Time Magazine isn’t exactly known for being a news outlet with a lot of love for the good guy. It often awards its “Person of the Year” title to people who are in vogue on the left.
This is the magazine that declared Adolf Hitler was the winner in 1938, then named Joseph Stalin the winner the very next year. In 2011, they named “the protester” the person of the year, and then Greta Thunberg in 2019. To be sure, they’ve put their fair share of Republicans on the cover for the award, but they do it with pretty much all presidents, and being on the cover doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be kind.
But this year they actually made the right decision, and while I would say it was the obvious choice, Time doesn’t always go with who they should.
This year it’s Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and in this day and age, I’m more than thrilled to see this as their decision.
To Time’s credit, they did really misrepresent Musk on much, though I suppose that’s ultimately up to Musk himself. The article on him is fair, if not tough in some moments, but journalism is supposed to be like that. The one thing I did really appreciate, however, is highlighting who Musk actually is when you strip him down to the base man. He’s a very successful, very odd person:
The richest man in the world does not own a house and has recently been selling off his fortune. He tosses satellites into orbit and harnesses the sun; he drives a car he created that uses no gas and barely needs a driver. With a flick of his finger, the stock market soars or swoons. An army of devotees hangs on his every utterance. He dreams of Mars as he bestrides Earth, square-jawed and indomitable. Lately, Elon Musk also likes to live-tweet his poops.
This is the man who aspires to save our planet and get us a new one to inhabit: clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, cad; a madcap hybrid of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie and Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan, the brooding, blue-skinned man-god who invents electric cars and moves to Mars.
I think you should read the article yourself as it’s very interesting, but that’s not what I appreciate about this selection by Time.
What I like is that for the first time in a long time, the “Person of the Year” is someone who is someone who is taking us forward, not backward and that the person doing it is just as weird and human as you are. Musk is the richest man in the world, he’s the CEO of companies that are breaking ground in futuristic tech, but he’s just as liable to fire off a tweet containing an anti-woke meme as he is to create a reusable rocket.
Too often I’m looking around and see people suggest that regression is the way to a better life. They say that sending people into space is a bad idea when we have people in need here on Earth. They push failed governmental systems as the way to achieve a better life. Hell, they even continue to bring back old properties and slap new coats of paint on them.
(READ: We’ve Abused Our Thirst for Nostalgia)
Musk is the uncontested leader of telling it like it is, whether it works in favor of or against a political party. Recently, he was more than willing to suggest that the Build Back Better bill pushed by the Biden administration was an insane and dangerous piece of legislation that should be scrapped in its entirety, followed up by suggesting that we should toss out all the subsidies.
(READ: Elon Musk Goes Nuclear on Government Power, Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, and Excessive Laws)
Instead of playing along with the woke crowd, he openly invites their ire, and while he doesn’t really subscribe to one political party over another, he’s clearly not a fan of hard-left philosophies.
Judging by the reaction to this, it's clear that humor is just like food in a communist nation.
Not everyone gets it.
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) July 27, 2020
The point is, Musk doesn’t look backward while proclaiming he’s a “progressive” like many people in his position do. He’s not out here to play a political game, he’s actually out to change the world and bring us into the future we as a race have always talked about but bogged ourselves down with politics to do.
Is the man perfect? Hell no, and that makes me appreciate him even more. But in his imperfection, we get a realism that I find not only inspiring but also refreshing. With Musk, I know what I’m going to get, which is a huge deal in this day and age where politics has seized everyone’s tongue and hands to the point of making them act in bizarre ways and even against the best interests of not only themselves but the country.
Musk doesn’t bother with it. The game he’s most likely to play happens through a controller.
I didn’t expect Musk to win any award from an outlet like Time despite being a shoo-in, but I’m sure glad he did.