Time’s Person of the Year: The Protester
From pro-democracy marches in Tunis to the college kids at Occupy Wall Street, the protester dominates the year, says Time magazine, which has named that species its person of the year.
In yet another blow to her ego, her career, to the core of her very being, Hollywood martyr Lindsay Lohan has not been named Time magazine's person of the year.
Time's annual honor, bestowed upon the man or woman who has done most to change our universe this year goes to The Protester, a poor term to designate the many men and women who have raised their voices against the forces of oppression around the world.
(Not to harp on it, but LiLo certainly has been much oppressed this year too!)
The magazine writes that protest movements, once a staple of the 1960s which saw powerful social changes instituted as a result of Civil Rights and anti-war protests in America, have been virtually unheard of over the last four decades.
Until this year, when hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Tunisia in December of last year calling for the ouster of corrupt dictator President Ben Ali.
"'Massive and effective street protest' was a global oxymoron," Time says in its new issue, "until — suddenly, shockingly — starting exactly a year ago, it became the defining trope of our times. And the protester once again became a maker of history."
Events in Tunis soon were followed by a wave of pro-democracy protests across north Africa and the Middle East, including Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.
The urge to stand up and fight against corruption was contagious: Other protests against government corruption and corporate malfeasance sprang up in Greece, Spain Russia, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Western Europe and North America also have been swept up in the tide with numerous "Occupy" sit-ins and demonstrations, beginning with Occupy Wall Street.
Time also names four runner-ups, Navy SEAL hero Adm. William McRaven, Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Britain's beloved new princess, Kate Middleton.
The magazine says tat like that other great British woman, Princess Diana, Kate finds herself in a powerful, if hazardous position.
"Kate has also been catapulted to relentless, inescapable celebrity," the mag says.
"She finds herself a role model whose most pressing task is to define the nature and meaning of the role. If she becomes as popular as Diana, her choices may help the monarchy thrive or bring it to its knees."
Previous Time persons of the year include Ben Bernanke (2009), Barack Obama (2008), Vladimir Putin (2007) and You (2006), as in all of us, though ostensibly in our non-protesting mode.
In a nice prophetic move, last year Time gave the honor to Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg, little knowing at the time that his invention and other forms of social media would enable protesters around the world to organize.