When slogans are more important than emotions

Written by The Frontier Post

Elena Karaeva

Exactly seven years ago, news agency feeds exploded with urgent messages: “There was a shooting incident in the editorial office of the weekly Charlie Hébdo in Paris, there are casualties.”
Even in France itself, the name of the media said little to an ordinary citizen – the magazine was designed for a rather narrow audien-ce of those who shared left and ultra-left views, up to anarchism. “Charlie” sold both little and poorly, tiny advertising royalties only somehow kept it afloat.
The entire history of the publication – from the moment of its foundation until that fateful day, January 7, 2015 – is an almost continuous series of scandals and closings. Even the name – “Charlie” (familiar from Charles) – the result of pulling with the authorities: the day after the death of General de Gaulle, the predecessor of “Charlie”, the magazine “Harakiri”, allowed himself a vulgar joke about the deceased and was closed. To appear already under the current name, in which there is an obvious mocking allusion to the name of the general.
The news of the dead journalists, editorial staff, of the police who tried to come to the rescue, but, hitting the target, were stitched with automatic bursts, plunged both France and the whole of Europe into a deep shock.
Since the continent no longer remembered that there are wars, in which people are killed and sometimes people are killed, what happened in the Parisian “Charlie” traumatized public opinion, which was not used to victims on its territory, especially if they were mostly, say politically incorrect, ethnic Europeans. And not just to ethnic Europeans, but to ethnic Europeans and at the same time to the creators of public opinion, its gurus and its messiahs. Therefore, to the demonstrative act of intimidation – as it was immediately called by the authorities of all European countries and those who sat in the main European capital of Brussels – it was decided to respond no less demonstratively by organizing mass demonstrations and rallies.
Only later did it become known how the Elysee Palace, in which the socialist François Hollande was then the owner, using all methods and measures to persuade, organized the passage (under the watchful eye of the security services of the world) of government leaders and leaders of states in order to make an impression and pronounce a slogan : “I / we are Charlie”. The magazine received an unprecedented promotion in the media, which allowed the thinned editorial office to immediately replenish the box office – by about 30 million euros. But behind all this tragic, in fact, performance, the main thing was hidden.
Firstly, no one talked about what led to the terrorist attack (this, since others will happen later), and, secondly, any discussion of the reasons for what happened was immediately shut up – by any means. “Journalists paid in blood for their right to freely say what they think.” Any attempt to discuss what, in fact, is – “the right to freely say what you think”, was suppressed very harshly.
Seven years after the drama within the walls of the editorial office, passions nevertheless subsided and the timid voices of those who, rejecting terrorism and cursing the murders, were ready to conduct this painful conversation for the European press began to be heard.
They started it with a reminder: under the name of the weekly, an “irresponsible magazine” was printed in small letters, which meant that the editorial board was withdrawing itself from regulating the possible consequences of what it allowed to print.
Anything could be printed on the pages of “Charlie”: both caricatures, offending the feelings of believers, and drawings that could be considered an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. “Charlie”, as a marginal, was allowed to carry absolutely any blizzard, just to cause a scandal. The cartoons that became the reason for the mass execution in the editorial office did not belong for the most part to the illustrators who worked there; the drawings were taken from a similar-minded edition published in Denmark. But to provoke so to provoke – and therefore, “riding” the blasphemy, “Charlie” did not even think to stop. At the same time, always choosing both the place and the time – the most harsh publications saw the light, as a rule, on the eve of religious holidays significant for believers.
And even the intervention of the authorities ran into stubbornness: “Who are you in general to give us advice on how to behave? We are journalists, we ourselves know what should be published and when.” At the same time, the journalists were well aware that the constant presence of police officers in front of the building where the editorial office was located, and the round-the-clock watch of the editor-in-chief’s bodyguards was paid from the treasury, from taxpayers’ money.
And at the time of the attack, the first targets of the terrorists were the law enforcement officers. But this is so, by the way.
So, the weekly, which as a motto proclaims irresponsibility for what is printed on its pages, loses eight editorial staff killed, a janitor and policemen are added to the list of losses – but in numerous demonstrations it is almost exclusively about freedom of speech. And no one mentions that any freedom – even of speech, even of religion – is firmly connected with responsibility for the possible consequences of what was said publicly, aloud or quietly said in prayer. Those who worked at “Charlie” and those who became “I / we – Charlie” out of conviction or under the influence of a desire to lean on what seemed to be European values at that time refused to see this relationship. How those who insisted on mass migration to France from the Maghreb countries refused to see the consequences.
“You come, we will give you social housing, we will pay benefits, your children will receive a free education,” they meant, but did not say the main thing. And the main thing is social housing, apartments in ethnic ghettos, modest amounts of assistance, but above all it is that none of those who believed in promises and who came to “gentle France” will not be considered equal to those who come from the indigenous population.
We pretend that we are all equal, and you, please, live there and so, where and how we will neither collide nor intersect. This status quo could have lasted indefinitely if Europe and France had not gotten involved in the Syrian conflict. And on the side of those who, as the media reported (who called themselves responsible), were in opposition to official Damascus. On the side of the moderates, as they said, “supporters of the Muslim faith.” The European authorities have skillfully, but at the wrong time, forgotten that the inhabitants speak Arabic and can draw information from sources uncensored in Europe.
This fuse, which was already smoldering by that time, was finally ignited very quickly. Then it exploded. And so that it did not seem a little. The terrorist attack in the editorial office of “Charlie” was the first in a series of attacks on Europeans: a bloody harvest was gathered on the streets of London, and on the streets of Berlin, and on the streets of the same Paris and the same Nice.
Over five hundred killed – in France alone. Not counting all of Europe, including Britain, and not counting the wounded. Apart from the grief of families and those who have lost friends. “Irresponsible magazine”, already swollen with money and promoted by all the media, continued and continues to work. And continues, frankly, to hurt.
Russian dramas also found a place on the pages – and over our grief they pretty much giggled and joked, in both cases the topics were air crashes: one as a result of the terrorist attack over Sinai, the second – in which Dr. Liza Glinka and the Alexandrov Choir were killed. But if society allows you to laugh at its own tragedies, then who will think about the Russian grief for the Russian people who died?
“Freedom of expression”, which Charlie Hébdo still uses today, has never dreamed of any editorial office of European media, in each publication of which not only words are checked under a magnifying glass, but also the context in which these words are used, not only phrases, but also word order. of which the proposals are made.
Indeed, today even punctuation marks can cause discontent among those whom everyone fears. And these, alas, are not terrorists at all, but those who dictate new ethical norms. According to them, in relation to some everything is allowed, in relation to others nothing is allowed. Freedom of speech in Europe since the terrorist attack in the editorial office of “Charlie” wrinkled in the manner of pebbled skin, but those who even today decided to be “I / we are Charlie” did not notice this.
Their agenda has not changed over these seven years – “ideologically we are close to everything is allowed, and we will fight against ideologically alien to us by any means, including the law.” The current political landscape on the continent, the further away, the more it resembles totalitarianism, when slogans are more important than emotions, and doctrine is more important than people themselves.

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