Would they deplore any awards made in their memory?

Alex Massie takes on the Six Soft-heads with the kind of gritted disdain they deserve.

I wonder if these people also think the Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses also had it coming? I wonder if they think there would be something unseemly about awarding Salman Rushdie – and all those involved in publishing his novel – awards for their courageous defence of liberty? People died and many others risked assassination to bring The Satanic Verses into print. Perhaps, however, there is a feeling that this was a noble enterprise because it was somehow a more literary enterprise? (Except, of course, plenty of people failed the Rushdie test too.)

And I wonder if these novelists would be appalled if they or their translators were targeted and perhaps killed for the ‘crime’ of offending someone, somewhere? Would they deplore any awards made in their memory? Somehow, I doubt it.

No, because you see they would know that they are good people, while they don’t  know that about the Charlie people. (Can you say fundamental attribution error? I thought you could.)

Is it really too much to suppose that blame for this atrocity might be apportioned to the people who did the machine-gunning? This should not be a difficult matter. It really shouldn’t. Nor should recognising, however inadequately, the deaths of these journalists be controversial.

If writers cannot make a stand on this, what can they make a stand upon?Charlie Hebdo was not the first and I fear it will not be the last either. Reality is a bloody business but that’s no reason to avoid trying to look it in the face.

But someone’s cousin’s friend’s sister-in-law’s neighbor’s dog’s psychoanalyst said Charlie is racist, therefore it must be true.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Salon.com, of all people, gets it:

    It’s not about Islam, it’s about courage: Authors protesting Charlie Hebdo’s PEN award are missing the point

    Approve of the French satirists or don’t — but it takes true guts to publish under the tangible threat of murder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *