Person of the Year (Part I)

Man of the Year

Person of the Year

     Time magazine recently selected Pope Francis as its “Person of the Year”. While this honor places him in the company of such lofty individuals as Churchill, Gandhi, MLK, and numerous American presidents, this honor has also been awarded to Hitler, Stalin (twice!), Khrushchev (twice!), and Deng Xiaoping (twice!). Among the candidates this year were Edward Snowden (a coward) and Miley Cyrus (numerous non-praiseworthy sobriquets applicable here). An unlikely trio of candidates, indeed! The publications says that their selections are based on which person makes the strongest impact (either positive or negative) on the world or culture.

     According to Wikipedia, after a huge outcry for its selection of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, Time modified its selection criteria to avoid selecting unpopular individuals which might affect their profitability. This is, perhaps, why Rudy Giuliani was selected in 2001 rather than Osama bin Laden and why Albert Einstein won over Hitler as the Person of the Century (1999).

     Time’s “Person of the Year” award is unimportant, when considered in the grand scheme of things however, by including for consideration persons who have little positive influence or worse, have negatively impacted society, Time indirectly provides a venue for the glorification of evil and downplays the value of the good: Good is boring and routine; evil is unexpected and exciting; an explosion will probably generate more interest that a Mozart symphony; we are inundated in ‘reality’ shows which highlight and showcase people at their worst. These are the stars of today and the role models for our children.

     Good doesn’t need evil because it is it’s own end. Evil requires good since its purpose is to destroy good.

     I hope that next year Time will further modify their selection criteria and consider only people who have positively impacted our world and disregard those who drag us into the mud. Our lives are filled with people we’d rather forget, let’s applaud and praise the few who are worth emulating.

 

I Got Ramblers On My Mind…

Rambler

As we hurtle willy-nilly towards the end of A.D. 2013 (or 2013 C.E. if the former offends you), I realize that a lot has happened since my last post:

I know that I previously promised to post more often but, as is often the case with me, procrastination and laziness won out. So, here are a few rambling thoughts on some of the events of 2013:

  • Boston won the World Series: Other than my hometown deadbeat Marlins (who were mathematically eliminated from the pennant race on Opening Day), there is no other team that I would’ve cheered for. Their WS success was due in large part to Señor Octubre – Big Pahpee!.
  • Paula Deen said the “N” word: Why is this news and more importantly, why does anyone cares?
  • Trayvon Martin: Not much to say about this tragedy except that, perhaps, George Zimmerman is a bigger douchebag than originally thought (according to more recent events).
  • The Miami Dolphins are bullies in the locker room but pussies on the field: Who’da thunk that an NFL offensive lineman would run home to mommy to complain that he was being ‘picked on’. I hope all the major TV networks dump the NFL and switch to coverage of the Lingerie Football League; it’s much easier on the eyes.
  • And the biggest story of the year, decade, century, millenium, EVER!: A 25 year – 300 page study conducted by a Spanish law professor has concluded that Jesus Christ received a legal trial in the Roman Court System (newspaper headline: “PILATE TO JC:GTFO“): I guess it is not surprising that it took so long to reach this conclusion when you consider that there are only 11 fully employed people in all of Spain and they all have 360 vacation days per year (plus 14 sick days and 75 holidays). Now that this question has been answered, the dedicated legal scholars of Universidad de Irrelevancia are undertaking and even more important question: Are Adam and Eve entitled to compensation for being evicted from the Garden of Eden? (Newspaper headline: “GOD TO A&E:GTFO”).

There were many notable and important figures that died in 2013. Here are a few that particularly grabbed my attention:

  • Annette Funicello: A very classy lady and one whom I had a serious crush on way back when.
  • Stan Musial: St. Louis Cardinal Hall-of-Famer who personified talent, style, grace, sportsmanship, and class. Little wonder he was known as “Stan the Man”.
  • Jonathan Winters: A man that was so funny, he rarely worked with a script; you just turned on the camera and let him go; think “Robin Williams on steroids”.
  • Ken Norton: One of the few boxers to administer an ‘ass-whuppin’ to Mohammad Ali in his prime.
  • Ray Manzarek: Without him, Jim Morrison would be another poet living under the pier at Venice Beach.
  • Alvin Lee: The heart of “Ten Years After”. Their album, “A Space in Time”, is one of my “desert island” albums.
  • Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap: Those of you who remember the Vietnam War will remember him; ’nuff said.
  • Marian McPartland: Another classy lady; I was always impressed with the wealth of melody in her piano improvisations.

Now, in advance of 2014, I’ve come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions which I hope I can keep, at least until Martin Luther King Day:

  • I pledge to be less cynical, and to be more trusting and forgiving of politicians when they ask for forgiveness for cheating on their wives, diddling little boys, diddling big boys, getting caught in their Klan or Nazi uniforms, etc.
  • I pledge to be more open-minded and trusting when B.O. says that his healthcare law is the best thing since the discovery of penicillin (which my new health plan probably won’t cover).
  • I promise not to snicker when Republican, Independent, Democrat Charlie Crist opens his mouth.
  • Finally, I promise not to ignore that Nigerian finance minister who’s been emailing me for the last 15 years about the millions of dollars (U.S.) that he’s been saving for me; in fact, I’m meeting him next week in Lagos.

‘Nuff said?…. ‘Nuff said!