It's time once again to make way for Time magazine's Time 100, their annual list of "The World's Most Influential People." The importance of this list cannot be overstated: it's the one thing Time Magazine does each year that guarantees that they will share cocktails with a few influential people.
Big question! Did Barack Obama make the list? YES, OF COURSE. Part of Time's whole business plan is the Franklin Mint-ization of President Obama. Had this been a list of influential left-handed toreadors, they would shoehorned him on there somehow. Obama is profiled by Gordon Brown, who really, really likes him:
Of course, his oratory is today unmatched. But his courage -- the courage to go first, to lead, where none have gone before -- is doubly unmatched.
Time includes the "Fast fact" that "the hoops-loving President installed a backboard on the White House tennis court." So, one day, the world shall learn that Obama's prowess on the basket-racket court is QUADRUPLY UNMATCHED.
Awesomely, Gordon Brown gets to be profiled by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, because when one thinks of Gordon Brown, the word that comes to mind is "magical," or "Accio, DVD Collection with the correct encoding!":
I know him as affable, funny and gregarious, a great listener, a kind and loyal friend. These are strange and turbulent times, but issues of fairness, equality and protection of the poor have never been more important. I still want Gordon Brown in charge.
Time's self-selected highlights include Madeleine Albright discussing Hillary Clinton from the point of view of the U.S. State Department, Conrad Black opining on Boris Johnson from jail, and Ann Coulter holding forth on Sarah Palin from their Headquarters at the NO MCCAINS CLUBHOUSE.
Also worth noting:
-- Tim Geithner, who's never built anything, so far as I know, is listed under "Builders and Titans." His loyal opposition, Nouriel Roubini and Paul Krugman, at least get credit for being "Thinkers."
-- Rush Limbaugh is listed as an entertainer.
-- If I count Elizabeth Diller (who shares an entry with Ricardo Scofidio), and The View, each as one, the list includes twenty-nine women.
-- Bernie Madoff is also listed as a "Builder & Titan."
-- Plenty of people will grouse at who's been included on the "Heroes and Icons" list. That's the point of listicles, to foment grousing. Still, I think Chesley B. Sullenberger belonged on a list entitled: "Seriously, this guy's a hero."
-- M.I.A. makes the list for teaching every hipster in America to dance to "Paper Planes."
One last thing! The press release for the list very helpfully points out one person who did not make the list: "note that while Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are included on the list, John McCain is not."
Seems a little gratuitous!