A very sad day it is today.
Despite English being our official language,everything is in French in my country:the papers,the news,the official sports magazine,and,well,everything else.You might even mistake my country for a Francophone one.
Naturally even our cable channels are French.Before the births of most,there were only a handful of them,among which was the ever so popular Canal + – the official sponsor of Cannes Festival.I guess it’s because I’ve grown up watching this channel that I think French humour is the best.I’ve watched Les Guignols and Groland ever since I can remember.Some years later,the notorious Le Petit Journal would add up to them.The jokes,very often,would revolve around taboo subjects,but were always very relevant.
In fact,whenever I’m watching Les Guignols or Le Petit Journal with my father beside me,I always tell him that there is no way such TV shows would appear on our screens,here in my country.For the French people make fun of everything.They are ”cash” and say things as they are,deftly with some humour.I remember when Le Petit Journal made fun of Francois Hollande’s countless moments in the rain,or when Les Guignols,through a short comical clip,bluntly stated that Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie are racists.Yet though politicians and celebrities were annoyed at these parodies and embarrassing moments of themselves recorded on camera,they didn’t do anything,never filed a complaint or whatever.Les Guignols is still going strong since it started in 1988.
I don’t only watch Canal +,but these shows were what made me fall in love with French humour.I’ve watched,as I went into adolescence,sketches from Gad Elmaleh,Jamel Debouze,Kad and Olivier,and many,many others.My favourite current humourist now is a young ventriloquist named Jeff Panacloc.His monthly sketches are just a delight to watch and they helped in upholding my morale during my uni times.He,too,is astonishingly honest and that’s exactly what makes him so popular.At Liege,faced with a Belgian audience,he had no qualms in saying that Belgians shit waffles,have,as their most famous statue,a boy peeing,and that they are in deep shit as they don’t have a Prime Minister.Yep,Panacloc uses a rather offensive vocabulary to go with his honesty.
All this to say that when I heard about the massacre at Charlie Hebdo,I was really shocked and upset.For me,the Muslim extremists couldn’t understand what French humour was all about.In some way,I felt they killed French humour,for what is French humour if the humourists/journalists cannot say things as they please? I always admired the French because of their freedom of expression,their protection and respect of journalism,but sadly it seems some silly fanatics want to change things,just as they want to everywhere in the world.
R.I.P everyone who died in the carnage.
It is sad,but not at all surprising,that those who were mourning for Gaza are now nowhere to be seen on the roads of Paris,London,or just anywhere else in the world.