Time’s (Doomed) Person of the Year

You know the drill. Every year it starts a little bit early: the press releases, the articles, the low level buzz—mostly amid the publicists who write the press releases and the reporters who dutifully recap them. Yes, it’s Time‘s ‘Person of Year’ time again, and if the consensus mongers are to be believed, this year’s ‘winner’ might be that bitch who’s been ruining our lives since the new year.

No, not Paris Hilton: ‘Mother Nature.’

But do we really want Mother Nature to win? So many past ‘Person of the Year’ recipients take an immediate turn south as soon as they win: What if the same fate befalls Mother Nature?

We’ll selectively recap the last 78 years, accentuating the negative and eliminating the positive and you can decide for yourself:

· 2004: George W. Bush (Current approval rating: 37%.)

· 2003: The American Soldier (American military deaths since Bush’s May 1, 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech: 1,935.)

· 1994: Pope John Paul II (Deceased. Portrayed by Jon Voight.)

· 1980: Ronald Reagan (Deceased. Portrayed by James Brolin.)

· 1975: American Women (Alito boasted of his ’85 work against abortion; Maureen Dowd’s new book won’t help her pick up guys.)

· 1972: Nixon and Kissinger (Former: Impeached. Resigned in disgrace. Deceased. Portrayed in an Oliver Stone movie. Latter: Gently mocked by Jon Stewart.)

· 1969: The Middle Americans (Post Election U.S. Map; What’s the Matter with Kansas?)

· 1963: Martin Luther King, Jr. (Assassinated.)

· 1961: John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Assassinated.)

· 1952: Elizabeth II (Queen is target for al-Qaida, security sources confirm.)

· 1941/1949: Winston Churchill (Deceased. Is Bush the Churchill of the 21st Century?)

· 1939/ 1942: Joseph Stalin (Deceased. Posthumously condemned by Martin Amis.)

· 1938: Adolf Hitler (Suicide.)

· 1935: Haile Selassie (Deceased. Curiously beloved by fraternity members.)

· 1927: Charles Lindbergh (Deceased. Son kidnapped; Philip Roth foil.)

Matt Haber