The Cover of the Rolling Stone

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Politics | No Comments »

But the thrill we’ve never known/ Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture/ On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

What in the name of J.D. Salinger is going here?

Copies of the latest issue of Rolling Stone are being pulled from magazine racks as we speak. Because, well, because it is said by those who would dictate what is proper and patriotic in America and what is not that a photo on that cover of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is so cute, so ordinary, so enticing that the youth of the nation will take to terrorism.

Excuse me, I’ve to sneeze.


I mention Salinger because, well, how many libraries through the years have banned “Catcher in the Rye” because it would, you know, unduly influence youth into committing heinous acts?

I just read Janet Reitman’s well-researched, even-handed observations of the kid known to his friends in Cambridge as Jahar. It is an impeccable piece of journalism. Rolling Stone has done us proud.

Which, oddly enough, a number of those who have banned the ‘zine because of the cover, acknowledge.

Don’t confuse ’em with the facts, please.

Well, one guy’s opinion, what we have here is further evidence that we are returning to the the halcyon days of HUAC and Joe McCarthy. How sweet. How nostalgic. How devastating for Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Expression.

There was an era, some of you may recall, when Time Magazine was revered. When it represented the highest standards of journalism and American values.

Here’s a list of gentlemen who not only appeared on the cover, but were named Time Man(Person) of the Year.

Adolph Hitler.

Joseph Stalin.

Joseph Stalin. (He got the “honor” twice, in ’39 and ’42.)


Ayatolleh Khomeni.

Vladimir Putin.

These are some truly evil dudes, who among them, are responsible for tens of millions of innocent people being murdered.

They made the cover of Time. So, too, though he wasn’t named Man(Person) of the Year did the Unibomber.

My guess is Pol Pot also got his mug on there, but, to be honest, I can’t confirm it.

Anyway, this is simply to weigh in and say this is the most egregious from of censorship. Very disturbing.

* * * * *

As for the article itself. You should read it. And you can do so here.

I’ve always had a theory about these terrorists. Which is, if they simply lived in America and became immersed in our culture, their anger against the United States would abate.

Reitman’s article proves I was dead wrong. It’s way more complicated than that. Jahar — he was the very popular, seriously assimilated younger brother — was just one of the guys in Cambridge.

Very Americanized.

But there’s always more to the story. Broken family. Financial hardship. Outsider issues. Cultural imperatives within the family. Skewed teachings.

Anyway, like I said, Reitman’s written an award-quality profile of young Mr. Tsarnaev. Compelling reading.

It is absurd and, honestly, un-American, that some feel his look is so come hither that the magazine needs to be taken off the shelves, even though RS says right there under the photo that the kid “Became a Monster.”

What a crock.

For levity’s sake, I gotta cue up some Dr. Hook, whose picture on the cover of RS was way more distressing than the current one.

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