French citizens plan satirical orgy in response to Paris attacks

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee claimed that France is a “very politically correct country.” He might want to walk that statement back.

One of our Parisian readers forwarded along a satirical Facebook event making the rounds in France that roughly translates to “Orgy at Republic Plaza” — a response to the Paris attacks that took place last week.

As the event description reads: “For the national unity: we must communicate or f*ck!” It continues (again, a loose translation):

One of the SFW pictures posted to the event.

One of the safe-for-work pictures posted to the event.

A lot of people are taking this event seriously. This page is here only to make an appeal to love and not war with a dose of derision and humor so that the whole world can start the week with a smile in spite of the recent drama and fear. There’s no other political message intended, and this was not created to shock or provoke. Everyone’s invited to bring their own sense of humor in a spirit respecting everyone and everyone’s beliefs. Regardless of whether you’re a heterosexual, homosexual or burqa fetishist.

peace and love

Comments on the event include a number of images that are, well, let’s just say they draw their inspiration from the spirit of Charlie Hebdo. In one cartoon, two Muslim men are shown having sex in public with the caption, “se fait sauter au milieu de la foule,” which is a double-entendre that could either mean “to get f*cked in a crowd” or “to get blown up in a crowd.” In another, a woman is shown wearing a pink burka designed to resemble a condom, with the caption “burqapote.” “Capote” is French slang for condom.

View post on imgur.com

To be clear, a number of French citizens have gone to the event to say that this is all a bit much. Humor is all well and good, but it has its limits. As one commenter asks, “how is anyone going to take France seriously” if this is the national response? Another commenter charged that the event’s organizer — who went under the pseudonym “Mehdi Mitchell” in reference to the avant-garde and sexually explicit comedy, Shortbus (written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell) — has “no heart, just like the terrorists.”

A jihadist photoshopped to be gay (the rainbow flag also doubles as a peace symbol in France), from the Facebook event.

A militant photoshopped to be pro-gay (the rainbow flag also doubles as a peace symbol in France), from the Facebook event.

However, as our reader pointed out, this kind of humor is much more standard in French culture than it is in the United States. In making their point, they forwarded a passage from the late French comedian Pierre Desproges, which reads, in part:

…oui, on peut rire de tout, on doit rire de tout. De la guerre, de la misère et de la mort. Au reste, est-ce qu’elle se gêne, elle, la mort, pour se rire de nous ? Est-ce qu’elle ne pratique pas.

Which translates (again, loosely) to, “…you can laugh at anything. One must laugh at everything. At war, misery and death. Besides, does it bother her, death, to laugh at us? Does she not practice black humor, death?”

In other words, you have to laugh at death, and since nothing is worse, if you can laugh at death you can laugh at everything. That logic may not fly for everyone, especially in the United States, but at least it’s internally consistent.

In France, everything is fair game for humor — especially the sacred. While Charlie Hebdo may have gone the extra mile in satirizing Islam, they also went out of their way to poke fun at the Catholic Church, along with other groups and organizations that would file defamation lawsuits — to say the least — were they the target of that kind of humor in the United States. And that isn’t particularly out of the ordinary in France, as evidenced by the fact that there’s a market for it.

In this context, the jokes aren’t punching down at marginalized people; they’re aiming at society’s highest institutions and concepts — religion, race, culture — for the very purpose of bringing them back down to earth with the rest of us. At least, that’s the intent.

In any case, it appears as though humor that would be far too politically incorrect for Mike “Beyoncé’s a great singer, but kind of a slut” Huckabee is an essential part of how some French people are coping with the recent attacks. So let’s at least not pretend they’re somehow afraid of insulting and ridiculing the Islamic State just because they’re a bunch of European socialists, shall we?

UPDATE: Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover is a variation on the same theme.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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