Thursday, July 18, 2013

The "Rolling Stone" cover

Some years back, I commented to a friend that pirates, which were once viewed as hateful, murderous scum (And rightly so: some of the accounts I've read of what they even did to one of their own, were he to desert or simply not live up to "the pirate code" are pretty horrific). But now, they've been rehabilitated: they're figures of fun, almost-heroes in movies, romantic. There is even a very small children's show featuring a pirate crew. (Granted, everything's been sanitized even more than what Disney did to Grimm's Fairy Tales - but still: pirates. Who were by definition thieves and killers).

And I remarked: I wonder if in a couple hundred years, what remains of our culture will treat the terrorists of today the same way? If they'll be seen as almost-heroes, as romantic figures, as people living "outside the box" (I think that's part of the attraction of pirates, for some: they don't have a 9 to 5 job, they don't follow the rules of polite society, and somehow that's cool).

Well, I didn't need to wait that long. One of the murderous thugs who tried to cause a mass killing (and succeeded in killing 3 and maiming far more) at the Boston Marathon has been given the Glamour Shots treatment by Rolling Stone.

Granted, Rolling Stone is known for wanting to be "transgressive," I suspect for them, "But it won't play in Peoria" is probably considered high praise. But really, I wonder how Bostonians feel - how people who know someone injured feel - to walk past a newsstand and see that. I admit I growl low in my throat, and I didn't even know anyone injured.

And supposedly the article addresses "How his family failed him"?  Um, how about how HE failed his adopted country - the one that granted his family asylum when they claimed mistreatment at the hands of non-Muslims in their own country?

I don't know. I still feel angry over every stupid teenybopper (or superannuated teenybopper - there are women out of teenybopper age who said this) who claimed he was too "pretty" to be evil. NO. Often evil hides behind a mask of attractiveness, that's how it sucks you in. Stop being stupid.

What do I hope happens to this guy? I hope he is quietly tried, quietly found guilty, and either quietly executed or spends the rest of his live in isolation bored in prison somewhere. That he DOESN'T become any kind of a romantic figure. There's NOTHING romantic about wanting to kill innocent people.


Joel said...

Ricki, I'm gonna have to disagree with you. I read the article, and it's excellent work. There's no glorification or excuse-making, but it IS an in-depth look at the boy and his transformation, with a lot of interviews with his friends. The cover photo dovetails with it perfectly. I would have done it the same way.

Kate P said...

I see Joel's point--but let's face it, there are NO "news" magazines left in print. You wouldn't have seen that cover on "Newsweek" or something like that. It's really consistent provocation-style for "Rolling Stone," cover-wise.
I remember being REALLY annoyed with a cover they did for what was probably a great article on the cast of "Glee," but they had the boys fully clothed and the girls in too-short schoolgirl kilts and white undies showing! I mean, I said to myself, "It's probably a great article but I don't even want to touch that."