CHARLIE HEBDO: Insulting humanity under the cover of political Satire…

Political Satire is a way of expressing discontent with the political environment by using sarcasm and what can be best described as “dark humor”. Most of the time, Political Satire is used to expose issues by ridiculing them. And that almost always includes ridiculing the responsible politicians. Let’s see this as occupational hazard for everyone who pursues a public career as politician. Political Satire isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and “funny” can also be very confronting and at times even politically dangerous. But hey, it’s Satire, you don’t have to like it.

Freedom of Speech and Political Satire have a love-hate relationship. The stronger the limitations on Freedom of Speech are, the louder Political Satirists will call upon the right to express their opinion. The less the limitations on Freedom of Speech are, the more Political Satire seems to be exploiting the same rights to express what, in most cases, has nothing to do satire or even politics. In fact, that is actually rather logical since there is no real need for political satire when anyone can express whatever is on their minds without having to hide behind satire as instrument.

Satire can also be seen as a side-effect of democracy and an instrument when democracy is less of a given. Satire can be seen as a way of expressing what many think but don’t say because it isn’t “politically correct” and for what it is worth, no one has to like it or agree with it. That’s also part of the game called democracy and freedom of speech.

And then there is Charlie Hedbo… Continue reading

The recommendation that the DSB missed – responsibility and accountability for information

First and foremost, I want to express my sympathies to the family members, loved ones and friends of the victims of Flight 7K9268 in the same manner as I continue to express my sympathies to the family members, loved ones and friends of the victims of Flight MH17. In both horrible incidents, innocent lives were lost and those who are left behind will have to learn to live with memories of the victims instead of the victims being part of their lives. Never again a new memory will be made by the victims, their lives have ended abruptly and the ones who are left behind will have to go through a long and difficult path of healing and mourning.

There is a picture on the internet, showing a 10 month old baby gazing at airplanes before her departure from St. Petersburg. A beautiful young life, impressed by all new impressions like all babies in her age are. Never again will she be impressed by what she sees, never again will she learn and grow. She died on Flight 7K9268 and all we can do is hope that she didn’t suffer during her final moments.

Everyone with the slightest grain of humanity will be moved to tears by this picture of this beautiful child and the realization that her life was lost on that flight, just like the lives of all other victims. This picture of this wonderful beautiful amazed gazing baby has become symbolic for the lives lost, for the pain of their loved ones, for the emptiness caused by the lives which were taken so abruptly.

There was picture of the crash site of Flight MH17, showing a child’s shirt with the print I <3 Amsterdam as it was found spread on the fields immediately after the crash. This picture expressed best what was lost on Flight MH17. Innocent lives, abruptly ended. Leaving their loved ones with nothing but memories and pain.

flight-7K9268Both pictures symbolize the impact of these horrible incidents, symbolize the pain of the next of kin, and as such, they are an appeal to everyone who thinks to have the right to report on these incidents in one way or the other. An appeal to understand and accept that under certain circumstances, the desire flight-mh17for attention or to sell copies should or even must be preceded by the respect for the pain and grieve of the loved ones and friends of the victims. The understanding that these pictures make clear how deep the pain is over the lost lives and that each piece of unqualified or unsubstantiated information only extends this pain. Unfortunately, this appeal is unheard by most! Continue reading