This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Capitulation of Reasonable Fear

"I've got tired of it, just as I got tired of drawing Sarkozy. I'm not going to spend my life drawing them."
Renald "Lutz" Luzier, cartoonist, Charlie Hebdo

"We have drawn Muhammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever one wants."
"The most important thing is there's a real desire to keep getting this paper out every week, it should continue and it will continue."
"The fact that everyone is watching across the world spurs us on to keep going, helps us not [to] be scared."
Laurent Sourisseau, editor, publisher, Charlie Hebdo

"Scared", conciliatory, prepared to mollify; call it what one will when in the aftermath of the slaughter at the Charlie Hebdo offices, its first cover post-attack with its image of a weeping Muhammad under a sign reading "Tout est pardonne" ["All is forgiven"] came as close to being cravenly subdued as any act of surrender to violent forcefulness could ever achieve.

The world roared its approval. An unprecedented eight million copies of the issue was sold. Renald Luzier had already decided that drawings of the Prophet Muhammad "no longer interests me".  Laurent Sourisseau this week confirmed that the magazine would cease drawing cartoons of the Prophet.

And who can blame them? They paid dearly for their brazen and determined spurning of Islamist threats.

Mr. Luzier decided months ago it was time for him to part from his Charlie Hebdo affiliation. Fatigue, overwork, he said, had taken its toll. Adding that the production of each issue brought anew his grief over the loss of his friends and colleagues. He meant to put an end to that very particular form of "torture".

And who can blame them, after all?

Who would voluntarily choose to live in the shadow of death. The memory of once-vibrant colleagues, exchanging ideas, entertaining one another with pertinent new perceptions and how best to portray them, pricking the stuffed shirts, the pretentiousness, the arrogance and the stupidity they witnessed all around them. That they did so with a form of juvenile humour, no matter; it worked.

It worked because they criticized and mocked people and institutions that their readers agreed were in need of that treatment. It ceased to work on those occasions when an indomitable force for evil and misery took violent umbrage at the mockery. Evil has no penchant for laughing at its absurdities. And proponents of a religion of peace who practise and promote war see nothing amusing in their hyperbole.

Charlie Hebdo's Paris office was under police protection. The office itself was on guard, as much as could be guarded, against another assault like fire-bombing. How could they visualize two armed Islamists lunging into their office to kill an even dozen of its cartoonists and journalists, its editors and its pride in existence as a buffoonish rationality?

Living under constant police protection can be no one's idea of normalcy. Living with constant fear is not liberating as an experience. Islamist malevolence has won twice over; first by the slaughter it celebrated, second by shutting down the unspeakably aggravating source of mirth that mocked its founder.

Charlie Hebdo has been subdued.

Islamist jihadists are gloating, delirious with their success.

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