time-lebowski

Pussy Riot makes Time Magazine’s Person of the Year candidates

Nov 28, 2012

It is almost that time again where your favorite publications inevitably snub your favorite of the year from their year end lists. Everyone does it. Person of the year. Song of the year. Album of the year. New Taco Bell creation of the year. You get the routine. From TMZ to the Wall Street Journal, all publications are preparing for year end lists, including this one.

This week Time, one of the last interesting magazines, released its candidates for its prestigious award of Person of the Year. The list spans from the creatine creation Paul Ryan to funny man Stephen Colbert, ultimately making its way back to a collective that actually made a difference in their country: Pussy Riot.

Two years ago we preemptively suggested Julian Assange as Person of the Year—Time went with Mark Zuckerberg. Last year Time named “the protester,” but it’d be commendable this year to champion a group of girs who stood up against oppression, and stood largely alone.

Whether we grew up fearing Russians like my parents or in my generation where our history teachers skipped over most of Russian politics due to our information being severely biased and misleading, Pussy Riot stood up for values that most of us can relate to. If my father can come home one day from work and the first thing he asks me is, “Kevin have you heard of this group Pussy Riot and what they are doing in Russia?” you know that their movement was successful. (Although he can not stop talking about Gangnam Style, so my point there might be moot.)

On a side note it would be impractical for me not to discuss the list in full. Just exactly how are the candidates picked? I understand that the Person of the Year is obviously a person (or group of people or thing) that has greatly affected our world this year but it is kind of a slap in the face to see people who legitimately put their lives on the line for their beliefs such as Malala Yousafzai on the same list as Michael Phelps and Jay-Z.

It is not to say that the Mars Rover was not a historically significant event, but ask any struggling Mexican-American if undocumented immigrants should be put in the same category of significance as a robot on Mars and they’d insult you to your face and have a point. Maybe this is being over-critical as the list is supposed to reflect the significance of not just a single individual’s struggle but their actual output into the world. But somehow Psy sitting on the same list as Xi Jinping just doesn’t sit right.

The list can be found here, but for the record Pussy Riot gets our vote for Person of the Year. Through music they were able to create something that fought oppression and shed new light on a place we don’t know much about. But I guess Jay-Z at Barclay’s Center did that too, so who knows who should win.

Follow Kevin Camps @kpcamps.

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