Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rant #1,006: Cover Boy

Remember several months ago when I spoke about the Kate Upton edition of Sports Illustrated?

That was a refreshing magazine cover, especially for us males out there.

Well, there is a new cover out from another publication that, well, isn't that refreshing, and it is causing an uproar much like Upton's cover did, but for a different reason.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the so-called Boston Marathon bomber, is on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and the photo on the cover almost makes him look like a rock star.

You might remember that Tsarnaev was hunted, and shot, after the police gunned down his brother as that atrocious incident during the Boston Marathon shook Boston and the rest of the country.

These were two brothers who weren't born here, but were pretty much raised here. They absorbed all of our traditions, but as the story goes, the older brother was becoming more radical, the younger brother followed, and the rest, unfortunately, is history.

Of course, I am boiling this whole story down to the nub. We will find out more when Tsarnaev goes to trial.

He could receive the death penalty for his alleged actions.

Anyway, back to the cover.

Rolling Stone is a funny magazine, and I don't mean laughably funny.

It really hasn't known its place in the world since it published a nude centerfold of David Cassidy in the early 1970s.

It was established in the mid 1960s by Jann Wenner as a counterculture rock magazine.

Back then, rock magazines tended to be weenybopper rags like Tiger Beat and 16 magazines, and Wenner brought this to the next level, trying to show that rock music was something to be looked at with another eye, that of somebody older than seven years old.

It made rock a snobbish commodity, exactly what it wasn't and never will be, except in the minds of some.

The years have not been kind to Rolling Stone.

It currently wavers between glossy rock star mag and glitzy Hollywood rag.

Remember the cover of Britney Spears when she first started out? The perfect blend of Tiger Beat and Playboy, if you will.

Anyway, putting Tsarnaev on the cover in that picture may be the ultimate nail in the coffin for this publication.

Not that it is going to go away, but as far as its place as something of an "authoritative" journalistic enterprise, which, quite frankly, it hasn't been for years, if ever.

Yes, they put his picture on the cover to get you to buy the magazine, to read it, to talk about it.

That is fine.

But in that pose, well, let's sign this guy to a recording contract and see if he can sing!

Heck, Charles Manson made some recordings, fashioned himself as a rising pop star, so why not this guy?

In today's world, even the most talentless people become stars, so why not a possible terrorist?

We have already heard that hundreds of women--and probably some men, too--have sent him letters, proposing marriage and all that.

He has that look. He could be the lead singer of the next big pop band, The Terrorists.

"Hey, hey, we're The Terrorists,
The feds say we monkeyed around,
But we're too busy building bombs
To turn anybody down ... "

Who knows what his future holds?

But all kidding aside, Rolling Stone was very savvy in putting him on the cover.

They knew it would spark outrage, no matter what was in the issue about him, and it did just that.

Sure, I bet they could have put Kate Upton on the cover, but would we be talking about this now like we are?

Well, maybe, if it was like the Sports Illustrated cover ...


  1. I don't see anything wrong with Tsarnaev being the cover story.
    Rolling Stone is in the business to sell magazines.
    All the publicity this cover is getting is exactly what they love.
    They have had Charles Manson on the cover in 1970.
    It's a self portrait they haven't paid him for a cover shoot.
    All The Best,

  2. I agree, but you have to admit, it is controversial. Rolling Stone really doesn't know what type of magazine it is now, and the same corporations that the magazine was created to rant and rave about are now in bed with it. Those corporations advertised in the magazine, so they aren't upset about this, and yes, they are in the business to sell magazines, just like Sports Illustrated is in the business to sell magazines, and did so with its Kate Upton cover. I was more speaking about Rolling Stone's lost way than about what they do to sell magazines.



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