Saturday, July 20, 2013

American Weird

David Horsey's latest column is a bit odd.  I think it likely, however, that he's not really talking about the girls swooning over Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston bombers, but rather that group of people who were appalled that his picture graced the front of Rolling Stone.

The cover photo makes Tsarnaev look like a moody lead singer from a boy band. Critics from actor and comedian Albert Brooks to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino say the image -- a self-portrait snapped sometime before the bombing -- is way too flattering, given the horror of the crime. But there is a small group of people who probably will be keeping the magazine close to their pillows so they can give their favorite heartthrob a goodnight kiss.

Yes, like every celebrity, Tsarnaev has fans who think he is innocent or has been mistreated or is the fall guy in another evil conspiracy perpetrated by the U.S. government -- or maybe just a sweet boy who had a couple of bad days because of his crazy big brother. ...

The editors of Rolling Stone may have made a poor judgment. I’m not so sure they did; the Tsarnaev photo evokes the mystifying dichotomy between the fairly typical, self-absorbed college kid Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was and the coldblooded terrorist he apparently became. That is the story they are presenting in their magazine.

As far as Tsarnaev’s fans are concerned, though, poor judgment does not begin to describe their misguided enthusiasm for their hero. There are other, better descriptive words starting with irrationality, paranoia, vapidity and ignorance. One attribute they cannot claim is empathy -- empathy for the dead and horribly maimed victims of the bedroom-eyed bomber.   [Emphasis added]

Even if I am imputing more irony to Horsey than is present, I do think the furor over the magazine cover by so many other people is sadly misplaced.  The article inside the magazine makes it clear that Mr. Bedroom Eyes is no Mr. Nice Guy.

And what really shocks me is that with all the sophisticated data mining being done by NSA and Booz Allen the bombing incident actually took place.  I guess nobody's perfect, even when it comes to domestic spying.

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