Tag Archives: TIME Magazine

About Time

11 Nov

A few posts ago, I mentioned that this semester has flown by. My timing has been completely off, and it will be difficult to cover everything that I need to go over. One of my colleagues said that he is facing the same thing. It is as if the semester has been shorten. He also thought that previous semesters may have been longer, and this semester is the way it is supposed to be.

On top of all that, I saw Interstellar and its time warping plot. I will not spoil it for anyone, but it made me wish that I could slow down time. At least, I could get caught up on my lectures.

Between the feeling that time is flying and the viewing of the movie, time has been on my mind. Obviously that led me to all of the things that are related to time. You know, things like TIME magazine. Heck, it has time written all over it. Then, there is the Allman Brothers song, “Ain’t Wastin’ No More Time”. Better than that, who could forget the Isaac Hayes rendition of “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”? It is only 18 minutes long.

In the movie world, there is Fast Times at Ridgemont High with Phoebe Cates sending every young male into a testosterone-fueled frenzy.Phoebe

Fast times. Man, that is the truth. I always heard that time goes by faster as you get older. I did not believe it, but I should have.

Maybe I could become a time bandit. You remember that movie, right? Time Bandits hit the screens the year before Phoebe Cates hit the hearts of all those young males. It starred Sean Connery, who was still trying to get away from his James Bond persona. Time finally allowed him to escape the clutches of 007.

It is a good thing that Charles Bronson was not after him because no one could escape the Man With the Harmonica in Once Upon a Time in the West. I wrote a post about Henry Fonda playing one of the baddest dudes in movie history, but he could not escape Bronson any better than the other people in that movie.Fonda

Of course, if you want to get serious about time, then you should read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Doctors once told him that his time was running out due to ALS. He fooled them.

Before I fool myself by thinking that something can be done to slow down time, I am going to stop writing and figure out how I am going to get all of this history covered before time runs out on the semester. Yep, “I Ain’t Wastin’ No More Time.”

 

Listeria

11 Jul

I was at the pharmacy buying legal drugs and had to wait the required 20 minutes for them to fill my prescription. There were five druggists and one customer, so I’m not sure why it should take that long. Maybe, they were sampling their merchandise. Anyway, I entertained myself by looking at greeting cards; checking out the new wave of condoms; and, in the end, heading over to the magazine stand. There, in the middle of the too-much-about-celebrities and the too-little-about-sports, I found TIME: The 100 Most Influential People of All Time.

I know what these “list” magazines are. They are a way for magazines to make some extra money and maybe get new subscribers. They are pointless because the lists are totally subjective, and there is no way of knowing how they came up with the names. Besides, what makes 100 so special anyway? It’s just a round number. Despite all of that, I am a sucker for these types of things. I even bought Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and made sure I had all of the songs on my iPod. This, despite the fact that “Like a ROLLING STONE” by Bob Dylan was ranked Numero Uno, and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The ROLLING STONES came in second. Talk about subjective lists with self-promotion.

As you can probably imagine, I bought the history list, too. I am a historian who likes lists. What can I say? Now, I’m not going to go through the entire list, but a few things stood put to me.

1. There are a few people on the list who are subject to speculation in their actual existence. There’s Abraham, Jesus Christ, Confucius. Heck, some people even doubt the reality of William Shakespeare. Yet, they are on the list. Let me set this straight. I am not saying that they did not exist. They, or the inspiration for them, probably did. Also, there is no doubt of the impact that they and their followers have had on the world. I only think it is interesting that the list includes people who may not have actually been people.

2. There are four U.S. presidents on the list – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. I have already written about what I think of our presidents, so I won’t go into great detail. However, this brings some thoughts to mind. First, these four did a great job and left an impact on the world. Second, the other forty haven’t done much. I mean, these guys are always called “the leader of the free world” and are said to hold “the most powerful office in the world”. If that’s true, then why are there not more on the list?

I’ll tell you why. None of that is really true. There are a lot of leaders of “the free world”, and the presidency is not even supposed to be “the most powerful office” in the United States. The three branches – executive, legislative and judicial – are equal. It’s a team effort, and the president is supposed to run the day-to-day operations. Obviously, this job description has been skewed through the years by the people in office (definitely by the four on the list), but the fact remains that the presidency is supposed be no more powerful or influential than the other areas of government.

3. One of the presidents, Roosevelt is on the list along with Winston Churchill. Undoubtedly, they made it because of their efforts against Adolph Hitler (who is also on the list) during World War II. In my opinion, all three of those people deserve their listing. I’m sure a lot of people object to Hitler’s presence, but the list is about influence, not humanity. He started a war that shaped the rest of the 20th Century – from technology to the Cold War.

Mentioning the Cold War leads me to the issue with this grouping. Where is Joseph Stalin? He was one of the Big Three who fought against Nazi Germany. In fact his nation was actually invaded by German troops. Want to know an interesting statistic? More Soviet women died in combat than American men. On top of that, his policies shaped the 20th Century as well.

4. I also find it interesting that my area of historical study, the American West, is also included. I just can’t figure out why. Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea make the list for their journey through the Louisiana Territory. It’s important for the United States, but I am not sure about its influence on the world. First, someone had already made the trek through Canada. Second, most of their travels went through lands already ventured into by Europeans. Third, Native Americans had been there for a long time.

Speaking – actually, writing – of Native Americans. Sitting Bull is on the list. This is one of my favorite people from history, and I will visit the Battle of Little Big Horn, the site of his greatest victory, in a few weeks. However, I don’t see how the killing of George Custer makes him one of the top 100. Sitting Bull didn’t even lead forces into battle because he was recovering from the Sun Dance. He is tattoo worthy, though.

As written earlier, I will not go through the entire list, but I will mention my favorites from each category.

In “Beacon of Spirits”, I like the inclusion of Socrates and Plato.

“Explorers and Visionaries” has Charles Darwin and Alexander Graham Bell, with whom I share a last name. Unfortunately, we are not related.

Queen Elizabeth I and Simon Bolivar are listed under “Leaders of the People”.

“Architects of Culture” includes Michelangelo and Louis Armstrong.

That’s it. If you were on the committee, then who would you put on the list?