Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ah, Sweet, Beautiful Controversy

This blog post is very, very controversial.  You have been warned.
(not mine, obviously)
Okay.  So, lately there's this giant controversy because Rolling Stone magazine chose to write an article about the Boston bomber and place his picture on the cover.  Everyone is up in arms, saying that it's so awful and glorifying terrorism.  I do not agree even a little bit.
First of all, it is Rolling Stone's right as a magazine to publish anything they want.  Additionally, the story about the bomber is the largest story in the issue, and therefore it makes sense for a photo pertaining to the article to be on the cover.  Further, not to be cynical, but Rolling Stone is a company and they are selling a product.  Although many have refused to sell the magazine, the company has likely sold thousands of extra copies and gained tons of publicity due to the surrounding controversy.
Now, on the less cynical side, the picture shows a different side of the bomber, showing that he was a regular person once; not a born monster.  It argues that no one is a born monster, and it is the choices we make that determine the person we become, not necessarily the upbringing we had.
The article examines how Jahar fell from grace, going from a popular student to a terrorist.  It makes the bomber seem human, which, while seemingly degrading to victims of the bombing, sheds some light on the fact that terrorism does not have a specific "face".  While it may sound paranoid to say so, anyone could become a terrorist.  If they make poor choices, they could fall into such a trap.
While the picture may seem to be "glorifying" Jahar, it is not.  It is simply illustrating the point of the article: evil is made, not born.
On a more emotional level, I cannot argue that Rolling Stone should have put Jahar's picture on their cover.  It is clearly hurtful and offensive to many, but they had a right to do so, and there is nothing truly wrong with their choice.

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