I think Time totally blundered here. If everyone is the person of the year, what are they going to do next year? Or any year after that?
Next year the person of the year is Tony Blair. You know what? I can tell him he sucks because he was person of the year after I was. Seriously. “Hey Tony, I was recognized as awesome long before you were.”
And what if Hillary gets elected and is selected as the 2008 person of the year? Big deal! So was her opponent, and that was two whole years ago.
There is nothing that totally invalidates the worth of any award if the specialness of the award is neutralized. It’s like a college degree. Imagine you have a B.S. in Physics. You’re pretty cool, right? Well, imagine if everyone, upon completing 3rd grade math, gets a B.S. in Physics. People would say, “You have a B.S. in Physics? Yeah, so do I, pal!” And they’d mean it!
Or suppose Nobel gave the Peace Prize to everyone on earth. Everyone gets 1/30th a cent or whatever it comes to. What of the Peace Prize winners after that? I’m a Nobel Laureate, just like Li Wang, the taxi driver in Hong Kong. What did we do for world peace? Well, we surfed the internet. And used an iPod. Yes, we are truly made in the form of Ghandi and Mother Theresa.
What am I going to do with my award? Lord it over everyone, of course. I’m a Person of the Year. I can put that on my tombstone, along with “processed oxygen” and “made out with Paris Hilton” (because at her current rate, statistically, everyone will have made out with Paris Hilton by the year 2060).
Update: I scooped this HotAir segment. Hah! I’m relevant! (granted, they scooped me before that, but trust me, I was thinking about writing this piece all weekend long while watching my kids).