Time for a rant!
Today, Time Magazine
named “The Protester” as their Person
of the Year.
Since 2000, the person of the year has five times not been
a person, but an idea: The Whistleblowers (2001), The American Soldier
(2003), The Good Samaritans (2005), “You” (2006, let’s not even begin to
discuss how useless this choice was), and now the generic protestor in 2011.
Compare this to the 73 years before 2000 (the first
recipient, in 1927: Charles Lindbergh). In this time, there were only 10 generic
choices (nine if you count the Apollo 8 astronauts as a non-generic choice). So,
that is 5/10 in the last decade, and 15/83 in total—a clear trend toward
I can’t help but think this is the reason Time keeps getting skinnier and skinnier
and less and less relevant. People like boldness. Boldness has meaning. Naming ‘The
Protester” as the Person of the Year is the opposite of bold. If you want to
honor/signify the importance of the recent democratic uprisings, do so with
boldness: name Mohamed
Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor whose self-immolation started the
whole thing, as your Person. Don’t cop out and try to satisfy everyone by being