This one is particularly painful for me because I write satire myself, quite a bit of it is about religion including Islam. I have done some of it online which offers some anonymity (for example the annotated Koran on rationalwiki) and uncyclopedia (a website that is a parody of wikipedia). However not all of my satire is anonymous and it has my name on it.
First and foremost, those who produce satire are people who want to make others laugh. The message is secondary. One can very easily drive home a message without the parody and the humour. More people take you seriously when you write in a formal way and it is much easier to express your ideas. Making people laugh in a well written piece of satire is hard work. Yes you get people to see things from a fresh and often ironic perspective and tell people how foolish some ideas are...but the goal is to get people to truly enjoy reading what you write and in a sense try not to take things so seriously.
This is why it is so painful to see this newspaper office blown apart by Jihadists (not that it isn't always painful to see innocent people shot through the head by Allah's bullets). These journalists spend their day making people laugh, putting a lot of hard work into de-constructing irrational arguments (and not just about religion but about politics, ethics and culture), usually drive home a compassionate humanist message and at the very least produce something that millions of readers have enjoyed.
It's scary. I'm 300km away from where this took place and my name is next to much Islamic satire which has made just as many crude and not so crude jokes about Islam and Allah.
Fuck those fucking Jihadists. This won't stop me for a second. It only wants to make me de-anonymise myself and step up my satire even more.
"I wore the exact sort of head/face covering that most of these terrorists use"
Did you wear the entire Burqa?
Were your ankles showing?
I'm just going to assume he realizes it's for him, I told you guys and gals I was having trouble seeing.
0-0 (where did everybody go???)
OMG, I was in the Cleveland area last winter. Was working for the Cleveland Orchestra and using public transportation. Nearly got frostbite of the toes one day waiting at a bus stop in -8F temps for a bus that was running quite late. I, too, wore a full face mask for fear of losing my nose to frostbite.
We missed our opportunity for a Kaffee Klatsch.
I'm in Portland, OR now.
@Unseen (or the guy who's so transparent he almost dissappears (except for the noise from his keyboard.)):
"We missed our opportunity for a Kaffee Klatsch."
DID YOU JUST INVITE EVERYONE IN THE TA network out for a Kaffee????
Also, I think the large rallies may have the effect of spurring more attacks. On the other hand, if people went around their business and paid no attention (and isn't attention a big part of what these attacks are looking for), that might have a greater effect than a huge show of concern.
Actually what you'll find in most of Europe is that people get over shock and tragedy relatively quickly. I took the same trainline in Madrid that was blown up 10 years ago and when I mentioned to people hey were on that train people would think "oh yeah...so sad" but were in no way constantly concious of it, feeling apprehensive or any greater amount of fear. They are more worried about pick pockets.
I lived on a Street in London that had bomb threats once a month and sometimes once a week (some by the IRA others were Islamic threats) and we left our buildings...huddled at a corner and then went about our days quickly forgetting what happened.
People (not directly affected) will move on in a week or two and society won't obsess over it in a years time...it will be a narrative which will be mentioned from time to time but not heavily ingrained in the collective consciousness.
Even with WWII which devastated Europe, I find that people outside Europe refer to and relive these narratives way more than Europeans do. It doesn't mean that these events are forgotten or that Europeans aren't worried about terrorism ... but that it doesn't (always) become an event that replays and repeats in the collective consciousness nor remains a trauma for long.
I'd actually be rather horrified if there wasn't a candle vigil or a discussion by leaders about the severity of the event.
One of the most concerning things about this attack is that it provides a scary blueprint of well-organized, well-armed, at least somewhat militarily trained, local, NON-SUICIDAL, terrorists who intend to attack quickly and get away to plan their next attack. They didn't peal off in a cloud of rubber smoke, but simply drove off and blended in with normal traffic, switching cars on the outskirts of town.
Thank you Davis for this inspiring read and for this beautiful tribute to the people that worked at Charlie Hebdo, dead or wounded, and the two policemen who died trying to protect them.
It’s not like I knew one of them personally or something, but I cried a bit when I learned what happened. I live in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, were the shooting took place. I was at school when the shooting happened so I learnt it 2 hours later from a friend. We were all stunned.
I just came back from a place where thousands of people gathered to pay tribute to those who died today, but I’ve never seen a street that quiet; I’ve seen that similar events happened not only in every French city but in so many other countries. Because today France wasn’t a special target, it was an attack against freedom of expression in general.
This was Charb's last drawing for Charlie Hebdo, he was killed today. The title says:
Still no terrorist attacks in France
The vast majority of people here in the middle east still choose to live in denial and are using the same ol' "These aren't real muslims", "It's just the CIA/Jews/SantaClaus wanting to portray Muslims as terrorists", while secretly feeling that the victims deserved it.
I doubt that Islam really instructs its believers to commit these crimes. At least Muslims claim so, and I assume they know more about their religion than I do, and I also assume they do not lie.
However, there is no doubt that some flavours of Islam do exactly that, and these flavours seem to be attractive to a lot of believers these days.
With previous terror attacks, I have often wondered what was the purpose, because they cannot seriously think that we will all prostrate ourselves and convert for fear of the terrorists. It has been rather more clear that terror causes life for Muslims in our countries to be more difficult than before. But this terror attack has a clear, and achievable purpose: to bully satirists and Islam critics into silence, and it might even be achievable. Since the Muhammad cartoons were published in Denmark, there have been no new cartoons in Denmark depicting Muhammad that I know of, and even if there were, I am sure that they will be anonymous.
The simplicity of the attack was also striking. There seems to have been no sophistication in attacking a building protected by policemen - and presumably with some sort of security system within. The terrorists seem to have started shooting the moment the got out of their car, and they brutally forced someone to open the gates - and this person was rewarded by not being killed, a point that could be important for other attacks.
What can we do to protect ourselves against these madmen? Do we have to abolish civil rights and become police states with surveilance everywhere?
It takes only a few violent fools like these types, and our society can be ruined.