What’s so wrong with you just being you and me just being me? Why does there seem to be a massive, collective identity crisis afoot these days that is amplified whenever there is a local, or global tragedy? Perhaps it’s the result of social media and social engineering reaching the speed of light (The Singularity, Social Media & The Hive Mind). I am not Charlie. You are not Charlie. Only Charlie is Charlie — and that’s alright. Let it be. Let Charlie be. Don’t usurp Charlie. Don’t possess and contain Charlie. Just appreciate Charlie. If you wish, allow Charlie to inspire you in defiance of Inspire, but please, don’t claim you’re Charlie because most of you, if not all, clearly aren’t Charlie and most of you, if not all, aren’t even satirists and don’t really respect free speech. I can’t tell you how many quote unquote “liberal/progressive” blogs I’ve been banned from for being me, even though there is no me. It’s too many to count, so it’s a joke that these very same people are now crying crocodile tears over Charlie and free speech when they’re more like the alleged humorless louts who are suspected of maiming Charlie’s voice than they are like Charlie.
As an example, b over at Moon of Alabama blog recently deleted and/or censored one of my posts that included a link to a typically hard-hitting Charlie Hebdo cartoon. But this particular cartoon isn’t aimed at Muslims but instead at France’s hard Right, and more specifically one of its prominent leaders, Marinara Le Play Pen. Here’s the cartoon for free speech posterity, because even though the attack against Charlie Hebdo might not have been perpetrated by radical Muslims, despite the official narrative, it was still an attack against free speech by another equally zealous and sinister group which has an equal amount of disdain for free speech — and apparently b at Moon of Alabama blog is a proud member of that group. If so, fuck you b, you disgusting scum-sucking tyrannical pig and the horse you came in on and the one you will leave on (his loathsome commentariat). [Note the bolded “if so” caveat in the preceding sentence. Language is important, so if you want absolute free speech, you must choose your words and expressions wisely. It’s an obligation. Facts should be clearly delineated from opinions, but all too often they’re conflated. The comment that was deleted at Moon of Alabama is now posted again. I’m not sure what transpired, but for now, I’ll give b the benefit of the doubt and retract what came after the “if so” caveat. I’ll keep it in reserve in the bullpen because it may well apply in the future. I’m leaving it up with this retraction for posterity because it is educational and enlightening and the sentiment of the example is still valid and in play at many other venues as you’ll soon see.]
I made the comment as an addendum to a comment I had made at his blog in response to the discussion that has ensued at that space about the shooting being a false flag. Since all manner of theories were being thrown against the conspiracy wall of fame like so much undercooked spaghetti, I thought I would try my hand. Here’s what I said before it also gets deleted:
If this was an inside job, as snakearbusto indicated on the previous thread and I did as well earlier in that thread, Charlie pissed off a lot of people, most especially the French establishment to include the hard Right. If it was an inside job, the hard Right has a long memory in the long game and chose this time to strike while its iron is hot for maximum leverage. As such, it would have nothing to do with America since as we all know, America is about what Charlie Hebdo is about, or at least it is on paper some of the time. It’s more likely that if this operation was a joint effort by two or more countries, France’s hard Right was working hand & glove with Russia to bring this about. Russia would have the most to gain from aiding France’s hard Right in this endeavor.
There is so much irony in the world, sometimes I can’t handle or process it all and I start to break down and laugh uncontrollably. I laugh so hard I can’t breath and my head feels like it’s going to pop open and the veins in my neck feel as though they’re going to snap and bleed out. It’s an affliction called PBA (Pseudo Bulbar Affect) and they have a medication for it but I refuse to put that poison in my sacred temple. I don’t care if I run the risk of spontaneously exploding. Yes, laughter and tears are now an affliction that must be treated. You knew it was just a matter of time, didn’t you? I did.
For another example of boundless irony, just the other day I commented to this Daily Beast article and left a link to my previous satirical Charlie Hebdo commemorative post. Not a single person responded, yet I have had 42 hits from that deposited link. When I revisited my Daily Beast comment at that space today, not a single “like” or “up” vote was registered for it although there were quite a few for many of the sycophantic (God, how I deplore sycophancy) comments. Not that I care, but it’s a pertinent observation that underscores what the linked YouTube video behind the Hive Mind comment above reveals. People are easily socially engineered. They’re as easy to control and predict as cattle and The Net and social media, to include Twitter and Facebook, is pushing all the social engineering buttons with this Charlie Hebdo tragedy.
Anyway, back to the ubiquity of irony. I feel like this fella, Ricky Fitts from the cult classic movie American Beauty, except substitute laughter for the tears. Our world in its current state is a satirist’s wet dream, and as such, I’m constantly having to towel myself off and change my britches lest they become permanently starched to my pale, sun-starved private parts. One would think the best way to honor and commemorate the tragic death of satirists is with satire, but not with the social media crowd who feigns to mourn the cartoonists’ deaths. No, instead they consider laughter in the face of “their” tragedy to be crude and unsympathetic. “How dare you joke and laugh at a time like this,” they think and say. Fuck you, I think and say in return. You are not Charlie Hebdo. You have no idea who or what Charlie Hebdo is. You are just a mindless fish impulsively joining a school of other mindless fish mindlessly responding to prepared stimulation designed to steer you here and then there and back again. And yet you call yourselves free. That’s beauty. It’s so perfect. True genius. It’s satire in and of itself.
