Friday, November 16, 2007
It's that time of the year again when the editors of Time magazine deliberate on who would be its Person of the Year. Some of the names that have come up so far: Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Steve Jobs, Condoleeza Rice, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They're not going to give it to Ahmadinejad because, though the the Person of the Year title is given to one who had the most impact on the world (yes, world, not just America), they usually give it to someone who had a positive impact (like in 2001, when they gave it to Rudy Giuliani rather than to Osama Bin Laden). They're not going to give it to Al Gore, because they should probably have done that last year. They're not going to give it to Hillary; they'll probably wait till 2008. Last year, the distinction was given to "You." meaning us, for changing the internet through user-generated content through sites like YouTube and MySpace.
For this year, the editors of Time should consider giving the title Persons of the Year to ordinary folks who try to keep democracy alive wherever they are. I'm talking about the monks of Burma, and other demonstrators in countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, the Philippines, or wherever democracy is threatened by their own governments. I would also like to see the title given to the bloggers of the world, for tirelessly writing about things not usually covered by the media, and, especially those from places like China, the Middle East, and Africa, for fearlessly bringing to the world's attention unspeakable atrocities that their own governments try to hide. More than any other big personalities in the world, the common people, who usually only have the shirts on their back, a strong conviction (and an internet connection), without the support of influential friends and the machinery of a political party, deserve the world's praise and honor. It's about time.