Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Named TIME’s Person Of The Year

TIME named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as its Person of the Year.

From the profile:

Biden had the vision, set the tone and topped the ticket. But he also recognized what he could not offer on his own, what a 78-year-old white man could never provide: generational change, a fresh perspective, and an embodiment of America’s diversity.

For that, he needed Kamala Harris: California Senator, former district attorney and state attorney general, a biracial child of immigrants whose charisma and tough questioning of Trump Administration officials electrified millions of Democrats.

The Vice President has never before been a woman, or Black, or Asian American. “I will be the first, but I will not be the last,” Harris says in a separate interview. “That’s about legacy, that’s about creating a pathway, that’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.”

In an age of tribalism, the union aims to demonstrate that differences don’t have to be divides.

Additionally, Dr. Anthony Fauci and frontline health workers were named 2020 Guardians of the Year along with Racial Justice Organizers.

Lebron James is the 2020 Athlete of the Year, Eric Yuan was named Businessman of the Year, and pop group BTS was honored as Entertainer of the Year,

News Round-Up: November 27, 2020

(image via Instagram/MrOliverDoxie)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instagram: Today’s lead image comes from the adorable Mr. Oliver Doxie account – if you love dachshunds (and who doesn’t?) – you should follow here. The caption for the pic: “When you eat too much and wear a blanket around the house like…” #WhoHasntBeenThere?

The Hill: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams are among the list of nominees for TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year distinction for 2020.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out Kenneth’s weekly collection of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications like entertainment journalist Karl Schmid on the cover of A&U Magazine (below).

(image via A&U Magazine)

New York Daily News: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro doesn’t intend to get vaccinated for coronavirus, despite having suffered from the virus himself earlier this year. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine said populations can safely stop social distancing if at least 75% of people are vaccinated with a shot that’s over 70% effective.

CBC News: A disabled young man who works as a greeter at a Walmart in British Columbia, Canada, was assaulted – pushed to the ground and punched repeatedly – after asking a customer to wear a mask in the store.

Wall Street Journal: The number of people hospitalized in the U.S. due to Covid-19 surpassed 90,000 for the first time, as the pandemic loomed over Thanksgiving Day celebrations.

The Street: Walt Disney plans to lay off a total of 32,000 employees in the first half of 2021, a further reduction in its workforce as the Covid-19 pandemic and severe drop-off in visitors to its theme parks continues to slam its business. Still, the company will be issuing $1.5 billion to its shareholders.

Greta Thunberg Named TIME Magazine’s Person Of The Year

Greta Thunberg is named Time Magazine's Person of the Year for her clarion call to the climate change crisis

Greta Thunberg, who sounded a global clarion call in the climate change crisis has been named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year.

From TIME:

Thunberg began a global movement by skipping school: starting in August 2018, she spent her days camped out in front of the Swedish Parliament, holding a sign painted in black letters on a white background that read Skolstrejk för klimatet: “School Strike for Climate.”

In the 16 months since, she has addressed heads of state at the U.N., met with the Pope, sparred with the President of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike on September 20, 2019, in what was the largest climate demonstration in human history.

Her image has been celebrated in murals and Halloween costumes, and her name has been attached to everything from bike shares to beetles. Margaret Atwood compared her to Joan of Arc. After noticing a hundredfold increase in its usage, lexicographers at Collins Dictionary named Thunberg’s pioneering idea, climate strike, the word of the year.

The politics of climate action are as entrenched and complex as the phenomenon itself, and Thunberg has no magic solution. But she has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change. She has offered a moral clarion call to those who are willing to act, and hurled shame on those who are not.

She has persuaded leaders, from mayors to Presidents, to make commitments where they had previously fumbled: after she spoke to Parliament and demonstrated with the British environmental group Extinction Rebellion, the U.K. passed a law requiring that the country eliminate its carbon footprint.

She has focused the world’s attention on environmental injustices that young indigenous activists have been protesting for years. Because of her, hundreds of thousands of teenage “Gretas,” from Lebanon to Liberia, have skipped school to lead their peers in climate strikes around the world.

Out Rapper Lil Nas X Covers TIME Magazine

TIME Magazine covers the rise of Lil Nas X (screen capture)

These are heady, well-earned times for rapper Lil Nas X.

Less than a year ago, the college drop-out was living on his sister’s floor.

Fast-forward to the release of his mega-hit single, “Old Town Road,” now the longest-running number-one song sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 weeks now.

Along that journey, Lil Nas decided during Pride Month to come out as gay as his single continued its meteoric trajectory.