And that last statement leads me to a theory I’ve been chewing on for the past several years, and that is perhaps we are approaching, or we have approached and arrived at, another form of The Singularity — a version of it where reality merges with any possible satire derived from it and the two become one and the same. If my theory has any merit, it’s a sad day and I, and other fellow satirists are pissing up a rope or tree or spitting into a strong wind. We’re superfluous and redundant. It would mean the murder of Charlie Hebdo is a symbolic act revealing that satire, like God and John Lennon before it, is now dead, so even if I wanted to be Charlie, I couldn’t and you couldn’t because satire is now omnipresent and perfectly ubiquitous. You can’t conjure it because it’s already here all around fully manifested unconsciously enabled by a system incapable of seeing its farcical reflection in the universal mirror. There is no escape. Go back to your cube . Try laughing or crying and see what you get. Accept your death and it will all go so much easier. Fight it and you will be made miserable. There is no you. There is no me. There is only the collective school of mindless fucks swimming in a fish bowl year after year and there’s No Way Out. Submit to the Majesty of it.
I said earlier in my bolded retraction, “the example is still valid and in play at many other venues as you’ll soon see.” I didn’t lie, even though it’s all lies. Soon is here. The irony overfloweth it’s so abundant. A fish from that school who also happens to be the author of this liberal/progressive blog deleted my post as has been his habit and wont in the past. Here’s the thing — if free speech isn’t absolute, then it’s not free speech. There aren’t degrees of freedom when it comes to speech. Either you can say it, or speech is not free. Considering that, b at Moon of Alabama has made it clear in this post that he doesn’t respect, nor will he defend free speech. At least he’s honest and at least he lets me post at his site. It doesn’t mean he honors free speech at his site, though, it just means he finds me conveniently amusing. Proper motivation does matter. Unlike b, Ian Welsh claims to respect free speech but doesn’t practice it in word or deed. He deleted the following comment I made yesterday at the blog post I linked to above, and unlike the Moon of Alabama example above, this comment really was deleted in no uncertain terms. It was there most of yesterday, and today it is gone and there are no longer any references from his blog to this blog in my statistics. That’s probably why he did it — he doesn’t want his audience linking to my blog, but it’s also because he doesn’t want to entertain the views of those who challenge his worldview. Tell me something I didn’t already know — liberals/progressives are massive hypocrites and they wouldn’t know Charlie Hebdo from Pol Pot. Here’s the indecent and insulting comment I made — is it worth murder?
V. Arnold said: What Charlie Hebdo was doing was projecting “western” values on the rest of the world; a world that does not recognize or agree with those values.
Cold N. Holefield said: Hardly. Charlie Hebdo is a small publication virtually unheard of outside France until this incident. I know I had never heard of it or seen it until now. From what little research I have done, it was French satire for the French although non-French satirists can and do grok Charlie’s intent and sentiment. They don’t have an office in the Middle East, China or Russia. They just had the one small operation in Paris before the walls were painted red with the cartoonists’ blood.
But really, who is Charlie Hebdo? Most people don’t have a clue, despite protestations to the contrary, and never will have a clue and will never care to have a clue. But they’ll sure as hell jump on the Je Suis Charlie bandwagon just as sure as a fish joins a school.
Je Suis Qui Je Suis
Hopefully Ian doesn’t shoot this comment down like the cowardly shooters shot Charlie Hebdo down. As the former Celsius233 used to say, “we’ll see.”
I guess we saw. Too funny. I’m having one of those Fitts again. Talk amongst yourselves as I put an icepick in my ear to relieve the pressure. There, that worked. It’s a little messy but it gets the job done. I’m ready if they try to pull a Trotsky on me. Practice makes perfect.
All that aside, I want to make it clear I’m no fan of Charlie Hebdo. I do respect free speech and satire as part of that, and I believe for speech and/or expression to be free, it must be absolute meaning the bar for what is considered protected speech and/or expression has to be set incredibly low meaning 90% or more of speech and/or expression is protected as free. In my view, Holocaust denial is free speech. Satire about the Holocaust is free speech. Satire about Jews and Judaism is free speech as is satire about Catholics and Catholicism. All of that is fair game. The Jews don’t get a special dispensation because of historical abuses and atrocities against them especially when an inordinate percentage of Jews occupy positions within the media. It’s a conflict of interest, in the least, and it gives the appearance of bias and favoritism which mitigates freedom of expression and speech.
