08 January 2015

Wolinkski, Cabu, Charlie et les autres

I was never a regular reader of Charlie Hebdo or its predecessor publication, Hara-Kiri. But you didn't have to be a faithful reader to know and laugh with the political cartoonists and satirists who made these publications so influential and contoversial. Their cartoons appeared in many newspapers and magazines. They've been part of the French cultural scene and French (especially Parisian) everyday life for several generations.

From now on, when we write MDR (mort de rire) in French — the equivalent of LOL — we'll have to think twice.

That's what's so demoralizing and worrisome about the shooting yesterday in the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo. If talented people who satirize the powers that be — of every stripe — in their drawings and irreverent view of the world become afraid to express themselves, what does that do to French and other European cultures? It denatures them, and makes them much poorer and less vibrant. The exuberance goes away. We are in mourning today — en deuil. Nous sommes tous Wolinski, Cabu, Charb, et Charlie.

17 comments:

Gosia k said...

It is a terrible accident. And innocent people are victims.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Not an accident, Gosia. An event, an attack, an act of cowardice and barbarism, but not an accident, unfortunately.

Janet said...

Merci Ken.

jean laine said...

Balles tragiques à Charlie Hebdo, 12 morts .
Reposez en paix.

Tim said...

The cartoonists are dead.... long live the cartoonists.
The reaction to this disgusting act of cowardice has been quite incredible and spontaneous...
Charlie Hebdo MUST continue... for the memory of the dead, if nothing else.
There will be cartoonists and satirists who will step forward...
but our thoughts need to be with the families of the twelve [so far] victims...
and the injured and their families...
and the colleagues and inhabitants of other offices in the building...
like the London Tube bombings...
none of those people will be the same...
feel the same...
think the same!
My Father used to say...
"There are fascists to the right of us...
and fascists to the left!!"
But nowadays they hide...
become even more extreme...
and carry guns with which to EXECUTE their will...
that wounded policeman is a case in point...
he wouldn't have been able to give chase...
As you say above...
cowards, bloody cowards!

Susan said...

I never read Charlie Hebdo either, just as I rarely read Private Eye in the UK, but the world needs this level of irreverence to function properly. It brings people up short, makes them think. As you say, you don't have to read these magazines to be aware of them, to have seen the cartoons and to appreciate them. I must say I am somewhat peeved that the only person likely to benefit from this ghastly business is Michel Houellebecq, who I suspect of being a self-agrandising creep -- certainly fairly unlikeable as a person anyway and his books don't hold any appeal for me. He reminds me curiously of Dan Brown.

Ellen said...

No, definitely not an accident. And not a random act of violence in which innocent bystanders and people who are at the wrong place at the wrong time are killed. These journalists and the police were targeted victims, killed in an assassination mode. Does that make it any "better" or excusable? No, of course not. We are all Charlie.

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

Speechless.

melinda said...

oui je suis Charlie

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Just terrible. The scenes were shocking and the killing of the police officer barbaric. I saw this yesterday and thought of you - how some of the world's cartoonist responded:
http://imgur.com/gallery/2tfhg

Evelyn said...

I think Gosia meant to use the word "incident". Ken, our friend Amy lives nearby and walked through the scene moments later with her daughter. #jesuisCharlie

Emm said...

No words. Nous sommes Charlie.

Ken Broadhurst said...

You are probably right, E.

Lynn said...

Yes,you are right. I'm Worried about the direction this will take us.

Leon Sims said...

A shocking attack. I agree with your words, Ken and I also liked the words of Hollande as reported here. Sue

Cub' said...

Bonjour Ken et Walt,
Thanks for your great post... I find it difficult to work and grade my students'papers...( I had an acute pain in the right knee so I didn't go to high school yesterday and don't work on Fridays this year...), watching TV and reading the accounts made by Le Monde, le Figaro on my laptop nearby...
I do appreciate what your readers have written on your blog...
Bises
Mary who has just seen Google profile shown below is still the one of my son...

Jill Holdaway said...

Ken, I've been thinking about you through this tragedy. You can't kill ideas, so onward for self expression. My favorite political cartoon is the mighty pencil erasing and image of a terrorist.