Bombing For Fame
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In post-modern America, everything truly is a gray area.
One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's Rock Star
But when it comes to the cover of the Rolling Sone, how far is too far? Rock & Roll is all about pushing the envelope ' as an avid classic rock fan (often in spite of the political affiliations of some of my favorite musicians), I understand that. But as counter-cultural as sex, drugs, and rock & roll can be, there is a limit to what is acceptable. Pushing societal norms is one thing; delving into the depraved, disgusting, and deplorable is quite another.
Rolling Stone Magazine recently chose an interesting figure for the cover of its publication. On the cover of the August 1 issue of Rolling Stone is "alleged" Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ' one of two men who planted bombs at the Boston Marathon and intended to kill and maim as many Americans as they possibly could. They ended up killing three innocent Americans, and injuring and maiming over 260 others.
The big question here is, "where is the line?" Rolling Stone's article includes a preface about how Tsarnaev is relevant to the magazine because he is in the same age demographic as Rolling Stone readers, but let's face it: no matter their intentions, Rolling Stone is sending the wrong message here. Is it okay for a major magazine to glamorize an anti-American terrorist on its cover? After all, despite any sentiments in the magazine's article or its editorial disclaimer, the cover photo does make Tsarnaev out to be quite the rock star. If you strip away the headlines, you might just assume that he's the drummer from some up-and-coming Indie group, and not realize that he was responsible for multiple deaths, one of them an eight-year-old child'and for the maiming and injuring of over 260 more Americans. It is the rough equivalent of featuring a glammed-up photo of those men who flew the planes into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, accompanied by a feature article trying to explain away their radicalism.
Is there a line between the acceptable and the profane in our society anymore? I would assume that the answer is, without a doubt, "YES," and yet, when a terrorist who killed and maimed men, women and children with impunity, and even, according to the evidence and accounts of law enforcement officers and the media, drove a vehicle over his own brother/accomplice in his desperate escape from law enforcement, and then scrawled anti-American messages inside the boat where he was eventually found hiding is given rock star treatment by a major U.S. media outlet, it makes one question the sanity of life in general.
There is a line, and Rolling Stone has crossed it.
I don't care who you are, or what your political affiliations may or may not be. It doesn't matter to me how much you may want to buck the system or raise a hairy-knuckled middle finger to The Man. However you may or may not feel about America's past or our standing in the world is irrelevant. When you glorify and try to excuse the behavior of a man who planted bombs that ripped apart people's limbs, took the life of a child, and robbed the freedom and innocence of good people, you are no better than the scum who set the bombs. That is all there is to it.
I don't care what may or may not have motivated this child-killer to plant bombs in the middle of a crowd and then set them off. Maybe some outside factor motivated him to do what he did; maybe it was just part of his upbringing. Personally, I don't see how that is relevant. The only relevant fact is this: "Jahar" Tsarnaev is responsible for the death of a child, and the maiming and injuring of over 200 innocent people. Any media organization that would glorify him ' no matter the reasons ' by putting a flattering picture on the cover and printing a piece designed to explain or excuse his behavior makes them, in my mind, hardly better than the terrorists themselves.
The staff at Rolling Stone Magazine should be ashamed to work for such a disreputable rag. If I ever buy a copy of Rolling Stone, I can assure you of this: it will be used for no purpose other than for a surface for my dogs to defecate on'unless I decide to take that picture of the terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the range with me one of these days to use it as target practice.
In fact, as I just spent my Saturday afternoon zeroing in the scope on my AR-15, I kind of wish I'd had the latest copy of Rolling Stone Magazine. It truly is good for little else. As a nation, we really should be beyond the glorifying of terrorist scum just because it might generate some publicity and sell a few more magazines, or because bashing America and making excuses for our enemies is the "in" thing for certain political circles. But in post-modern America, it seems that everything truly is a gray area ' even when the worst of the worst in America set off bombs designed to kill and maim in the middle of a public event, someone, somewhere, will find some excuse ' some way to justify and glamorize the unthinkable.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)