I am not outraged by the current issue of ROLLING STONE featuring a cover photo of the bombing "suspect" that I've already seen scores of times on the Internet. As a former bookstore manager and Librarian for nearly 3 decades, I've seen controversial magazine covers come and go. And that's just it. They go. When the next issue comes out, this one will be gone.
But people are still hurting from the bombings, emotionally and mentally as well as physically. Perhaps more so for most! One person has called for a public burning of the ROLLING STONE issue, with results to be tweeted. I'm sorry but this is NOT an acceptable reaction!
Not a day goes by without someone bringing up the fact that the US is becoming more like Nazi Germany every day. Sometimes this is said by the same people that say the US is becoming more like the Soviet Union every day. People don't understand. They know the images but not the details.
One of the most disturbing images I have of Nazi Germany burned its way into my consciousness when I first saw pictures and read about it as a teenager. Books. Burning. Books. On fire. Ideas and thoughts dying.
It certainly didn't help that, as a comic book collector, I saw similar images of comic books being cheerfully burned in America in the 1950s, two decades after the Nazi book burnings and a full decade after the rest of the world had showed the Nazis that it was unacceptable!
Ray Bradbury was impacted strongly by the same images that I had seen. In his case, he responded with FAHRENHEIT 451. I first read it in the early seventies and it became my all-time favorite novel. The movie from 1966, although flawed, contains some striking imagery.
In the novel the totalitarian government purposely burns books because books make you THINK and thinking is not good if you're trying to keep the populace under control. The same people who complain about our country becoming more like Nazi Germany don't GET the fact that book burning-- idea destroying--is where it really starts.
If you don't want to look at this week's issue of ROLLING STONE, don't do it. Many stores have refused to carry it. I'm not thrilled with that fact either as censorship is censorship. Defending things you strongly dislike and disagree with is part and parcel of free speech. Free speech doesn't mean that only things you LIKE can be said by others.
That said, don't follow this misguided person's suggestion. Don't BURN it! If you do, what's next? Burning other things you don't like--books, magazines, CDs. It's easy to start but where does it end? In Nazi Germany it ended when they started burning PEOPLE they didn't like!
THINK for yourselves and don't overreact. I haven't looked at an issue of ROLLING STONE in years and if you don't want to, you don't have to...but if someone DOES want to, they have a right to do so.