Ceci N’est Pas Un Blog Post

I’m too angry and depressed by today’s news to write a proper blog post. Not just by the news itself, though that’s depressing enough — eleven people (at least) killed for the “crime” of drawing some lines on paper, or for attempting to protect those people — but from the reactions to it. Everyone seems to be using this as an excuse to say “In the wake of the awful events in Paris today, the most important thing to note is that this proves me utterly and entirely right in everything I’ve said about Muslims/freedom of the press/gun control/the war on terror”

On the left, the Social Justice types are saying “well, of course murder is wrong, but you have to remember that these people were islamophobes and homophobes…”, engaging in exactly the same kind of victim-blaming and subject-changing they get so angry about when those on the right do it about, say, Michael Brown.

On the Libertarian Atheist Old Man side, meanwhile, the cry is going out far and wide “This just shows the evils perpetrated by religion, especially those ones that THOSE PEOPLE (I don’t think I have to spell it out) prefer. I will therefore bravely stand up for free speech and show how brave and brave I am by shouting ‘FUCK MOHAMMED’ over and over again to my Twitter audience of white male libertarian atheists. I am in the bastion of a war for civilisation itself. Come and get me if you think you’re hard enough, brown people. Buy my book, ‘Why I Am Always Right’.”

Then there are the Blairites, like Dan Hodges, who is busy arguing “this is an egregious attack on free speech and civil liberties, and shows how the most important thing we can possibly do now is to get rid of all our freedom of speech and civil liberties, in case someone attacks them again”.

And then there’s Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen, blaming the murders on a “fifth column”. Bloody immigrants, we all know what they’re like. They were probably on benefits as well. There’s only one final solution for that kind of violence…

All of them, just repeating the things they’d been saying anyway, except louder and angrier, and all losing sight of the fact that there are eleven dead people, killed for drawing pictures. It’s sickening.

But you know who’s worst of all? Those fucking holier-than-thou bastards who think they’re so much better than everyone else, pontificating away about everyone else’s reactions from a position of smug assumed moral superiority, being all judgemental and sarcastic about other people, and turning a time of real human grief into an excuse to assert the moral bankruptcy of both their political enemies and their allies in a vain (in both senses of the word) attempt to appear above the fray and to turn a human tragedy into something that can be neatly categorised and doesn’t require a messy emotional reaction. I hate those bastards worst of all…

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4 Responses to Ceci N’est Pas Un Blog Post

  1. Very well said as usual. I pray that I haven’t fallen into the social justice category, as that certainly wasn’t my intention. I hate the way one can become polarised even whilst being aware of and attempting to resist the process. It’s probably a testimony to your powers of argument that this is the first thing I’ve read on this subject which has given me pause to wonder and to hope that I haven’t myself committed any such tomfoolery.

    • No, you’ve been fine. I won’t say that none of the commenters on your FB status have fallen into one or other of those categories, but you’ve not said anything stupid or offensive that I’ve noticed. Even if you had, though, it’s pretty much impossible not to fall into one of those traps, and the social justice one is at least well-intentioned, unlike some of the others…

      • Rankersbo says:

        I learned about the killings in the car park of my nearest French supermarket when a German news reporter tried to interview me. I mean the French-German border was as close as the front door of the supermarket. Would have been funny in other circumstances.

  2. Pingback: Weekend Links, 11/01/14: On free speech

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