Up Close and (un)Conventional #12 – Freedom of Speech

Posted 8 January, 2015 by Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews in Discussion Posts / 18 Comments

Up Close and (un)Conventional

Up Close and (un)Conventional #12 – Freedom of Speech

Welcome to this week’s Up Close and (un)Conventional. This is where I discuss both things that have to do with reading and blogging, and things that just have to do with life in general. This week, I just want to talk about freedom of speech, and how fragile it can be. I’m sure most of you have heard about the horrors that happened in Paris yesterday, at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.

Armed men forced themselves inside the Charlie Hebdo headquarters and killed twelve people, including four of the most famous artists making the caricatural drawings the newspaper is well known for. I think the whole of Europe is in a state of shock, actually, both because using violence against pens and pencils just seem so utterly wrong, and because Charlie Hebdo and the people working there are part of the French media landscape, and have been for over forty years.

Je Suis Charlie
Front page of La Tribune de Genève on January 8th, 2015

One of the things Charlie Hebdo is so famous for is that they make caricatures that literally make fun of anything and anyone – everything and everyone. Nobody is safe from the harsh movements of a pencil, one wrong word said, one displaced hand, a look in the wrong direction and it may very well be captured in one of the famous drawings – with just the one-liner to make it something much more poignant than a whole article could have been.

The loss of life, intelligent and talented people who have always tried to push the boundaries to make sure that democracy stays strong makes me feel hollow inside. And so, I want to ask you, how far would you go for your freedom of expression? The people working at Charlie Hebdo knew there were death threats against them – but they refused to back down – saying they preferred to die free than to live as rats. I think that takes a lot of courage, and I salute them all!

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

About Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lexxie is a grad student in English Language and Literature, an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

18 responses to “Up Close and (un)Conventional #12 – Freedom of Speech

  1. Yeah, I heard about that on the news, it’s horrible. I say I have no clue who those newspaper people where but I am sure some where on the net I have seen something of theirs and just never new it. It was very sad thing that happened. 🙁
    Stormi recently posted…Life as a Blogger #1: ScarsMy Profile

    • Even if you haven’t seen any of their specific drawings, I think that the way they worked, and how they were able to point out so many things that doesn’t work in our society is what’s important. And of course, they are not the only ones doing that – there are talented artists / journalists all over the world who continue to do that kind of work every single day.

  2. I grew up with these people, saw them on TV, read Charlie Hebdo and listened to Bernard Maris (the economist) on the radio – and read his books. What happened shocked us so much, we haven’t recovered yet, so thank you very much, Lexxie, for this post, it means something to me and all of us French :-*
    Red Iza recently posted…Charlie HebdoMy Profile

    • I think the horror of what happened in Paris yesterday resonates with people everywhere, Iza. I didn’t read Charlie Hebdo, but I have seen many of their caricatures, and I think they are mostly completely spot-on!
      Thanks to people like the Charlie Hebdo artists, our freedom of speech continues to be safe.

    • Yes, definitely courageous to continue to live free, even with the threats hovering over their heads like that.
      *HUGS* back Brandee 🙂

  3. Lexxie this put a tear in my eye.
    I have to admit to not reading Charlie Hebdo before everything that happened yesterday. But the minute I read about it on the news, only after hours it happened I felt sick. It’s difficult to properly articulate just how I feel about what happened. I’m saddened, angry, appalled and sick and tired if this violence. I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in it so much and the people who worked for Charlie Hebdo will remain in my thoughts for a very long time.
    Lily recently posted…The Law of Moses: ReviewMy Profile

    • That’s exactly how I feel, too, Lily. Freedom of speech is just so important, and what these guys did and how they were so good at poking their fun at the exact right time and place was just amazing.

  4. I hadn’t heard about this, but then again I basically avoid the news as there is so much negativity in it. This is really horrible :(. I think it takes courage indeed to live that way. And so sad they got killed for simple expressing themselves. This really makes you wonder how far freedom of speech goes and how many things there are still limiting it.
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Books you hate by authors you likeMy Profile

  5. I do watch the news, even if some days there is only bad news. I think what makes me feel that these guys were so courageous is that they had already received death threats but they didn’t stop doing what they were doing anyway.
    I’m sure there will be more people and things trying to limit our freedom of speech, Lola, but hopefully, there will always be people who are willing to fight for it.

    • Yeah, art is sometimes the pre-cursor of a real change in society, eh? I agree, though, I’m not sure how brave I would be myself, I think the men and women who were killed yesterday truly showed me what courage means, and the fact that the rest of the people working for Charlie Hebdo now work very hard to make sure there will be a new edition on Wednesday next week also shows me bravery on the highest level.

  6. You alone are brave to have voiced your concerns and esteem for these heroes! Thank you for posting this, I cannot even begin to stress how affected I am by these inhumane cowardly acts. I am also very exhausted, consumed and drained with the fear these extremist are instilling into OUR world! It’s all of OURS not just theirs. {sigh}

    I love this quote: ‘I’d rather die standing than live on my knees’
    Claudia {Sparrowhawk} recently posted…Sparrow’s Reading Corner: {It’s About The Friday Book Memes | Volume No. 32}My Profile

    • I agree, it is exhausting to try to stay positive and strong in the face of such violence. I have been watching so many different news channels this week to keep up to date about everything that has been happening in Paris. I’d much rather die standing than live on my knees, too, Claudia! And I think it is completely possible to do so with respect and love towards everybody else – which is why extremists using such violence to try to silence people is so very wrong.
      Thanks for stopping by, Claudia.

  7. I was shocked when I found out about the attacks, I used to live in Paris and definitely appreciated Charlie-Hebdo’s humour on occassion! Though it is a tragedy I couldn’t help but feel moved by the solidarity the Parisians, and other French showed. I hope that Charlie-Hebdo do well by those people who died and make them proud by continuing to exercise their right of free speach.
    Laura @ trips down imagination road recently posted…Book: Shattered Bonds by Lynda AicherMy Profile

    • The solidarity certainly has helped during this difficult week, Laura. I am amazed also, at the opening up people of different religions have been doing these past couple of days. Showing each other that human beings, love and respect is what’s important.

  8. This whole thing really shocked me too – it’s so horrible when violence is used against anyone. I think it’s particularly shocking when we see it someplace like Paris, since I think we get used to hearing about it in the Middle East and Africa, etc. (which is a problem too). Freedom of speech is so important and I applaud their bravery – to be totally honest, I don’t know that I could be so brave even if I’d like to be. They will be missed.
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Sunday Post | 70th EditionMy Profile

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