Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What An Honor

I feel so...important.

Never has such an honor been bestowed upon me, so I'm not sure what the proper etiquette is here. (except to look up the word "etiquette" and make sure I spell it correctly, with only one double-t pair, and not two.)

I've been named TIME Magazine's Person of the Year. I don't know what to say.

All of you reading this should start practicing your shocked-and-awed expressions as well, because you've been given the same award.


Yes, you. And you.
And you and you.
And you, too.


The idea behind naming
several hundred million

people as the
"person" of the year
is to give us all credit

for changing and
controlling and manipulating
the Information Age.

Through blogs and

YouTube and MySpace
and breaking news
video clips. And more.

Joe and Josephine Average are being heralded as the ones that can make important news travel fast. And I don't disagree with that.

But out of more than 800 readers who wrote in to voice their opinions after the issue was published, nearly half of them called it a cop-out. And I don't disagree with that, either.

While it's a remarkable thing that's happening to Web 2.0, as it's being coined, surely there could have been an individual more deserving than bloggers or amateur videographers. Were you to press me for a specific example or two, I'd ashamedly have a blank expression. (Britney Spears, perhaps? Oh, wait. She's up for Mother of the Year. Sorry...got those two confused for a minute.)

My point is, in the past it's been given to presidents or queens or popes. The entire list, dating back to its inception in 1927, can be found here. Do I deserve to be among them simply because I ramble on a blog? Or because I read a handful of them regularly?

This isn't the first year that TIME has chosen a group rather than an individual. Past winners have also been Hungarian Freedom Fighters, U.S. scientists, Middle-Americans, and American Women, to name a few.

In 1982, the computer was the first object to be named Person of the Year.

And here we are a quarter century later, taking that object, coupled with Al Gore's magnificent invention, and winning awards ourselves.

I would stand up and take a bow, but it just doesn't feel right.

A couple dozen respondents took this honor in the spirit it was intended, and jokingly said they were going to put it on their résumé. (at least...I hope they were joking.)

Seeing as how TIME got 800 responses to its selection, and how I've got about 800 readers...OK, eight. (or two.)...it'd be fun to hear from all (both) of you on this topic. Do you think it was a good choice? Or a cop-out? And if not you.........then who? Who else deserved recognition in 2006?

I expect my opinion to be in the minority on this one. We'll see.

— • — • —

Side note: The actual cover of the magazine didn't have the word "You." printed on the monitor's screen, but instead had a piece of reflective Mylar in its place, so that when you looked at the magazine, you saw...you. Thing is, that Mylar stuff usually has a few wrinkles and flaws, and when I look at the cover I see what amounts to be a flesh-colored traffic cone shape with eyeglasses and a two-day scruff.

The people at TIME found a Mylar supplier in Minnesota and made them sign a confidentiality agreement before going ahead with the order, so as not to leak who the Person of the Year would be until the magazine was in the mail or on newsstands. Then they placed an order for 6,965,000 pieces of Mylar.

That's a lot of yous.


"It's been my policy to view the Internet
not as an "information highway," but as
an electronic asylum filled with
babbling loonies."
—Mike Royko


"I imagine most stuff
on the information highway
is just roadkill anyway."
—John Updike

3 comments:

  1. Well...The spirit of this years TIME "Person of the Year" was probably well intended. Was it a cop-out? Absolutely.

    That being said, my ego is fragile enough and my pride been damaged enough to gratefully accept this honor. I'm actually gloating.

    Now...Is there an award's ceremony? Do I have to rent a tux? What exactly is the protocol for a such a noble achievement...I'm so excited! Hooray for me!

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  2. Yes, Brad. Hooray for you. Good job.

    I heard there'll be a banquet at the Bil-Mar sometime in March or April. (biggest crowd they'll ever serve.)

    You can go black-tie if you wish, but I'm wearing board shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. So one of us will be very out of place.

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  3. Oh man, I am so there. Someone once told me that she expected to see me on TV someday, talking about my blog. I assumed it would be on the courthouse steps, defending myself over my entry on Mr. Wood. But now, it could be for this!

    I'd like to thank my wife, my kids, my many readers, and of course my wonderful memory for storing all these memories. And a final thank you goes out to blogger.com (which is owned by google.com) for allowing me to store my mind on the useless information super highway.

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