They like You, they really like You
Critiquing Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" choice has been an annual sport since the feature began in 1927. Judging from its controversial choices, it's obviously not a popularity contest: 1938's winner was Adolph Hitler and 1939's was Joseph Stalin; Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini won in 1979. But this year's "person" may be the magazine's most controversial choice yet -- partly because, in this humble blog's occasionally-esteemed opinion, it's a total cop-out.
The winner? "You." As in the "You" of YouTube and the implied "You" of MySpace, Wikipedia and all the social networking/"You"-ser generated content sites that have transformed the internet in the past year or so.
"It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes," says Time magazine's Lev Grossman. "It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter."
Time's criteria for choosing their annual person (or "person," in this case) is that "who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill." So, hmm -- under those criteria, perhaps "You" could be considered a legitimate contender. But really, in a year so filled with horrible, world-rocking tragedies, they picked ... the internet?