An important journalistic practice is the ability to critically evaluate. This includes an array of methods, however, one of the most prominent and perhaps one of the more effective sorts arises from the satirical. Satirical writing and imagery allows for humour to convey and articulate both underlying, and quite often, confronting political, social, cultural and economic persuasions. As Christopher Hitchens put it, most probably an interpretation of Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and his love for Orwellian principles, “The mockery of religion is one of the most essential things, one of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority”. Ergo, the satirists job in the post- post-modern world is undeniably important, as it sheds light on the wonderful nature of secular thought, reason and expression, often conveyed through thoroughly taking the piss. Nothing should be emancipated from criticism, including faith beliefs, simply because the right to free speech means the right to offend. Thus, in order to maintain free expression, satire within the world of journalism must remain in order to evoke emotional persuasions, ultimately to question the infallible nature of totalities and religious doctrine (arguably one in the same).
why are we tolerant of the intolerant? Why is the satirists job becoming increasingly dangerous in today’s society? I would argue that the over exaggeration of Said’s Orientalism has established an overly progressive culture in which all minority culture is respected without question. This credulity has allowed for free expression to be challenged, particularly when observing the “politically correct” nature of current society. Furthermore, the Charlie Hebdo massacre is evident of this infallible nature, concerning religious doctrine; Seen also with Salman Rushdie, after the publication of the Satanic Verses. However, after Sir Salman Rushdie’s knighthood, there was an overwhelming show of apologists attempting to justify the actions of the Islamic community attempting to harm the author, including Shirley Williams, who called the Knighthood “a mistake, as this man has offended”. She also noted that his protection against terrorism had been an incredible drain on the taxpayer. Christopher Hitchens, quite rightly, retaliated, stating that it was a contemptable statement, along with the rhetorical question, “do you think it’s a waste of time and money defending free expression from suicide murders?”. The right to be offended is unquestionable, however to justify it as an argument is ridiculous; as it doesn’t constitute any argument, leading back to the statement just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right. Furthermore, the medium of a satirist seen within journalism today, allows for sensitive and often unspoken areas of debate to be brought into public light through humour.
Charlie Hebdo, has released a variety of cartoons concerning monotheism, including Christian, Jewish and Islamic satirical drawings. It is an important job for the satirist to question the infallibility of doctrines through comedic purposes, for many reasons including those listed above, which relate to Orwellian standards of totality; however, the most important, based on personal opinion, is because an individual maintains that right to free expression. Free expression and thought, is fundamentally important in instigating public debate through humour, and thus should be defended against violence and retaliation.
Some satirical posts to consider.
Charlie Hebdo Website: https://charliehebdo.fr/en
Copy and paste into google.
The idea of the untouchables, relates once again to importance of satirical pieces, in that they allow for everything to be commented on.