Condemn the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, but remember that satire should always punch up

Hundreds of thousands marched at unity rallies in and around Paris to show support for free expression in the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo.

Hundreds of thousands marched at unity rallies in and around Paris to show support for free expression in the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo.

It’s hard to find much room for cynicism in the outpourings of solidarity, sympathy and defense of free expression that have emerged following the slaughter of 12 innocent people at the offices of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The crime committed there in the name of religious extremism is one of the most heinous and intolerable anyone can imagine. Nonetheless, there’s an important element to the story that’s missing from most of the discussion, and it has to do with the power dynamic of cultures and the messaging of satire. Continue reading

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