Just a quick ugly ill-thought-out splurge to express my revulsion and outrage at the Charlie Hebdo massacre earlier today. I really just have two thoughts:
Firstly: humour is the key marker of a properly civilised society. If your culture is relaxed and self-confident enough to tolerate people taking the piss relentlessly then you're probably on the right track. Conversely, any regime which is hyper-sensitive to criticism, and mockery in particular, just betrays its own lack of confidence in its own rightness. Islam is the canonical example of this: look at the grinding humourless, sexless, life-denying, ritualised childishness of it all. That's my first reaction on hearing of an atrocity like this: oh, you fucking BABIES. You stupid, brainwashed, pathetic, petulant, humourless BABIES.
Secondly: this is what you get when you are too lily-livered to publicly criticise religious lunacy, Islamic or otherwise. You cannot simultaneously hold up freedom of expression as an absolute and then dance around the subject of "blasphemy", as the current UK government has repeatedly done, by saying, yeah, freedom of expression and all, but we should respect others' beliefs and just generally avoid saying anything that might offend. No, fuck that: you either have freedom of expression or you don't, and that includes the right to say things like: fuck the fictional prophet Mohammed, fuck his flying horse and fuck all his followers.