The Time 100: Let’s pick replacements for their dumb list
Time Magazine has released its annual list of the world’s 100 Most Influential People. My boss made me read the whole stupid thing to find out how many Columbia alums are on it.
The selectees, drawn from across the globe, are described by the magazine as “the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.”
The good news is, Columbia alumni (of one stripe or another) make up a full 4% of the world’s most influential people! Our representatives are:
So that’s the good news. The bad news is, looking at all the names, it’s clear that this is not actually a list of the world’s most influential people. It is more like a list of 100 people you may or may not have ever heard of.
For the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at how other demographic groups fared.
Athletes: 6% of the list
Inventors of Spanx: 1%
These are the most influential people on the face of the earth? These are the people who “change our world?” There is a chef on this list! Maybe you’re thinking “Oh, it must be a really nice chef, like a chef who makes food for poor kids or something.” No.
It’s just a regular old chef who apparently makes a mean lasagna. Nowhere in these 100 names will you find the Dalai Lama or the Pope — but E.L. James, the author of an S&M romance novel that started out as TWILIGHT FAN FICTION, makes the cut. I am not making this up.
It’s worth noting that this list was influenced somewhat by online voting, but Time’s editors had the final say in all the choices. I repeat: we cannot blame the content of this list on Internet stupidity.
Any one of us — and I mean any one of us — could make the case that we are more influential than at least one of the selectees, and that we therefore deserve a spot on the list. In that spirit, I am going to suggest some nominees for Columbia’s most influential people in the world.
Because this would really be too easy, I challenged myself not to name the most obvious choices — you won’t find PrezBo, Jeffrey Sachs, or D-Spar on this list. I basically just picked the first five people who came into my head. You can vote for whoever you want, or you can suggest other candidates in the comments.
1. Norries Wilson. All right, maybe he wasn’t the most successful coach. But under his tenure things were exciting, in a “How low can we go?” sort of way.
2. Pete Mangurian. Sure it’s premature, but there’s no way he can be worse than Wilson, right? Think of us as the Nobel Committee, and Mangurian as Barack Obama. He gets the award for not being the last person who had his job.
3. Bwog commenters. Arguably, more ink has been spilled about their virtual output this year than about the work of everyone else at Columbia combined. From the desk of D-Spar to the pages of the New York Times, Bwog commenters are the talk of the town (Hey, at least Bwog has commenters!). Ok, so they’re a group instead of a single person, but so is Anonymous.
4. The Cloaked Mask. So much more than a cloak-wearing mask, he’s inspiring Spect-haters across campus to rise up. From his humble beginnings in our comment sections to his bare-bones WordPress blog, there’s no denying that he’s made his mark. He may be lacking somewhat in terms of spelling, grammar, and style, but then again, those aren’t exactly Chelsea Handler’s strong suits either.
5. Maggie Alden. As Spec’s 136th managing editor, she’s been influencing me to read dumb lists that I hate since 2012.
Vote below or voice your own choices in the comments!
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