Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Copy Showed up Today and I Still Can’t Believe it's Real

I thought maybe it was just a cruel internet prank that started circulating on Facebook a few days ago but when my copy of Rolling Stone showed up in my mailbox this morning I lost a little respect for journalism.

Now let me first say this, I have absolutely no clue how I got subscribed to this magazine. I don’t have a record of having paid for a subscription and no one I know has come forward to tell me they bought it for me at any time. I’ve been getting the mag now for about four months and I have to be perfectly honest it isn’t one I ever would’ve signed up to receive. I’m not hip on current music and to be honest I don’t really want to be.

With that said it makes me sick to know that I likely can’t cancel my subscription after seeing the cover of this month’s copy. Some genius decided it would be a smart idea to put a big photo of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing terrorist on their cover and write a feature story on him.

Let that sink in for just a second.

Now here’s what I think about this. I can sum it up in two words – sensationalist journalism.

And to see anyone profit off the face of evil, to write a story that spans twelve full pages of a magazine that’s supposed to be about music and to somehow try to appeal to the sympathies of the public about this guy makes me want to hurl big rocks at the editors who let this happen.

I will not read the story. In fact the only reason I even cracked the magazine to begin with was to count the number of pages they dedicated to this cover headline:

“The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster”

I know I’m probably perpetuating the issue just writing this post but I can’t help it. Where the fuck is the 12 page story on Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard or Officer Sean Collier? These people were people too, people with amazing stories of their childhoods that maybe weren’t as glorious as some others. Hell one of these victims still was a child.

Where are the stories on all the injured people? All 264 of them? What about the people who may not have even suffered a scratch but will live with the PTSD of what happened that day for the rest of their lives? Who could even count how many of them exist. For god sakes I’m probably one of them and I don’t even live in Boston anymore. But that’s my city for now and for always and how dare anyone glorify the person who brought so much hatred onto it?

The fact that this magazine is all but venerating evil doings by trying to profile the guy in any kind of sympathetic light makes me sick.

We all had childhoods. We were all teenagers and at times during those years sometimes things didn’t go our way. That’s life. Sucks to be everyone. But that kid had a choice. He could choose to be a dick or he could choose to be a good person. The guy didn’t choose the latter. But in choosing the former he took away the choice of all those people who suffered the fates at his hand when he and his brother set off the bombs that day.

And now I’m done talking about this. I’m done creating more sensationalized bullshit that even hints at wanting to start a conversation. And if I can figure out how to do it I’m disabling comments on this post because I don’t want it to go on any further. I just needed to vent.

And now I need to call Rolling Stone to cancel my unpaid for subscription while I shred the cover of this magazine.

You really fucked up with this one.

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Published in multiple print and online sources, Author, Blogger and Freelance Writer Jenn Flynn-Shon has been writing for publication since 2001. Follow her antics on twitter @jennshon