Time, Please Define “Mattered”

Ken AshfordPolls, Popular CultureLeave a Comment

It's that time of year when Time magazine comes out with its "Person of The Year" accolade, usually to much guffawing and consternation.  And to be honest, the Time award thing really has gone downhill since I won it in 2006.

So Time chose Ben Bernake this year, which is a fine choice, to the extent that he embodies the whole economic crisis thing.  Sure a hell of a lot better than any of the four runners-up, which included — for real — Usain Bolt.

So I won't take issue with Bernake.  What truly struck me was the list that Time compiled of the 25 "People Who Mattered" in 2009.  I have no idea what makes Time think some of these people "mattered".  I'm talking about Adam Lambert, "The Twitter Guys", John and Kate Gosselin, Jay Leno and David Letterman, Taylor Swift, among others.  I mean, I can give a pass to Glenn Beck — I guess he "mattered" in these sense that he weighed heavily in the national dialogue, albeit in a destructive and silly way.  But those others?  Really?

Fortunately, Time readers seem to have a better bead on what "matters", more so than the Time editors.