say, but the voice was still there.
The staff at Charlie Hedbo must have been aware that they were pissing people off frequently. It seemed to be the magazine’s raison d’etre, but they continued to publish in spite of the threats and dangers. Some of the best responses to this senseless act has been from other cartoonists. One that (in my opinion) got to the heart of the matter was David Pope of the Canberra Times with this cartoon.
Other examples of responses from the world of cartooning can be seen here.
More eloquent voices than mine have already weighed in on the issue, so the only thing I want to say is that we live in a world filled with craziness, and it’s a prime example of that craziness when people are murdered because they said (or drew) something that pissed someone else off.
So, in closing, I would like to raise my pencil to those who feel compelled to be assholes because they were offended by something someone else did or said.
If anyone has any comments, positive or hateful, post them below.