Home > Uncategorized > Thou Shall Not Stone the Rolling Stone

Thou Shall Not Stone the Rolling Stone

Have you ever heard the saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”? Well, in this case you should. Not due to the fact that there is a comely individual on the cover. Oh wait! That does seem to be important. It is important because we want our monsters to be ugly… to be demons… to be scary. Sorry America. Sometimes your racist attitudes and inept prejudices about the turban wearing monsters are as unfounded as your immature and overly feigned anger at a magazine cover.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev boston bomber

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Illustration by Sean McCabe

Read the actual Rolling Stone Article: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/jahars-world-20130717#ixzz2ZQ8bSh3x

Is it possibly a little insensitive? Not really! Is it possible people are over-reacting due to the desire to live in a world full of reality-based entertainment clichés? Highly likely.

Before I even ask if people bothered to read the extremely informative inside look into the friends’ and associates’ statements within, I would ask: Did you even read the damn caption on the very cover? The caption demonizes the ‘monster’ before the cover is even opened to the substantive article within.

Janet Reitman, of Rolling Stone, did the thing that other media outlets failed to do. She provided to us a look inside. Not only inside the cover… Not only inside of the ‘monster’s’ inner circle… She provided to us a look inside of America and specifically inside of the United States and its divided ideals and expectations of demonization.

A kid… A relatively comely kid, with normal friends, had a storm of confused hatred brewing inside of his very being. Why? Do you know why? Have you read the article? Did it answer these questions and leave you with more questions? (You didn’t read it did you… did you? Come on… did you really?).

Whether you were informed, confused, or longing for more information after reading Jahar’s World by Janet Reitman, you cannot deny the fact that all monsters are not equal (especially in appearance). For ever one person you falsely and unscientifically believe will glorify this monster in his or her own mind and justify horrific future acts based upon that glorification; there will be one-hundred thousand young adult readers sharing a better, well informed, insight into human understanding. (Or at the very least have questions to share and collectively learn from real socialization).

Before you get upon that soap box of intolerance and prejudice based talking points which assist in your overly dramatic self-induced ignorance, maybe you should read the article. Hell! Maybe you should read the damn caption. If, after reading those things, you are still of the belief that the article “glorifies the monster”, then you are entitled to that out-of-touch with today’s youth opinion.

If you are of the belief that punishing this ‘monster’ is going to deter future crimes in even the slightest minute fashion, you are an uninformed dolt. We could have never published that “pretty picture” of him. We could have tortured him in the streets spreading his entrails from east to west coasts and it still would never have even begun to deter a future act of terror. Our punitive system of justice is just that… punitive. That is our system. Should we punish this monster? I’ll feel better when we do.

But maybe… just maybe… our youth, who know the article not to be a glorification, will begin to look at our social impact upon ourselves with wider eyes. Maybe they, our youth, will seek out causal effects and solutions to destructive behavior.

Or maybe… just maybe… we will stick to our traditions and teach our youth to over-react upon ten second talking points and perpetuate our problems into the foreseeable future to come.

  1. SamD
    July 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    TYT might just lose me as a member. On Friday’s show they all admit including Cenk that they haven’t even read the article. Man, talk about hypocrisy. What other issues has this happened with on TYT? What bothers me most is that they themselves can use the image that glorifies this “monster” for views and ad revenue on youtube, but Rolling Stone can’t. At least Rolling Stone had a well researched and nuanced article to back up the cover, what was TYT’s reason for using the same cover other then superficial analysis and greed.

    • July 20, 2013 at 3:06 am


      Your point is extremely valid. I am more guilty than Rolling Stone for utilization of the cover in an inappropriate fashion. However, I had a point to make which was in contrast to everything I had been seeing within my chosen news media sources. Yet, when I think back to originally hearing the story on TyT, I was slightly angry. I felt, and still do, that their reporting on the subject was poor at best. I say that not due to the fact that I had already read the article prior to their report. I say it not due to the fact that I opined differently concerning the topic. I say they reported poorly, because they reported on a topic with opinions and had not read the article. A friend of mine argued that the major “news story” was the cover and not the article so TyT and every other media organization were justified in reporting the cover only and not reading the article. I argue to the latter thought: then they are the ones guilty of the “sensationalizing” and not Rolling Stone.

      Maybe I expected more from the media concerning this story. When we, as humans, build expectations concerning others… Well! We then have cliche’ shit we can say every damn time. Therefore, while I share your opinion that it was poor reporting on TyT’s behalf on this particular subject, I admit that I enjoy and trust them above all other United States based media sources. I would suggest that you take the time to write a letter to them any time you are disappointed and point out your disapproval without threatening to ‘take your ball and go home’. It will have enormous impact, so long as it is constructive. If it seems you are spending too much time expressing disappointment, then obviously it would be time to seek other sources of entertainment and information. I, myself, feel that I would have less respect for TyT if I agreed with them on every topic without question. I would feel I surrendered my own mind to be part of another machine if that were true. Further, that I would be standing in a stall awaiting Cenk to shear off my wool coat. I don’t believe they want their audience to be sheep. I believe they want their audience to be informed.

      I would gladly discuss these other issues with you in more detail. You are free to write to me about any topic. For now, I would like to return this discussion back over to comments concerning this article’s topic. I have truly derailed my own thread.

      I compliment Janet on her wonderfully written article and the Rolling Stone for publishing it. I disagree with a major portion of the popular media outlets concerning this topic. We Sam, may be in the minority on this one… And I am absolutely comfortable here.


      • SamD
        July 20, 2013 at 4:43 am

        Yeah, I guess its not even that big of a deal, but nothing angers me more than hypocrisy. Now that it’s all said and done hopefully this will be the last we will see of the superficial discussions regarding this cover.

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