NME's 2006 Chart/Time's Persons of 2005
NME 2006 Chart
1. The White Stripes - Blue Orchid
2. Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
3. Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
4. Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure
5. Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God
6. Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To
7. The Rakes - 22 Grand Job
8. Gorillaz - Dare
9. Bloc Party - Two More Years (a single)
10. We Are Scientists - The Great Escape
11. Editors - Munich (from The Back Room)
12. The Futureheads - Area (a single)
13. The Strokes - Juicebox
14. LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
15. The White Stripes - My Doorbell
16. The Bravery - An Honest Mistake (from The Bravery, and a single)
17. Queens Of The Stone Age - In My Head
18. Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales Of San Francisco
19. Babyshambles - Fuck Forever
20. Hard-Fi - Hard To Beat
Along the lines of accepting something as true because it's in print, I have some new role models today. Or at least I've decided to no longer mind that Bill Gates heads up a monopoly, and engages in a myriad of other objectionable business practices. I also have some issues with Bono & co.'s Live 8 concerts and with the simplisitic Make Poverty History approach to aiding impoverished nations. However, I'm absolving Bono of any responsibility for the downsides of the Make Poverty History campaign, while giving him credit for any and all of the good that results from it. However, Bob Geldof, Bono's partner in event planning and do-goodery, is not off the hook.
For Time Magazine has named Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono its Persons of the Year. Sir Bob don't impress them much. Or at least not enough to win the honour of posing while glaring menacingly away from a large prop globe while a couple of billionaires stand in the background. Billionaires they are; rock singers they are not, so whatever! This is a good lesson for the kids.
Sure, the Person(s) of the Year thing is about having an impact (positive or negative), not about being perfect, but our culture already tends toward the hero-worship of celebrities and the wealthy. Why feed into that?
In Bono's case, perhaps because he's "The Constant Charmer" and "the world's biggest rock star". Uh-oh. Chris Martin must be kept from this issue of Time. If he reads that last bit, it could cause a hulk-like reaction. (updated to note that it may be too late. Coldplay may have begun a "comparing themselves to the Beatles" phase")
Time lays it on thick for Microsoft as well. "Imagine a kinder, humbler Microsoft-one designed to spend money, not make it. That's the kind of philanthropy Bill and Melinda Gates have invented." First, I doubt that Microsoft is no longer a for-profit corporation. The couple did not invent "that kind of philanthropy". And yes, they do a lot of good (some of it with ill-gotten gains, but better to do good with it than evil). But in many ways Microsoft is neither all that kind nor terribly humble.
Philanthropy is a sideline for these three, while many people make it their life's work. Most of them are not singers or billionaires, though. Time calls 2005 "the year of charitainment" but there's nothing new about prominent people becoming involved with worthy causes. This year, I think the most memorable examples were associated with hurricane relief, partly because of the governmental failures connected to it. I would have expected someone associated with the hurricanes to be named; these folks seem an odd choice. Swell that Bono is charming, but it seems premature to deem him a success, just as it was when Sir Bob received excessive adulation back in the day.
U2 - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World (from Achtung Baby)