Esquire runs glamorous (and tasteless) editorial on Uvalde

You almost can't believe it.

The spread opened with a blurry black-and-white photograph, evocative of Kurt Cobain or any other alternative rocker of the late '80s and early '90s.  It was edgy and possessed a distinctly grunge aesthetic.

What was the message?  That Matthew McConaughey is a thoughtful, altruistic, and deeply concerned humanitarian, so he's donning his activist hat and diving into politics to chip away at the only amendment that explicitly states, "Shall not be infringed."

The lede read:

Writing this story was hard. It's personal — for me, but more so for the victims and their families, who have paid the ultimate cost. Which is why I've hesitated to write it. Observing from the front lines, then sharing what I saw — it makes me feel a bit like a fraud. Am I trespassing? Sharing sacred secrets that are not my stories to tell? I hope not.

"From political outsider-cynic to insider broker on gun reform," the tragedy at Uvalde is clearly all about Matthew McConaughey.  At least he mentioned the victims and their families, but only after inserting himself.  Remember, it's "personal" for him.

The online edition of the story was full of images, but get this: they were all of Mr. McConaughey.  And you'll never believe it — they were trendy glamor shots!  Not a single picture that has anything to do with Uvalde!

In one, Matthew is chicly dressed all in black, confidently slouched in the perfect model pose while he manspreads in front of a cluttered bureau (hey, he's a down-to-earth normal guy like us plebs).  In the next, he casually sits on the slats of a bed frame with the mattress thrown off to the side, unbuttoned shirt exposing his bare chest, and an arm draped around a bent knee while he wistfully gazes (he's probably thinking about how sad Uvalde was, right?).  And to top it all off, the cover of the print magazine is shown: donning a linen suit you'd expect to see on James Bond as he went undercover in the Bahamas, McConaughey stands knee-deep in a lake of water, smoldering for the camera as he touches his shirt cuff.

You know, he actually did go to Uvalde — why couldn't they have shown that?  For the sake of optics, using dead schoolchildren and grieving families as an excuse to peacock for some in vogue modeling shots seems a bit over the top to me...

Aside from the ridiculousness of all that, there was a pinch of psychological warfare — language control and manipulation.  See below:

I also wrote an op-ed, 'It's Time to Act on Gun Responsibility,' in the Austin American-Statesman on the day we flew east. In it, I offered reasonable regulations that still protected 2A rights, and I proposed a new semantic framing of the issue: Instead of gun control, as it had been labeled, I maintained that the real matter in question was one of gun responsibility.

Well, maybe handing my weapons over to the government isn't such a bad thing!  After all, we've got a Hollywood actor telling us he's found the perfect solution!  One where people are safer, and my rights are still secure!

Too bad Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot didn't have McConaughey when they started to erode private ownership of firearms.  He's a propaganda whiz!

The article climaxes with McConaughey appearing in the briefing room of the White House, demanding action, while he clenched a school photograph of a young victim and wept.

Nothing like trusting a professional actor with an agenda when they start with the crocodile tears.  For someone who literally makes a living off fooling people, I'm not convinced.

How can a person with such an ego be so mind-numbingly unaware?  The editorial spread would make any normal person cringe.

Image: The White House, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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