• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Word power

Interesting words I encountered while wandering through the blogosphere.

From an article about some sneering left-wing writers at PEN, which, among other thngs, gives out a yearly award for journalistic courage, boycotting the awards ceremony for the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists killed last year for daring to satirize militant Islam, because, you know, they were using the right to free expression, for (gasp!) hate speech:

It was an odd sight; gauche caviar left-wing writers aligning themselves against slain soixante-huitard left-wing cartoonists, all while expressing sympathy with “devout” religious conservatives “humiliated” and “suffering” because of silly drawings from a low-circulation satirical newspaper.

Both italicized phrases are French. "Gauche caviar" (goshe cah vee ARE) means "champagne socialist," which sounds like our version of "limousine liberal," that hideous creature who lives the high life and pretends to understand the downtrodden, who can only be helped by doling out money -- others' money, of course, never his. "Soixante-huitard" (soy-sayhn tu Tahr) refers to a "participant in the student and workers' protest movement of May 1968" in France. In otehr words, a bunch of snooty American liberals are calling out a bunch of snooty European liberals with a false claim of realism.

The article is called "America's Literary Elite Take a Bold Stand Against Dead Journalists" and nails the shallow, ignorant claims of our so-called literary elite, who understand neither French satire nor the need to defend free speech absolutely:

But one can’t help but get the sense that Charlie critics won’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the newspaper not because it is undeserving—it’s tough to make the case that its journalists lacked courage—but because they can’t muster much sympathy for those who knowingly antagonize Muslims. And those who do should know the consequences. Novelist Deborah Eisenberg, one of PEN’s most vocal and least informed critics, said Hebdo’s brand of satire was “reckless,” like “dropping your lit match into a dry forest.” Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau indulged in his own bit of victim-blaming, saying that “the decision they made” to be satirists, applying religious satire evenly across faiths and denominations, “brought really a world of pain to France.” After the 2011 bomb attack targeting Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office, a Time magazine writer claimed that the newspaper’s editors had “openly begged for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy.”

The Charlie Hebdo massacre is worth rehashing because of what happened in Texas, where two would-be ISIS fanatics tried to start a massacre outside a prhphet Muhammad cartoon contest near Dallas. The attempt ended appropriately for Texas, with one alert and accurate policeman taking out both of them. Sorry, boys, no massacre today. Oh, and what happend next? Rather, what did not happen next?

A couple of ISIS wannabes tried to shoot up an exhibition of cartoons in Garland, Texas, and the police put them down before the civilians could get to them: a triumph for duty and marksmanship. What didn’t happen next?

There is a mosque in Garland, Texas. It was there yesterday, it’s there today, and it will be there tomorrow. After two radical Muslims attempted to massacre some infidels down the road a bit, there was no angry mob of Texans storming the place with F-350s and rifles. If any vehicle full of armed men rushed to the Muslims’ place of worship, you can be sure that it was the local police exercising an abundance of caution and nothing more.

It’s easy to be snarky–”Oh, yay for us! No massacre, give Texas a cookie!” But only those parochial minds with the narrowest of experience could fail to appreciate how unusual that is in the world.

Oh, and Pam Geller, the militant free-speech advocate who put herself at risk by daring to stand up free speech? The whole thing was her fault, of course, for poking the bee hive, just like it was the fault of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists:

Not even a week after justifying the violence that characterized Baltimore’s “uprising” and expressing the hope that the riotous mobs in Charm City would “riot strategically,” CNN commentator and Morehouse College professor Marc Lamont Hill claimed that he supports free speech, but…

What Hill tweeted was: "I understand and respect free speech. But to organize hate speech events, purely because you're legally allowed to, is disgusting." Whenever anybody says, "I support and defend free speech, but . . ." you might as well stop listening, because you're not going to hear anything worthwhile.