Thursday, December 20, 2007

Over to You, Vladimir

Being Time's Person of the Year is no barrel of laughs, it comes with a lot of headaches.

For the whole year, last year's mylar cover has been sitting next to the computer screen as a taunt to Time's designation of me "for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game."

That's the kind of pressure you're facing, comrade, as the newsweekly praises your accomplishments, salutes your longevity and calls you an "elected emperor" who will be the "longest-serving statesman among the great powers, long after such leaders as Bush and Tony Blair have faded from the scene."

For a guy who has never sent an e-mail in his life and whose father was Stalin's cook, you've done very well, but believe you me, that kind of talk can unnerve anybody, even someone with your Tsar's stare. If you look back at some of the other cover people, remember what happened to Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Newt Gingrich. It's not exactly the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, but...

Now the crown is yours. Serving the Time correspondent a "dinner of lobster-and-shiitake-mushroom salad, 'crab fingers with hot sauce' and impressive vintages of Puligny-Montrachet and a Chilean Cabernet" was a good start.

Last year's winners salute you as they go back to their keyboards, stuffed with fast food, relaxed and ready to face a new year of solving the world's problems without all that pressure.

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