Je suis Charlie.

Attributed to Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) :

I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Actually said by his biographer, Evelyn Beatrice Hall.)

From the New York Magazine, Chris Rock on why he no longer plays college campuses:

What do you make of the attempt to bar Bill Maher from speaking at Berkeley for his riff on Muslims?

Well, I love Bill, but I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative.

In their political views?

Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.

When did you start to notice this?

About eight years ago. Probably a couple of tours ago. It was just like, This is not as much fun as it used to be. I remember talking to George Carlin before he died and him saying the exact same thing.

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10 thoughts on “Je suis Charlie.

  1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    Voltaire said that? I should go back and re-study history (puts on long list of things to do). Didn’t he get his head chopped off in the French Revolution? Or was that Robespierre?

    Me too. I’ll defend your right to say it. But not your right to murder, etc., anyone over it.

    From some of the things that have been going on lately, it is obvious that some types of liberalism do not exist on college campuses any more. If a different group of people is said to do something, the response changes.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      You are right, Alicia, and I knew it- forgot to fix it. The Quote has been attributed to Voltaire but it was actually printed by his biographer, or one of them. I was once a liberal. No more. Liberalism, as it is currently constituted, has betrayed everything I believed in.

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  2. Diana Stevan (@DianaStevan)

    So interesting how careful we have to be with our words (and cartoons) now not to offend. And yet, there is way more offensive subject matter on our tv shows and in the news. I am stunned at how far we have pushed the boundaries about what can be shown, such as sexual acts and bloody violence. Strange.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Exactly, Diana. But if I am offended I don’t have to watch. My father, an attorney, always says, we may hate hate speech but it is protected speech.

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  3. anny cook

    I’m sort of tired of political correctness. No, I don’t want to call folks racist names or denigrate someone else’s faith or sexual preferences. BUT, I claim the right to stand up for MY beliefs and preferences. Murder? No. No one has that right. But I’m starting to be seriously annoyed when I’m not allowed to have an opinion that runs contrary to the noisy majority.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Me too, Anny. Me. Too. This has nothing to do with racism or sexism or any ism. It’s simply that people have the right to offend. We may not like it or them but yes, they do.

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  4. Ray Plasse

    It never bothered me when they barred someone I didn’t agree with so I can’t complain about someone whom I usually agree with gets treated the same. I also have no problem when “no one” is barred no matter what they espouse.

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  5. Marylin Warner

    There’s always a wavering blurry line that gets crossed going both ways.
    For awhile our media and entire culture went out of its way to be crass, shocking, arrogant and offensive…and then the pendulum began a back-swing until even winning was offensive in children’s sports, so it was set up so no one won…er, actually, everyone lost. The fog has to become so heavy and gray that everyone is squinting before it begins to lift. It’s always something.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I don’t enjoy crass and offensive, Marylin, but neither do I like censorship by violence. Nor do I like pornography. But yes, things have gotten pretty darn foggy.

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