Earlier this week Time Magazine dropped its choice for Person of the Year: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a 76-year-old former bar bouncer from Argentina.
Known aliases: Francis. Street name: The Pope.
The selection might surprise you. What? Time is still around as a magazine?
You have to admit the POY is quite dashing on the cover. Italian tailors really outdid themselves by crafting a look that was elegant yet subdued. A look that suggests, “I’m a regular person just like you.” They really nailed that sincere humility pontiff motif.
What do you call that color he’s sporting? Beige? Light tan? Off-white? Whatever. I can easily imagine Obi Wan Kenobi wearing a similar style while dashing across the shifting sands of Tatooine.
Time editors said their selection was based on who had the most impact on the year, for better or worse, and Bergoglio stood out despite being a newcomer to the global stage.
I think they’re just blowing smoke. Only recently made a Pope, Bergoglio has already performed his first miracle. (Verification pending by the Consulta Apologencia.) It turns out his selection as the new POY was heavily influenced by the fact that he’s the man who got Sarah Palin to apologize.
Palin, whose religion is described as “nondenominational Christianity” on her Wikipedia page, said the following about our newest Pope earlier this year:
“He’s had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me.”
Verily, that’s one non-Catholic’s opinion.
This was followed up by an apology, of sorts:
“It was not my intention to be critical of Pope Francis. I apologize for not being clearer in my response, thus opening the door to critical media that does what it does best in ginning up controversy.”
Note the subtlety here. She’s not apologizing for saying the Pope was “kind of liberal.” She’s apologizing for not being more “clear” thus opening herself to attack by the “critical media,” thus adding yet another much needed media insult phrase to our lexicon. That’s classic Palin!
Meanwhile, gin (a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries) took umbrage at the slur and patiently waits for Palin to walk back her offensive slang terminology and issue an apology in response to her apology.
Still, it’s a true miracle! She actually used that word. “Apologize.” And in a sentence and following the “I” pronoun. Wow! What an absolutely breathtaking moment.
True, she didn’t actually utter the S-word (sorry) but to be made a saint, extra miracles are always helpful. If Bergoglio can bag the S-word from Palin then he’ll certainly be a virtual lock with a one-way ticket punched for Saintsville.
It remains uncertain if this new Pope truly represents a paradigm shift in the ancient doctrines of the Catholic Church or is merely adept at going super viral in the modern age. One thing we know for sure: He’s done some oddly askew things for a Pope like eschewing the Big Hat in favor of a modest small cap and trading the papal suite for the more “normal” Vatican guesthouse. (Presumably by the pool.) He also entertains and delights us with his antics like foot washings, sneaking out at night to perform good deeds, rolling in a used car and opening a Twitter account.
Fun-Filled Fabled Papal Pope Trope Factoid: Bergoglio chose the name of Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi (12th century) who, among other feats, is known for the creation of the Christmas creche (or Nativity Scene).
Meanwhile, many worthy contenders for POY were vanquished by the somewhat surprising selection of Bergoglio.
The runner-ups, as announced by Time, were:
- No. 2: Edward Snowden “The Dark Prophet” – Revealed secrets about NSA surveillance programs
- No. 3: Edith Windsor “The Unlikely Activist” – Victorious in a Supreme Court decision involving same-sex marriage rights and estate taxes
- No. 4: Bashar Assad “The Lethal Tyrant” – The despot in Syria
- No. 5: Ted Cruz “The Barn Burner” – Worked to shut down the federal government as a political gambit
Sure, you gotta admit, those were the easy, obvious choices. But who got overlooked? Don’t worry, I’m here to help.
Here are some of my personal suggestions for Time to consider just in case they want to bury a retraction in tiny print on the backside of page 87 under an ad for Viagra:
- Miley Cyrus “Adult Entertainer” – Responsible for growth spurt in the heavy-duty sledgehammer industry
- George Zimmerman “The Watch Captain” – After a pit stop for an acquittal of murder went on reality tour in quest to be America’s Next Top Role Model
- Kayne West “Evangelist/Trophy Husband” – Single-handedly destroyed an entire genre of music
- Justin Bieber “Urban Painter/Cat Burglar” – Founder of innovative program to provide indirect scholarships to prostitutes, also POY at High Times Magazine
- Heisenberg “Confectioner Scientist” – Because, blue ice!!!
- Benedict Cumberbatch “Cumberbun Enthusiast” – Caused Twitter to blow up and spawned frenzied legions of cumberbatchers, also notably outsmarted Captain Kirk
Who else was missed? Who’s your pick for POY that got the snub?