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Thou Shall Not Stone the Rolling Stone

July 18, 2013 3 comments

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.

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