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Thank you Charlie Hebdo. Now go away

Thank you Charlie Hebdo. Now go away

TORONTO – There, for a brief moment, some people were expressing compassion for the victims of the earthquake that levelled towns in central Italy and solidarity with survivors. How wrong of them to do so

TORONTO – There, for a brief moment, some people were expressing compassion for the victims of the earthquake that levelled towns in central Italy and solidarity with survivors. How wrong of them to do so! Some of us were under the mistaken impression that the Forces of Nature, indi erent to interventions of Mankind and subject to their own timetable, rained death and destruction upon the frailties of mere mortals. We were wrong. You refocused on the real causes: faulty Mafi a construction and engineering practices. Italians – victims, survivors and sympathizers – have only themselves to blame for not having ridden the Peninsula of this cancer. Your caricature stands as a testament to your pursuit and retelling of Truth: The Mafi a is Italy. Thank you. Just one slight, disconcerting observation, if you will permit. The town’s foundations date back to pre-Roman times, although most of the town’s building are more modern – they were erected after the earthquake of 1639 A.D. Historians have yet to evidence the existence of any Mafi a at the time, unless one counts the existence of “rebel” groups resisting Foreign plunderers on their soil like, say, the Germanic, English, French, Spanish, Austrian, French and German occupiers again. Sorry, that sounds like nit picking on facts. Most of us put these aside and get on with life. Nonetheless, it does seem a tad “convenient” on your part to ignore the fact that these “more recent” structures withstood the 2009 earthquake and its after-shocks. Forgive me, your point seems to be that to be Italian is to be Mafi oso. Therefore, anything that happens to Italy and to Italians is well deserved. Thank you for clarifying. We know you won your right to say what you will at the point of a bayonet, or to be more precise with the blade of a guillotine for those who did not agree. Its use in France’s judicial system hung over everyone’s head for almost 200 years, until 1977. Tens of thousands (an estimated 40,000 in one year alone) died so that you could speak your mind. So, help us understand the satire – we hope it is that – in your caricature depicting the dead recovered from the earthquake as ingredients of a pasta dish. What “sacred cow” are you attacking? Which freedom are you espousing now? What social evil are you assailing? Cannibalism? As close as anyone can tell, the only “sin” the victims at Amatrice could be accused of committing is that they chose to live in what turned out to be the epicentre of an earthquake on August 24, 2016. The bodies of the victims are literally not yet cold and you choose to denigrate and defi le them without apparent purpose. Even the most uncouth of the most boorish and uncultured in our society have the decency not to speak ill of the dead. But, you must have missed that class. Thank you for illustrating what becomes of those absentees.

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