April 29: Singer Lady Gaga, actor Robert Pattinson, artist Banksy, Apple entrepreneur Steve Jobs, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey, actor-tweeter Ashton Kutcher, talk show host Conan O’Brien, artist Zaha Hadid, filmmaker James Cameron, and Nelson Mandela’s wife Graça Machel have all been included in Time magazine’s 2010 list of the world’s most influential people.
The “Heroes” section – kept apart from the “Thinkers” section – is particularly eclectic: action film star Jet Li, former US president Bill Clinton, tennis player Serena Williams, World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador Liya Kebede, ChildCount+’s Matt Berg, and Night at the Museum actor Ben Stiller, among others.
Obviously, no one in his or her right mind would take those things seriously. The essays written on each of the Top 100 have been penned by fans of varying degrees of repute and ill-repute, grace and disgrace:
Henry Kissinger drools over Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, who is credited for turning the tiny Southeast Asian city-state into a financial powerhouse (no mention, of course, of Lee’s firm belief in stuff such as curbs on personal and media freedom, and “corporal punishment,” i.e., torture); the invariably trustworthy Tony Blair gives kudos to Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad; Michael Moore idealizes Workers’ Party Brazilian president Luiz Inacio da Silva (a.k.a. Lula), while fully ignoring Lula’s thoroughly pro-business policies, his disregard for Brazil’s environment, and the myriad corruption scandals that have plagued his government.
Also, Sarah Palin throws hosannas at fellow far-right, anti-social justice advocate Glenn Beck; Gael Garcia Bernal has some good things to say about Alter Eco’s founder Tristan Leconte, Cyndi Lauper goes all out for Lady Gaga, and Betty White praises this year’s Best Actress Oscar winner and about-to-become-divorcee Sandra Bullock’s determination and physique (but not her newly adopted child; that came later).
Robert Pattinson was the topic of The Twilight Saga: New Moon director Chris Weitz (“I love you, Rob! Call me!”). Stephen Daldry wrote about Elton John (“he is also the best friend anyone could possibly hope for”) while John penned the mini-essay about billionaire Ukrainian businessman Victor Pinchuk, who “shows his love of our planet and makes the world a better place to live.”
More from Chris Weitz on Robert Pattinson:
And though I am continually impressed by the aplomb with which he handles the hysteria, I occasionally think he would take it all back if given the chance. Because essentially, Rob, 23, is a reserved, bookish sort of specimen, a guy who’d rather spend the night at the corner table in the pub with friends – a bit of a weirdo, frankly, in the best sense.
It’s been argued elsewhere on this site that “that’s why Pattinson was able to incarnate Edward Cullen, another ‘bit of a weirdo in the best sense,’ so believably.”
Even before I looked at his page, I just knew that Sigourney Weaver had been the one who had written the paean to James Cameron. There could have been no one else.
Here’s a telling remark about the maker of Avatar: “But the truth is — although he has extraordinary abilities, appetite and drive,” Weaver explains, “Jim simply does not recognize human limitations in himself or anyone else. … Please don’t anyone ever cast him in a movie. If he finds out that he can act too, we’ll know for sure the guy is a mutant.”
Missing from Time‘s final “most influential” list: Early popular entry Shah Rukh Khan.
Time magazine ‘100 most influential people’: Like MTV Movie Awards, your vote counts
April 5: Singer Lady Gaga, figure-skater Yu-Na Kim, singer-actor Rain, late-show host Conan O’Brien, American Idol competitor Adam Lambert, cricket batsman Sachin Tendulkar, actor Shah Rukh Khan, actor Robert Pattinson, the Penny Arcade cartoonists, and fighter Dana White. These are the current top names found on Time magazine’s chart of the – so far – 100 most influential people of 2010 in the world of politics, arts, sciences, and technology.
Unfunny late-night jokes help cure insomnia, so that’s a refined form of science. Jay Leno and David Letterman should have been in there as well.
I’m assuming Lady Gaga is on the chart for her technological advances (didn’t she invent Twitter, or was that Ashton Kutcher?).
Robert Pattinson was surely included for being such a consummate politician in the Twilight movies, keeping humans, vampires, and werewolves living in (sort of) harmony. And even reining in his worst instincts for the sake of a (pretty) human being about eight decades younger than him.
Paleface Robert Pattinson
According to Time, Pattinson has been included because “the Twilight saga has been a boon for the British heartthrob, who plays sparkly, sexy vampire Edward Cullen in the hit franchise. The third installment, Eclipse, comes out this summer, ensuring that Pattinson’s face – however pale – will be omnipresent.”
Now, can Robert Pattinson truly end up as one of the “100 most influential people of 2010”? Quite possibly, as Time magazine – like the MTV Movie Awards and the People’s Choice Awards – allows its website visitors to vote for whom they believe is, has been, or will be “influential” this year.
Besides Lady Gaga, Rain, and all the influencers listed above, other potential choices include:
- Sandra Bullock.
- Nicolas Sarkozy.
- Vivienne Westwood.
- Muammar Gaddafi.
- Preity Zinta.
- Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
- Beyoncé Knowles.
- Warren Buffett.
- Oprah Winfrey.
- Hugo Chávez.
- Anna Wintour.
- Sarah Palin.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Rupert Murdoch.
- But where are these influencers?
Shockingly missing from the Time magazine list of potentially “most influential” people on Planet Earth:
- Ricky Martin.
- Osama bin Laden.
- Miley Cyrus.
- Pope Benedict XVI.
- Woody Allen.
- Prince William.
- Anna Paquin.
- Christoph Waltz.
- Silvio Berlusconi.
- Sasha Grey.
- The Jonas Brothers.
- Jesse James.
Emilie de Ravin and Robert Pattinson Remember Me movie image: Myles Aronowitz | Summit Entertainment.