Originally a comment by Robert McLiam Wilson on Jennifer Cody Epstein’s letter to the anti-Charlie Hebdo faction.
Ophelia, You are right to warn generously about Frenchy Charlie’s overly literal translation of ‘con’. All such words are nightmarishly difficult to translate. The register of the same word can vary wildly depending on context. Might I amiably suggest that ‘jerks’ is a touch mild and that ‘assholes’ might be an even better solution.
I write for Charlie Hebdo. I am their only English speaking contributor. This whole episode has been painful and deeply dismaying. Thus, J Cody Epstein’s retraction is to be warmly welcomed. And I feel it is futile and unhelpful to see it as mealy mouthed or conditional. Apologising sincerely is just about the hardest thing there is. I felt she did it with some grace.
As for those who insist on their wrong-headed view on the Taubira cartoon, there are two things to say. Firstly, Christiane Taubira is an almost terrifyingly impressive and daunting women. She’s a real warrior. She definitely does not need ANYONE’s protection.
And secondly, we have passed the point, I fear, where information and explanation can achieve much. There is no longer much excuse for being uninformed on this. If you continue to slander the living and the dead at Charlie Hebdo (that almost TEDIOUSLY anti-racist publication), then it is perhaps not because you are ignorant of the truth but rather because the truth is inconvenient to you.
Truth’s like that sometimes.
I was very encouraged by what you wrote and the general tenor of the literate and rounded comments. I hate to say something so…mean-spirited. But I can’t help noticing that all the funny people are on only one side of this particular garden fence.