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Terrorism & Music Don’t Mix: Can Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Really Be Glorified More?

July 19
22:35 2013

O! the outrage. At seeing the alleged Boston bomber’s face on the latest issue of Rolling Stone has sent people shivering with fear or boiling with anger. Retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, and Kmart have said they will not be selling the current issue with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. But why?

Tedeschi Foods has said their stores will not sell the magazine because they do not believe in glorifying the evil actions of anyone.

We’ve seen Dzhokhar’s face before. The picture is not new. It’s not the first ‘face of evil’ to eyeball us from the magazine rack. CVS didn’t ban George W Bush’s hollowed mug from their magazine aisle. Rite Aid didn’t ban Bush Sr’s sunken jacko-lantern peanut-shaped head from their magazine aisles. Those two faces alone are responsible for more evil than any Tsarnaev or Manson or Bundy could ever dream up or execute.

If Dzhokhar’s access to pressure cooker bombs was frightening, what would you call Bush Jr and his staff of inveterate, heartless liars having full access to the most extensive array of intercontinental ballistic missiles on earth, and a terrifying terrorist attack with which to justify any invasion imaginable?

This Rolling Stone controversy seems childish to me. Like we’re living on Sesame Street. What is today’s letter, kids? D. Today’s letter is “D”, for denial.

If you can’t look Dzhokhar in the face, then you’re missing a certain level of integrity in your life. Rolling Stone isn’t glorifying the actions of this young man by putting his photo on its cover. What would you rather have them do? Show the photo of his brother, all torn up from head to toe, stretched out in the morgue? Or just ignore the story completely? Let’s talk about Kanye West again. Yeezus.

Dzhokhar is a young man. He’s got a family. He had friends. He had a life. What happened? We need to know. The subject matter and the picture of the alleged bomber should not be off-limits. We don’t even know if he’s guilty of the bombing yet. There hasn’t been a trial or much evidence put forth, except that he’s already admitted to the bombing while he was laid up in the hospital and mute from a wound to his throat.

Anybody out there who might be inspired by the Tsarnaev brothers isn’t going to be pushed over the edge by the magazine’s cover. The constant mainstream media coverage of the brothers being pursued by hundreds of police officers dressed up like RoboCop, and rolling through a shut down Boston in their domestic black tanks might have already been more glorification for a future terrorist than a silly cover story.

If your goal is to terrorize a city and exhaust its police force, these two kids did it, and you probably thought they were heroes when you watched the city go into martial law, and the storm troopers aim guns at people in their homes and cars, and throw women onto their own lawns in their front yards.

How two brothers, at least one of them a pothead, could shut down an entire city and be pursued by an endless army of police officers, FBI agents, and Department of Homeland Security agents is already impressive enough to the future terrorist. The constant coverage and live Internet feeds gave more attention to the Tsarnaev brothers than a piece by Rolling Stone.

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous July 20, 20:50

    It was put on the cover for increased sales,I have read the article,On the cover should have been the victims and families who are suffering from a selfish twisted little prick. Done with RS even if it’s one less purchase ,it’s as start

    Reply to this comment
  2. Tomás Hradcky
    Tomás Hradcky July 21, 00:11

    I agree with your assessment. The outrage is fascinating to view. With so many things to be angry about why, especially at this level, this? It’s a magazine cover.

    I wrote this on a discussion on facebook.
    “Perhaps it’s because he looks so sane. Perhaps it’s because he looks too much like a nephew, brother or son. Perhaps this photo, on one of the last large format magazines, brings it all too close for comfort.

    I don’t believe I ever saw a sane picture of Manson, Gacy, or any other of their ilk. When captured, their madness had already set in. Bin Laden looked sane but his atrocities came along for the ride on any photo of him.

    This ‘kids’ madness does not show on the photo, and perhaps this is where the anger at Rolling Stone comes from. Glorifying him? I don’t believe so, but for many others? Don’t show he was possibly normal in any way.”

    Reply to this comment
  3. Adam Michael Luebke
    Adam Michael Luebke July 21, 01:58

    To Mr Anonymous: For decades Rolling Stone has graced their magazine covers with pricks, ninnies, twits, and egotistical bastards who have indulged in a wide range of terror and buffoonery, such as illegally invading countries overseas to invading the malleable minds of little boys and girls, but I would rather they didn’t shy away from publishing what they want, and how they want it. And it’s fine for folks to boycott it. Silly, though, that stores like Rite Aid would pull the item off their shelves. I’d rather there be no corporate or government censorship.

    Of course a sane (as Tomás so elegantly explains) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the front cover of Rolling Stone is unnerving. And of course it is meant to sell magazine copies.

    They could have photo-shopped in a garish throat wound, like the early reports claimed he had, although in the photo just released by an angry law enforcement officer, Dzhokhar, as he climbs out of the boat, does not have said wound.

    I don’t think pasting grieving families to the cover of the magazine would be any less controversial, either. Still exploitation. And still the need to get us to buy that copy of the magazine to see what it’s all about.

    The most egregious part of this RS issue for me, however, is the declaration that Tsarnaev is THE Boston Bomber. We’ve been told by the FBI and other law enforcement that this is the guy, but in the heat of the moment I’d prefer America produce the evidence and convict him properly. We don’t need the Dept of Homeland Security to do the prosecuting, and then RS to be the jury.

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