Nothing like a terrorist act to erase the distinction between infamous and famous. Take the Boston Marathon bombing’s aftermath: Rolling Stone magazine publishes a photo of the surviving bomber and well, all hell breaks loose. Boston mayor says RS is glamorizing a deadly terrorist act. But wait: RS didn’t dispatch Annie Leibowitz to shoot Jahar Tsarnaev: the picture than ran under the famous red psychedelic lettering (and yes, was thus glamorized)…was a “selfie”!
And what is a “selfie”? Well, first and foremost, a “selfie” is a teenage thing to do: even teenage terrorists do it. Even wannabe (read: old people) teenagers do it. It is a “Taxi Driver” thing to do: it freezes the moment the Robert De Niro character is talking to himself in the mirror. It is a self-portrait, taken with a smartphone and loaded over the internet to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook…because we can! We have the technology and we all wanna be famous. Even bombers, no wait, SPECIALLY bombers.
This is the first time in the history of Rolling Stone magazine where a selfie makes the cover (I checked) and check this out: The hallowed New York Times ran the picture several weeks before. But to no effect. That “selfie” in the NYT looks like news; in RS, under that Woodstock hippie red lettering, Jahar looked like the Jonas Brother of terrorism.
I guess now “selfie” stands for “selfish”, or worse.