[Note: I struggled, as have many in the US media, over whether to include an example of Charlie Hebdo’s ugly ugly cartoons here. I struggled in part because I think it’s necessary to have a sense of how callously, pointlessly, vile they could be when having rather abstract discussion of “freedom of speech”. In the end, I still couldn’t include a drawing of a religious figure bent over and naked soliciting his own anal rape]
The difficult spot many of us who wish to take a critical stance towards the broader reaction to the Charlie Hebdo killing is that broad-based reactions such as #jesuischarlie immediately paint one as either “for” the supposed satire of Charlie Hebdo or “for” the slaughter of cartoonists in their board rooms. It is possible, in fact probably necessary to be “for” neither.