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Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie
by Eric Esteve on 01-11-2015 at 4:48 am

Last Monday was the first working day of 2015, dedicated to installing a new PC. Tuesday was also dedicated to an admin work, asking for a new passport, so Wednesday was supposed to be the first real working day for me. In fact, because the Radio is on when I am working, I heard about this crazy offense against the complete editorial board in working session at “Charlie Hebdo”, a French caricature fanzine, a few minutes after it happened. In less than 5 minutes, the entire cartoonist band, Cabu, Wolinski, Charb. Tinious and Honore, plus some of their occasional writers and friends and the policeman supposed to protect the fanzine’s director (and two other persons in the building) have been killed by two terrorists using Kalachnikov… It was Kalachnikov against pen, fundamentalism against humor.

Before going further and propose my humble contribution against middle age obscurantism, let me add that these two terrorists have eventually been neutralized, being killed on Friday, but that a third one had time to attack a casher grocery that same day, killing four hostages before being killed as well. These grocery customers have clearly been killed because they were Jewish, such an action recall us what’s happened in Berlin in the 1930’s. These “terrorist” are just barbarians.

To come back to the cartoonists’ massacre, these artists have been killed because they have used their pen to caricature Mahomet (in fact to critic the positioning of a very small part of Muslims, using the religion as a weapon, and dropping bombs instead of trying to convince). You may think that these journalists have been provocative… and that’s true! But the key point is that they are provocative with every religion, Catholics (see above), Jewish, Muslims and so on, they are also provocative with (all) the political forces, and definitely with any kind of hypocrisy, including the politically correct. To be fair, I must say that before this massacre, many French people did not like this type of humor, that we call “Humour Gaulois”. This “Humour Gaulois” is not characterized by subtlety or delicacy… but is it a reason for killing? Beside this clumsy humor, you can quickly find a way of thinking linked to Enlightenment, Voltaire et al., these same persons who have been the source of the French revolution in 1789 or the USA Independence in 1776. Voltaire was saying: “Even if I don’t like your ideas, I will fight as much as I can to allow you to express it”.

As far as I am concerned, on top of trying to kill freedom of expression (but they will not succeed!), these stupid terrorists have killed part of my youngness. If you take a look at the above picture, it was published in the early 1970’s by Cabu (RiP on Wednesday) in a fanzine dedicated to teenagers like me. I perceived these images as my first teenager emotion, a teenager able to select by him what he wanted to enjoy with (and not what the religion or the politics expect him to enjoy). Since Wednesday I am sad, for me and for my culture, and I am angry too, and I am not alone to be angry as probably more than one MILLION peoples will silently walk today in Paris. Including politics from Germany, England, Israel, Palestine, including people who did not really liked Charlie Hebdo, including Jewish, Catholics, Protestants or even Muslims. All of us will claim: “Je Suis Charlie”!

Note to a potential moderator: this is not a political or religious blog, just a request to keep freedom of expression as strong as possible. Moderating this blog, even by auto-censure, would be a way to reduce this freedom of expression.

Eric Esteve

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