Being offensive is protected by freedom of expression. Hatred. Bigotry. All protected. You have the right to think, to say and write what you want, so long as it’s not slanderous or libelous, of course. I respect your right to say it. Freedom of expression is a good thing. A great thing. A privilege that I would never dare to deny anyone. I couldn’t write this blog without it. I couldn’t read some of my favorite literary works without it. We couldn’t share our differing opinions without it.
But, you should respect my right to be angry with your close-minded views. Don’t tell me to get over it. Don’t tell me it’s just satire, a joke. I have just as much right to be offended as you have to be offensive.
“Many a true word hath been spoken in jest.” — William Shakespeare
Don’t expect me to think your racism/sexism/Islamophobia/homophobia ad nauseam should be rewarded either. What’s so courageous about belittling someone’s beliefs? There’s no bravery in mockery. There’s nothing special or significant in shock value. I’ll even go so far as to say that had 12 people not died, no one would see your “satire” as courageous either. You admit to having a history of “shocking readers.” So, par for the course, right? How man PEN awards do you have for this long-standing “courage?” (I speak only of the organization as a whole, not individual contributors)
What happened at Charlie Hebdo was a heinous act of violence. Unspeakable and in no way justifiable. That is not the issue here. We can all agree that those 12 people did not deserve to die for their art and words.
Maybe this recognition was a way to honor those victims, but it just comes off as rewarding bad behavior.