Friday, January 9, 2015

brooks again.

I agree with David Brooks about once a year. So it's surprising that it comes this early in 2015 but his column today, I Am Not Charlie Hebdo, hits on a number of points I have been thinking and trying to articulate in my own head....that very fine balance between humor (and particularly humor that is very much needed to push the boundaries) and then the offensive, insulting humor that is wrong. I mentioned last month that Ben and I have had this ongoing debate for a long time now, and in fact, the conversation came up randomly a couple different times in December with friends and family....and now it has been brought to the surface with this latest attack in Paris. Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts...Brooks lays out much of it really well (and in case you care - the one time I agreed with him in 2014 is here).

1 comment:

  1. An interesting post. From my perspective, Brooks makes some very good, logical points. At first I found the title of this column, "I Am Not Charlie Hebdo", to be a bit off-putting; however, on further reflection, I think that it's quite appropriate when approached from a vantage point of freedom of expression. I would also go so far to argue that while the courageous (this is not a juvenile trait, for the record) martyrs of Charlie Hebdo would not agree with Brooks, they would nonetheless respect his opinion.

    The one glaring contradiction I found upon first scanning this op-ed piece was about 1/2 way down, where Brooks writes, "Moreover, provocateurs and ridiculers expose the stupidity of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are people who take everything literally. They are incapable of multiple viewpoints".

    I just seems a bit off, that Brooks has chosen to interpret the "I am Charlie Hebdo" phrase, as to have only a literal meaning, and consequentially, to spin it into his own writing. Am I the only who spied this contradiction? Brooks is himself a fundamentalist, for failing to see the possibility of a more nuanced meaning in the "I am Charlie Hebdo" statement. In the preceding paragraph, Brooks equates, in plain & simple terms, the "Je Suis Charlie Hebdo" Facebook posts as being inaccurate because most of don't deliberately offend others. Isn't this exactly the kind of literal interpretation that Brooks claims to be so dangerous?

    A subtle kind of hypocrisy he embodies ...
    (said in my best "Yoda voice")