Charlie and the Dirty Thumb

Courtesy of www.charliehebdo.fr

Two rather disturbing events took place last week.

The first one we all know about: 12 people were gunned down by the extremist nitwit Kouachi brothers at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. It’s been widely reported and condemned. For a while everyone became Charlie and marched in solidarity with those dastardly French who dared satirise the relevance of a paedophile prophet who’s been dead for some 1400 years — or indeed any religious figure.

Almost as absurd is the ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper Hamevaser; it photoshopped away all females featured in a photo of 40 world leaders at the following Sunday’s demonstration for unity in the French capital as part of their policy to not publish pictures or even names of women.

As an amateur ex-cartoonist with a leaning towards twisted single-panel drawings of the offensive type myself, the mindless murder of the cartoonists felt like a stab into my own heart and an insult to my non-religious convictions.

I’m getting close to heeding the call to take up arms pens again in the name of “liberté!”

In another twist of unrelated coincidence, it was the 7th of January — the same day as the shootings — when I saw that my old Google Group had been declared “non grata”.

Banned Content Warning

In all fairness, the group had already been “banned” sometime in November 2014 — but I had only noticed it now because I hardly use it and didn’t have the conviction to shut it down completely. I actually wanted to do so a few years ago already but when I announced my intentions, several of the readers protested.

So, every once in a while (with decreasing frequency, admittedly), I dumped the better part of most contributed jokes and funnies which had accumulated into the Dirty Thumb.

"The Dirty Thumb" intro text

The group poked fun at everyone and everything. No sacred cow was left unslaughtered, everybody had chance to get offended in equal measures — although it must be said that as a European straight white atheist adult male there will always be certain stereotypes that practically beg to be ridiculed.

“Since the birth of social media a fruitful relationship has developed between those who seek to offend and those who spend every waking hour looking desperately for something to be offended by.” — James Bloodworth

And now my Google Group has been banned! Well, how ’bout that?

I wonder who the snitch was? I wonder what it was that ticked them off and made them report the group as “offensive”? Surely it wasn’t this hand-me-down and pass-along image titled “Muslim of the Year“?

Winner of the Wet Burka Competition?

After all, as it said, “This could go a long way toward improving their image…” [sic]

Whoever it was, you actually did me a favour. Really.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to call this group quits. I will not appeal to Google.

Getting “banned” is, in this case, considered a nod of (dis)approval. It’s a badge of honour.

The Dirty Thumb signs off with, ironically enough, “The new Burka design” as its final post.

Image credits: Received via email, screen grabs by hmvh.net

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