And now, the chart-busting country/hip-hop artist is covering TIME Magazine.

When @lilnasx’s debut single “Old Town Road” exploded online early this year and began climbing the charts, industry prognosticators anticipated a quick rise and fall. It’s now the longest-running No. 1 song in history, having occupied the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 weeks. It’s been streamed more than a billion times on @spotify alone. All of this has made “Old Town Road” the defining sound of the year, a slurry, genre-busting interpolation of two quintessential American musical genres: #country and hip-hop. Yet even from his perch, writes Andrew R. Chow, Lil Nas is still an outlier. There aren’t many black stars in country #music; there aren’t many queer stars in #hiphop. There aren’t many queer black stars in American culture, point-blank. The fact that Lil Nas has risen so far and so fast testifies not only to his skill, but also to the erosion of the systems that for generations kept #artists like him on the sidelines. At a time when debates about categorization and identity are ubiquitous, Lil Nas X represents a more unified vision of the future, one in which a young #queer black man can dominate popular #culture by being unapologetically himself. “Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” he says now. “Not to sound self-centered, but it feels like I’m chosen, in a way, to do this stuff.” Read more at the link in bio. Photograph by @kelianne for TIME; animation by @brobeldesign; “Old Town Road” (p) 2019 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
A post shared by TIME (@time) on Aug 15, 2019 at 5:08am PDT

In an interview for the venerable publication, Lil Nas explains what having THE number one song represents to him.

“To me, ‘Old Town Road’ being the longest-running number-one song of all time means that…everybody has great taste in music,” says the 20-year-old with a sly smile before adding, “I’m joking.”

“My reaction, just like, me…I was in a complete state of shock,” he adds in a candid moment. “I cried a little bit.”

For someone who grew up poor, being shuttled from one divorced parent to another, it can only be mind-boggling that, in addition to the chart action, “Old Town Road” has been streamed – on Spotify alone – over a billion times.

TIME notes how disparate the stars that have aligned are that brought this to be.

“There aren’t many black stars in country music; there aren’t many queer stars in hip-hop,” writes Andrew Chow for TIME. “There aren’t many queer black stars in American culture, point-blank.”

“The fact that Lil Nas has risen so far and so fast testifies not only to his skill but also to the erosion of the systems that for generations kept artists like him on the sidelines,” adds Chow.

Chow points to social media and streaming platforms for ‘democratizing’ the path to possible success in the music industry today.

When @lilnasx recorded “Old Town Road” last fall, he was hoping it could be his way out of an unhappy life. Born Montero Lamar Hill outside #Atlanta in 1999, Lil Nas grew up poor, living with one parent or another—his mother and father split when he was 6. As he spent most of his teenage years alone, he began to live on the Internet and particularly Twitter, creating #memes that showed his disarming wit and pop-culture savvy. “It was like, I’m able to go viral, but I’m not promoting anything that’s gonna help me,” he says. “Until music came along.” A gifted vocalist since he was a child—his father is a gospel singer—Lil Nas began writing and recording songs in his closet. When, around last Halloween, he stumbled across a banjo-driven beat by the teenage Dutch producer @youngkio, he saw an opportunity to combine trap—a Southern-born #hiphop subgenre propelled by vicious bass and crawling tempos—with #country, which was experiencing a surge of popularity on the Internet. “Because it’s two polar opposites coming together, it’s funny no matter what it is,” he says. For the history of #music, artists like Lil Nas were the exception, writes Andrew R. Chow. Now, by definition, Lil Nas is the rule. Read more at the link in bio. Video by @khomariflashfilms and @alexandra_robson for TIME
A post shared by TIME (@time) on Aug 15, 2019 at 8:48am PDT

That said, Lil Nas isn’t doing the cocky walk any time soon.

He tells TIME, “Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” adding that he feels “chosen” to be in this place at this time.

The country-trap artist didn’t expect “this time” to include coming out, but, here we are.

“I know the people who listen to this the most, and they’re not accepting of homosexuality,” admits Nas. “I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe.”

As “Old Town Road” continued its reign at number one, the U.S. entered Pride Month, and the artist says he saw “Pride flags everywhere” and “couples holding hands.”

And so, he tweeted one of the most casual ‘coming out’ moments in music history.

What’s next for the young musician?

“I definitely feel the need to use my platform to spread positivity and do good things for the world,” he says thoughtfully. “I don’t want to be, in the last minute like, ‘Dang, I should have said something about this, you know?”

“From here, I just want to keep making whatever my ears catch hold to and happen to love.”

Read the full profile over at TIME.com.

