SILICON VALLEY — Facebook, the third largest country on planet earth, eclipsed a sizeable number of groups and became TIME‘s Person of the Year–2010.
Well, ok, ok —the site didn’t technically win, but its owner, Zuckerberg did win. And that gives the world’s newly honored ‘F’ word its 800# gorilla world status. Or whatever the 600+ million person equivalent weight of this gorilla is.
I find it’s abnormal, even highly irregular, for TIME to engage in confusing, in the slightest, the true meanings of “person” and “group”, but they’ve compounded this confusion in 2010. The mag seriously considered the Tea Party (#2) and the Chilean Miners (#5) bookending Karzai(#3) and Assange(#4) as part of the top five contenders for “POTY” status. Both these groups are more than a single person – there were 30-some miners and possibly upwards of a thousand or so teabaggers. But who’s counting?
This adds up to serious trouble in the world of journalism. Word meanings are supposed to be king. A group can’t be titled a person. Heads will roll. But…
TIME, not satisfied with only a small confusion, presented the rest of their list of “people who mattered”. These are TIME’s 2010 also-rans (losers) who couldn’t somehow come up with the editorial votes to make the top 5 POTY list. This I call my “B-List-status group”.
Top B-Listers are the always-nominated Boehners, Baracks, Bernankes, Benjamins, Benedicts, Bullocks and Becks. Then there come this year’s add-ons: the al-Awlakis, al-Bashirs, al-Malikis, R-Gates, L-Gagas, and-so-ons of the world. This is where title confusion really gets its steam on: TIME presents the following groups as if they could be “POTY” wannabees.
The entire cast of Glee; The full situation of Jersey Shore; The pro-homo Lawyer Team of Boies and Olson; even Comedy Central’s Compilation of Stewart and Colbert (with his so affected silent ‘t’ French pronounciation).
TIME here proceeds to jump off the edge of the earth with these last groups wanting to be POTY: The Unemployed Americans (9.8% of the working population); All The Winter Olympians; and All the World Cup Winners AND Losers (AND those millions of vuvuzelas)!
These are what I call TIME‘s “Kiss-ass Sub-POTY List”. Others may call it Guilt By Association. They see themselves listed on the same page with the real POTY and think, “Yes, I see that I am that person,” as they write their subscription payment checks.
Even Iceland’s volcano Eyjafjallajaakull made the list! I’d love to see that mailing label! Not to mention the poor postal guy who has to deliver it each week.