Tuesday, December 18, 2007

never again - jpk editorial from 1988

"never again" - a hard hitting editorial against the "calamitous reign of Gaston Flosse."


Reaching back nearly two decades, a former colleague of Jean-Pascal Couraud has typed out an editorial from his most infamous edition.

Headlined "Never again", the front page editorial was part of a "special edition" with a self-proclaimed "bias" towards "derision", collecting stories and cartoons from the "calamitous reign of Gaston Flosse."

The issues were seized by authorities in Tahiti after Flosse laid an injunction against the newspaper. Interviewed on television, Couraud thanked Flosse for the "free publicity."
"The weather in Polynesia does not have the same consistency as elsewhere: it is only a succession of moments, one after another, ad infinitum, blending in a kind of eternity with no beginning and no end.
"That is why events are like successive images of a movie on a cinema screen, leaving behind no trace and few souvenirs.
"If the inhabitants of these islands seem to have an insouciance that makes them sometimes appear like big children, it is because they have an extraordinary ability to forget. But maturity is born from experience stored in memory.
"Our ability to forget is in the political arena, a handicap for democracy and a danger to the freedoms in our country.
"It seems that the most painful feelings, born of frustration or humiliation, may diminish day by day until they disappear, but what is written remains noticed. The great strength of writing is in its printing in black and white, freezing fluctuating currencies and setting to paper facts and events, relaying the memory of men's failures.
"Les Nouvelles" reveals this day after day, tirelessly denouncing the most outrageous abuses of the system. Our readers would never suspect the threats and pressures exerted on the owner, the management and journalists of this newspaper in an attempt to silence them.
"Our pride is in having successfully resisted.
"We adopted (in this special issue) a bias towards derision by choosing stories and cartoons that show the central character and his henchmen at their most petty, in the hope that these ludicrous men and situations exorcise the spectre of dictatorship and its attendant hatreds, humiliation, violence and injustice.
"May this edition serve as a memorial to stupidity, greed and political ambition, reviving memories of the still recent past, so that no one forgets! Our dearest wish is that in closing the last page of this special edition of News, each reader should take the resolution "NEVER, NEVER AGAIN."
Jean-Pascal Couraud - April 1988

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