January 9, 2015

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Weekend Pattering for January 9th, 2015

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff
** Somehow it seems disingenuous to do one of these and not try to think about the acts of terrorism committed in Paris and against the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.  I don't claim to understand what happened or why it happened but this week's links are a lot of what I've been reading for the last couple of days now.

** If you want to talk about the power of art, this may be one of the best examples of it.  Art drove people to kill.  They didn't like the art and instead of getting on the internet and trolling those cartoonists, they carried out an execution.  

** As always in the American blogging scene, Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter did a good job of exploring these events.  It's strange having to cover this from the point of view of comics and cartoonists and Tom does as good of a job as anyone could.  It's one thing to look at these most of these murdered men and women as cartoonists and reporters who were just at work, probably discussing how to use their wit and pens for the next issue.  It's another thing to realize that this is an act of terrorism and just how this story is so much bigger than I think any of us are prepared to deal with.
** At Comics & Cola, Zainab Akhtar provides some brief biographical information on the cartoonists who were killed.

** Charles Brownstein of The Comics Book Legal Defence Fund posted a number of Charlie Hebdo cover on cbldf.org.   Slate.com also looks at a number of covers and tries to provide religious and social context for them.

** In acts of violence like this, it's often too easy to start lionizing the victims.  "Je Suis Charlie" signs started popping up all over the internet and in cities yesterday.  The Hooded Utilitarian's Jacob Canfield looks at a number of the same images as Brownstein and the Slate but examines the ways they could incite reactions.

** Juan Cole at Informed Comment explores why al-Queda would attack satirists.  CNN's Daniel Burke looks at why Islam forbids images of Mohammed, a figure that Charlie Hedbo used repeatedly in their magazine.

** Charlie Hebdo will be published next week, rightfully expecting a staggering jump in circulation.  From accounts, the 9 staff members and cartoonists killed may make up a significant portion of the paper's staff.  

** I found the above cartoon at this Vox article.  Of all of the cartoons I've seen relating to Wednesday's events,  this one reminds us that it was a handful of men who killed 12 people.  It's not a church or a religion.  In fact, the Islamic religion suffers because of this because there are so many people who will say that this was the doings of Islam.  It wasn't.  It appears to be the atrocities of three men.  I've seen one person related to comics claiming that this was a religious action and that all religions need to be eliminated because this is the fervor and madness that they inspire.  That's just wrong.  Men and women act out in these violent ways.  Men and women have to take responsibility for this.  Maybe they are so far on the fringe of their beliefs that they think their god is telling them they have to kill innocent people, that they have to kill cartoonists and writers and policemen, but don't for a minute think that this was a real act of religion or worship.  It was an act of violence and destruction performed by individuals.

At the New York Times, Nicolas Kristof in a piece titled "Is Islam to Blame for the Shooting at Charlie Hedbo in Paris" sums it up succinctly.
"The great divide is not between faiths. Rather it is between terrorists and moderates, between those who are tolerant and those who “otherize.”