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We Are Charlie: Cowards and The Road To Acceptance

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Cowards

It’s funny how respect works: It cannot be demanded or granted. In fact, the best way to ensure your failure to get respect is to demand it. Call it a Catch 22, but in order to be respected, one must behave in a way that is respectable. A good start is to never murder the fuck out of random journalists who find ludicrous that which you’ve deemed sacred. This is the second tragedy of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, the extra layer of shit we swallow with the loss of human life and the assault on liberty that it represents. That is, the assassins’ ostensible goal of avenging the slight against their beliefs is undermined completely by the act of avenging it. The flimsier their “faith” appears when it must be defended to such extremes, the weaker its constituents seem when a French guy’s cartoon causes a wound worthy of homicidal retaliation, the lamer our reality when in its wake arrives a wave of regressive condemnation and wackjob reactionary horseshit. In this world, your opinion, your offense, your scripture is just that — your own. It’s the opposite of respect, for only you can claim it, it’s your choice. Your desires bind the rest of us to nothing. Deal with it.

That the massacre was counterproductive may be its legacy. For understanding leads the way to healing, and senseless death and anti-liberty madness are comprehended by the simplest minds — What will flummox us and stall our acceptance for ages is the method, the decision by members of one side of the discussion to attempt to halt it forever, let alone figure out who owes whom an apology. This is the world in which the music of Paris sludgecore quintet Cowards now lives, though their upcoming album Rise To Infamy was completed before Charlie. Still, for us it’s been a small measure of comfort and solidarity in our trek to post-Charlie acceptance, if not comprehension. Hope it helps you too.

Cowards’ cathartic sophomore album Rise To Infamy is out February 9 via Throatruiner. Pre-order here, free download here.

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