Je Suis Charlie: The Role of Satire in Society

A Post By: Michael Gallo

Yesterday, in the face of almost unspeakable tragedy, one thing became immediately clear: free speech will always win, and satire is necessary in a civilized society. Satire’s importance was reaffirmed yesterday when an offensive and mordant magazine came under literal fire. If you set out to make people laugh, or satirize the establishment, authority, or religion then you are doing an important task. You are maintaining an age old tradition in Western Civilization.

It reminded me that the last five years with this publication had purpose. Gone are anxieties about the quality of the posts, or the structure of the site, or how many writers there are. To remind people of truths, to attempt to use humor to make sense of the bizarre and ridiculous, is to mark your place in the procession of humanity.

In a way it would seem satire won yesterday. Jokes hit so close to home, reflections revealed such disgusting abnormalities that the most drastic of actions were taken. And despite everything, free speech stood tall. The lingering effects remain to be seen, but the support was real, it was palpable. And so we all must continue. To point out the strange, ridicule the idiotic, and destroy the impractical. People must know the Philippine Police Force is opting to wear adult diapers instead of addressing the need for more toilets. People must be aware of crude oil shaming (get that Hummer, you know you need it! These gas prices are going to last 4EVA!). People must read fake letters from Bill Cosby’s Lawyer.

And so we will continue.

Onward, and upwards, toward certain mediocrity.

Je-suis-Charlie

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