I have been trying to find a way to NOT say that Time magazine's Person of the Year selection for 2006 is not lame. But it is. Let me be the 400th person to diss You.
In case you missed it, the person of the year is You. I don't mean You. I mean, as Archie Bunker would put it, all of Yous.
Boy, is this the classic example of throwing in the towel on an old feature. Why didn't Time editors just can this stupid end-of-the-year nail-biter and acknowledge that, look, only geezers with a particular reverance toward Time have continued interest in the Person of the Year in the first place, so let's pack it in. (If Time had done that, it would have led to dozens of stories about how fragmented, powerless and unimportant the world's leaders and institutions have become that Time couldn't find anybody worth honoring. It woulda, coulda been a God Is Dead moment that might have been focused the world, or at least that portion that reads Time, to resolve to elect or become leaders who actually have something to contribute.)
Instead, Time has chosen exactly the opposite. I love this paragraph from its ode toYou, the Internet doodler:
"Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?
"The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, Time's Person of the Year for 2006 is you."
What kind of pros do they have at Time? I don't think a lot of what Time finds so fascinating about You's endeavors on the Internet exactly "beats" main-stream-media. It's just that MSM now finds it fashionable to beat itself up. To me, "You" sound like a really bad feature editor. You is a person with too much time on his or her hands. Sometimes You uses it for something creative, or provocative, so good for that part of You. So You has a hobby. But mostly, You wastes time (but Time loves You). You, I think, takes the Number 6 train and plays his iPod way too loud. You shouldn't take this award very seriously.
–By P.J. Bednarski