REBLOG: Why I Am Not Charlie

I am trying to avoid having something to say about this, because I really don’t much want to. In lieu of my own thoughts, though, this ain’t bad at all.

a paper bird

imagesThere is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it.  Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical violence, whether you want to call that plane spirit or imagination or culture, and to meet them with violence is an offense against the spirit and imagination and culture that distinguish humans. Nothing mitigates this monstrosity. There will be time to analyze why the killers did it, time to parse their backgrounds, their ideologies, their beliefs, time for sociologists and psychologists to add to understanding. There will be explanations, and the explanations will be important, but explanations aren’t the same as excuses. Words don’t kill, they must not be met by killing, and they will not make the killers’ culpability go away.

To abhor what was done to the victims, though, is not…

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

5 thoughts on “REBLOG: Why I Am Not Charlie

  1. Paper Bird pretty much plagiarized David Brooks’ column from the New York Times. Too bad. Paper Bird could never be Charlie.If not in exact words, then in spirit and thought.


        1. You do not. If you did, you would recognize that there is no such thing as “spirit and thought” plagiarism– we call that “agreeing,” and it’s not remotely the same thing. Furthermore, the notion that anyone would plagiarize that broken-clock nitwit is so ridiculous I can’t believe typing the words didn’t give you a headache. Contemplating the idea certainly gives me one.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this. I haven’t participated in the “We are Charlie” campaign pretty much for every reason this post pointed out. Love it when someone shares my scattered thoughts and feelings, but can put them together in a comprehensive and well-written piece.


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