I had planned to write a post about representation in media and how criticism of said media is done and received. Seriously, I had examples and outlines and charts and graphs. Not really sure what the charts and graphs were for, but I had them. Then, I read the news this morning and wanted to go crawl into a deep cavern and drink heavily until memory loss occurred.
If you are unfamiliar with what happened here is a link for latest information. To summarize, three gunmen attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that has come under fire and threat for printing images criticizing Islam and the prophet Mohammed. They killed ten of Hebdo’s artists, two officers, and injured five other cartoonists. These individuals were murdered because some people did not like their art and satire. Was the work of Charlie Hebdo offensive and in poor taste? Possibly. Did their actions merit this response? FUCK NO!
No work of art merits the death of an artist!
On top of this, an NAACP office in Colorado Springs was attacked by an IED and received virtually no media attention. There were no deaths or major injuries, so I am hoping that is the main reason for the lack of media attention. Either way, the lack of coverage just seems wrong.
The New Year is barely a week old and the sheen of possibility and promise had already waned. It seems like we are in for just more of the same idiocy, radicalism, and polarized populace. At least, that is what I thought initially, but then I saw the outpouring of support and camaraderie of other artists, many who were not fans of Hebdo’s work, sharing messages, thoughts, and prayers of support through the medium of cartooning and I had a renewed sense of hope.
As well, there are hundreds of people coming together with pens, pencils, and papers in Paris to have a vigil for those tragically lost. Again, this will ultimately not bring the dead back, but it does show that in the face of adversity and horror there will be those who fight back and manage to support and aid the fallen.
Maybe that is the most we will ever be able to hope for. Or perhaps it is the base from which we build upon. I am hoping for the latter and seeing other’s responses it just might be possible. I’ll leave this post with the words of John Green. While not directly dealing with the current events, his thoughts still express, in my opinion, the right sentiment of hope in people, possibility, and the future.