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Lower 9th Ward: March 2006

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« Sunday Morning Video: Peter Gabriel Growing Up Live | Main | You Think I Care About Our Lives Being Easier? The Newsroom Thread »

July 21, 2013


I disagree somewhat. The Boston reaction to the bombing was varied, but a good chunk of it was "you bombers are a pair of idiots, screw you, I hope you rot in jail", which is I think a fine attitude to take towards would-be terrorists. Not much in the way of hand-wringing, a lot in the way of take care of the hurt people, and try not to crank up the beat-up-the-Muslims jingoism too much. All of this subject to the normal variation in human behavior, of course.

This sort of bombing is a low-probability event. It's likely that the best way to reduce its incidence is the Boston reaction -- catch, prosecute, jail, and forget, and don't make a big deal about it. It's almost certainly true that we will not learn anything useful (meaning, that will change future outcomes) from the Rolling Stone article just because this is such a rare event, and it's possible, though not entirely likely, that the increased attention will make it slightly more likely.

Look at what a pair of bozos these bombers were. They didn't even think to note their "message" until one was dead and the other was badly hurt and bleeding in a boat.

To me this is no worse than a magazine cover featuring Tim McVeigh, Ted Bundy...or Eichmann not wearing his SS uniform. I also read the article (available online) and Matt Taibbi's post (which notes that the NY Times featured the same picture on its front page and no one blew a gasket).

That's what Tsarnaev looks like.

Funny how the folks complaining tend towards the type that would otherwise say "DFH." But now he's somehow glamorized? Gimme a break.

I have mixed feelings about the photo and the controversy. I think the controversy, like all right wing hissyfits, is absurd and ginned up. That being said I don't think the photo as displayed on the cover is at all an invitation to a discussion or "meant to make us feel uncomfortable" or consider anything--from terrorism to public highschools--in a new light. Its soporific and sexy, anodyne and unsurprising. A basically glamor magazine with the odd bit of reportage chose to put on the cover a sexy picture--like they always do--because sex sells and putting something ugly on the cover doesn't sell. They specifically avoided juxtaposing pictures of carnage with Tsarnaev because cluttered and visually ugly or complex pictures are not in their stylebook and might turn some readers away. To me its like putting a rape victim on the cover *only if she's beautiful.* That's not an invitation to "discuss" something that makes us uncomfortable. That is merely acceding to the US public's demand that everything be fed to us, *even or especially difficult political or social issues* in a sexy, easy to digest way. To me the photo and the text bracket the event in a completely uninteresting and unthoughtful way. Like putting a tray of marshmellows down in front of a children's "scary" ride to induce the children to climb on and knowing full well that the ride itself, though slightly uncomfortable, will return the children to the same place they started from.

It should show you the world, in all its filth and glory, and if it doesn't do that it is following the Lippman model, which was the prototype for all establishment journalism in this country.

Certainly, such journalism is a waste of your time, but if all it does is hide away the horror and sand off the rough edges of the world, tell you how to make the unthinkable palatable for yourself and your family, tell you how NOT to hear or think or speak or breathe the things that are true, then that's a feature, not a bug. That is exactly what such journalism is designed to do from its conception as a form of communication.

jazz hands is jazz hands is jazz hands.

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