Tons of fuss about the Rolling Stone’s cover. Rock star treatment? Are they thinking Dr Hook? I don’t agree with the corporate promotion of the culture of indulgence, but RS does a quantity of serious journalism. And people other than rock stars do make the cover.
The piece itself is worth reading. Fascinating on several levels.
It’s important to know the enemies of peace, and I mean more than what smarmy news anchors give us in the breaks between the selling of corporate product.
The profile of teens and young adults (including the friends of the Tsarnaev brothers) that show people in a labyrinth of achievement, slacking, sports, sex, drugs, parental divorce, alienation, and ignorance. And that’s even before we get to the issue of religion. Or ideology.
I am sure that there is a vanishingly small percentage of Americans who could identify Chechnya, Dagestan, and Kyrgyzstan on a map. There are probably enough people who couldn’t get a close-enough spelling to accurately google it. And we celebrate our ignorance in this country in any number of ways. Too many ways, perhaps.
Do you think the numbers higher or lower for the people who might read this story and others like it and put themselves and the rest of civilization on the path to preventing mass murder. Before it gets to the weapon-acquisition stage, even.
The publishers defend the cover:
Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.
The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.
The cover seems less an advertisement for terrorism and more a mirror being held to the face of the culture of indulgence. They pretty much say so. But if that’s what the editors are trying to communicate, my sense is that the message may be too deep. It’s a message that needs to be told. And more people will see the cover, banned or not, than those who will read the story.
Would the image, top, of a debris-riddled and bloodstained street have been better? A real life version of what you probably never see in violent video games–the aftermath and rescue, I mean. People who responded and cared for the injured: we all agree these were the heroes. But the story wasn’t about the heroes or the survivors, was it? I suppose there’s always the rock star treatment of the brown paper bag.