Monday, 12 January 2015

Je ne suis pas Charlie, après tout...

Since I wrote my last post I received some emails with Charlie Hebdo's cartoons that made me change my mind. I have to apologize to that one reader who comes here every three months for this schizophrenic attitude of declaring I am someone one day and declaring that I am not that someone a few days later. I'll try to justify this change.
To start with, I stand for everything I wrote in that post, namely for the need for mutual respect. But precisely because I stand for that, I cannot say that I am Charlie Hebdo or that I am anything like Charlie Hebdo. After seeing their cartoons, I understood that what they did was not humor - they aren't even remotely funny. What they did was pure insult.
Far from being a politically correct person, even I was shocked at some of the cartoons. For me humor needs to be... Funny! But when it is so insulting it just becomes awkward. The kind of awkwardness you feel when you say something really wrong and don't know how to justify it.
I still stand for what I wrote before. I am still shocked about what happened in Paris. Nothing justifies violence. And yes, the people who died in Charlie Hebdo were victims of an irrational and absurd radicalism. But these are victims I don't want to be identified with. So, to make it quite clear: je ne suis pas Charlie!

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