And so 2015 begins as 2014 ended – with another murderous terrorist attack on a western city, this time targeting journalists, cartoonists and satirists at the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo. For too many people, bereaved family and friends of the twelve victims, this will not be a happy new year.
Having been ill since the start of the year, your blogger was late to hear of the grotesque carnival of violence that played out in Paris on the morning of 7 January. Since that terrible moment, others have already offered moving and stirring words in response, far better than I. But the purported reasons for the targeting of Charlie Hebdo make it important for this blog to take a stand against the noxious idea that the mere act of depicting anybody, religious or otherwise, should be cause for the the huge amount of offence-taking, consternation and hand-wringing that it still is in the year 2015.
The following are therefore a selection of columns and responses that are informing this blog’s thinking at present, and then some closing thoughts.