Do you have any idea how brave it is for Charlie Hebdo to do what they do?
These are not stupid people knocking out copy and doodles for giggles ignorant of the potential consequences. Granted, on a cold sober day they wouldn’t have thought two masked men would massacre them whilst they drank their morning coffee but the fear of some kind of reprisal will have been omnipresent. Stronger on the bad days and barely traceable on most.
Fear is something we live with on a daily basis. Ever since the twin towers took a swan dive we’ve been consciously and unconsciously in it’s grip. As a political tool it’s used to create the illusion of chaos so your government can sweep in and restore order. After all, without chaos or the fear of the bogeyman under your bed, why do you need a government at all?
As for religions, they have been merchants of fear since back in the Stone Age. The Abrahamic religions, Christianity and Islam in particular have, ironically, made it into a science designed to socially control and manipulate, usually the poorest in our society, to do the bidding of whoever is preaching the word. Sure there is a lot of positivity and inspiration to be gleaned from religious texts but the love is phoney. It’s conditional love, rules and regulations you must adhere to or face the consequences in this life or the next.
There’s no point banging on about religion, many will over the next few days but the fact that it still holds so much sway in 2015 is incomprehensible.
Obviously with The Studio Exec being a satire site yesterday hit us hard and made us take a long look at ourselves. We’re minnows in the media game, masked and fairly anonymous but even we self-censor, hold things back and dilute our satire out of fear of reprisal and we’re not talking about fear of being machine-gunned in our office, it’s fear of a few negative responses on Twitter which seems so fucking ridiculous this morning it’s almost embarrassing. Being seasoned writers, we’ve plenty of experience of working under constraints, being told what we can’t write and what we can, either by a humourless editor, a scared client or shit for brains advertisers and yet, even when we’ve created a forum on which we can express ourselves freely, we still hold back.
Or at least, we did. Now the shackles are very much off.
You will read a lot of bullshit from the major newspapers and media organizations championing freedom of speech today. The same organizations owned and controlled by the likes of Rupert Murdoch or some other owner with an agenda. You will be buried by an avalanche of hypocrisy, of meaningless claims and finger pointing, of false promises and fake sentiment. This is the world we live in and unless we aspire to the kind of courage that Charlie Hebdo has in spades, the world will keep on spinning in the same direction.
Our hearts and our thoughts go out to the families of the fallen. You will be avenged.