Person of the Year awards are all the rage these days. It’s a great opportunity for creativity, since the rules have long since been stretched like taffy, so you don’t have to pick an actual individual person any more. Man, that was hard work! Especially if your expressed standard was to choose the most important or influential person of the year, rather than the nicest or most admirable individual. Sometimes it was hard to deny that the most influential person of the year was a horrible villain, especially if the stage was broadened enough to encompass the entire world. Readers didn’t always like such controversial selections, because they persisted in seeing Person of the Year as conveying an editorial board’s approval. Things got especially murky when Person of the Year was someone truly controversial in the full meaning of the term: approved by some, strongly disliked by others.
We’re past all that now, because Person of the Year can be a vague class of people – “Ebola Doctors,” in the case of this year’s Time Magazine selection. Person of the Year is more about making a statement than judging the influence of an individual.
With that in mind, I name the Invisible Kwanzaa Celebrant as my Person of the Year for 2014.
I know what many of you are thinking: I have no idea who that is. Well, of course not, silly. They were invisible. But CBS News in Los Angeles was absolutely certain the streets were teeming with them. Reporters looked at a completely empty street through a lens of carefully-polished ideology, and saw a massive parade for a made-up holiday. The Media Research Center captured CBS’ report for posterity:
The 38th annual KwanZaa Gwaride parade made its way down Crenshaw Boulevard Friday, marking the start of the seven-day festival of Kwanzaa.
The gwaride, which is the Swahili word for parade, brought together members of L.A.’s African-American community as they turn their focus on “Nguzo Saba,” the Seven Principles behind Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Organizers named the theme of this year’s parade “Perfect YOUR Temple,” or body. They said it was “a call to arms in our constant and ongoing efforts to `perfect’ our lives.”
The gwaride began at the corner of Crenshaw and Adams boulevards, headed south along Crenshaw to Leimert Park, where organizers held a “Black Lives Matter” rally.
Some participants walked the parade carrying signs underlining important issues to the community, such as police brutality, home foreclosures, judicial corruption, transparency in government and environmental racism.
None of this actually happened. The Kwanzaa “parade” was declared over in about 10 minutes. Depending on which eyewitness testimony you choose to credit, the total number of attendees was either three or four.
As the MRC recalls, this wasn’t the first time a phantom Kwanzaa parade was manufactured by L.A. media, but this year’s non-event seems particularly apt as a metaphor for the entire year in corrupt, dishonest news coverage. The media isn’t just slanted; it’s a full-time ideological enterprise, applying double standards with the speed of a thunderclap, hiding the party affiliation of troubled Democrats in the bowels of back-page stories, uncritically relating hoax after hoax from sources with the right political connections, burying every story that doesn’t fit into cold-forged political narratives.
I thought about going with the utterly ignored Jonathan Gruber (touted by Democrat politicians and their media allies as the greatest living expert on ObamaCare until he started running his mouth off in front of friendly audiences, and someone far outside the mainstream media dug up the tapes) or maybe the authors of the University of Virginia rape hoax (still hailed as Fake But Accurate by certain addled antediluvian liberal cartoonists, weeks after its thorough debunking!) but the Invisible Kwanzaa Celebrant felt like a more symbolic choice. A late entry that received serious consideration was Lena Dunham’s imaginary mustachioed college Republican rapist, who turns out to be a Democrat she had consensual sex with. At the eleventh hour, I started thinking that I should work [mc_name name=’Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001176′ ] in there somehow.
But those are all specific people, and in this age of collectivist phony justice – where entire bodies of people are presumed guilty, often based on incidents that didn’t actually happen, and told they’ll only make things worse by trying to appeal their sentence – it seemed better to go with an imaginary group instead of a real individual. (And in Rep. Scalise’s case, his imaginary media encounter supposedly occurred in 2002. I think a red line must be drawn that Person of the Year 2014 is relevant because of something that happened in 2014.) Our objectively real world of individual behavior and responsibility exists as a mere shadow of the media’s more colorful, much simpler alternate reality, where legends and fables determine out fate in gladiatorial contests with ideologically pre-determined outcomes.
This is understandably frustrating for the flesh-and-blood Little People, making their way through a world of solid steel and stone… but who cares what the Little People think any more? They just need to shut up and pay their huge tax bills with a share of their partly-imaginary money, to sustain the entirely fictitious accounting system of a Ruling Class that writes laws with lemon juice. Their petty concerns count for nothing when measured against the passionate obsessions and dramatic hallucinations of their rulers. Just try comparing a poll of the people’s top-10 concerns with the top ten obsessions of the Beltway-media complex. You won’t find much overlap. The elites hold this out as incontrovertible evidence that you are wrong, and therefore should not be trusted with any significant degree of control over the course of your life. It’s actually kind of silly to let you ignorant knuckleheads screw up their awesome dream world by voting against them, isn’t it?
We live now in an age of myth and fantasy, where vast sums of money and oceans of power are controlled by people who have become completely disconnected from the reality of daily life for taxpaying citizens. Your messy little world shall be over-written by an exciting Fake But Accurate matrix of vivid colors and simple lessons. The fairy tales used to end with “… and they lived happily ever after,” but now they end with “… and so the Happily Ever After Act was passed on a party-line vote.” Of all the many media embarrassments that groaned and flopped across our liquid-crystal displays in 2014, none more perfectly captures the way Narrative trumps Reality than the funny little story of a parade that only a few reporters could see. They saw it because it had to be there.