Tag Archive

Charlie Hebdo

‘Afflicting the Afflicted’ or ‘Speaking Truth to Power?’: Charlie Hebdo and the Question of Humor

These past few weeks have been quite interesting—and disturbing—if like me you spend much time thinking about the social and cultural significance of humor. Since my dissertation project examines comical rhetorical maneuvers as central to cultural—and by implication political—struggles, the debate over the recent murders at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris has helped solidify my growing conviction that humor was and still is a crucial arena of conflict. In some sense the notion that comical shafts can inflict substantial damage, be it in the service of a progressive or reactionary cause, is quite banal. Memories of adolescence could probably Read more