Bloggers balk at Time’s selection for “Person of the Year,” deliberate on the split of the Episcopal Church, and weigh in on an opera that depicts a decapitated Muhammad.
You’re it!: Time magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” issue hit newsstands today, declaring you the winner. That is, if you’re a content creator on the Internets. Hype-weary bloggers were largely unfazed by the award, despite being winners.
“That’s right—You, over there, with the face. … this has to rank as the most squishy, opportunistic pick ever,” New York-based gossip purveyor Gawker whines. “How long until some Yale undergrad lists this on his resume?” commentator ellagood quips in response. Pat Cleary at business blog ShopFloor will not be bringing out the bubbly tonight: “If this doesn’t shake your faith in every other cover story they do, we don’t know what will.”
Conservative Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters thinksTime missed the proverbial boat: “Eh. So this is the year for the great huddled masses? Wouldn’t that have been 1989, when the momentum of freedom and liberty felled an Evil Empire and tore down a wall in Berlin?” he asks. “The entire point of a Person of the Year is to acknowledge that some people play larger roles in history. Naming all of us may make us feel good about our anonymity, but in the end it’s either pandering to millions of readers or a refusal to take a stand on anyone. Choosing everyone is an abdication on the entire purpose of the project.”
Russell Shaw of the Huffington Post is irked: “To me this thinking is condescending, patronizing, marketing-driven hooey,” he opines. But Pajamas Media is not phased: “This must mark the ultimate in an orgy of diversity.”
Not everyone is upset by the award. Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine is pleased that content creators are finally being acknowledged. “[I]t’s wise of Time to pick many people. That’s the way the world really works. There are many worlds within our world and many leaders in them. So if Time were doing its job properly, it would highlight a million people of the year. But, of course, it can’t. The form doesn’t allow it. And the form is what led to massthink. But mass is over. And I see this as Time’s admission of that. And so for that, I applaud them.” Engineer Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard is earnest in his response. “Time … may be on to something whether they meant it to be so or not. The world is changing. One pixel at a time.”
Powerblogger Daniel Radosh finds humor in the Chrysler ads running alongside the feature: “Until a few hours ago, the folks at Chrysler’s ad agency, who of course would not know the content of the Time story until it appeared, must have been very happy with the clever campaign they’d devised: ‘You might not be Time Person of the Year. But you can drive like you are.’ ” He has screenshots.
Law professor and blogatrix Ann Althouse is already pleading for a moratorium on You jokes: “Do not—do not!—do not make the joke Time Magazine is trying to get you to make. Do not let them succeed in their attempt to use you—to use ‘you’—to go viral. And since you probably already did, please stop now. You dork!”
Episcopal schism?: Alarmed by the Episcopal Church’s increasing tolerance of homosexuality, seven Episcopal parishes in Virgina have moved to split from the rest of the American branch of the Anglican Church. Two north Virginia parishes hope to represent the more conservative Episcopal Church of Nigeria, whose head condones harsh punishments for homosexuals.
Casual Catharticism’s Michael Skena previously attended one of the churches in question: “As a member of The Falls Church and only a recent member of an Episcopal congregation, I feel saddened by this decision. I fully understand the deep theological divisions that exist between the Episcopal Church leadership and more conservative congregations. It is a difference that is not going to be resolved,” he writes.
Clark at DefCon Blog accuses the parishes of “rejecting progress:” “The news that a group of Episcopalian Virginia parishes have split with the U.S. church over its progressive (i.e. tolerant) position on homosexuals alone is incredibly disappointing, however the aggressively intolerant Episcopalian archbishop they have chosen to align themselves with is shocking.”
But at Zwinglius Redivivus, Baptist pastor Jim West supports the decision to split: “Behold, what wonders are wrought when wrong-headed bishops elect inappropriate candidates to Northeastern Bishoprics,” he writes.
Read more about the Episcopal split.
Severed heads and opera: In Berlin, Hans Neuenfels’ new interpretation of Mozart’s Idomeneo will include decapitated versions of Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, and Poseidon. Security will be accordingly tight, or, in modern parlance, “airport-style.”
Commenting at The Lede, Ray Hall is pleased Deutsche Opera stood its ground: “If the god of Islam is so timid and weak that mere mortals have the power to diminish his standing then he is indeed weak and unworthy of support.”
“I wonder if they will be serving ham sandwiches and danish blue cheese during the intermission?” Mr. Bingley jokes at the Coalition of the Swilling.
Read more about the latest interpretation of Mozart’s Idomeneo.