Mayor Pete & Husband Cover TIME Magazine “First Family”

Openly gay White House hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, cover TIME Magazine with the caption “First Family.”

Mayor Pete and Chasten are the first gay couple to be featured on the cover since 2013.

From the profile:

Buttigieg is a gay Episcopalian veteran in a party torn between identity politics and heartland appeals. He’s also a fresh face in a year when millennials are poised to become the largest eligible voting bloc. Many Democrats are hungry for generational change, and the two front runners are more than twice his age.

But Buttigieg’s greatest political asset may be his ear for languages. He speaks eight, including Norwegian and Arabic, but he’s particularly fluent in the dialect of the neglected industrial Midwest. Buttigieg is a master of redefinition, a translator for a party that has found it increasingly difficult to speak to the voters who elected President Donald Trump.

The son of an English professor and a scholar of linguistics, he roots his campaign in an effort to reframe progressive ideas in conservative language. “If the substance of your ideas is progressive but there’s mistrust about them among conservatives, you have three choices,” Buttigieg tells TIME, sitting on his living-room couch in South Bend.

“One is to just change your ideas and make them more conservative. The second is to sort of be sneaky and try to make it seem like your ideas are more conservative than they are. And the third, the approach that I favor, is to stick to your ideas, but explain why conservatives shouldn’t be afraid of them.”

[snip]

Some of Buttigieg’s fellow officers who had used gay as an epithet in his presence reached out to express their support. “I bet some of them still go back and tell gay jokes because that’s their habit, you know?” he says. “Bad habits and bad instincts is not the same as people being bad people.”

All this informs his belief that it’s still possible to reach across America’s political divide.

“We’ve got to get away from this kill-switch mentality that we see on Twitter,” he says.

He has seen once disapproving parents dance at their gay son’s wedding and homophobic military officers take back their words, and so he believes in the power of redemption and forgiveness.

“This idea that we just sort people into baskets of good and evil ignores the central fact of human existence, which is that each of us is a basket of good and evil,” he says. “The job of politics is to summon the good and beat back the evil.”

It’s a terrific read. Definitely click over and learn a bit more about Mayor Pete.

The historical importance of such representation for the LGBTQ community can’t be overstated.

Trump Covers TIME & The New Yorker

Photo illustration by Nancy Burson for TIME

“Popular, you’re gonna be pop-u-u-lar…”

Donald Trump graces the covers of both TIME and The New Yorker this week.

In the TIME cover, the editors have merged the faces of the Trumpster and Vladimir Putin into one image, because, well, they have become one.

And from The New Yorker:

A little more than three years ago, Donald Trump descended an escalator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for the Presidency. That image makes a return in Barry Blitt’s latest cover, which remarks on Trump’s performance during and after his summit with Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki.

Donald Trump Gets Another TIME Magazine Cover

Donald Trump shown on the cover of this week's TIME Magazine with the caption "Welcome to America" as a small immigrant child cries at Trump's feet

Donald Trump covers TIME Magazine again this week.

From the new issue:

TIME’s Karl Vick writes: “For the first 240 years of U.S. history, … our most revered chief executives reliably articulated a set of high-minded, humanist values that bound together a diverse nation by naming what we aspired to: democracy, humanity, equality. … Donald Trump doesn’t talk like that.”

And from Molly Ball: “The inhumanity unfolding at the border has not just been a test for Trump. It has been, and will continue to be, a moment of reckoning for America.

“Trump has often bet that if he just rides out the current frenzy, the anger will fade and some new controversy will erupt. He thinks shock is a temporary condition, moral outrage is phony posturing and that the American people can be numbed to just about anything.

“If there is a Trump creed, it’s that there’s no such thing as going too far. That may have found its limit with putting children in cages. “

Donald Trump Covers TIME Magazine – “King Me”

Trump-as-a-king

Donald Trump covers the latest issue of TIME Magazine with the title, “King Me.”

The in-depth article by Molly Ball and Tessa Berenson goes into the ongoing warfare between Team Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

From TIME:

It’s a dangerous moment for Trump.

If he agrees to talk, the notoriously undisciplined President risks making a false statement, which could be a crime like the one that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

But if he refuses, Mueller could issue a subpoena, instigating a long, high-profile court battle over whether Trump could be forced to testify.

The two legal teams–Mueller’s squad of top prosecutors and Trump’s rotating cast of advocates–are haggling over what an interrogation would look like: how long it would be, what topics would be on the table and whether the session would be recorded.

Before the President talks to investigators, Trump’s team wants to see the authorization letter that established Mueller’s authority, according to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

They are also demanding the special counsel’s report to be issued within 60 days of any interview.