Wednesday, May 16, 2012
In the matter of the Time Magazine cover controversy (I am not going to link to it... you know which one I mean): Of course this is a transparent effort by Time to gain readers (or at least lookers) and sell more magazines. It's intelligence-insulting to suggest anything to the contrary. I will refrain from commenting on the substance of the article itself as I have not read it. But did anyone, especially the mother herself, even consider the long-term effect of this cover photo on the boy? If she wishes to show herself to the world in this manner and can find a news magazine willing to publish it, she's certainly got that right. Her son is less than four years old and could probably run around naked in his front yard and not think much of it. But now this image is out there forever. It's a safe bet that this will make his middle school/high school years just a little more awkward than they would be anyway, and what adolescent boy can't use a little more awkwardness? A couple of decades ago, a mysterious blank spot might have appeared in the family scrapbook one day and the story would only exist in family lore and in the Past Issues microfiche at the library, but since Al Gore invented the World Wide Scrapbook, there's no hiding it. This boy joins the growing club of Americans with embarrassing internet photos, the vast majority of which are self-inflicted through foolishness or bad judgment. There was plenty of foolishness and bad judgment to go around at Time Magazine, but it came not from the pre-schooler. Rather, it was the work of his own mother and other adults who should have known better and they owe him a lifetime of apologies.