Tag Archives: Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo – pulling at your scabs to make you bleed


French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is doing what the magazine was born to do.  Go in hard. Be controversial and court controversy by pulling on a badly scabbed wound – yanking it off and letting the blood gush out.  The latest cartoons which are currently getting people angry is their response of predominantly Christian European countries to the migrant crisis gripping our shores and our headlines.

There are two drawings which have caused the greatest offence.  The first is a depiction of the harrowing sight of Aylan Kurdi whose limp body was carried off a Turkish beach and whose image has single handedly lead to a change in the discourse of Europeans on migration.

The cartoon shows the boy beside an advertising billboard offering two children’s meal menus for the price of one with the caption “So close to making it”.

The other offending cartoon suggests “Proof that Europe is Christian” and depicts a Jesus-like character walking on water besides another up-ended charter wearing shorts with the caption “Christians walk on water” and the latter “Muslim children sink”.

Daily Express Headline

But it’s important to remember what is going on.  The cartoon is not mocking dead children.  It mocks western culture – but I think it also goes deeper and asks questions of those who risk the lives of their children. In this case – the family of the boy who died  – were in Turkey. They were out of Syria. When they put their children on that dinghy – were they fleeing for their lives or because they wanted to better their lives? Does the ends justify the means? Did they have to take the risk? And what exactly is their understanding of what Western culture is?

McDonald's Golden Arches

You don’t have to agree with how Charlie go about it – because they are just trying to be clever. I suppose – at least they are trying… It’s more than I  have done. But condemn at will – their point is made.

  • They highlight the superficial nature of those who don’t give a thought to the message they are imparting – & instantly condemn & get enraged:  like McDonald’s – most people want stuff fast, tasty & cheap so they can devour without much thought about what it is they are actually consuming. Charlie like enraging these people just as much as;
  • Those who do ponder a little longer & scratch the surface of the varying messages they impart…& have a smug sense that they understand these matters better than anyone else. When actually – they don’t.

I’m not a big fan of the Daily Express and have never personal paid any cash to buy it.  However, it did run what appears to be a reasoned piece on the story that has become – the boy on the beach


Charlie Hebdo
Charlie Hebdo

When you look at the faces above – it is difficult to think of the circumstances and drama – that they saw, sensed and felt in the final moments of their life.

Each person pictured was part of a debate into the story of our lives – one which religion has played a major part for our entire rememberable history.

That they were taken down by a couple of people with guns is not all that surprising.  Maybe it should be.  But that is not the world we live in.  That it was done with such black and dark precision and indifference to extinguishing human life is no longer a shock.

The life of those who loved and believed that it was important was taken away from them by those who didn’t.  Imagine- it is a life that belongs to you.  Or so you think?

When I look at the faces above – I see a courage that I could not and cannot match.  I have no religion – as far as I see – that is their time here done – for them – there is just darkness and rest.

Killed by those who cling on to an existence in another life that is more prosperous and important than the lives they currently lead. Like being poor and forced to stand outside Harrods – to be told that if you want the doors to part and you then be able to enjoy everything for free – you just need to kill someone/people and you will be accepted.

And that is the crunch – in the West we crave the pleasures of the life and materialism that is open to us – if we are good enough.  For others – that materialism involves their death and a promise of pleasure comes from ending their own life and taking others with them.  But as it includes their death – the ability of investigative journalism to question the accuracy of this – or what life on the other side is like – is not possible.  And so there is nothing to halt the flood – the gates are open.

Many people have decided to retweet the pictures that made  Charlie Hebdo  infamous and have criticised broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV for not showing them.

However, by showing pictures of Mohammed – only serves to offended a large number of people.  I don’t think that is the place of the BBC and actually respect their decision.  Everything is about choices and what separates us from extremists – is that we mumble, grumble and moan…but we do NOT kill.

Charlie Hebdo  must continue and if they want to print material that people find offensive – they MUST be allowed.  But at the same time – companies must be allowed to also CHOOSE not to print images that others will find offensive. If they want.

Guess what – it’s part of being human.  Nothing, but nothing should result in the scenes we saw in Paris on Wednesday morning.  However, I don’t believe it will be the last. And that makes me sad.  However, the fact that I am alive and able to write this – you know what – I’m very grateful and happy to be alive and all that life brings.

I just wish everyone love life as much.