Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sensationalism Sells: Right, Rolling Stone?

Some people are pissed off. And they're making themselves heard. I couldn't help noticing an avalanche of protest posts on Facebook yesterday surrounding the recent cover of the Rolling Stone. 

If you haven't heard, the man accused of causing the tragedy during the Boston Marathon is being glorified by the magazine. 

Musical acts long for the chance to make the cover; Dr. Hook sang about the cover. But this guy? He killed and maimed people in a brutal, terrorist act.

Is this any way to sell a magazine that is supposed to be about music? Oh, wait a minute; Rolling Stone used to be a magazine about music. Granted, I have read some eye-opening journalism there that was not about music. Well researched and well presented. So I'm sure the article within is well done.
However, no matter how good the writing within may be, there’s simply no good reason to put a cruel, pathetic, twisted 19 year old teen’s face on the cover. Rolling Stone replied that their demographic was the same age as this suspected bomber. Are you trying to tell us that 19 year olds would identify with him? Do you think they see him as a hero? Will teenage girls think his curls are cute?

What an insult to the victims. What an insult to the people of Boston. What an insult to all of us.

This was intentional. It was meant to shock. It was meant to be discussed and turned into a massive word-of-mouth promotion. Yay, you win Jann Wenner. Since this issue won’t be appearing on the shelves of several mass retailer outlets, thus establishing scarcity, there could be resellers on Ebay making a quick buck. You've created commerce:  A chance for some folks who don't care how insulting this all is will prosper from this. What’s next Jann? Discussions with President Obama on how to rebound our crappy economy?

Yes, some of the national chains aren't stooping to their level and they’re pulling the magazine. It’s their right. It’s also Rolling Stone Magazine’s right to publish what they want. That’s our freedom. 

Freedom can come at a price though…hello! Whatever happened to common sense? When is it time to voluntarily restrain use of that freedom? We DO have choices. Marketing involves customization; it’s not cookie cutter. Some brain work and educated decisions are involved. One has to question the driving factor for the decision to put a terrorist on the cover of a music magazine. Could it be the greed of selling magazines? 

Perhaps another irony: This will blow over in mere seconds, unlike the purgatory that Paula Deen is still going through. What’s up with that?
I’ve seen many statements, in articles and posts suggesting that the victims and the good people of Boston should be on the cover. I can’t agree with that more!

Boston, you are strong. You are proud. Here’s yet another crisis for you to get through. And you will stand tall. 

The Dropkick Murphys from nearby Quincy recorded this Woody Guthrie song that’s popular at Boston sporting events. If you are feeling sporty, kick (or click) that mouse and visit our websiteor say hello on TwitterFacebook, or Google+



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