It’s not worth spending much time talking about this week’s Rolling Stone cover.1 Eric Randall’s article hit the nail on the head, particularly its subtitle: “It’s not that they put him on the cover. It’s the way they put him on the cover”. The decision by CVS and many other merchants to not stock the issue would seem to show that Rolling Stone’s decision was a serious misstep. The magazine is within their rights to publish this, while everyone else is free to publicly shame them. Please mark me down for that.
Instead, let’s talk about Jeff Bauman, a victim and a hero. He was first widely seen in a truly gruesome image, as he was being wheeled away from the scene by Carlos Arredondo. Shortly after the attacks, before the culprits had been identified, Bauman awoke and proved his mettle:
“He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,’” Chris Bauman said yesterday in an interview.
Those words may have helped crack the mystery of who perpetrated one of the highest-profile acts of terror in the U.S. since the 2001 assault on New York City and the Washington area, one that killed three people and wounded scores.
Hard. Fucking. Core.
Since then, Bauman has been recovering. Last week, the New York Times had a wrenching profile following him as he attempts to return to a regular life while dealing with his injuries. That article had several difficult photos, but it closed with an uplifting one. It’s hell of a shot, capturing Bauman as he takes a few timid steps on his prosthetic legs. It’s also an image that would make a hell of a magazine cover:
Stay strong, Jeff.