Tsarnaev's 'smilin' face on the cover of the Rollin' Stone'

The busybody lynch mobs struck again in their quest for sensitivity purity. Photo: AP/Wenner Media

CHICAGO, July 19, 2013— “Rollin’ Stone Wanna see my picture on the cover; Wanna buy five copies for my mother; Wanna see my smilin’ face on the cover of the Rollin’ Stone” (Cover of Rolling Stone/Dr. Hook)

Once again a faux controversy is raging. The busybody social media lynch mobs and Tender Sensitivity SWAT teams are on the hunt. This time their full frothed fury is aimed at Rolling Stone Magazine. The magazine ran a photograph of accused Boston terrorist, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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Possibly enhanced and stylized, the cover depicts Tsarnaev sometime before he was captured. The photographs of Trayvon Martin taken shortly before his death also stirred the lynch mobs to rabid fury. They preferred the photos taken years earlier of a smiling little angel. What cops call kindergarten graduation pictures.

This faux fury is as silly as the “Chicago Stronger tee shirt controversy” during the Chicago Blackhawks battle with the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup Championship. Another faux controversy from attention seeking busy bodies. By the way, Chicago was stronger. They won.

The same busybody lynch mobs digitally rioted when photos of the dead Arizona firefighters draped in American flags were posted on a Facebook page. The news media, doing its job, published them during the furor. They were photographs depicting honor and respect. The busybody lynch mobs needed something to fulminate over that week.

The lynch mobs wring their hands in woe that families and victims will be insulted, their sensitivities damaged, the injuries and deaths will be cheapened somehow. Or something like that.

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Who cares? What difference does it make? Does it really matter? No. They are pictures. Big deal.

All this faux outrage shows people have way too much time on their hands. No wonder America is turning into the Land of the Lazy. People spend more time raging on social media than they do working productive jobs.

The tender sensitivity warriors are using their rights to free speech and expression to deny the free speech, expression, and free press rights of Rolling Stone. All this is nothing more than a monumental abuse of the First Amendment.

Rolling Stone has an absolute right to publish what it wants. It has a right to be insensitive to the feelings of the digital masses. It has a right to offend or insult whomever they wish, including the despotic mayor of Boston, who was appalled. People have the right to criticize and choose not to buy the magazine or cancel their subscriptions.

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There is no right to stop or prevent Rolling Stone, or anyone else, from publishing anything they want. This is America, not some so-called free European nation where speech, expression, and the press are controlled and regulated, sometimes on penalty of criminal prosecution.

The Bill of Rights protects us from the government and each other. It was designed specifically to protect individuals and the press from government and society lynch mob persecution. When people try to revoke the rights of one person or entity, they are not only harming them and the rest of us, they are harming themselves. They are committing self inflicted injuries to their own rights.

In America, there is no such thing as offensive, tasteless, insulting, or hate speech, expression, or press. There is only free speech, expression, and press. Free, as in people can put out whatever they want in whatever format they want at whatever time they want. Tender sensitivities be damned.

We do not always have to like it. We do not and should not always agree with it. We can criticize. What we cannot and should never do is try to stop or prevent it. There is no cease and desist in the Bill of Rights. We have a civic duty as citizens to accept and protect, no matter how odorous.

Who did Rolling Stone offend? What is the offense? That particular photo had been published before. They just made it a cover. Was it enhanced? Who cares? Did they publish it to stir controversy to sell more issues? Again, who cares?

Magazines and newspapers publish images on a regular basis. What or who will the busybodies try to stop next?

Freedom has a price. That price is allowing what offends. We all have the same rights. The right to publish, the right to express, the right to speak, and the right to discuss and criticize. That is the exchange of ideas and discussion the First Amendment was designed to protect. Nowhere does it make exceptions for tender sensitivities. It does not allow repression.

The busybody lynch mobs are placing a chilling effect on our individual freedoms. They have a false belief that individual freedoms must be sacrificed to appease the tender sensitivities of the collective- who ever they are. The busybody lynch mobs are dead wrong. No one must or should sacrifice rights and freedoms over the whims of the wad.

The First Amendment does not protect the wad from being offended. It protects individuals and the press’s right to offend, be tasteless, insulting, and to love or hate.

It is amazing that the busybodies spew hatred in the offense of their tender sensitivities. It is alright for them to hate, offend, and be tasteless in their quest for sensitive purity. The busybodies are the hypocrites of the world. They and they alone will determine what speech, expression, or press is appropriate, inoffensive, and tasteful. Only they can exercise their rights to hatred, offensiveness, and tastelessness.

There is only one way to fight back against the busybody lynch mobs. Ignore them. Do not publicize their crusades for sensitive and politically correct purity. When they attack, double down. Never give in, apologize, or explain. Publish whatever needs to be published. If they are ignored they will go away. Ignoring them will be a worse blow and insult to their tender sensitivities.

If we sacrifice our freedoms in the name of political correctness, multi-culturalism, tender sensitivities, so-called security, or other false precepts, we will have no freedoms or rights left. We will be no better than third world tin pot despotic tyrannies. Maybe that is the real goal of the busybody social media, politically correct, and tender sensitivity lynch mobs.

By the way, thanks to the sensitivity boobs, the Rolling Stone image went viral, being published by international news media and all over the web. It appears their repressive efforts backfired.



This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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