Despite what some zealous critics claim, Charlie Hebdo has some decent satirical cartoons. I’ve displayed several in my last two posts and I’m pretty picky when it comes to cartoons. What I don’t respect about Charlie Hebdo is what is not being reported widely in the mainstream media, and that is Charlie Hebdo is not an equal opportunity satirist like me. Apparently it’s alright to piss off Muslims by exposing their contradictions and absurd predilections but not the Jews. In case you didn’t know, Charlie Hebdo fired one of its cartoonists for charges of anti-Semitism. The journalist, Maurice Sinet, was later awarded damages by a French court for being fired without just cause. This tells me Charlie Hebdo was biased, partial and compromised. I can’t and don’t respect that. What a bunch of assholes. You should have folded up and painted the subway walls like real prophets if those who threatened the publication and coerced the management to fire Sinet made good on that threat. What ever happened to solidarity? What ever happened to integrity? Apparently they’ve gone the way of satire and the dodo bird.
Just as I’m not Charlie, I am also not Ahmed, although a number of Muslims are, apparently, as reported by this Good (strange name for a publication) article. Je Suis Ahmed is the tagline, but the Muslims blunder once again. I didn’t know Ahmed was the name, or part of the name, of a weekly satirical publication in Paris. I’m betting many of the Muslims who pick up and parrot this counterinsurgent meme don’t even know that there is no Charlie and that the name refers to a publication and not an actual person, or not an actual personal directly. It reminds me of, “and by the way, which one is Pink?” As the story would have it, Charlie may irreverently commemorate Charles de Gaulle, wherein in the aftermath of his death the magazine was forced to close its doors, at least under it’s previous name and structure, for making an indecent satirical wise crack about the military dictator. It scrambled to reform under another legal structure and name so it chose Charlie Hebdo in irreverent honor of Charles de Gaulle and an in-your-face to those who forced Hara-Kiri to fold. Ahmed, like Charb, was just the name of a guy — a Muslim French police officer who came to Charlie Hebdo‘s aid in its time of need. Not that any of that nuance matters to the goofy Muslims. And as far as the conditional leading line “As a Muslim, ….” is concerned per the quote below, let me fill it in for some of you Muslims who feel compelled to desperately delineate. As a Muslim, you are truly fucked. I know, that’s cold and callous, but with the likes of b of Moon of Alabama‘s comment section defending your dishonor, you don’t stand a chance. They have been doing Muslims the world over a remorseless disservice since 2005 and there is no end in sight. With friends like that, you have no chance against the forces that have already determined your fate. And I have news for you, Allah won’t intervene either. Your religious faith represents your shackles in this brave new world. It would be best if you examined it closely and your relationship to it. The same can be said for any religious faith, but most especially Islam since it’s currently the target for firmware updating.
In the wake of every crime perpetrated in the name of Islam, nothing is more predictable than the responses on my social network feeds. On Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, my Muslim family and friends waste no time in posting their denunciations, condolences, and explanations of every terrorist attack—and each one of them gets qualified with the phrase, “As a Muslim…” As news of the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris spread, revealing that the gunmen were not only Muslim, but inspired by political agendas cloaked in the language of Islam, the cycle and spectacle of Muslim response was set in motion. A Twitter search for the phrase “As a Muslim…” yielded thousands of real-time results, all of them related to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.
The prevalence of the “As a Muslim…” qualifier reveals what is common between the Muslims who attacked Charlie Hebdo and the rest of us trying to do damage control: the compulsion to speak for all Muslims. “As a Muslim…” packages Muslims as one group, effectively saddling us all with the burden of collective accountability. Of course, when “As a Muslim…” is most frequently deployed, the speaker’s intended aim is to disabuse others of the notion that Muslims are, in fact, a cohesive, monolithic group. What ultimately emerges from this phrase, however, is a form of a cognitive dissonance: “These Muslims don’t speak for us, but, as a Muslim, I do.”
“As a Muslim…” is a predictable reaction to an ideology that reduces complex and contemporary human beings to a uniform swath of Muslim-ness. Furthermore, it excludes them from the experience of collective grief. Muslims, it implies, are incapable of experiencing events as any other humans do. Instead, they experience things only in the capacity that their Muslim identity allows. It inadvertently feeds into the anti-immigrant fears and anxieties currently afflicting European countries—that Muslims are unfit for Western society. While “As a Muslim…” allows Muslims to assert narratives that contradict the mainstream story, we remain ensnared in the trappings of a religious identity claimed by 1.6 billion people around the world.
To wrap up this post, I guess what bothers me most about this Je Suis Charlie bullshit is that it obscures other equally famous Charlie’s who will now be tucked into a dark, dusty corner on the forgotten shelf of history. For example, no one remembers, or will remember, this famous Charlie; “Sorry Charlie, only the most tasteless satirists get to be Starmartyrs.”
If, by law, I had to be Charlie, this is the Charlie I would be even though I would die from brain damage inflicted by syphilis at age forty eight in my bathrobe like Al Capone. Allah, how I loved Farah Fawcett. So strong was my love for her, I would have eaten her rectal cancer just like Kurt Cobain. That’s True Love.
I’ve saved the best Charlie for last. This Charlie had the cajones to stand up to Hitler with satire when Hollywood hid behind its silver screen.
And finally, the question asked by the Admiral so long ago has finally been answered. He tweeted the following from the grave:
Admiral Stockdale @whoami Jan 11
This is great. I finally figured it out. #JeSuisCharlie