Just not funny. The most recent Charlie Hebdo cartoons using the little drown Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi in satire, it’s just not funny. A friend of mine in Moscow, called my attention to a story on Morocco World News. A communications student, Aziz Allilou outlined the comic/satirical mocking of a poor child’s death. Yes, we are that screwed up folks.
Just last week the photography of little Aylan, face down on the beach, it stirred the world’s conscience over the refugee crisis. Now the symbol of this horrendous human catastrophe, Aylan is now also the subject of our own defective liberalism. Mocking death, especially that of a child, it’s simply caddish and inhumane. As my good friend Vladimir Samarin put it:
“I am Vladimir Samarin from Moscow, Russia, enjoying being my own self, thinking with my own brain and trying to make the surrounding crazy world a little bit more convenient to live in for me and my children — using my own words, my own ideas, my own acts.”
Eight months after a terroristic attack spilled blood inside its headquarters in Paris, the French satirical magazine burst back into the spotlight with more damnable, unthinking, and provocative cartoons. At a time when crystal clarity is needed in all our communications, the editors of this blood stained rag see fit to prod, sneer, and to commit the ferociousness only curmudgeons partake of. Satire as a political device, is well used to show us keen insights into the collective psyche, and even for unveiling our deepest values. But while Charlie Hebdo has brought to light the shortcomings of the European Union’s power structure, it’s the depiction of the child that tells us of the editor’s carelessness.
Let’s face it, decent human beings can usually think of 100 ways to get a message across, it’s only the course and uncaring that either cannot, or refuse, to tread lightly on delicate subjects. Sure some hard boiled free spirited California psychopath is going to tell me free speech and intellectual licence is at play here. But after bullets have flown, and with millions in harm’s way in our world, I am just not buying it. These people are simply bored creeps, not even talented when all is said and done. They’re the kind that pat one another on the back, smile sheepishly in mutual adoration, and feel the pompous justification for having delivered yet another jab at fellow humans.
Do such people deserve whatever they get? Do the Charlie Hebdo’s of the world get what’s coming to them? Well, no, not to be honest. Mean spirited little shits do not deserve to be gunned down. After all, even the meanest little son-of-a-bitch out there has a mom, a wife, a daughter, somebody to weep when they are gone. No one deserves to die because of an opinion, or a cartoon. So I pray the masses of those injured do not exact retribution for this moment of insensitivity.
On the other hand, punching Editor Gérard Biard square in the nose, this is perhaps the best reminder that – satire does often beget a proper response. At times like these sheer honesty is in order, and I honestly despise it when people like Biard do not get the lesson. What such people need is more pristine learning experience, in my view. People who are so illustrative of our “wrong side” should get an brisk overhand right to the bridge of the nose, not the undercutting kind that could kill. The looping kind is appropriate, as it only serves to blacken or water the eyes. The crimson that emanates into the hurtful searching hand, it provokes not sirens and ambulances, but a dabbing white handkerchief – complete with a reminder, human beings are possessed of all kinds of feelings.
I am definitely not Charlie, and I never will understand Parisians turning out in throngs when cartoonists are killed – when they’d as soon the whole world burn as miss a sidewalk cafe lunch most other days. The only country more hypocritical in my view, is my own America, where getting the time of day is tough if Walmart has a special on. The cries from Gaza, Libya, Syria, and even in eastern Ukraine reach to God in heaven, but all people like Biard can do is fan the flames of a world afire. Shame on you sir, shame on you all.
Since we have arrived at the moment literary license meets political and social initiative here, I leave you with a quote from Emma Goldman, the anarchist who was guilty of inciting a riot or two in her time:
“The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being.”
And there’s my own crystal clear voice on the matter of little Aylan Kurdi’s dignity Mr. Biard. Dignity, look it up.