Dear Rolling Stone Magazine: You are Despicable.

Typically, my first social media posts of the day are upbeat.  Hopefully, they inspire, inform, or make someone chuckle.  This morning, however, I don’t want to make anyone chuckle.  I want to break things.  Because I’m angry.  Very angry.

Seeing the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in my friend, talented interior designer and blogger, Erin Gates’s feed with her pointed commentary that putting a young terrorist on the cover of a rock magazine, hair askew and stoner expression, makes him look like– duh, guys– a rockstar, made me nauseous.  I refuse to share the image here; I’ve linked to the story on the Boston Globe’s Web site.  No doubt you’ve seen it already, and I am too irate.  I imagine myself doing wholly unyogic, bat shit crazy things, to the offices of the money-hungry morons who made the socially irresponsible artistic direction decision to glamorize a sociopath who caused four deaths and more than 200 severe injuries to innocent people on Patriot’s Day and one of my favorite days of the year, Marathon Monday, in my favorite city on the planet.

So, here it is… Dear Rolling Stone, you are despicable, and I will not read the article.  I will not buy your magazine.  I will not even read the copies at the gym when I am desperate for a little pick-me-up on the elliptical machine.  I haven’t worked directly in the magazine or advertising industries for many years, but if I ever run a business, work for a business, or associate my image with a brand that has advertising dollars to spend to reach your demographic, I will recommend that it does not spend those dollars with you.

If you want to glamorize anything from that day, from my city, from my home, take a cue from my former workplace, Boston magazine, where I worked as its senior marketing manager for several years, which pulled a ready-for-press cover in the hours following the bombing and instead conceived, organized, shot, and published this:

Boston magazine, May 2013 cover featuring shoes worn by Boston Marathon runners.  Many of their stories were featured inside.

Boston magazine May 2013 cover, featuring shoes worn by Boston Marathon runners. Many of their stories appeared inside.

Take a cue from Runner’s World, too, with its July cover.  Sports Illustrated or TIME.

Take a cue from humanity, decency, courage not cowardice, and my city’s need to heal and move forward, especially its victims learning to do so without loved ones or limbs, with compromised hearing in their ears, nightmares when they sleep, and that bristly feeling many of us still get when we hear too many sirens sounding too close together.

Actually… nevermind, Rolling Stone.  You do whatever you want.  You obviously don’t get it.

My hope and prayer is that someday you will.

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  • Lucie

    I just want this guy to go away (sit in jail, quietly, for the rest of his life) and now he’s on the cover of a magazine that most people in the world would love to be on the cover of. “Glamorized.” Truly disappointing, RS. Beyond words.

  • lfaulkner420

    As a writer, I believe firmly in the First Amendment. As a compassionate human being, I share your outrage about the inappropriateness of the magazine’s choice of a person worthy to grace a magazine cover.

    For me, one of the biggest mysteries of humanity is how an individual doesn’t realize the exercising of his or her rights shouldn’t infringe upon the rights of others. Blowing people up when you’re upset is unacceptable. Griping in a blog post when you’re upset IS acceptable. [Hint for those who don't get it: You don't have to read a blog post (or a magazine, for that matter) if you think you're not going to like it. On the other hand, you don't get any choice about what you want to do when someone sets a bomb off at your feet.]

    This blog post illustrates what America’s all about: people being permitted to act as they wish and others being able to gripe, publicly, when they don’t like the way others act. Thank you, Rebecca, for providing a graphic example for those who don’t get it. Maybe it will resonate with someone else.