Time Magazine and You

I just chanced to see the cover of Time magazine at a check-out stand. I’d read about their dubious Person of the Year end-run: it was us, I mean, you. The cover was as I had read about it online, a picture of a computer monitor, over a keyboard, the screen reflecting back whoever had picked up the magazine. Person of the year: You. It stated. Because “You control the Information Age.” I would add one other caption: joke’s on You.

Why didn’t anyone tell me Time’s reflective screen was framed with web-video controls? That’s not the frame of a flat-screen monitor, that’s the frame of a YouTube video! Everyone thought Time was awarding 2006 to the you’s of the blogosphere. They’re commemorating the internet incarnation of America’s Funniest Videos! You, Buffoon! You, Stupid Pet Trick!

I’m as excited as the next about the potential of YouTube, but I think it would be too early to say that someone on a YouTube video has yet merited Person of the Year. The history of dance guy? Congressman “Macaca?” Borat and his trailers?

Time’s hat tip was interpreted as having addressed the internet’s new talking heads, the bloggers. That too I think would be decidedly premature. The tsunami of web public opinion is a phenom no doubt, and Time and its ilk could take more notice, but Person of the Year, that’s false praise for the immodest. And Time has clocked us there, bloggers are self-gloried public diarists.

Time gives it away with their big lie, telling us you control the information age, just as the telecommunications giants have succeeded in legislating a tighter rein. Bloggers and YouTubers are the torrent of information, yes. Time and Co hold the controls.

3 thoughts on “Time Magazine and You

  1. AvatarJonah

    I saw a Nazi youTube streamer on some site or another. They were saying that immigration, specifically non-white and Muslim immigration, was taking away the cultural glue that held European societies together for centuries… WTF? do these clowns not remember hearing about 2 world WARS fought for the same nationalistic fantasies?

    Not only loose on more recent European history, they showed a time-line montage of the map of Europe, UNCHANGED since the 13th century. One that made me laugh out loud was the map of Spain. In the mid 1200s yeah the many kingdoms that made up what is now Spain, all proudly shown as the same culture and same borders as 800 years ago.

    Portugal, Italy, Germany which wasn’t united as one country until the 1880s. Switzerland and Belgium which was part of a french kingdom and split along with Holland and Luxembourg between the Normans and the Austrians, Poland with the modern borders…

    But, yeah it’s powerful. For you can talk back in chat, it’s interactive. You can make your own blog, it’s proactive. But, as Aldous Huxley pointed out, TeeVee isn’t even reactive, it is totally passive and the ultimate brainwashing tool. It engages optic concentration and aural concentration, paced at whatever speed is imposed on you by the unfolding of the video/storyline. Add to it that the viewer is probably indulging in his Drug of choice, like caffeine, alcohol, carbohydrate rich foods, whatever… And almost entirely sedentary, man it’s hypnosis at it’s quickest.

    Next thing you know they’ll be watching Fox network shows and laughing uncontrollably at the antics of our friend Smiling Bob.

    Scary, ain’t it?

  2. AvatarTony Logan

    Time is an idiotic magazine with idiotic politics for idiotic people. But choosing YOU as the 2006 Time Man of the Year is their most idiotic selection for that award yet. What have YOU done to earn that award? Basically nothing.

    In 1988 Time chose ENDANGERED EARTH as their Man of the year. They should have re-rewarded the award to ENDANGERED EARTH, rather than give it to YOU for 2006.

    And in 1982, THE COMPUTER got their award. An inanimate object named Man of the Year. Well, the Time editors missed the boat this year with giving YOU the award instead of another inanimate object, the IED (improvised explosive device).

    Still, the IED seems guaranteed to pull it off for 2007. Or maybe Time will name a joint winner then? The IED and George W. Bush….. Men of the Year-2007!

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