We’ve seen tumult, terror, and protest throughout France and Europe this last week, following the deaths of a dozen journalists and others at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
A chilling illustration of the serious aims of writing and graphic expression.
Here in the US we may not tend to pay much attention to these freedom of speech liberties. We fritter them away, I mean, in such silly satires as The Interview, the movie just released, by a trembling Sony Corp., mostly via online streaming.
In this flick, a bumbling duo from a TV talk show fly to North Korea, meet the dictator Kim Jong Un, pal around with him, get laid, and then, a la the familiar delusional Rambo formula, get violent and succeed in assassinating the bad guy.
Everything in the film is improbable and juvenile too, from the fart and fuck jokes to the violent denouement. The movie is made for the usual crowd of 20-somethings, it appears, who know little and care less about politics and the real issues of the written and spoken word.
Of course, the film’s actors, director, producer have not been assassinated, unlike the Charlie Hebdo editors. And heavens forbid they should be! The kind of free speech our forefathers had in mind, now widely adopted throughout free world countries, is much more serious in intent and responsible in action than The Interview creators had in mind.
Nous sommes tous Charlie, n’est pas?