Joe Lavin

December 19, 2006

Runners-up of the Year

In case you haven't heard, Time Magazine has chosen its Person of the Year, and the winner is you. Apparently, you've been chosen "for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, [and] for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game." In short, you uploaded tons of video to YouTube, and Time has taken notice. And there you just thought you were goofing off all this time. Next time, your boss catches you on YouTube, be sure to show him this issue.

Since the announcement, Time has gotten a lot of criticism for the choice. Honestly, I think we all liked it better when they used to choose a person, who was, you know, the most important person of the year. In some ways, this may be the lamest choice since 1966, when Time gave the award to "the generation twenty-five and under" in a blatant attempt to improve the demographics of its readers. Then again, I don't want to be too harsh. It's never easy when you have a great list of candidates and just can't narrow the field down to less than six million.

Despite your relative merits, I'm sorry to say that there were many better candidates out there. Here then is a look at some other candidates who might be a little more deserving than you.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

This was going to be Time's choice, if they had gone with an actual person. He's not exactly a popular choice, but his recent confrontations with the United States have certainly made it more likely that the two nations could end up at war sometime soon.

Pro Fears that he might be developing nuclear weapons, coupled with Iran's position in the Middle East, could galvanize the world into action.
Con Has not uploaded nearly enough YouTube content to qualify.


The video blog of this 15-year-old Internet sensation has been downloaded over 24 million times on YouTube. Furthermore, her stubborn plea for the right to enrich uranium in her bedroom has led to worldwide fears that a teenage girl might one day develop nuclear weapons.

Pro Looked kind of hot in a moody sort of way
Con Is 15. Also completely fictional.

Senator John Kerry

His quick-witted humor and excellent comedic timing led the Democrats to a resounding victory in the mid-term elections. Watch out for him in 2008, and I mean watch out.

Pro Already working on new material.
Con Is still John Kerry.

Senator Ted Stevens

Speaking of Senators, there is also Ted Stevens of Alaska. Those who have long worried that the Internet might be a big truck were relieved this summer when Senator Stevens revealed that the Internet is not. As he explained, "The Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes." You know, sort of like those pneumatic tubes of his youth.

Pro - Thanks to Senator Stevens, millions of Americans previously afraid of the Internet, decided to give it a try when they realized that the chairman of the Senate committee in charge of regulating the Internet knew even less about it than they did.
Con Senator who?


Well, what the hell. Why not give him the award again? He's done no more or less this year than he did last year to win it.

Pro Would look really cool on the cover. Seriously, we love the shades.
Con Second consecutive victory could conceivably go to his head.

The California Traffic Cop

Between enduring a litany of abuse from Mel Gibson and having to be careful not to accidentally snap Nicole Ritchie in half while putting her in the cruiser, it has been quite a year for the California Traffic Cop, who has made almost daily appearances in the tabloids. Without him or her (or her sweet anatomy), where would the 24-hour news cycle be?

A special shout-out also goes to the celebrity chauffeurs who had an amazing effect just by not being there to do their jobs. Could somebody please give these celebrities a ride, especially 5'1", 85-pound Nicole Ritchie? At that weight, she may well be the first adult who can blow past 0.08% on the blood-alcohol scale just by inhaling second-hand liquor fumes. For her, a chauffeur should be a permanent accessory. Thankfully, the California Traffic Cop was there to keep her and all the other drunk celebrities in check.

Pro: Single-handedly made California a safer place
Con: Couldn't do anything about Michael Richards.

©2006 Joe Lavin

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