Thursday, January 8, 2015

1.8.15 Bee-otches of the Day: The Charlie Hebdo shooters

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Name: Saïd Kouachi, Chérif Kouachi and Hamyd Mourad
Age: early 30s
Occupation: murderers
Last Seen: Paris, France
Bee-otched For: trying to kill Charlie

If February 3rd was "The Day The Music Died" here in America, then January 7th could might as well be the day the laughter died in France.

Yesterday was business as usual at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a weekly French satire paper. Then, two masked gunmen entered the office where several CHstaffers were holding a production meeting and opened fire. Fifty rounds of ammunition were blasted, killing 12 including two police officers and injuring 11. The gunmen entered a car and two are in custody while one is dead.

Police have named Saïd Kouachi, Chérif Kouachi and Hamyd Mourad as suspects in the bizarre shooting. They are investigating their living spaces for further evidence linking them to the crimes.

Charlie Hebdo is a notorious weekly satire newspaper that's been in business since 1969, although it ceased publication in 1981 only to reform in 1992. Its editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, aka "Charb" was a target for Islamic extremists because of CH's negative depictions of their leader, Mohammed. Their offices were firebombed in 2011, but it didn't stop them from publishing. Yesterday's shootings killed Charb (aged 46), along with artists Cabu (76), Philippe Honoré (73), Bernard "Tignous" Verlhac (57) and Georges Wolinski (80). If you're a fan of Mad Magazine like I am, it's like if Tom Richmond, Dick DeBartolo, Mort Drucker, Sergio Aragones and Jack Davis were all killed on the same day.

But since CH also bears some resemblance to The Onion, Ward Sutton could also be a victim, too.

But like MadCharlie has seen better days in terms of circulation. Prior to the shootings, Charlie sold 45,000 copies per week. Currently on their website, there's a message that reads "Je Suis Charlie", or "I'm With Charlie". Click on the logo, and there's similar messages, all read in various languages including Arabic.

But thankfully, the French are standing by their beloved satire paper and thousands were standing in the streets of Paris to support Charlie. Some were holding up signs promoting freedom of the press and repeatedly chanting "Charlie!"

I know that Charlie is a paper known for being anti-religious and offensive to some, but that's life. You don't like it? Don't buy it. Charlie hasn't just attacked Muslims, but they've also done the same to Catholics, too.

I remember the Christmas episode of Family Guy where Jesus attempts to have sex with Peter's wife, Lois. Yes, there was some backlash from Christians, but that's their problem. I'm a Christian, and Seth McFarlane has every God-given right to poke fun at Christianity for the fact that a lot of their "people" are so f'd up.

It's incidents like the Charlie Hebdo shootings that make me proud that I don't go to church. Islamics are proud to know that some Christians hate America, too and they share their same worldviews. Thanks, but on Sunday morning, I'd rather listen to old skool Casey Kasem, who did a better job bringing people together with his radio shows than modern-day religion.

Personally, I'd love to see Charlie Hebdo come out of the ashes and start publishing again. Like Sony did to North Korea with The Interview, I hope that freedom will prevail in all this. Freedom of Speech is the most important thing we have. Let's not allow those who oppose it to take it away.

From one Charlie to another, I'm with Charlie, too.  


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