Lady Gaga, Bill Clinton, Lula top Time’s influence list
Extravagantly outfitted singer Lady Gaga, former US president Bill Clinton and Brazil’s leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are the world’s most influential people according to Time magazine’s annual list.
But the names on the list itself might not be as interesting as some of the essays about the year’s picks, which may seem a bit over the top to even fans of the “winners.”
The US weekly explains its sometimes surprising choices saying that the “Time 100 is not about the influence of power but the power of influence.”
Lady Gaga, famous for bizarre costumes and chart-topping dance music, leads the list of most influential artists, leading US late-night TV host Conan O’Brien, Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow and daytime TV queen Oprah Winfrey.
Clinton, who has reinvented himself as a major fund-raiser and anti-poverty activist since leaving the White House, heads the “heroes” section, beating South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-Na and Iranian opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
The “leaders” list starts with the Brazilian president, who is praised for his drive to bring social justice and end deep inequality in his huge Latin American country.
J.T. Wang, CEO of the Taiwanese PC maker Acer comes in at number two as a representative of the rise of Asian companies.
The top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, is third, with President Barack Obama only in the fourth slot.
“Some of the people you’ll encounter on this list are influential in the traditional sense,” Time managing editor Richard Stengel says. “But we also seek out people whose ideas and actions are revolutionizing their fields and transforming lives.”
Sarah Palin was tapped to write the essay for Glenn Beck (link)
Who’d have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television? Glenn’s like the high school government teacher so many wish they’d had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers Ã¢â‚¬â€ kicking it old school Ã¢â‚¬â€ instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host. Self-taught, he’s become America’s professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth. Glenn, 46, tackles topics other news shows would regard as arcane. Consider his desire to teach Americans about the history of the progressive movement: he’s doing to progressive what Ronald Reagan did to liberal Ã¢â‚¬â€ explaining that it’s a damaged brand.
Two very different rock stars pen essays hailing their heroes, with enormous stars in their eyes. The governor who quit her job on the 4th of July “embraces the critical duty of we the people by participating in this glorious experiment in self-government,” while “the universe just wouldn’t be as friendly to humans” if it wasn’t for a former president who was impeached, but just barely held on to his job.
If Sarah Palin played a loud, grinding instrument, she would be in my band. The independent patriotic spirit, attitude and soul of our forefathers are alive and well in Sarah. In the way she lives, what she says and how she dedicates herself to make America better in these interesting times, she represents the good, while exposing the bad and ugly. She embraces the critical duty of we the people by participating in this glorious experiment in self-government.
There are professors who pretend to be populists and populists who pretend to be professors. But there have never been a head and heart so perfectly matched as the pair within William Jefferson Clinton. It’s an impossible equilibrium: wonky intellectual meets “Oh, hell” card player, oxygen and hydrogen. He defies the laws of physics as his daily exercise, but without him the universe just wouldn’t be as friendly to humans.
On the flipside, two entries on Time’s least influential list include the head of one of America’s leading political parties and a former White House Social Secretary.
Joel Stein hits Michael Steele: “After lavish spending and criticizing Rush Limbaugh Ã¢â‚¬â€ Rush Limbaugh! Ã¢â‚¬â€ many in the party are trying to get rid of him. Even though that would mean losing his blog on GOP.com which, though now untitled, used to be called ‘What Up?'”
“If you had purposely invited one of the Real Housewives of D.C., that would have been influential,” Stein mocks Desiree Rogers, who left her job after the White House crashers mini-scandal.
(with AFP story)