Tag Archives: media

Charlie Hebdo, Four Years Later

Those awful murders, at Charlie Hebdo and at the Hyper Cacher, happened four years ago yesterday. I respost this piece of mine, which I think if one of my better efforts, and this very important analysis from Spiked Online (a website you should be checking on a regular basis).

From the Spiked article:

Free speech is the right to express one’s ideas without fear of retribution, even if others disagree with you – even if they are repulsed. This right leaves people free to dissent and free to persuade others of their ideas. No political, religious or ideological viewpoint should be allowed a special exception from challenge, criticism or ridicule.

But once the moment of ‘Je Suis Charlie’ faded, prominent voices effectively began to blame Charlie Hebdo for the attack.

When PEN America, a writers’ organisation, decided to give its Free Expression Courage Award to Charlie Hebdo, more than 200 well-known writers protested.

I mentioned yesterday how much I miss my brother (scroll down) – well, all the more so when it comes to these issues. Not a chance in heck he would have been blaming the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and editorialists for their own slaughter.

The anti-Semitism the Media Doesn’t Mention

That variety of anti-Semitism — which many in the media ignore — is deadly and dangerous, and it is the kind to which certain relatives of mine subscribe, sadly. I had a “discussion” (those don’t really happen in my family) with someone to whom I am related about these ladies in July – she insisted that no, no, no, these anti-Semites would never be elected. Yeah, well, they have been.

Ireland

Dear readers, I am back from a wonderful trip to Ireland, about which I will be writing here (and in other places) anon. I wanted to start with a picture of myself taken on Whiddy Island, Ireland. I rarely post — and even more rarely appreciate — pictures of myself. But I truly like this photo, because I think it sums me up in a frame. I will write more about this photo later, and in particular this cat, but for now I would just like to thank my colleague Hermann Low for taking and sending it. Danke.

DSC_2132

Charles Krauthammer

Such a huge loss – what a brilliant mind and what a fine writer. As someone who works with students who have similar disabilities as Krauthammer had, I know what admiration I feel for those kids when they recite essays and produce something thoughtful and well-sourced, sans whining or woe-is-me-ing. And this is what Krauthammer did for decades – he started long before many of the technological advances that help the kids with whom I work were on offer.

What strikes me about his death is how even those opposed to his political views admired his intellect. Yes, there are bigots on the left who can’t grasp that someone with whom they disagree can be brilliant, but I’m tuning all of them out here.

In tribute, I offer two of my favourite Krauthammer columns: the first is about the ethical treatment of animals. He wasn’t as far on board as I am, but his distinctions are thoughtful and fair; the second is the famous Bush Derangment Syndrome article, which gave a name to the madness of the left after 9-11. I am related to many sufferers of this illness (and also to sufferers of Harper Derangment Syndrome and Ford Derangment Syndrome and Israel Derangment Syndrome, also known as “anti-Semitism”) and often refer back to the column for some respite from the insanity.

Finally, here is a lovely tribute from John Podhoretz.

The Meaning of “Eres Tu” in the Age of Nixon

It seems to me there is enough to analyse and criticize and investigate and report about President Trump and his administration without resorting to truly absurd stretches, such as this one. Despacito is a gorgeous song, and it is successful now for that reason. To suggest some deep relevance based on current affairs strikes me as a desperate attempt to tie virtually everything to Trump. Why not ask about the success of Eres Tu (an even more beautiful song, in my view) and its connection to President Richard Nixon, or even La Bamba and the importance of the Eisenhower administration in bringing about its popularity?

Seriously, media? Pull it together…and listen to this lovely song from my childhood, while enjoying the lead singer’s cute gapped teeth and her geeky, hairy bandmates. Clip is from the 1973 Eurovision song contest (it came second and it was cheated!):