Sunday, January 11, 2015

Je Suis Charlie? Hell yes.

I read this morning that je suis Charlie was already being printed on the tea towels and aprons.  The inevitable backlash has started with no doubt valid concerns about insincerity and commercialization, but I can't help but feel that I have a dog in this fight and quite frankly, je suis Charlie.
      The writers, the artists, the thinkers and innovators are the Charlies.  Yes, Charlie Hebdo often crossed the lines of propriety, political correctness and good taste, but art and creativity have never been about propriety, political correctness and good taste.  In my personal life I'm frightfully polite, thoughtful in my words and actions, known for my good taste in clothes and interiors, but those are my conscious choices.  In my writing life, my characters are often people who wouldn't know good taste or thoughtfulness if it hit them across their fucking heads.  (Yes, I wrote fucking.  I thought about it for a few beats, but since this is about expression, I shall write any fucking thing I want.)
      Life is messy, chaotic, fraught, sometimes obscene and it is the function of art to reflect that life.  Writers and artists not only have a right to examine life as we see it, we have a duty to do so. 
      I am je suis Charlie and honored to be so.