Response to Rolling Stone’s Cover Choice

As it has come ¬†up and generated a lot of strong feelings from many, many people, I feel that I want to say a few words about the Rolling Stone cover. I joined this facebook group concerning boycotting them. I mean, I don’t subscribe to them and I’ve barely ever read the magazine anyway, so it’s really just a gesture for me, but I felt it needed to be made.

As a Boston resident, I will be very confused if I actually see this magazine (that is, with this cover) sold anywhere in the area. Boston did a great job and recovered really well from the tragedy on Marathon Day, but that does not mean we’re not still affected by it and it DEFINITELY does not mean any of us can sit quietly with this guy’s face staring at us. I, in fact, refuse to even type his name, because as far as I’m concerned, he can exist as a person, just as long as it’s far away from me. For clarification’s sake, I was not personally affected by what happened–I was not at or near the finish line, and I did not know anyone who was hurt or killed–but I was strongly affected emotionally, as was pretty much anyone with any capacity for feeling.

Without knowing any details, one can assume that there is an article of some kind about the bomber in this issue of Rolling Stone. So the connection is obvious. I don’t have any objections to people writing articles about what happened. However, putting his picture on the cover is a step too far. ¬†Whether the piece is complimentary, sympathetic, damning, or completely objective, featuring his face on the magazine cover glorifies him (if not his actions). This is utterly unacceptable and it was a conscious choice made by the magazine. I refuse to believe that a publication that’s been around as long as Rolling Stone could make a decision like that and not be aware of the repercussions they are incurring.

I want to make one thing clear: my objections to glorifying the bomber (the live one, the dead one, or anyone else who might have been involved) has nothing to do with the possibility of it encouraging other people to seek infamy through horrific acts. It is simply because he intentionally did something awful, deplorable, that resulted in death and destruction, and he does not deserve personal recognition for such a thing. Trying to “understand” why these actions were taken is one thing. Putting him on the cover of the magazine is disrespectful to all the people who were affected by the bombing.

 

In conclusion, Rolling Stone editors and etc., stop trying to sell through sensationalism and think for a second about having a little human decency.

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Trying to Process

Living in Boston for this past week has been, to say the least, strange.

The tragic events at the Marathon this past Monday came smack in the middle of arrangements with my employer to make my job full time. This was meant to be my first full-time week, but as you might have guessed, I didn’t go to work today.

I usually only go through Copley in the mornings, but I can take the bus and avoid it altogether. Knowing that the T station would still be closed and the area probably not the best destination right now, that’s what I’ve been doing. I have yet to see the scene at all in person. And, although the bombing was a huge thing, it wasn’t affecting my day-to-day life much this week. Until this morning. That’s when I was informed through various sources online that MBTA service was suspended. As events unfolded, or unraveled, over the next few hours, it became clear that most of the Boston area was on lockdown. My part of the city did not fall in the big orange blob, but I felt it best to stay inside anyway. A few hours later, lockdown was extended to basically all of greater Boston, which includes me. I am not happy not to have been outside today. I could go out for a little bit, I guess, but I don’t need anything, and I feel like it would be best to stay in. There is an air of tension that very possibly comes from me, making me feel oddly on edge but calm at the same time. Calm, because I am most likely safe in my home (JP isn’t central to the manhunt, unless something has changed that hasn’t been reported), but on edge because this chase is still going on, and because things are uncertain.

Uncertainty in some contexts gives me anxiety. Hello shortness of breath, queasiness, restlessness, and moodiness… (I haven’t missed you, by the way).

I have gone through a bit of tragedy/trauma in my life. I’ve had to deal with difficult things. Up until now, they have all been on a personal scale. Private losses and such. I have never been this close to any sort of larger-scale incident, the sort of thing that affects a lot of people. In addition, I have never been this close to such violence. I don’t know if I have the tools to even process what is happening.

We’ll come back to the word “strange” now. I feel strange. The truth is, after this is over and the city starts to go back to normal, I really doubt my life will change much. I didn’t know anyone who was directly affected by the explosions, or any of the aftermath. My own loved ones are safe and, well, you’ve probably read a whole bunch of accounts of how Boston will come through with barely a scratch. Yet the whole thing is just horrible, and I’ve felt like crying all day. I call do-over on this week, because it didn’t happen right the first time.

Some people can be productive when they find themselves with time on their hands all of a sudden. I have not managed to do so. I’ve thought about all the things I could do today–write, read, organize my room, some other creative project–but the only thing I’ve actually done, for most of the day, is huddle under my comforter and watch Netflix. I did manage to do some cooking, too, but that didn’t take nearly long enough.

I think what I want to do is go to sleep and wake up when all the crazy is over. I don’t want to deal with the crazy. It’s one thing when terrible things are happening and you can go about your life; it’s another when they cause you to have to stay in your house. If I still had imaginary friends I could have them all over for a party right now. I wish.

 

**Edit: Just after posting this I saw the notice that the lockdown has been lifted and the MBTA is now running. This, to me, says that they’re making some progress, and it’s slightly safer to go outside, so it does help with the anxiety a little. I am not going to change anything in the post, though, because it is an account of my attempt at a thought process over the course of the day.