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Turn the Magazine Around

Posted on | October 15, 2014 | Comments Off on Turn the Magazine Around

Turn the magazine aroundI was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store this morning being bored and glancing around when my eyes fell on the magazines. At least that’s what they like to be called. I think that’s an insult to actual magazines personally, but whatever.

The one “magazine” that caught my eye was, wait, I’m not going to name it because I don’t want you to go look it up. The “magazine” featured Amanda Bynes on the cover and had some kind of overwrought, drama-filled and condescending headline about her having a mental breakdown. Beneath the headline was a close-up of her face, which has become unrecognizable as Amanda Bynes as I remember her.

I’ve been vaguely aware of her situation over the last few years. I’ve never been a fan of her work necessarily, I’m not even sure I remember what she was in. However, a celebrity’s work is rarely a prerequisite for media attention. In fact I suspect steady work makes celebrities less interesting for the media. Less time to get in trouble I guess. However, I knew a little more about Amanda because I’d recently read an excellent post when a friend mentioned it on Facebook. The post discusses the tragedies of mental illness and how it relates to Amanda Bynes. I won’t go into the details but you should go read it.

I was looking at this magazine and thinking that I just don’t want to see this stuff anymore. More importantly, I wish none of us had to see it anymore. We’re weak and we’re often bored. If a publisher throws a bunch of inflammatory headlines in front of us we’re probably going to look. If a hacker exposes a bunch of private photos, we’re probably going to look. It’s just our nature.

So, standing there, I decided to do something simple and probably a bit naive. I turned the magazine around. At first I thought nothing of it. I didn’t want to look at it and now I didn’t have to. However, once I moved forward in line I looked back and a woman was standing in my old spot looking toward the magazines. The magazine with Amanda Bynes on the cover was still turned around. The woman behind me was looking elsewhere. As I walked away from the register I took one more look back and the magazine was still as I’d left it.

One less person had to have their attention drawn to a sensationalized version of someone else’s tragic life designed to sell “magazines.”

That made me feel good. I can’t wait to do it again.



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