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The Protester
December 14, 2011 5:14 AM   Subscribe

"A year after a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself ablaze, dissent has spread across the Middle East, to Europe and the US, reshaping global politics and redefining people power." The Protester is Time's 2011 Person of the Year.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (42 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally, something in Time I can get behind.
posted by nevercalm at 5:28 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Time : All about convincing you that this time, things have changed. Democracy for all! (While they line their pockets with your money and their higher ups lobby successfully for more tax cuts for the rich and eternal feudalism)
posted by Yowser at 5:32 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Runners Up" for 2011 included Adm. William McRaven ("The Admiral"), Artist Ai Weiwei ("The Dissident"), Congressman Paul Ryan ("The Prophet"), and Kate Middleton ("The Princess").
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:34 AM on December 14, 2011


Adm. William McRaven ("The Admiral") -- is an admiral
Artist Ai Weiwei ("The Dissident") -- is a dissident
Kate Middleton ("The Princess") -- is a princess, or possibly a duchess, but close enough
Congressman Paul Ryan ("The Prophet") -- ...
posted by saturday_morning at 5:38 AM on December 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


"dignity is more important than bread."
posted by Jehan at 5:39 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


dignity is more important than bread

That reminded me of a tweet from the Egyptian uprising:
3:06pm Mother of protester who was killed in the protests, addressed protesters and said that she was willing to offer her second son for the struggle for democracy.
posted by Trurl at 5:44 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


"dignity is more important than bread."
posted by Jehan


Keep believin' skinny people!
posted by CautionToTheWind at 5:49 AM on December 14, 2011


Dumb question (and yes, I RTFA but am still not clear on this) - do they mean that that SPECIFIC protestor, Mohamed Bouazizi, is the person of the year, or do they mean "The Protestor" as in "this ARCHETYPE" is the person of the year?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:51 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I assume the archetype.
posted by effugas at 5:54 AM on December 14, 2011


...when he set fire to himself, it wasn't about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity

I'd like to tattoo this on the forehead of every idiot who says "this is the hill you choose to die on? really?"
posted by DU at 5:55 AM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Keep believin' skinny people!

Then let Salazar feed you.
posted by Jehan at 5:57 AM on December 14, 2011


I'd like to tattoo this on the forehead of every idiot who says "this is the hill you choose to die on? really?"

There's a difference between people "fighting for principle" when the stakes are one's own livelihood, and "fighting for principle" when you're talking about the way other people use grammar on the Internet.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:58 AM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Such a stupid gimmick.

They could name Mohammad Bouazizi himself. Or Khaled Said.

They could name any figure behind the Egyptian uprising.

They could name the leader of the Serbian group that instructed the Egyptians about tactics.

Instead they name an archetype.

So inane.
posted by ocschwar at 6:03 AM on December 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


"Congressman Paul Ryan ("The Prophet") -- ..."

I think you mean "propheteer".
posted by ocschwar at 6:04 AM on December 14, 2011 [7 favorites]



"Congressman Paul Ryan ("The Prophet") -- ..."

I think you mean "propheteer".


Or they're starting morse code for SOS.
posted by drezdn at 6:09 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Then let Salazar feed you.
posted by Jehan


Salazar persisted in great part thanks to the apathy of people who thought "dignity is more important than bread" and other servile crap while a generation and a country got robbed.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 6:09 AM on December 14, 2011


I prefer actual people to the idea of people for this award. Looking at the historic list, I wonder: "Gee, seems like every president is on here" - turns out, yeah, pretty much:

Since the list began, every serving President of the United States has been a Person of the Year at least once with the exceptions of Calvin Coolidge, in office at time of the first issue, Herbert Hoover, the next U.S. president, and Gerald Ford.

So I guess that's one way to win. Otherwise - I would've put money on Steve Jobs.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:10 AM on December 14, 2011


Personally I see this as a continuation of Time being lazy. Every time they go with something like this (person of the year is YOU!) it just screams gimmick. Not that person of the year isn't a gimmick to begin with anyways... but still.
posted by edgeways at 6:13 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would've put money on Steve Jobs.

He should have at least been considered ahead of Kate Middleton.
posted by TedW at 6:13 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Didn't this guy also win when the person of the year was all of us?
posted by CautionToTheWind at 6:14 AM on December 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Looking through the past list and seeing how many USA presidents were named ( twice in some cases) really undermines the relevance of the 'award'.
posted by mary8nne at 6:23 AM on December 14, 2011


IT'S NOT AN AWARD

YOU DON'T WIN

NO ONE MENTION HITLER WAS PERSON OF THE YEAR, JESUS
posted by shakespeherian at 6:33 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Salazar persisted in great part thanks to the apathy of people who thought "dignity is more important than bread" and other servile crap while a generation and a country got robbed.

"Dignity is more important than bread" is not servile crap. It's quite the opposite.
posted by Jehan at 6:34 AM on December 14, 2011


Time profits by making people "Protester of the Year". A very nice 1% move that will create demand for Time magazine product (and it's advertiser's products) among the 99%. Co-option of the Occupy movement by the mass media 1%: mission accomplished!
posted by Vibrissae at 6:43 AM on December 14, 2011


As it turns out, the only MetaFilter 'Jesus Christ Can You Believe Time's Person Of The Year This Time Around' thread that doesn't mention-- with shock!-- Hitler or Stalin is this one. (10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01)
posted by shakespeherian at 6:44 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Dignity is more important than bread" is not servile crap. It's quite the opposite.

Unfortunately, in practice, that sentence is something you hear when you start running out of bread, and not when you start running out of dignity.

