The Hater: Time’s Person of the Year is neither, discuss

In Time’s yearly last-ditch effort to sell something called a magazine, the venerable weekly’s editors named the protester Person of the Year.  Was Ryan Gosling not available?

Okay, whatever: Protesters from Athens to Zuccotti Park made their voices heard and totally fierced their dissent against undemocratic dictators and insidious market forces. So, you know, go them, with their posters, hashtags, chants, and artfully arranged scarves!

But it’s hard to take Time seriously when the magazine is lumping protesters who actually lived under cruel dictatorships with a girl with a job whose best explanation for joining the Occupy protest was because “it really spoke to me.” Deep.

And Time editor people? If you’re going to cheap out and not name a person—like you did in 1982 when you named some dumb computer “machine of the year” instead of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, totally making him cry, which is mean—just give up, okay?

What you did, Time, was akin to going to Chili’s, having the option of ordering one complimentary side, but instead got like, five sides (with three of them being those gooey cinnamon apples) at an additional cost. It’s tasty and easy, but it’s bad for your long-term health.

The Atlantic’s Dashiell Bennett put it best: “By not picking any one individual, they’ve basically chosen no one.” It’s fun when really old magazines fight!

It also doesn’t help that Time’s Person of the Year picture looks like a promotion shot for HBO’s How to Make it in America. Time’s photo just needs actress Lake Bell twirling in a polka dot dress. Add a scarf and I couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

A Daily Dot-approved Person of the Year would have been Aliaa Elmahdy, or the “Facebook nude revolutionary pics,” as our Google searchers know her. Elmahdy posted naked photos of herself as a protest against Egypt’s conservative mores, causing an uproar there for her scandalous actions. In America, this would just be another post on, but good on her for telling her neighbors that nude photos aren’t the end of the world.

However, I’ll stop with the cheap hits since Time has conveniently done that for me (next time you want to present a list of tweets, guys, try this thing called Storify, it’s really handy). Forthwith, the Hater’s person of the year.

For a second, I thought about naming memes the person of the year. And then I wallowed in a deep pit of self-loathing.

Then I got better!

Kreayshawn, Gosling, and Tim Tebow all seem like decent options—if you’re a stereotypical Tumblr user, that is. But my person of year is …
Rebecca Black.

The bat-mitzvah gift that keeps on giving, Black’s fame is disturbingly hard to laugh at. Yep, “Friday” was atrocious and her voice deserves its own space in Auto-Tune hell, but she has made it!

Her song ranked in the top of 50 of Billboard’s social chart, has more than 550,000 Twitter followers, and was the subject of a glossy New York Magazine profile. Worstbest of all—don’t tell me “worstbest” is not a word, it totally is—there’s no denying you know who she is. In a world flooded with black-haired Jewish girls with questionable bangs, that itself is an accomplishment.

So, Ms. Black, you’re our Person of the Year. Mazels!

Jordan Valinsky

Jordan Valinsky

A former editorial operations specialist and staff writer for the Daily Dot, Jordan Valinsky is a tech reporter and web culture commentator. His work has been published by the Week, Digiday, CNNMoney, Popular Mechanics, Vice, Mic, and Betabeat.