Time magazine just released their 100 most influential people on planet Earth and, once again, after thumbing through the issue at the book store and not bothering to actually buy it, we realized that we are not in it. Again.
Never mind the short-sightedness of Time’s decision to only include people on this planet, the point is WE’RE NOT IN IT. That’s 39 years running that MojoFiction has come up short. When we narrowly missed Zygote of the Year in late ’73, we were pretty sure we’d be on our way to being recognized as influential by at least 1990, but then in ’87 the stock market crashed, then the Berlin Wall fell, then Monica Lewinsky smoked a cigar , then politicians thought it would be a good idea to have a last name like Weiner, and suddenly all the world really cared about was which interesting people were having affairs with other equally interesting people and who was tweeting about it and we sorta fell out of the national consciousness.
But it’s 2013, so, darn it, this called for an investigation. So, using the ninja skills that we learned in college that night we had too much to drink and tried to get back into the dorm without the resident advisor or that loudmouth three doors down seeing us, we planned our infiltration of the Time offices. The first part of the plan called for us to realize that Time is not located in Chicago, so that was a bummer and we had to scrap a month’s worth of preparations.
The second part of the plan called for us to dress up in all black, wait for the cover of night, use that move in Splinter Cell where you scale the walls of a tight corridor by doing the splits while you wait for the clueless guard to pass by beneath you, and then access their computers by typing in the password that we conveniently found in a secret email between two of the bad guys, which, now that we think about it, also happened in Splinter Cell. Unfortunately, the security personnel at the front gate asked us what we were doing and then politely advised us to leave. So the investigation ended there. The third part of the plan called for us to eat a pint of Americone Dream to make us feel better for blowing the mission (…that probably didn’t happen in Splinter Cell, but it should have).
So we’re no closer to finding out why we are, once again, not on the list. Clearly, the only conclusion we can draw is that this list of influential people is entirely arbitrary and, most likely, pulled out of a fedora (if they were pulled out of a Stetson, we might okay with that).
Seriously, what does a person have to do to get on this list? The Chicago Cubs influence us to follow other teams all the time (we’ve even bought White Sox tickets). They’re not on the list. What do we have to do? Win an Oscar? Be the driving force in a major political party? Stand up against violent oppression when you’re only fourteen just because you want an education? …What’s that? … We do? …And they did?
In that case, ignore everything we just said (sorry) and allow us to make the following belated nomination to the influential people list, fully realizing that it makes the list longer than 100:
Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” (or common person to you PC people out there).
We’re sure you’re thinking “Wait a minute, that’s not a person.” We understand, but that’s how it is.
There are a lot of people who ran the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 who were heralded as heroes, but they didn’t start the day that way. Most of the runners and spectators were ordinary folk who either love a challenge, love fitness, or love Boston. Then their fellow human being suddenly needed them and who were they to say no?
In Newton, Connecticut, simple elementary teachers risked, and gave their lives to protect their students from a maniac.
Since the economic crash from several years ago, millions of Americans have lost their homes and their jobs, but they carried on, using the crisis as an opportunity to reinvent themselves. To borrow from the Brits, they kept calm and carried on.
There are a lot of cowardly people in world, doing cowardly things with guns, bombs, and even money, in order to hurt and steal. But there are a lot of people standing up to them, and they’re not even paid to do it.
Yeah, the common man seems to be doing just fine. And we should all be able to wake up each morning to the sound of trumpets heralding our existence.