PARIS—Following the fatal terrorist attack Wednesday at the offices of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, sources confirmed this afternoon that it is sadly not yet clear whether this very article will ultimately put human lives at risk.
According to totally and utterly depressing early reports, given the tragic deaths of 12 people, it is impossible to say with absolute certainty that this 500-word article will not make those involved in its writing—and potentially even those not involved—the targets of brutal and unconscionable violence.
“The heartbreaking tragedy that unfolded in Paris today is the result of a perverted, hateful ideology that has no place in the civilized world,” is a quote that someone or some group of people might be reading at this very moment and, in what unfortunately serves to illustrate the horrifying state of modern society, interpreting as an unforgivable insult against their beliefs that must be met with the cold-blooded murder of innocent people. “It’s just so terrible and senseless. I mean, how can something like this even happen?”
“I’m at a loss for words, to be perfectly honest,” is a further quote that would hopefully not enrage anyone to the point of actually taking another human being’s life, but which, for the love of God, conceivably could.
Those familiar with the situation told reporters that if someone were to read the very words written here and be offended by them, it would be reasonable to expect them to be upset and—at worst—write an angry letter to this publication expressing their ire in a relatively calm and composed fashion. Reports further confirmed that to somehow use this article—or indeed any article or any piece of self-expression—as a pretext to violence, let alone deadly violence, is simply impossible to justify and should never, ever transpire in human civilization.
Then again, sources added, that’s what actually happened today.
Sickened, distraught, and profoundly sad sources further added it was fully within the realm of possibility that it could happen again.
“Today’s horrific events only reinforce the idea that we cannot and will not let extremist zealots dictate what we can and cannot say,” is a comment that we will quote, but one that we do with a legitimate sense of uncertainty over whether it could incite an attack against the speaker or their loved ones, a sense of uncertainty that feels awful, grotesque, and wholly unnecessary in this day and age. “We live in a society in which every person is entitled to his or her own opinions, and every person is entitled to express those opinions without fear of harm. And that isn’t changing, whether a small minority of psychotic, murderous degenerates like it or not.”
At press time, although the consequences of this article are reportedly still unclear and actual human lives may hang in the balance, sources confirmed that the best thing to do—really the only thing to do—is to simply put it out there and just hope that it does some good.