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Tysyacha
12-26-2007, 11:33 AM
I couldn't believe it when I saw the cover of TIME magazine. Vladimir Putin is Person of the Year for 2007! I read the article as hungrily as my cat chomps on his catnip mouse. How could it have happened? I'm more confused than ever about Mr. Putin, thanks to TIME presenting both sides of his story.

Let's get a few things straight: Mr. Putin is no shining example of allowing free speech, free press, or other things that a Western-style democracy offers. That I despise. However, TIME's point was that Putin had brought Russia back from the utter instability and chaos of the 1990's, along with the pure oligarchy (rule by the few). Russia's coming back from the brink of the breadlines, although it is not completely there, thanks to Volodya...

Maybe the truth I learned from reading the extensive article about 2007's Person of the Year is that stability must be achieved ere freedom can exist. However, what kind of an example is Russia setting when some of its own citizens are longing for the glory days of Joseph Stalin? Hello---GULAG?!?!?

I fear for Russia, and I also fear for Westerners' perceptions of it. The Cold War has been over since 1989, and yet I see the suspicion in people's eyes when I tell them I'm trying to hone and perfect my skills in that language.

As for Medvedev, Putin's successor: my friend Lyudmila Maryankova, having lived in Russia until 8 years ago, says, "He is the same as Putin. It is good for the government, but bad for the people." I'm inclined to agree with her, and yet after reading what TIME said, I don't know what to think anymore.

The other thing I've learned? It's hard not to be swayed by ANY biases....

P.S. Medvedev is a family name, and yet I believe it's no coincidence that this name is only two letters apart from medved', or "bear" in Russian!

Achilles
12-26-2007, 11:54 AM
As Time's Managing Editor points out in this (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17416024) interview, Person of the Year is not an endorsement, a honor, or an award. It is merely a recognition of the individual's impact on the social discourse (IIRC, Joseph Stalin was listed twice).

Darth InSidious
12-26-2007, 12:04 PM
Putin threatened one journalist who asked too many questions that he would cut the guy's parts off.

Are Time out of their evidently tiny ****ing minds?!

Whatever happened to "no publicity is bad publicity"?

Still, I suppose it's unsurprising from the empty pomposity and overintellectualisation that makes up most of that magazine.

Web Rider
12-26-2007, 12:24 PM
I have to admit I find it a little odd them picking Putin. There aren't a lot of stunning examples of better people to be sure, but Putin still strikes me as pretty low on the totem pole as far as "men of the year" go. Relaunching bomber patrols, mandating the media regard the US as an enemy, allowing himself to be "appointed" Prime Minister after his buddy gets elected.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Putin is KGB, ex or not, he knows only one way to run Russia, and sadly, as the OP says, many Russians long for the "glory days" of the USSR.

jonathan7
12-26-2007, 12:44 PM
Well apparently hes 'turned Russia back into a world power' which i find laughable! The Russians will pay for their pride; they will go back (and to an extent already have) to what the country once was; Russia may have been powerful but what did the ordinary people really have? Plato observed; "The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness...This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector." Putin is an ass (same as Bush and Brown are) none of whom should be given any awards; apart from a 'Worlds biggest ass' award.

Personally I think David Petraeus should have been man of the year; Iraq is alot more stable than it was thanks to him. The one problem you do have for such an award is there arent many standout candidats from 2007.

Pho3nix
12-26-2007, 12:54 PM
As Time's Managing Editor points out in this (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17416024) interview, Person of the Year is not an endorsement, a honor, or an award. It is merely a recognition of the individual's impact on the social discourse (IIRC, Joseph Stalin was listed twice).
Indeed. Though I still find it strange.

Darth InSidious
12-26-2007, 01:03 PM
Well apparently hes 'turned Russia back into a world power' which i find laughable! The Russians will pay for their pride; they will go back (and to an extent already have) to what the country once was;.
To an extent? They are building an economic stranglehold on Western Europe.

Think about this for a moment, and you may see why there is just a little realism in comparing Putin to a certain German Chancellor from 1932-1945...

mimartin
12-26-2007, 01:36 PM
Think about this for a moment, and you may see why there is just a little realism in comparing Putin to a certain German Chancellor from 1932-1945...Correct, they were both named Time Person of the Year.


