Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Satire Does Matter

Lost in the wave of protest and commentary that followed the massacre at Charlie Hebdo is an adequate understanding of the social function of satire says Justin E.H. Smith and reminds us that

Freedom of speech, I have been working toward saying, needs to be defended. But we also need to be careful not to lose the sort of critical sophistication that enables us to appreciate the very different functions of different moods of speech. The satirical mood is not the declarative mood. Mockery of an imam in Charlie Hebdo is not the Islamophobia of the National Front. Vovochka, another stock figure of Soviet jokes, who explains to his teacher when asked why he is hurling spit-wads in class that he is a "class enemy," is not really a class enemy (emphasis mine).

Living in a dominantly Muslim country, I hate to hear people saying murder of people in CH is terrible but... There is no but, there should not be.