You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

January 08, 2015

The Lighter Side of the Slaughter at Charlie Hebdo

There's not much funny about the massacre of twelve people in Paris yesterday. But it is genuinely funny, as well as completely predictable, that Marine Le Pen hopes to ride to power on their deaths.

Le Pen is the leader of France's far-right National Front, and came in third in the first round of the 2012 French presidential elections. She clearly plans to run for president again in 2017, and said today that "Islamists have declared war on France" and that "I want to offer the French a referendum on the death penalty."

What makes that funny is that the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo despised Le Pen. Here's part of a recent interview with Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, who was murdered at age 76:

What made an impression on you in 2014?

Jihad and the progress of the National Front. Moreover, they meet in the extreme, it is hatred that connects them. For jihad, the scapegoat is the West, for the National Front, it is the Arabs: it is a common front, an inverted front. How to stop this?

Will you get to draw about this?

Yes, soon. I often do covers on Marine Le Pen... the National Front wants to restore the death penalty...This is very dangerous. We should use stupidity against itself, but how?

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This is that section of the Cabu interview in French, please tell me if I translated anything incorrectly:

Qu’est-ce qui vous a marqué dans cette année 2014?

Le jihad et la progression du Front national. D’ailleurs, ils se rejoignent dans les extrêmes, c’est la haine qui les tient. Pour le jihad, le bouc émissaire, ce sont les Occidentaux, pour le Front National, ce sont les Arabes : c’est un front commun, un front renversé. Comment arrêter cela ?

Vous arrivez à dessiner sur ce sujet?

Oui, j’y arrive. Je fais souvent des couvertures sur Marine Le Pen car le Front national fait peur. C’est un parti attrape-tout. On dirait qu’il y a une fatalité. On entend l’opinion publique : on a tout essayé, il n’y a que cela qu’on n’a pas essayé. Même s’il n’en parle jamais, le Front national veut rétablir la peine de mort, le service militaire. C’est très dangereux. Il faudrait retourner la bêtise contre elle-même, mais comment ?

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at January 8, 2015 05:23 PM

May be my sense of humour does not stretch that far but I am not laughing Jon.
Opportunistic and Exploitative individuals will go to any length to get what they want. As Jean Cabu notes, though they, the National Front, have never said it, they will restore Death Penalty AND Military service......with its rhetoric, it has induced FEAR, at least in some segment of French population and WE KNOW what happens, when the govt or a party uses FEAR....intimidation, loss of liberty, loss of freedom ( including loss of freedom of speech a.k.a. self censorship ). The French have my solidarity in keeping their society the way they want, which says "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité".

Posted by: rupa at January 9, 2015 12:39 PM

An article to counter the Rightwingers's theme...


Posted by: rupa at January 9, 2015 01:06 PM

Thanks, Jon. I figured you'd have something interesting on all this (given the title of the site and that post years back on the Monty Python Life of Brian commentary about laughing at authority).

Posted by: Batocchio at January 10, 2015 03:45 AM

this incident reminds me of a bon mot from decades ago -

"multiculturalism is not eating couscous; multiculturalism is stoning adulteresses"

it's sort of witty, and sort of sad

earlier this morning i was looking at wikiquotes from anthony de mello - some good stuff there

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at January 10, 2015 10:42 AM

I guess, after 72 hrs, I DO get it!

Posted by: rupa at January 10, 2015 12:40 PM

Hey this is off-topic but still on the topic of funny people. Do you know what happened to Dirk Voetberg and crew? Your blog turned me on to them, but then it looks like they fell off the face of the earth. Had to comment on this, because you close your comments and I don't have twitter.

Posted by: ss at January 10, 2015 10:58 PM

So we're caught in the crossfire of genocidal narcissists?

Oh, now I get it. Good one, Jon!

Posted by: Syd at January 11, 2015 07:50 AM