Saturday, December 20, 2008

I've Seen What You Can Do

In my blind search of the Internet, I came across something interesting today. It was America's Time magazine's list of the top 200 influential people of 2007. Using a rating system of 1 to 100, Internet readers were to rank a pre-selected list of people according to their importance on today's society. Number One? Rain, the Korean pop sensation, who accumulated over 470 thousand votes. Behind by 100,000 is American funnyman Stephen Colbert.

1. Rain 2. Stephen Colbert 3. Sanjaya Malakar 4. Dane Cook 5. Sydney Crosby

Looking at the top 5, and even the top 10, there seems to be a real lack of global contributors. While I commend the accomplishments of those that grace the list, I wonder why politicians and peacemakers do not rank higher. Barack Obama fell short at 20, just below the likes of Brad Pitt and Perez Hilton (who surprisingly did better than his namesake Paris Hilton). Many of the chart toppers are vocal artists, authors, video game designers and comedians. This list is a clear reflection of what we as a society value. Rather than morals and giving back to the community, we are raised to value media. "Big Brother is watching you", could soon be replaced interchangeably with the newest pop star's name.
The average teenager consuming 20 hours of television a week, and pours more than 158 billion dollars a year into entertainment, fast food and clothing. With the focus on television, it is no wonder that "American Idol"-reject Sanjaya tops the list before those that we do not have easy access to on the boob tube. The importance of world leaders and those that change the world, not just our iPod play list, is crucial to cement in adolescents, as it will dictate what they place as important in their adult lives.

On this year's list, a range of super stars and millionaire moguls show their presence, though this is not surprising. Oprah Winfrey, talk-show host extraordinaire. Justin Timberlake, the bringer of sexy back to 2008. And even some considerable "no-names" such as Zaha Hadid (architect). Global presidents are among those up for debate as well. Let's see if this year's list will break the mould.

To check out the full list, go to:,28804,1611030_1612457_1612464,00.html

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