When I heard about the Wednesday attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly, I think I had the same reaction as most members of the free press: utter sadness and more passion than ever for what our profession stands for.
I immediately wanted to write something, but sifting through my feelings for a coherent reaction piece was frustrating, not therapeutic. And anyway, what could I say that hasn’t already been said? What does an arts journalist have to add to this discussion?
Then I saw a link to a Buzzfeed article on my Facebook feed. The site had compiled some of the artistic reactions of other cartoonists, and I realized suddenly that this incident isn’t just about journalism, a topic and profession for which I feel a great amount of passion, but it’s also about the power of art.
If our assumptions at this point are true (so far, the police have identified three suspects, one of whom turned himself in), the attack was in response to Charlie Hebdo’s satirical representations of the Prophet Muhammad.
Political cartoons are themselves powerful means of communicating ideas in a short time, and often with a wink and a nudge. They provide important — and necessary — critique of government and society.
But the reaction pieces laid out in this Buzzfeed article illustrate another way art is powerful. It serves as a release for those in pain, those cartoonists in the world who feel a kinship with the four murdered at Charlie Hebdo. And it, along with the Internet, creates community. These images bring comfort not only to those artists who created them, but to people like me who needed to be reminded that there is good in this world, and that what journalists do matters, and that we will keep on doing it.
Every second Friday of the month, the Silt Firehouse hosts a jam session from 7 to 9:30 p.m. While old country and blues tend to be the favorite genres, players of all styles are welcome. Come out and play, or just enjoy the music as a spectator and partake in some refreshments.
The monthly Glenwood Contra Dance takes place at 7 p.m. at Glenwood Springs Elementary School. For $8 at the door, with or without a partner, you’ll learn dances with walk-throughs before really taking off and dancing the night away. This dance usually takes place the first Saturday of the month, so if you’re busy this time around, keep it in mind for February.
Are you interested in cross country skiing? The 20th annual Cross Country Ski Extravaganza offers a great opportunity for you to learn, try out new equipment or just meet other skiers, and it’s absolutely free. Food, demos, lessons, waxing and a raffle are all free of charge.Hosted by the Aspen Cross Country Center, the Extravaganza takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Aspen Golf Course. For more information, visit http://www.utemountaineer.com/events/cross-country-ski-extravaganza.
Jessica Cabe loves the First Amendment. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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