Please allow me to make an exception to my rule of only publishing technical articles on this blog. I’m French, I grew up watching those guys on TV, they were close friends in many ways. Every time I’m in France, Charlie is one of the first things I buy. They were the recipients and defenders of a rich tradition of irreverence, political caricature, anti-clericalism, and provocation that goes all the way back to the French Revolution. In the words of Jon Stewart, going into comedy “shouldn’t be an act of courage, it should be taken as established law”. As a student, I was writing in a satirical web site, in that spirit, trying clumsily to follow the lead from Charlie, Hara-Kiri and others. We would write and laugh about anything and everything, without fearing for our lives or even for any consequences beyond flame mail (and that we did get). That is the way it should be, but it’s not. The people who were killed at Charlie are martyrs and heroes of free speech. I’m mourning. I just can’t get it off my mind.