Glossy mass murder
The invaluable MEMRI translation site shows us the most recent Al Qaida version of Cosmo or GQ --- really. It could be called AQ CHIC. Check it out. It has heroic, full-color, glossy paper fauxtography of cute Al Qaida terrorists (who just murdered more than twenty innocent people in Mumbai, India, because Al Qaida does not discriminate -- it murders infidels regardless of race, sex, age, or unauthorized religion).
As usual in Terrorist Art, these folks are fondling their shiny weapons in suitable desert gear, fresh from the desert laundry.
However, unlike Hamas propaganda, AQ CHIC doesn't show toddlers wearing martyrdom gear for the under-six set, complete with tiny toy AK-47s, proud mothers dressed in black tents, and smiling Daddies, ready for the 21st century version of Meso-American Mayan child sacrifice for the bloody-minded gods.
Hooray for the martyrs-to-be! You can't start childhood indoctrination too soon.
AQ's high fashion mag could be selling LL Bean gear, with nice, clean turbans and outdoor wear for the well-dressed terrorist. I didn't see any ads in the MEMRI coverage of the magazine, but I don't doubt there is a huge after-market of AQ CHIC gear for the aspiring terrorist crowd.
I'm seeing some male teens wearing long, dark beards, UBL style. Give alienated teenagers a new hat and a new uniform, tell them it's cool, and you can start your own Hitlerjugend. Desperate for a new identity, any identity, teenagers (and mental teenagers) are always the fertile recruiting ground for the latest totalitarian fad. TIME or NEWSWEEK are firing staff, and some ambitious unemployed J-Schooler could start a glossy mag called YOUNG FANATIC to catch the latest wave.
Because there's always another one.
Most of this issue is filled with obits for dead AQ killers. I would think that would inspire more US Navy SEALS than wannabe murder-suiciders.
But there's no accounting for tastes.
Of course AQ CHIC has glossy pics of UBL himself, in a sort of saintly, contemplative pose, looking like a Mexican image of Jesus. They look ready to be posted on the walls of some college kid's dorm room. Like old Che Guevara and Mao Zedong posters.
The commodification of AQ may be a good thing. Warner Brothers used to have a funny "Pancho Vanilla" cartoon character. But in real life Pancho Villa used to be one scary hombre, only a generation before. Pancho Vanilla started out as a face on a Wanted Dead or Alive poster.
Some gaggle of fat Saudi billionaires are presumably funding AQ CHIC, unless it's a CIA front to pull in sucker names for their giant database.
But have they considered the marketing potential? Whole generations of teenagers must be getting tired of low-slung torn jeans. Levi Strauss must be looking for a new line of expensive wear for high school kids.
I predict a rosy financial future for Terror Chic.
Obama could promote it as a new Green Jobs initiative.
After all, he might need a well-paying job in 2012.