What dignity is there in starvation? Have you ever starved?
posted by CautionToTheWind at 6:57 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Of course, the archetype handily avoids having to support an actual cause. I mean, nobody at Time appears to like consideration of the actual issues.

But yay protesters, let's ignore what they are saying! Hamburger.
posted by jaduncan at 6:57 AM on December 14, 2011


Cant be Jobs because he is dead, ditto Mr. Bouazizi (he actuall gets double cut as he died in 2010). Being alive is a critical component of the selection process- primarily to keep it from being an "in memoriam" thing. As well, it is supposed to be aspirational and forward looking. That's why the much maligned "You" cover actually made great sense- Facebook, Youtube, blogs, etc. continue to define us.
Not sure of all this paranoid thinking regarding Time's motives.
I would be curious what people might think are better choices? Remember, it is not a award, you need to be alive, should speak to the future and not the past, its about impact and change, etc.
And you aren't allowed to vote for Rain.
posted by T10B at 7:01 AM on December 14, 2011


T10B, if we listen to Time magazine, we become dull and complacent. And the magazine has been insular American corporate pablum of the dumbest kind for at least a decade and a half, so it's an easy target. That, and any magazine that would hire Joel Stein deserves derision
posted by Yowser at 7:09 AM on December 14, 2011


Co-option of the Occupy movement by the mass media 1%: mission accomplished!

It's important to note that this year has been filled with protests that predate the Occupy Movement (and my guess is that Occupy wouldn't have happened without some of the other protests having happened).
posted by drezdn at 7:11 AM on December 14, 2011


I really don't see how they could have gone any other way. The only real head-scratcher here is Paul Ryan. As much as I loathe Middleton, we are talking about what defined the media's focus, and sadly, she counts.
posted by Theta States at 7:15 AM on December 14, 2011


But what cover did the rest of the world get?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:27 AM on December 14, 2011


Such a stupid gimmick.

They could name Mohammad Bouazizi himself. Or Khaled Said.

They could name any figure behind the Egyptian uprising.

They could name the leader of the Serbian group that instructed the Egyptians about tactics.

Instead they name an archetype.

So inane.
Seriously.

I had zero problems when they called "you" as the person of the year a few years back, or the "American GI" during the height of the Iraq war, but that they're too removed from the events to even name a single person in all of this year's protests, and the fact that Paul -I have no fucking clue about economics - Ryan was even considered a runner-up has made me convince that the entire magazine is an extended experience in self-referential onanism that can appeal only to people who want to know something is happening, without stopping to find out details, forget understanding it.

Baaaah!
posted by the cydonian at 7:27 AM on December 14, 2011


person of the year is YOU!
"Nathan was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006" is the final line of my film festival bio. Pretty proud of that one.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:32 AM on December 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


That would be even better if your name wasn't Nathan.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:35 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Occupy Time!
posted by chavenet at 8:18 AM on December 14, 2011


These generic "persons" have always seemed like a cop-out to me.
posted by jefficator at 8:36 AM on December 14, 2011


It's funny: the Drudge Report has a headline of this next to a photo of an Occupy protestor taking a dump on a police car.

Matt Drudge, sublty is not your forte.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:52 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Instead they name an archetype.

So inane."


Wow. Metafilter today is snarky, snarky, snarky. The reason why they didn't "name any figure behind the Egyptian uprising" is because that's how protests work -- by many people gathering together to protest a collective issue, not because a single catalyst decided to put it all into motion. 'You' being the Person of the Year is a gimmick, sure -- but 'The Protester' isn't. A protest is driven by a collective sentiment, and as such is a general movement. It's sort of like the mainstream media asking: "well, who is Anonymous?"

The Arab Spring, 15-M, OWS, Stuttgart 21, the Wisconsin labor protests, and now protests etc -- imagine all the things that happened over the past year. The landscape has changed a little. By now, every hedge fund manager, every Big Company CEO and every politician has worried, at least once, about being 'mic-checked' at a speech. People are starting to funnel the energy of the OWS protests into the political/electoral world. The media is writing a few more articles about things that matter. People are learning about the financialization of the US.

Currently direct political participation and protesting is an option; it's a way to have your voice heard. Last year, it wasn't; it was this abstract concept. I myself hadn't been to a protest before this summer. I haven't been explicitly political before: sure, I followed politics generally, I followed the 2008 presidential elections, watched Al Jazeera's reporting on the Egyptian revolution, etc, like many Mefites probably do.

But because of OWS this fall/winter, I'm more directly active. I've marched in rallies, I've pulled all-nighters trying to keep Zuccotti Park, I've called the offices of congressmen and congresswomen, I've signed petitions, rallied people together to participate in a march, I'm in the process of organizing teach-ins, I've moved my money to a credit union, I'm more conscious about how I spend my money.

You might snark at this all, but at least it's something. At least I've tried, and am trying. And so should you, and so can you. There are people out there who are doing so now, much much much more than there were last year. Things have certainly changed.

Remember this thread? Wasn't that kind of fucking amazing?
posted by suedehead at 9:14 AM on December 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Isn't "The Protester" basically just pandering to "You", considering how changing one's twitter profile photo is considered to be equivalent to protesting the Iranian regime these days? I prefer actual people and actual protests.
posted by vidur at 11:42 AM on December 14, 2011


I'm with suedehead, I actually really like this one. Also, making the cover photo a woman was a cool decision.
posted by naoko at 1:21 PM on December 14, 2011


"Nathan was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006" is the final line of my film festival bio. Pretty proud of that one.

The same, beginning with "chosen" instead of "named", is on my resume, and you better believe this one is going on there too.
posted by Evilspork at 5:25 PM on December 14, 2011


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