When our colleagues at Time magazine announced their person of the year was You, we snapped up the issue, eager to finally get credit for the night last spring we decided not to bang that blind chick, even though she'd totally mistaken us for her boyfriend. However, we soon learned that "You" didn't refer to us, but rather the small minority of the population who managed to put down the hair brush they usually lip-synch into long enough to upload video to YouTube. According to Time, the most important people in the world during the year 2006 were people who "would otherwise have drowned in obscurity (but) get backhauled into the global intellectual economy via sites like YouTube and MySpace.
But if Time didn t want these web celebs to drown in obscurity, then why name the Man of the Year something vague like You? Why not give the award to people who actually made a splash on YouTube and the internet in general? In an effort to give credit where credit is due, we name the top 10 web celebrities that Time was probably referring to when they named the 2006 Man of the Year.
The Little Dancing Indian Boy
Close your eyes and imagine that you re a Bank of America employee seated in a room at a corporate conference, enduring a grueling seminar. The meeting s just about to break for lunch when two dudes dive into a rendition of U2 s One with Bank of America-related lyrics. At first you think, Cool, this is kind of like that Weird Al guy I used to listen to when I was depressed. But you quickly realize the impassioned singer is not trying to lampoon anything. Instead, he croons on and on about BOA s merger with MBNA, credit customization, trust, teamwork and specific BOA employees who ve outperformed expectations. Mr. Chandler is the ideal example of a corporate type who dares to let his creative hair down, and we applaud his shamelessness.
While 05 winner Bono would be the obvious choice here, Ethan is more from the every-man mold of past honorees, for example 2002 s Whistleblowers. Like the ladies who busted big business by raising their collective voices, Ethan can t help but raise his voice and testify about how great it is to work at Bank of America.
God bless Mike Cooper. He s a regular dude with a regular mustache who has been videotaped masturbating at a Cleveland public library. His tormentor, Carl Monday, chose to demonize Mike in the local news investigative report on library safety. Mike, who lives with his parents, was probably just using the library as his personal dirty sock because his mom was using the Internet to look at funny pictures of cats. But Carl Monday, whose name sounds like a fake name a drunk guy would make up if put on the spot, insists on taking him to task.
Guy from Ohio Caught Masturbating in Library (Mike Cooper)
With so many shining stars in this news story about a leprechaun sighting in Mobile, it was hard to single any one person out. After literally minutes of deliberation, we chose the dude who, at the 1:36 mark, starts explaining to the reporter his plans to find the leprechaun s gold. His interview is the coup de grÃ¢ce for the entire story. Not only is he certain of the leprechaun s existence, but also of the mythical pot of gold he carries around. His determination to find this gold is truly felt when he repeats his desires a few times in slightly different ways: I wanna know where the gold at. I want the gold. Give me the gold. I want the gold.
We ll go with Time s vaguely condescending awarding of Man of the Year honors to The Middle Americans in 1969, since this is quite possibly the most condescending news report we ve ever seen.
Old Man Peter from YouTube
Who would ve thought that an old British man talking about how he s going to start making videos for YouTube would end up being one of the most viewed clips of the year? Peter, whose username is geriatric1927, has since posted almost 40 videos, none of which are as popular as his first try, appropriately titled first try. But why? Why have over 2 million people clicked on his video? If you haven t yet, watch it. It s so boring, and so borderline depressing, that it makes the Brian Atene footage seem life-affirming by comparison. But maybe that s exactly it: the ideal Internet celebrity is the jackass who tapes himself doing nothing remarkable, knowing that millions of people will watch anything once it gets a little traffic. Thanks,