Better choice this year than last the copout when they picked “You.” They haven’t made a great choice since 1982.

jonathan7
12-26-2007, 02:31 PM
To an extent? They are building an economic stranglehold on Western Europe.

Think about this for a moment, and you may see why there is just a little realism in comparing Putin to a certain German Chancellor from 1932-1945...

Oh, he has a lot in common with Will Smiths buddy Adolf. It must be pointed out of course, that the only reason he is able to gain an economic stranglehold over Western Europe, is our politicians have the combined intelligence of a hamster (I apoligse to any hamsters who are offended by me comparing them to very hairy, stupid useless creatures).

That said, if he Russia went to war with Europe; Russia would loose, indeed the British on their own (and even with most of our forces in Afghanistan) would I believe still defeat Russia; ergo I wouldn't say Russia is close to being a World Power; sure they have lots of Oil and Gas; but resources are things which can be purchased elsewhere.

SilentScope001
12-26-2007, 04:56 PM
Guys? There are much more radicial fascists out there? The National Bolskevists in Russia, for instance? Please don't invoke Godwin's Law a bit too early...

Anyway, Time's Person of the Year is an award to those who affected society the most during the past year. That's it. Hitler got it. Stalin got it. Bush got it. And "You" got it. And considering Putin is responsible for a lot of stuff, I say he deserve it.

Time's 2006 Person of the Year should have been the Iranian President. Well, technically, he was, since the President owns his own blog. But still.

Dagobahn Eagle
12-26-2007, 06:37 PM
Everyone:As Time's Managing Editor points out in this interview, Person of the Year is not an endorsement, a honor, or an award. It is merely a recognition of the individual's impact on the social discourse (IIRC, Joseph Stalin was listed twice).

jonathan7
12-26-2007, 06:39 PM
Everyone:

Yeah, I read that bit, Achilles has a point, but I dont think Putin has done diddly squat really; has he really changed anything in my life?

*Don*
12-27-2007, 08:04 PM
I even heard that they were thinkin about naming Mahmoud Amanijinead (spelling) as person of the year.

Putin seems less controversial when you take that into account.

Corinthian
12-27-2007, 08:28 PM
I understand Person of the Year but...why Putin? I can't think of a single thing he did this year. Just about anyone would make more sense than Putin.

Rogue Nine
12-27-2007, 09:10 PM
Corinthian, just because you can't doesn't mean the rest of the world can't.

From the Time Person of the Year article (http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/personoftheyear/article/0,28804,1690753_1690757_1696150,00.html):

TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world—for better or for worse. It is ultimately about leadership—bold, earth-changing leadership. Putin is not a boy scout. He is not a democrat in any way that the West would define it. He is not a paragon of free speech. He stands, above all, for stability—stability before freedom, stability before choice, stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred years. Whether he becomes more like the man for whom his grandfather prepared blinis—who himself was twice TIME's Person of the Year—or like Peter the Great, the historical figure he most admires; whether he proves to be a reformer or an autocrat who takes Russia back to an era of repression—this we will know only over the next decade. At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power. For that reason, Vladimir Putin is TIME's 2007 Person of the Year.

Tommycat
12-27-2007, 10:18 PM
...many Russians long for the "glory days" of the USSR.
Many in our own military long for that as well... Having a country to be dead set against is alot easier to deal with than some hidden enemy.

Honestly, I really couldn't think of any person that really fit the definition of "Man of the year." As far as newsworthiness, Putin really wasn't that spectacular. I honestly think they had a better candidate, but chickened out so as not to tick off as many people. Heck it may have been to get people to buy the magazine for the "WTF" factor.

Corinthian
12-28-2007, 12:45 AM
The thing is, the whole thing states that, yeah, he's trying to stabilize Russia, but he's done very little beyond the national level this year. I certainly can't remember any news reports of any real substance about Putin this year. So, yeah, he may be significant, I just don't see him as the person who most shaped world events this year.

Darth InSidious
12-29-2007, 08:20 AM
The thing is, the whole thing states that, yeah, he's trying to stabilize Russia, but he's done very little beyond the national level this year. I certainly can't remember any news reports of any real substance about Putin this year. So, yeah, he may be significant, I just don't see him as the person who most shaped world events this year.
For one thing, he's threatened the sovereignty of the fifth major world power three times this year. So there.

Totenkopf
01-02-2008, 07:29 PM
Has Gore sued TIME yet for losing out to Putin? :D