Home > daily complaint, pop culture > 2010 Man of the Year

2010 Man of the Year

I say part 1 because usually these things seem like such a good idea when before I set out to write them and then the process usually gets bogged down with a desperate attempt to be funny, which I’m just not. I guess I can do this pseudo-award style or something…I don’t know I really just brainstorm these things as I write them, anyway…here it goes.

How about an award for increasingly irrelevant award? I think this year should be the last year for Time Magazine’s Man of the Year thing. Seriously it’s getting to the point where they are just phoning it in. Let’s look at the last ten years, skipping their obligatory nod to the President of the United States upon his inauguration (so that means years 2000 & 2008 are out) and we can see a gradual dumbening with a few anomalies. It begins with Giuliani in 2001, good choice except that they totally pussied out on their original choice of Osama Bin Laden–who totally had a bigger impact on the world than the former Mayor did.*

Then you have the whistleblowers, these are the people that blew in the corporate swindlers of Enron, Worldcom, and Martha Steward for insider trading which led to the toppling of said companies. Except that only Enron truly collapsed, Worldcom was filed for the largest bankruptcy in US history, which was then promptly (in these matters anyway) broken by Lehman Brothers and WaMu only six years later. Worldcom was then awarded in 2004 a no-bid contract to build cellular phone networks in Iraq. Martha Stewart is still Martha Stewart, although unlike current celebrities at least she did her time you’ve gotta give her that. It’s not like any laws were changed on Wall Street that could’ve at least mitigated the financial mess we are in now. 2002, brought us a group of people who, although toppling successful and illegally run companies, didn’t change anything.

The American Soldier in 2003. They toppled the Taliban with the efficiency that we love in America. This is more of a sappy one than anything, I’m not going to discredit their desert here, but when Time gives this to a group it just feels lazy. The worst thing about this year’s winner was that the American Soldier was in for a world of hurt for the next several years. If only there was a news magazine that could have done better digging into either the existence of WMDs, the evidence thereof, or the war plan then that would have been a real award for the American Soldier.

2004: George W. Bush, no complaint for this one. It was his year, he toppled Baghdad and won re-election. This is the anomaly.

2005: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Bono. Being a fan of NPR even before everyone forgot about Juan Williams (remember him and your “outrage”) I have no complaint about the Gates being here. Someone needs to explain to me how or what it is that Bono actually does. Aside from releasing shitty albums and being a pompous jackass how is he important at all. At least Angelina Jolie actually gets kids out of impoverished countries.

2006: Me, or You depending on who is looking at the cover. It was a mirror and it was complete bullshit. Instead of talking about how we, the population changed the world, it was more of an excuse to write about web 2.0 (whatever that was) and social networking. See Myspace had been in the news again, and new site was ascending among college kids and marketing people were realizing that it was really cheap to make 1 million people aware of something by making a profile about whatever it was and then friending whoever they could. While this was socially important it wasn’t a person, it was only the illusion of a person.

2007: Putin, I’m just not seeing this. Putin has ruled Russia for over 20 decades or something, and Russia once the seat of organized crime and breadlines after the fall of Communism (and before too) was now back in the game. Economic recovery had finally turned the country around. The only trouble was that it was largely the surging price of oil that did it.

2008: Barack Obama, obligatory new president award. See 2000, 1992, 1980, 1976…with few exceptions a new US president is given the honor, usually upon election or their first year in office.

2009: Ben Bernake. He’s been overseeing our financial crises but not really doing anything to prevent it again. Thomas Jefferson once said that banks are more dangerous than a standing army but he does nothing to limit their power. I’m glad we are getting most of the money back from the Bush bailouts, but stop it again or else don’t nominate one your Wall Street buddies to be your replacement.

2010: Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook isn’t new, it’s not a new concept and it wasn’t new this year. In fact, it wasn’t new last year, it was invented in 2004, but didn’t really catch on till 2007. This was merely the year that a movie came out about it and the year your grandmother probably joined up. There will be something else to replace it just as it replaced Myspace which replaced Friendster. Way to catch up with the times, I would have suffered Steve Jobs in place of this one.

Don’t get all uppity about it, the award isn’t supposed to the best person that year but the most influential. Hitler has it once and Stalin twice.

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