Time has announced that Pope Francis has beat out nine other finalists to win Time’s Person of the Year. Now before social media wannabe Christopher Hitchenses being dissecting this in the comment section this is NOT to discuss the choice of the Pope, though I think it is a fine choice. After all the criteria for Person of the Year is that it is “bestowed by the editors on the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year. ” This is why I will always consider it illegitimate when they snubbed Osama Bin Laden in 2001 in favor for the more politically correct Rudy Giuliani. “What else do I have to do?!” bin Laden was heard yelling from a cave in December 2001. But by that criteria, the Pope is a respectable choice. I was disappointed to not see any of my finalists for J-L’s person of the year on the Time list (Bryan Cranston, Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey, the brunette in the Blurred Lines video and the guy who made the unedited Blurred Lines video), but c’est la vie.
However, I think in this day and age of insignificant, on-line life we need to adapt the Time formula and pick an anti-person of the year as well. This does not necessarily mean an inanimate object or non-human, nor someone who is explicitly a misanthrope (though I am potentially a candidate). It means the person, entity, organization or anything else who/that made life a little more useless and insignificant, but did so in an incredibly exhaustive and ubiquitous way. My nominees are:
- Upworthy.com – “A website makes dozens of headlines intended to awe and inspire you, but the ceaseless repetition and posting of these stories will shock you with how much they irritate you.”
- Kanye West – he is a tough one to put on the list because he still works and produces music, but when a fake website can post that you said you were the next Mandela and most people believe it, you have to be up for this dishonor
- Buzzfeed.com – when you mix prime numbers, lists and unimportant information about things both important and unimportant you have shoot to the top of the list. If Lean on Me took place in 2013 instead of the 1980s, Joe Clark would be screaming at Sams “You like Buzzfeed don’t ya. You know what it does? It kills your brain cells son!”
- Statefarm’s Discount Double Check Slogan/Ad Campaign – a constant presence during broadcasts of America’s #1 sport. It is destroying comedy, Sundays and Aaron Rodger’s Q rating.
- New York professional sports – it was bad enough Boston tried to steal NYC’s 9/11 tragedy thunder with an under-10-death marathon tragedy, but now NY sports teams have basically become a second rate Midwestern town in terms of success compared to Boston. That is a lot of failure in America’s #1 media market.
- Instantaneous jokes about dead celebrities. These are everywhere, though rarely funny. The quickest joke became more important than the best joke. Just when social media couldn’t cheapen the cost of comedy anymore, leave it to the Internet to cheapen the value of the joke a little bit extra.
- Knockout Game – from the kids that play it, to the media that paints an exaggerated and fear-mongering picture of it, to the Internet posts full of barely veiled racism, it represents a nice symbolic cross section of what ails America.
- Ron Burgundy – seriously go away. The sequel is not even out yet and I am bored of all the promotions.
- Texting while walking – seriously, not since the outbreak of AIDS have so many been so silent about something so awful. When the book And The Cu*t Walked On is made about the early fight against rude people walking while buried in their phones, implicitly demanding that more conscientious citizens make way for them, I expect to be featured as an early hero.
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