Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Getting Even with TIME

Those who may have had a “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment” over this morning’s announcement of Mark Zuckerberg as Time’s Person of the Year may find a bit more substance in this morning’s London Telegraph.  While I continue to be aggravated by this obsession with rank-ordering just about anything on the basis of quality (as in our obsession with the “Big Five” American orchestras, and not just because San Francisco did not make that cut), I felt obliged to scan the Telegraph’s list “Top 10 men and women of 2010.”  I took a bit of comfort in Zuckerberg’s absence from this article.  Indeed, while I may not have agreed with all of the selections, I found far more grounds for substance among those twenty names than I have ever been able to associate with Facebook, since, as we all know, earning power has nothing to do with such substance.  On the other hand I cannot really claim any surprise at Time’s selection.  After all, their Person of the Year issue for 2006 featured a mirror on the cover, in the middle of which was the world “You!”  I suppose that the best coverage I have encountered so far came this morning on the BBC World Service.  After announcing the selection the news reader ran through a few names of past individuals to be so honored by Time.  The first name on that list was Joseph Stalin.  Was the BBC trying to tell us something about the connection between the extremes of capitalism and those of totalitarianism?  Enquiring minds want to know!

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