Time Magazine announced their Person of the Year, and, after the standard self-promoted speculation, dodged the disappointment and/or controversy that usually surrounds their choice by simply not making one. Instead, they placed a flimsy mirror on the cover and announced the winner was little old ‘You’. Perhaps it is their hope that people will see themselves in the mirror and be pulled into an illusionary world where it really is them, personally, who is the Person of the Year. Perhaps for that cookie recipe that all the neighbors love so much. Or that man they gave that quarter to on that street corner that one day. Or that amazing blog they write that it seems a few people are really starting to read.
This mirror thing is an old trick. I think the first person to ever use it was Mister Rogers, in his book, You Are Special. Seriously you Time-Warner-AOL-Turner-Best-Music-of-the-Seventies people, if there’s one dude you shouldn’t rip off without credit, it’s the eternally beloved Mister Rogers (who never once tried to assault the public with offenses like The Nativity Story or Snakes on a Plane.)
Even worse, the photos Time Magazine choose to represent “you” feels a lot more like a cheap knock-off of the iPod ad campaign than any general public I’ve ever seen. They did sneak in one person over forty, probably some sort of homage to the people who once read that now-useless magazine.
Anyway, I think next time they should go all the way and offer custom covers to everyone.
I bet someone’s getting fired right now for not thinking of that.