Friday, 9 January 2015

Je Suis Paul

My blog has been long overdue for an update. I will carry on using my blog to post updates about Gameboyz, but I’ll also be blogging about other projects I’m working on and various subjects.

Like everybody, I was stunned and horrified by the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris. I wanted to create a piece of humorous art in show of support of the importance of freedom of speech, and how we can’t let barbaric acts like these silence us. But what is freedom of speech really? Is it more than simply voicing our opinions, or does it have to go as far as to say that I’m ok with someone being verbally abusive to me or what I believe in? I have seen many people hiding behind their right to freedom of speech as a reason to be appalling abusive to people, and usually from the safety of being behind a keyboard. Of course it is not ok for someone to be abusive to you, and certainly it is not acceptable to encourage abuse towards you and commit hate crime.  

But can we justify any level of this freedom with comedy? Several times have I witnessed an almost immediate change in emotion when an article which at first was believed to be serious, was in fact revealed to be satire. It’s easy to say there should be no barriers when things seem to be in your favour and not being directed at you, but I believe there is an element of the hypocrite in us all. Even with humour we all have a point when we say enough is enough when things do not seem fair to us. There is a saying that if you don’t wish to offend anyone, then you should spend your life doing and saying nothing, but even doing and saying nothing is bound to rub somebody up the wrong way.

Freedom of speech should not be a coward’s excuse to be abusive to another person, and I certainly believe we should be able to laugh at anything, but we have a long way to go to truly accept and understand our fellow human beings. And if one day we finally do, maybe we can truly be at peace.

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