You may have noticed Time magazine selected Elon Musk as its 2021 Person of the Year. Does anyone read Time anymore? This prompted Kara Alaimo to write an opinion piece titled “What Elon Musk as ‘Person of the Year’ Says About Us” where she correctly observes that a far better choice would have been the “brilliant scientists” who developed the Covid vaccines and the health care professionals who “worked heroically to treat millions” of sickened people. [CNN.com – 12/14/21 @ 9:41 a.m. ET]. “The choice [of Elon Musk] says so much about our priorities as a culture and the way we fixate on the wealthy – even when their actions are selfish and irresponsible.” Ms. Alaimo is right. Elon Musk is an abysmal choice. What is wrong with our society and culture? So much, I’m afraid.
And I feel awful about it, because this is all my fault. I was so overwhelmed with guilt (about how critics are apparently slamming the Sex and the City reboot) I totally slept through the day when we as a society and culture selected Elon Musk as person of the year.
If only the editors at Time chose him – then I would argue they intentionally selected a controversial person in a cynical attempt to manipulate people to read the article so Time could please their advertisers and increase revenue. But, sadly, Time magazine is blameless, because media outlets never try to manufacture a controversy for profit. This is just another example of how shallow our culture is, and it is all my fault.
Tengo Leche, Social Anxiety Scholar