What’s wrong with this picture?
It’s obvious that there is a clear winner to this poll. As in the Venezuelan elections two weeks ago, Chavecito is way out ahead of his closest challenger. Considering that this is an eight-way race, to pull more than a third of the vote as he has done is pretty convincing. Yet, in what can only be called a slap in the face to the voters and the readers, TIME magazine has denied him what they would give him. Instead of exploring the remarkable realities of Chavecito, they’ve decided to play it safe and hand it to…
Now, how frackin’ lame is that?
Oh sure, they say they’re giving it to “you”. Yay! Feel good!
Never mind that it’s totally meaningless. Never mind that “you”, or at least 35% of the “you” who responded to TIME’s online poll, voted for Chavecito. Never mind what they themselves say about the Web–“It’s a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter.” The small contributions of those who voted in this poll were brought together only to be discarded. The choice really isn’t up to YOU, it’s up to THEM, same as it was in the pre-Internets era when they handed it to Hitler. Or that they gave it to Dubya even when most of the people on the Internets had other thoughts. You don’t really matter–don’t you get it? They just want you to think you do!
So, yippee-skippy for You, the incredibly vague and pseudo-important subject of a year-end puff piece. Try not to let it go to your head.
Now, why do you suppose they copped out of making Chavecito their dude of the year-that-was? Is he in the same league of baddie-ness as Dubya and Hitler? Why, no–quite the contrary. He’s an international hero, using oil and its revenues to put paid to poverty. He’s realizing Simon Bolivar‘s 200-year-old goal of unifying Latin America and freeing it from the dead hand of imperialism. He’s pioneering a most innovative and effective form of fair trade with neighboring lands. He’s inaugurated huge infrastructure projects all over the place. He’s singlehandedly resurrected socialism–prematurely pronounced dead by neo-con pundits and think-tank “experts”. He’s made education available to all Venezuelans, and wiped out illiteracy there in the space of just a few short years–something that the mighty capitalists who preceded him unaccountably failed to do. Honestly, the worst thing he’s done this year is liken Dubya to Satan and get laughs and applause for it–at the UN. Unlike either Dubya or Hitler, though, he’s democratically elected, and by a clear majority. And every big change he’s made in Venezuela was also democratically ratified by direct vote.
One would think TIME would be salivating to make a note of all that, seeing as it’s very big news, but noooooo. Their official editorial line is that Chavecito is “anti-American”. And the unwritten subtext of that is, they must downplay his Bolivarian Revolution, no matter how effective it is. And above all, they must NEVER let on that it has even had a helpful bearing on a good many people right in the United States. That would be unthinkable, since they, like all the rest of the Crack White House Press Whores, are under express instructions to conflate Dubya with America, and America with God. The unsubtle subtext: Dubya is God.
So, by extension, the rest of the world doesn’t count. And that includes you.
PS: TIME’s Canadian newsmaker of the year? Harpo. Pathetic, but predictable.
PPS: The Talent Show has figured out what part of Left Field this came from. So glad someone could clear it up for us!
PPPS: However, InternetWeekly reminds us that it could have been MUCH worse. Thanks, guys. You’re peaches.