Friday, January 9, 2015

I Am Charlie (II): The People

Everything scheduled for this weekend's posts has been bumped back, as this event transcends just about everything for me, professionally and morally. Wednesday's incident of complete horror strikes at the heart of so much: humanity, journalism, cartooning, religion, and universal rights. The Charlie Hebdo attack is and will be a significant touchstone in the lives and careers of many, both inside and outside of the industry and media. This is a hyperlink-heavy compendium of some of the better material and insightful coverage + commentary that I have been reading thus far. More below the fold.

“Long live comics, and long live freedom of the press.” (from Boing Boing)

Staff Cartoonists Honoré, Wolinski, Cabu, Tignous and Charb

PRI's Marco Werman sums up the social significance of their magazine here. Some photos from the outpouring solidarity in the streets of the international community here. The Telegraph has brief biographies of the four five assassinated cartoonists here, and The Guardian has continual updates with their coverage here and here.

Je Suis Jean Cabut
Je Suis Georges Wolinski
Je Suis Stéphane Charbonnier,
Je Suis Bernard Verlhac
Je Suis Philippe Honoré
Je Suis Bernard Maris,
Je Suis Mustapha Ourrad
Je Suis Elsa Cayat
Je Suis Michel Renaud
Je Suis Ahmed Merabet
Je Suis Franck Brinsolaro
Je Suis Frédéric Boisseau
Je Suis Philippe Honoré

(Image via Instagram)

“Papa is gone not Wolinski”: A bittersweet tribute by Georges Wolinski's daughter. Here is a provocative article by Matt Welch, editor in chief of Reason magazine: “‘Je suis Charlie’? No, You’re Not, or Else You Might Be Dead.” It raises some good points, however I’d be more impressed with this if some editors perhaps entertain putting some more cartoonists on the payroll (besides the excellent work of Peter Bagge). Similar myopic chest-thumping in the Washington Post (again, excepting the amazing Tom Toles). All this dovetails with Ted Rall's special essay to the L.A. Times, which outlines the occupational hazards for many editorial cartoonists, noting:
“More full-time staff political cartoonists were killed in Paris yesterday than are employed at newspapers in the states of California, Texas and New York combined.
More full-time staff cartoonists were killed in Paris yesterday than work at all American magazines and websites combined.”

And as usual, FAUX News weighed in with sixty-seven seconds of sheer stupidity: this would be one of many reasons I make it a habit to promptly do a U-Turn exit from any business that broadcasts this station. It’s a fair indicator of the intelligence of the establishment and perhaps their clientele, neither of which is worth any time or money. *Updated with two more stunningly idiotic examples here and here.

From an excellent article on Bloomberg.Com by Will Leitch

I had originally posted a few sections specifically dealing with the Islamic implications of this attack, but after trolling through some hardcore right-wing websites, I feel it is an angle that is swiftly being co-opted to advance some truly disgusting positions - though as soon as the honeymoon is over and they realize who they've aligned themselves with it'll be hushed over pretty quick - all of which taints if not completely derails any discussion. So I deleted it all for another day .
That said, here's a list of unequivocal statements), and present instead, of all things, another atheist’s more rational take on the religious aspect of accountability from PZ Myers.
Please also read Juan Cole's "Informed Consent" essay for an invaluable perspective on the manipulative tactics of extremism at work behind the scenes of this insanity, along with George Packer's bookending piece over at The New Yorker magazine here, and also in the same magazine, "The Pen vs. the Gun" by Philip Gourevitch.

From: The Hooded Utilitarian
In closing for this segment - there will be two additional, related posts on this senseless tragedy going up in lieu of regular items over the rest of the weekend - I'll leave you with a sentiment that surely René Magritte would have approved of, especially what with the double entendre behind satirizing "The Treachery of Images."

(Image via Paul Gravette)


  1. Angry, armed lunatics create another media shit storm. That should be a standing head at every news outlet. After the argument subsides, a few people might have learned something. That's about as good as it gets.

  2. I hear ya: now if they had massacred, say, a group of students in a school, then we'd really see some change.