Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Charlier than thou



Amid the impressive and heart-warming displays of solidarity, there has sadly also been a lot of rubbish written about Charlie Hebdo and its cartoons on the English-speaking web over the past week (I've seen the beautiful term 'anglosplaining' used for this phenomenon). Rather than add to the pile, here are some links to pieces doing the rounds that I've found genuinely informative. Two of them are by actual French people.

On the French satirical tradition:
http://artgoldhammer.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/tragedy-at-charlie-hebdo.html

On where power really lies:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/08/charlie-hebdo-martin-rowson

On American know-nothingery:
http://67-tardis-street.tumblr.com/post/107589955860/dear-us-followers

On not taking satirical cartoons at face value:
http://www.quora.com/What-was-the-context-of-Charlie-Hebdos-cartoon-depicting-Boko-Haram-sex-slaves-as-welfare-queens

On targetting racism in France:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/11/1357057/-The-Charlie-Hebdo-cartoons-no-one-is-showing-you

On self-censorship and liberal values:
https://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/je-suis-charlie-its-a-bit-late/

On liberty, equality and fraternity, and the real roots of fundamentalism:
http://blogs.mediapart.fr/blog/olivier-tonneau/110115/charlie-hebdo-letter-my-british-friends
(if you read only one article about CH, make it this one)

Bottom line: Charlie Hebdo is a left-wing, anti-racist, anti-fascist magazine that consistently stands up for minorities and targets the FN above anyone else. It is also aggressively secularist, attacking all religions with equal fervour. These stances are compatible.

Next up I find some killer links to prove that Jonathan Swift was not a baby eater.