Exposing The New Monsters: Why I’m not upset with Rolling Stone’s Cover.

dzhokharDzhokhar Tsarnaev is on the cover of Rolling Stone. He is also one of the men behind the Boston Marathon Bombing. The photo looks great.

Rolling Stone has received a lot of backlash for putting him on the cover. Some national companies are boycotting by not carrying the issue in their stores, including CVS and Walgreens. Many Americans are upset and offended by the idea of Tsarnaev being on the cover. The argument is that by having him on the cover, he will gain a level of fame for being a killer. Tsarnaev became infamous once we knew who he was and who will ever forget his name.

In a statement, Rolling Stone said the following.:

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens. –THE EDITORS

I stand by Rolling Stone decision to put out that cover. It does not offend me at all. The fact the Tsarnaev is young is a great factor in the big picture. The idea of the article is to show how this attractive young man with a bright future turned into a “Monster.” I ask the question, what do monsters look like? Are they large, ugly, mindless creatures? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev certainly wasn’t. In the world we live today, monsters are terrorist and murderers among other things. Monsters are everyday people yet we don’t always recognize them right away. The reason is stereotypes.
What does a terrorist look like? He looks like Osama Bin Laden. He is older, wears traditional Islamic dress, speaks with a heavy accent and has little or no dealings with people outside of his culture. All murderers look like Charles Manson. A white male, in his mid 30’s, somewhat out of touch with the world around him. All urban criminals wear hooded sweat jackets and sag their pants. This is what we have been lead to believe for many years but this is no longer true. Tsarnaev doesn’t fit that profile nor does James Holmes or Adam Lanza. These are the faces of the “New Monsters.” Younger  people who have committed horrendous crimes. They are baby faced, innocent looking. They are educated. They are not the old men we have been taught to fear.
If you follow international news, images of youth fighting in wars are normal. Seeing young people in other nations with weapons, killing, normal.  It’s not something that is normal in the United States. Although, we are seeing a rise in crimes and violent acts among youth, the idea of young people committing mass murder is new. Or is it? Remember Columbine? Eric Harris, age 18. Dylan Klebold, age 17. Remember the Oklahoma City Bombing? Timothy McVeigh, age 26. Remember the Virginia Tech Massacre? Seung-Hui Cho, age 23. Remember the Beltway Sniper? Lee Boyd Malvo, age 17. All young people who didn’t fit a stereotype or profile.
The idea that Rolling Stone is “Glamorizing ” terrorist is ridiculous. Having Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover is a step in the right direction to changing our view of what a Terrorist, a Murderer, a Monster looks like in today’s world. They are exposing the “New Monsters.” Gone are the days of the ugly, old men we were taught to fear. Terrorist, Murderers aren’t the unattractive, they are any man or woman for that matter.
I saw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Rolling Stone cover next to of a picture of Jim Morrison. It was captioned that Rolling Stone had made Tsarnaev look like Morrison. I’m sure there was no photo shoot with Rolling Stone. Tsarnaev has some good genes and it is coincidental that he resembles Morrison. jm dt
Like I stated before, what we once believed monsters to look like no longer is true. It’s time we recognized the “New Monsters.”
Check out the article in Rolling Stone. Don’t judge the book by its cover!

2 thoughts on “Exposing The New Monsters: Why I’m not upset with Rolling Stone’s Cover.”

  1. Kudos Chris this is excellent writing. I think the picture was powerful and I’m also not offended that it made the cover. In fact the picture was taken from his face book page. It just goes to show, a person’s life can take many roads; this young man clearly could have been a model or actor. Our society is quick to re-invent the boogie man, this shows that monsters can lurk anywhere.


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