April 15, 2013 and the days that followed will always be remembered by not just the victims, families, first responders and Bostonians, but by the world. The Boston Marathon bombings are the very definition of a terrorist attack. Comprised and executed out of sheer hate and lack of regard for human life, two brothers believed they were giving America the ultimate payback for what people of their radical beliefs thought to be valid reasons. They wanted to send a strong message. Eye for an eye, to sum it up. What it really was, was just plain, ignorant, ill-conceived hate.
But still, these two got more press coverage than most of the victims. Their names will almost always be remembered, marked as part of a tragic day in US history. They achieved a horrible form of infamy, one that no person should ever wish to gain.
What those two crazed radicals didn't succeed in? Breaking our spirit. In the wake of that horrible event, Bostonians and people around the world stood more united. Grievances were pushed aside, strangers became friends, bonds that may have never formed before now in place as if they were always meant to be there. I worked tirelessly with wonderful donors and bidders from the writing community for over a month on the Write Stuff for Boston fundraising auction to benefit the victims and families, because it was the least any of us could do for the people whose lives were callously maimed and/or destroyed. Everyone came together and proudly, Boston came out of those horrible first days Boston strong. There isn't another strength like it. We'll always be Boston strong, that'll never change.
I chose not to use the alleged bombers name because they do not deserve repeating. I chose not to name the iconic (even if it hasn't lived up to its reputation in many years) music magazine for the same reason. I understand the curiosity about the living suspect in custody. I even wonder myself about him, and why he and his brother would commit such heinous acts of violence. So, even though I refuse quell my curiosity by reading the article and have no idea of the content's integrity, I will not discount its merit, or the journalism behind it here.
What I will say is this: putting a terrorist, just 3 months after the attacks, on a cover normally reserved for musical artists and celebrities, not only sends a strong message that with great violence comes great, twisted fame, but that it says they as a publication care more about the dollars and press behind such an offensive, controversial cover rather than have a shred of compassion, empathy and consideration for the victims, their friends and family, and the city of Boston as a whole. It tells other possible psychopaths that they, too, can be on the cover of a Rock and Roll magazine, sensationalized and made to seem like a legend. To me, it's classless, disgusting and trashy. It drags the already-down publication's reputation to a low almost any other national/international publication couldn't match. A headline on the cover? Maybe that could be justified a year or two after he's been tried and convicted. But not a cover, and not while the wounds are still fresh. It's an attempt at shock value at the expense of my precious city.
You know what, though? It doesn't change the fact that we still stand united. The backlash just proves that. The amazing love and support for this city and the victims is still as strong as it was that day. That cover probably made it that much stronger. As Mayor Menino mentioned, even though it's the victims and families that deserve to be on the cover, that piece of junk publication (and all who support it's decision to publish that atrocity of a cover) doesn't deserve them.
So go ahead, print your trash. For every victim/family member/friend of that tragedy who has to see that, I'm sure karma will be paying you back a million times over. I relish that thought, and refuse to let your benign attempt at gross infamy affect me any more than it already has. Because you're now considered evil almost as much as he is. I can live with that branding on your once sterling name, at least, if all the negativity hasn't made you reconsider and retract by now.
Enjoy being the newest pariah of publishing.