Dedicated to the unforgettable and shining martyrs of Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher.
I am still Charlie.
To start off a series of fake news satire anthologies with a volume on religion seems very appropriate, given the vicious massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and the other vicious murders which were committed on the same day at Hyper Cacher.
Some of these murders have already been conveniently ‘forgotten.’
But despite my allusion to these vile assassinations, I am not unaware of the mobilization of the massacre by cynical opportunists.
In the second edition of this essay, which you now see before you, I must also mention the November massacres in Paris. I notice that those who were more outraged by the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo than about the Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, have been reluctant to ‘victim-blame’ the people massacred in November.
Not that I am terribly comfortable with the infantilizing term ‘victim.’ And yet, I am even less comfortable with the rank opportunism and career decency surrounding political Islamist terrorism. More precisely:
How can it be that the dark-as-ink Charlie Hebdo brought it on themselves, as did (presumably) all the other people who were massacred on that day…
But that the people murdered in November 2015, by contrast, were white as the driven snow?
The inconsistency, or more properly, cynical hypocrisy, is striking. The ideological environment surrounding freedom of speech, politics, religion and theocracy is deeply toxic at present.
But there is another form of opportunism as well. The opportunism of those whose batons of power polish the temples of the dissident satirists they will one day put to the sword of discipline, in the name of securitization.
Satirists, whether full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, should all be aware of this trap.
Yes. Let’s repudiate the disingenuous troll-trickery of political leaders who weep blazing ‘Blair tears’ for the people murdered in Paris, while building the foundations of a future police state of comprehensive surveillance…
As all the while, they relentlessly and remorselessly bang the drum for war, for the exalted glory of The Everlasting Name: waving aloft the ever-burning and blazingly wounding bigot’s banner of ‘The Greater Good.’
I still believe the words written in part two of The Fastidious Liberators: Open Letter From the Dead (previously published here on Glossy News):
This Greater Good you propagate is not good for anyone but you.
If one remembers that it is not only superstitious notions of God that cause trouble, but also the false deity of an unexamined ideal ‘Humanity,’ then one might not go so far wrong.
But it is not only a question of recognizing superstitions that occur in ‘non-religious’ forms. It is also important to remember the value of the social and ideological functions of satire, including (or at times, even especially) the more ‘blasphemous’ pieces. After all, everything is ‘blasphemous’ from a particular point of view.
If I am a man who is conscious of the power dynamics in my relationships with the women I know, and I say that ‘women should be equal to men,’ this is ‘blasphemous’ or ‘hate speech’ to self-styled ‘Men’s Rights’ activists.
If I am a believer in sexual toleration, and I believe that ‘gay people are not sodomites who are all on a one-way trip to eternal hellfire,’ this is ‘blasphemous’ or ‘hate speech’ to moderate (!) Christian Dominionists and moderate (!) Political Islamists alike.
If I am myself someone who is ‘medically incorrect,’ and I say that ‘eugenics is a vile and vicious ideology, and eugenicists are repugnant and depraved,’ this is also ‘blasphemous’ or ‘hate speech’ to Neo-Nazis and other eugenics sympathizers.
So who decides what is blasphemous or hateful?
Whoever has the power to do so.
But of course, this does not mean that all opinions are equal.