I am no fan of the Time-Warner empire. I cannot think of one product they sell that is worth even a fraction of its cost.
Historical significance is placed on Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" edition, when they often focus on the person/people (or in recent decades, phenomena) that have had a major impact on the citizenry of the world in the previous year.
With the advent of the Internet, marketing directly to our tastes and desires has become as easy as pie. Issue a non-scientific poll and respond to people's basest whim: their need to be sated now. (Unless the non-scientific results conflict with the company's markting plan.)
In an online poll I mentioned previously, Time asked us to consider a number of people, the US President, the YouTube guys, Al Gore, Condoleeza Rice, Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nancy Pelosi, and Hugo Chavez.
I voted. Did you?
The hands-down winner was Hugo Chavez with 35% of the vote.
Considering his impact on the people of the Western Hemisphere, all of which has been a hugely positive impact (even if you disagree with him), it makes sense that we would vote for him.
Chavez has taken every thing good about business and government and is blending a hybrid government where oil profits fund societal needs, and there is plenty of profiteering left over for the rich.
America fundamentalists hate him for it.
His beneficence, which resembles that of all successful leaders of the New World (Western Hemisphere) in all of history, is so American that it out-Americans the United States!
The government programs instituted in the United States in the mid-20th century are the model being used by Chavez to raise his nation out of the wilderness and into the vanguard. His ideas are very much like those of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, and others during their tenures as world leaders.
Those American presidents are now laughed-at as relics of a simpler time, whose ideas of social engineering failed. In reality, their societal models were the most successful in the history of mankind. The deconstruction (destruction?) of America by every president since Carter has left us decades behind in innovation, education, and health care. The fundamentalist notions that the government is bad and business is good was proven wrong between 1910 and 1929, and our second-wave of it over the past 26 years only further illuminates the failures and destructiveness of unbridled capitalism and the need and success of regulation. The marriage of American government and American industry through the mid-20th Century was the envy of the world, and made us the most powerful and important nation in the world. Boy, I miss being the most powerful and important nation in the world.
American business and American society both flourished under New Deal regulation, and our slow but steady move away from those important laws have left us with nothing much to brag about. In fact, we lag behind the rest of the first world, and some of the developing world, in important areas like eduction and health care.
Hugo Chavez' nation continues to climb the ladder of world leadership and innovation.
But, as usual . . . I digress . . .
Time Magazine unveiled their "Person of the Year" award this week, and the winner is me. And you. And you. And you. They couldn't come up with one individual who was deserving of the honor, so they gave it to everyone.
I believe they could not stand to give it to Chavez, because of his pro-societal leanings (which translates to being anti-Time-Life). Time Magazine knows we are stupid and we will think it's wonderful that they gave their honor to the regular Joe: me and you, and we will forget all abut Hugo Chavez for a moment
Hugo Chavez is the most important person of 2006, and no increase in the number of bloggers will take that away from him.
What a load of tripe!