Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Person of the Year - Declined

I'm honoured, really, and I thank everyone who nominated me for this award. I'd like to thank my mother, who was always there for me, my agent and, of course, the Lord, for making me the man I am.

But, with some regret, I'm afraid I must decline Time's nomination of Me as Person of the Year.

I never thought I'd ever feel the need to decline an award. There aren't very many awards, in general, about which I feel so negatively that I'd find it incumbent upon myself to decline them on principle. Since I'm not in line for any knighthoods, I rather assumed the subject would never come up.

First of all, the award is really lame. As cool as all of those youtube.com videos are, I don't think anyone deserves an award for putting content on the Internet. This would be akin to offering every lunatic on the street an award for drooling and hurling invective at passers by. Entertaining? Possibly. Award-winning? Doubtful. I think the threshold for distinction ought to be somewhere a bit beyond "making noise in public".

On to point number two. The mainstream media being as it is, I prefer any number of alternative sources for my news. I also appreciate the power of all of those miniature video cameras out there, showing when the LAPD taser down their latest minority. But really, have all those in the alternative media, all of those bloggers and indies, really managed to affect mainstream opinion in any significant way? What percentage of Americans still think WMD were found in Iraq? What percentage still think Saddam had anything to do with Al Qaida and 9/11? What percentage of Canadians even know that we knocked over a democratic government in Haiti or that the lion's share of our money spent in Afghanistan is spent on destruction rather than construction?

I don't think "we" deserve such an award when we're so clearly failing to reach the public with such simple facts.

The third point is the simplest. Though the people at Time are the ultimate arbiters of who receives their award, it's supposed to go to the single person who has the largest affect on the news. To pretend that all those bloggers out there had more impact on Time Magazine's coverage than Bush, Rumsfeld, Bin Laden or any number of other people is pure pandering.

So, on two counts of "lame" and one count of "not good enough", I'm afraid I must decline Time Magazine's nomination as Person of the Year.

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1 comment:

Trev said...

Let's not forget that TIME gave the US Military the POTY award for 2003.

So the idea of using this "honour" as a way to stroke-off it's readers sense of self-worth isn't even new - just sorta pathetic.
They've now turned the whole thing into the "Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence", to distract us all from our own fucking collective impotence.

On the topic of YouTube - Time also named that it's invention of the year. Although much of YouTube makes me shudder, I get the significance of it as an invention much more so than the significance of the assorted dough-heads posting their videos on it.

Inventing the printing press - noteworthy.
Simply figuring out how to use the printing press - not so much.

Happy Festivus, L. Greg.