THIS IS HOW it hap­pens now: Someone com­mits a crime, and everyone turns to his Face­book page, hoping to glimpse his inner thoughts. And there, on the public page of Kevin Edson — who allegedly put a rice cooker in a back­pack, then placed it near the Marathon finish line — was that familiar photo of Dzhokhar Tsar­naev, staring out from behind tou­sled hair, with an off-​​color joke for a caption.

Here was the inspi­ra­tion for what Edson, who report­edly suf­fers from mental ill­ness, described as an ill-​​advised piece of per­for­mance art. And it’s hard not to see Edson’s act, in part, as the byproduct of pop­ular fas­ci­na­tion with Tsar­naev — a reason some believe we should pub­licly ignore the accused bomber alto­gether, and con­cen­trate instead on the city and survivors.

For the most part, here in Boston, we’ve struck the right bal­ance. Tuesday’s memo­rial tribute, beau­ti­fully done, was focused on hope and resilience. Unless I missed some­thing, I didn’t hear Tsarnaev’s name at all.

And yet it has come up, inevitably, in the past year and the past week. Last weekend, Adri­anne Haslet-​​Davis, who lost a leg in the Marathon attacks, backed out of an appear­ance on “Meet the Press,” after pro­ducers wouldn’t promise to keep his name out of the broadcast.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →