Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Happy New Year.

So barely a week in and we have a mass shooting in the center of Paris, the offices of a satirical magazine (Charlie Hebdo) is raided by two thugs and at least 12 people have been slaughtered. The magazine's crime is that it has a sense of humor, and the Islamic thugs who executed this vile destruction do not.

It is vitally important that comedians, cartoonists and writers continue to ridicule the Islamic religion as they do all other religions, the danger is that attacks like this make Islam a special no go zone, we can't afford that, not in a free society. 

So you turn up to work in your fun office with cool people, suddenly there is noise, chaos and panic. Now the room is covered in blood and your co-workers are dead, where do you go from there? I'd forgive these victims if they suddenly lose the passion to tell jokes about a religion that inspired such killings, but I cannot respect others who decide to remove Islam from their material.

Any of us could become victims of such crimes, provoked or not, just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If satire and social commentary is your stock in trade, you'd be living in no better time to practice it. To ignore certain disturbing global trends for fear of being targeted, is to choose to be vanquished without even a battle.

Any form of self censorship, whether prescribed by the individual or the state, is precisely the outcome that Sharia law would enforce, such political correctness is Sharia under another name.

Normally I'm at pains to keep anything remotely political out of this blog, however since the subject of Just Add Motion is art related, I want to report how saddened and disappointed I've been over the years to discover how cowered and fearful most artists actually are, the image of brave young revolutionary sold to me in my younger years turns out to be mostly mythical, and in actuality the art community seem easily turned and the first to bend. Therefore I'll not be surprised if few in the arts community stand up to defend the satirical actions of Charlie Hebro, I'd actually be surprised if any do, such is the timidity of the art world today.

It is a sad thing when artists and writers are slaughtered for their beliefs, and a sadder thing when fellow artists and writers feel justified in keeping quiet about it.