Tuesday, January 27, 2015


(Obligatory y'unnerstan'.)
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A sampling of covers over the years:
Charlie Hebdo cover, 2006.Charlie Hebdo cover, 2010.Charlie Hebdo cover, 2011.Charlie Hebdo cover, 2012.
Joe Sacco: Editorial.Worth understanding some of the controversy: Slate: Charlie Hebdo’s Most Controversial Religious Covers - Explained.

Naturally enough there is a huge outpouring of cartoon reaction following the events of the 7th of January a sampling of which follows:

        iPolitics: The Worlds Cartoonists Fight Back;
        Democratic Underground: Je Suis Charlie;
                        Violence will not silence them;
                        The Pen Will Survive; and,
                        Dishonoring Your God.

What about the thousands of people killed in Nigeria early in January? It's a reasonable question. See: I am Charlie, but I am Baga too: On Nigeria’s forgotten massacre, and Why did the world ignore Boko Haram's Baga attacks?, and What made the Paris attack more newsworthy than Boko Haram's assault on Baga? .

Not to mention the Jews killed in Paris on the 9th. Where do they fit in?

One could also ask about the approximately 8 billion souls (that would be all of us) threatened by and in jeopardy (extreme jeopardy that is, possibly to extinction) because of the human-engineered environmental catastrophe.

A few concluding remarks: from Gwynne Dyer (1), Gwynne Dyer (2), and Chris Hedges.

Concluding but not quite final ... one wonders how the Danes manage to get it so consistently right (beginning - in my limited understanding of their history - when they saved their Jews from Hitler), see: For Jihadists, Denmark Tries Rehabilitation.
After the fair when we were living on the stage at Simon Charlie's there was a sheep, a young ram, who had been part of the petting zoo and was now just running around eating grass. We called him Charlie (with no disrespect nor even connection to Simon's name, it might have related to Cliff Robertson's movie 'Charly' - can't remember). But at times, when someone bent down with his or her back to Charlie he would butt. The kids got scared. One day Charlie was taken away in a pickup truck never to be seen again.

I remember now. It was Frank who named him. Frank was a tall and very handsome young man who built a small platform in a tree to sleep on - to escape endless pursuit by young nubiles. (He would catch only the ones he fancied.) He was also the kind of fellow who did what was asked of him and took care of the petting zoo leftovers.

There was a goose too. I caught our dog, Kuma, chasing the goose one day and ran him down in the field - no beating, finding himself caught by a two-legged human on open ground was enough to leave him thoughtful. Eventually though the temptation was too much and he killed the goose. We took it away from him and cooked it. So tough as to be almost uneatable but after a few days simmering the stew was delicious.
Lailson: Après Delacroix.
Steve Bell.
Brian Gable: Jester.
Anon: The signature is unreadable.
Chan Lowe: Christians!
Oh man! That's funny. I used the phrase 'soi distant' in the last post. It has been in my repertoire since early early days when I read ee cummings 'Six Nonlectures' in highschool.

So I used it, and I happen to have an OED on my desktop so I wondered if it might be in there, and it's not, but 'soi-disant' (without the 't') IS in there. I'll have to get the book now and see if I have been mistaken all these years.

There was an occasion years ago when I said, "Music to soothe a savage beast," and two voices at the dinner table immediately replied "Breast!"; and when I said "Shakespeare," they said "Congreve!" And I doubt you will believe me gentle reader when I tell you how delighted I was at this correction, truly delighted.
Chiquinha: Je suis Charlie.Joep Bertrams: Schietoefening / Shooting practice.
A year or so ago I sent my kids copies of Richard Brautigan's 'Watermelon Sugar'. As far as I know none of 'em read it, in any event I have had no response of any kind. I keep a copy on-line. Here's what I think is a relevant bit in the context of Charlie:
"I'll show you," inBOIL said. He pulled the blade out. It looked sharp. "This is iDEATH," he said, and took the knife and cut off his thumb and dropped it into a tray filled with trout just barely hatched. The blood started running down his hand and dripping on the floor.
The world is filled with trout just barely hatched, none of whom know very much (including myself). Whenever I think of trout now I remember the Swede who demonstrated the effects of less than 5ppb (thats parts per BILLION!) plastic shit on trout sexuality.

Charlie Hebdo, Tuesday January 13.Circulation is up. Easy to be cynical.

Chris Hedges is saying no more than W.H. Auden: "What all schoolchildren learn: those to whom evil is done do evil in return," who said it more than seventy years ago - not that it was original then. They don't call it the Golden Rule for nothing - it lasts.

Joe Sacco: Editorial.Joe Sacco's editorial appears near the beginning of this post, you probably skipped it, fair enough, but have a look now (click on the frame at the left). Hedges calls him 'the world's greatest' or something in that silly book ... a close and thoughtful reading of this editorial will reveal certain ... flaws, but the process is proper - just that it seems like he stops before he's really thought it through.

The thing about these guys is not that they get it right, they don't - it's that they aren't afraid to get it wrong and in so expressing themselves they present an opportunity to see a bigger picture. Chris Hedges (f'rinstance) doesn't think Charlie Hebdo is funny; well, neither does the Pope. :-)

But sure, OK for so many of the rest of you to keep the blinkers on, don't talk about hunger strikes and self-immolation, don't talk about destruction of property compared with violence against people - shut yer fricken' minds and assume the default position. Stay 'on track' (so the train can come along and run you over).

Things are somewhat more forthright in Brasil:
Belo Monte 15-01-12.Coari 15-01-14.Coari 15-01-14.

Laerte gets it:
Laerte: stay behind the yellow line.
Rules ... Limits ... Rules ... Limits ... Rules.    R ...    Stay behind the yellow line.
Laerte: stay behind the yellow line.
The rule is stay behind the yellow line.    But this line is blue.         So ...

a-and Clara Gomes gets it too:
Clara Gomes: Apertado.
The world is a dangerous place, chaotic, unpredictable, and violent.
                            Because of this I will live inside myself forever!
It's a tight fit but at least it has the Internet.
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