Today is another dark day for the media and for writers and expressionists around the world.
Firstly, RIP to those who have lost their lives in Paris and their families and friends. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice for articulating their creativity and for doing their job.
I like to think that few people write or draw purely to offend others in a vindictive way. We are all artists in one way or another, creative writing, painting, baking; it’s all a way of expressing ourselves in one way or another.
The controversial magazine that was targeted today is a satirist magazine. Using wit to ridicule the failings of society or individuals, with the intent of exposing idiocy. Satire commonly involves politicians, leaders and celebrities. It’s no different to the thousands of comedians around the world picking fault at the way their audience looks or getting laughs talking about their wife’s downfalls.
Satire has been going on for centuries. In a letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville on May 16, 1767, (Francois-Marie Arouet) Voltaire is famed as saying ‘I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one. Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.’
I love to write. It makes me feel better and I like to think that someone somewhere is enjoying my assemblage of words; maybe it’s even helping, well, that’s the dream.
I had a discussion with someone today who said ‘The Charlie Hebdo offices were attacked by a petrol bomb in 2011, so it’s to be expected. They knew they were making people angry and that their lives were potential at risk.’
Whilst it might have crossed the mind of some in those offices since 2011, I don’t think anyone, no matter what the profession goes to work expecting to never come home again.
If someone told me tomorrow that by me writing, I was subjecting myself to a potential death sentence I still don’t think I could simply stop. Writing is part of who I am, as I’m sure it is for all writers.
There are many things on the Internet that I find offensive, especially on social media. If I don’t like something, I simply scroll on right past it. I will only get offended if I allow it. Anything that is said or done has the potential to offend. I find it awful that some offensive cartoons and words have been a conceivable motive for the loss of human life.
May you all Rest in Peace.