Charlie Hebdo, PEN and the “wrong” kind of free speech

Excellent piece on the six wankers…

33revolutionsperminute's Blog

Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner, Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Taiye Selasi and Francine Prose are very clever people. Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, for example, is one of the most dazzlingly brilliant novels in years. So you would think that at least one of them could muster a justification for their decision to withdraw from the forthcoming PEN gala, at which Charlie Hebdo will receive the annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award, that wouldn’t make you want to bang your head against your desk. Apparently not.

Explanations have come in dribs and drabs. The longest, and worst, was published yesterday by Francine Prose — a former PEN President, no less. It opens with a classic case of the Liar’s But, where the whole paragraph preceding “but” is disingenuous blather: “tragic murders”, “nothing but sympathy”, “abhor censorship”, blah blah blah. This is the language of the politician, not the novelist, lacking both intellectual honesty…

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Jesus and Mo nail it again

Jesus and Mo.

What a bunch of wankers are the IHRC!

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

The millions of anonymous people, all the institutions, all the heads of state and government, all the political, intellectual and media celebrities, all the religious dignitaries who this week proclaimed “Je Suis Charlie” should know that also means “I am secularism.” We are convinced that as far as most of our supporters are concerned, that goes without saying. The others can do what they like with it.

via National Secular Society – Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism.

This is a translation of the editorial from the first Charlie Hebdo published since the Paris attacks. It is reproduced here in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

You MUST mock

And aren’t we all tired of those who claim to know the answer to life, death and the creation being so fucking sensitive about their knowledge? If I knew the answer to it all, if I thought I understood the wishes of the author of the universe and was privileged to understand what happens to us after death, the last thing I would be is all prickly and defensive. ‘Mock me all you like,’ I’d cry. ‘Go on, laugh your socks off, paint crude daubs, make mocking films. They pass me by as the idle wind which I respect not.’

via You MUST mock – Official site of Stephen Fry.


National Secular Society – NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

But in an open society, free expression is more important than any religious dogma. Without free expression, our democracy will not function, as it does not in many Muslim countries. Religion will be permitted to go unexamined, even when it is a threat to life and limb.

via National Secular Society – NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack.

The Paris murders: Catholic League’s Bill Donoghue gets it wrong; New Yorker’s George Packer gets it right

Why Evolution Is True

Bill Donohue is the Muslim of Catholicism. What I mean by that is that he thrives on offense, and though he doesn’t kill anybody when he’s offended, he’s made a career out of raging at those who insult the Pope, the Church, preachers and nuns, or anything associated with the Vatican Mafia. So far Catholics have been loath to criticize him, but his latest piece at the Catholic League site, “Muslims are right to be angry“, may change that. For in it, Donohue pins a fair amount of blame on the murders on the Charlie Hebo journalist and cartoonists themselves.  The only way I can account for this lapse in judgement is from Donohue’s own  personal history. For he’s spent so much time defending his own religion against perceived smears that he’s now taken it on himself to defend Islam, too, and so sees the satirical cartoonists as just as offensive…

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