Friday, January 16, 2015

If I were murdered one day. . .a tale of cartoons and useful idiots.

Do you know something?  If I were to be murdered one day, I honestly think I’d be less offended by the murder itself than by someone who tried to excuse it.

            Someone standing by my beside, trying to put my murder in a wider social context as I slowly bleed to death, explaining as I fade away, that it really wasn’t about me at all. I think I’d have very little to say to that person at that moment.

            I thought about this several days after I heard of the Charlie Hebdo. massacre. What I thought on the day of the massacre itself was I no longer lived in the world I thought I did. I was living in a world where I could be killed for drawing a picture on a piece of paper. It was not a world I recognized; I didn’t like it. I wanted my old world back, the one where you were allowed to draw things.
            What happened in Paris was that four people decided to slaughter eleven other people for drawing some pictures. They felt that human life was less important than some pencil lines on paper, and decided that snuffing out these lives would be the best way to prevent said pencil from reaching said paper. They decided that everyone was going to abide by their superstitions, under pain of death.

            They shot eleven real people for drawing hypothetical people.

            What planet are we living on?

            As I said, it was not the world I recognized, and not the world I wanted, and I would probably have to fight to get the old one back. Not by bombing other countries with F-16s, but simply by not letting some barbarian dictate how to live life. So I was thrilled the next day when the Toronto Star, that most pc of papers, printed one of the offensive cartoons in its editorial. Clearly, they were not going to be intimidated. I thought that maybe the Canadian media and inteligencia had abandoned its policy of appeasement and was going to stand up to these buggers.

            Sadly I was mistaken. The very next day, this article appeared:

            So apparently the whole thing wasn't about the dead cartoonists after all, but "the ever-shifting religious dynamics and political reality of the global Muslim community". 

            Did they mean the political reality in which people could shot for drawing pictures?

            Heather Malick condemned the cartoons as “racist”, Haroon Siddiqui felt compelled to remind us all of the limits on freespeech, John Cruickshank spoke of “exploiting [free speech] to commit a moral wrong (by which he meant the cartoons, not the killings), and the useful idiots at insisted that one remember "that France is at war with many Islamic countries".

          (I suppose a magazine office is now a legitimate military target. . .)

           Equivocations, rationalizations, and praise by faint damnation from the horde of appologists whom Salman Rushdie christened the “but brigade”. “The shootings were awful, BUT. . .” “We have the right to free speech BUT. . .” “There’s no excuse for violence, BUT. . .” BUT BUT BUT!

            But what? If they don’t condone the killings, why are they wasting so much ink telling us that the real evils lie elsewhere? Why go on as if assholery and murder were equivelant wrongs? Why is it so hard to just say it’s wrong to shoot people for religious reasons?
            Could it be because on some level, they don’t actually believe that? Perhaps, deep down, they think there are some things you shouldn’t say, things you shouldn’t draw, things you shouldn’t think?

            Why else would they quibble when eleven people are dead? For drawing pictures?
            I’m sick it. I’m sick of the prevarication, the wilful blindness, the insinuation that I am subject to someone else’s religious edicts. I’ll draw, say, write, and think what I damn well please.

            Je suis Charlie.