There are two things I wanted to do today but did not get around to. The first was re-writing the “About” page for Big Food, Big Garden, Big Life. Mr. Big Food sent me some needed material– all I really needed to do was do it. I didn’t.
I just didn’t feel like it.
The second was posting something in tribute to those at Charlie Hebdo. As you’d know, this is not an overtly political blog but here on the Farm we do love us some history and freedom and liberty and those
crappy old amendments. I have a pretty decent library– all I really needed was a good quote. I didn’t do this either.
To tell the truth, I didn’t look too hard. Others have found good words to quote— it’s not as if the words are not out there, as if they haven’t already been spoken and written by brave liberty-loving human beings. The words are there. All we need to do is read them and learn their meanings, again.
Offensive image of Hell: “The Violent, Tortured in the Rain of Fire” Gustav Dore’s illustration of Dante’s Inferno (Canto 14).
About the post title… .
From Matt Welch at Reason:
“So no, we’re all not Charlie—few of us are that good, and none of us are that brave. If more of us were brave, and refused to yield to the bomber’s veto, and maybe reacted to these eternally recurring moments not by, say, deleting all your previously published Muhammad images, as the Associated Press is reportedly doing today, but rather by routinely posting newsworthy images in service both to readers and the commitment to a diverse and diffuse marketplace of speech, then just maybe Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t have stuck out so much like a sore thumb. It’s harder, and ultimately less rewarding to the fanatical mind, to hit a thousand small targets than one large one.
“And it’s not just those of us in the media business who have failed to be Charlie Hebdo. Every person in the broader West, whether it be a Financial Times editor or the president of the United States, who wrongly thinks that speech should not offend, and falsely believes that artistic commentary can somehow incite murderous violence, are also contributing to an ever-worsening cultural climate of speech, and therefore freedom.
“Today is an awful day for the basic project of free inquiry. Do you really wanna be Charlie Hebdo? Then get on out there, live and speak bravely. And God help you.”
[My emphasis] As they say, read the whole thing.