Are you an elitist? Does the phrase make you insecure, vulnerable? is it a metaphor for other personal fears ? Meanwhile, it is usually elitists that accuse other elitists of being ….elitists. Then how can they despise elitism? Can you be a self-hating elitist? This years selection by Time Magazine’s person of the year is one of the most complex, fascinating and intriguing choices ever.
The film ( The Social Network ) claims that after Zuckerberg quit Harvard his personal life spun out of control, with Parker helping him indulge his fantasies with a stream of “groupies”. Sorkin’s screenplay suggests Parker knew Zuckerberg was driven not just by money or fame but also sexual insecurity. While he is depicted as receiving sex in bars, Parker runs the business.
Yet Zuckerberg may have had the last laugh: Parker sold his share of the firm for about $200m. But, says Forbes, Zuckerberg is now worth $4 billion.
…It’s an unreasonable idea that nevertheless makes a kind of emotional sense. A stream of resentment flows beneath the attitude not entirely unlike the feeling that animates the Tea Party, or Pat Buchanan, or Glenn Beck, Michael Moore; a long history of “untrustworthy narrators” in the United States. “Elite” and “elitism” are pejorative words that attract and repulse in equal measure. They clearly carry a powerful charge of insecurity and envy, as well as narcissism and alienation. And yet becoming part of an elite is in theory an intelligent goal. It is also an allegory for maintaining the status quo, and perpetuating white bourgeois values and male patriarchy “light”.And being an elite is something that is extremely important to Mark Zuckerberg.
Its an age of media convergence. Forget viral; its all about spreadability. And Facebook spreads it thick and thin. Anyway you want it. Its a business model, an advertising bonanza and Time Magazine likes it. End of story. Julian Assange has no revenue stream, actual or potential,and perhaps technically is not a person. He is a leak. Zuckerman is part of the elite now. Assange is still an outsider. Burberry has three million fans on Facebook. It costs much less than placing ads in Vanity Fair. The advertising media model is being revolutionized in large part by Facebook, although culturally Facebook is not a contributor or producer, just a facilitator.
Up until this week, Assange seemed like a shoe-in for the award. He received by far the most votes in TIME’s user poll, coming in just over 382,026 (compared to Zuckerberg’s mere 18,353 votes). TIME, for its part, has been clear that the Person of the Year is less an award and more recognition of a person or persons who have “done the most to influence events of the year.” The magazine readily admits that their editors reserve the right to disagree with the user vote, but with the US and other governments hot on Julian Assange’s tail, many are speculating that the decision was a political one. Though direct government pressure seems unlikely (but not impossible), the idea that TIME chose cuddly Zuckerberg over international man of mystery Assange in order to appease an increasingly belligerent US government is entirely feasible.( Jillian York )
Assange is an ambiguous figure.It is difficult at this stage to figure how he is positioned in the matrix. The fact that Michael Moore has supplied some bail money portends that his saga may turn into some B rate romantic comedy finishing at the altar married to some diluted form of pseudo-activism that could use a good mercenary hacker as well as a valuable cameo in the next installment as Michael drags his heft through the spreadable media age.
Another subtext of the Time award is how to frame a deeper and more problematical issue and using the Zuckerman icon as a front for it; and that is the issue of the year is what is the definition and value of intellectual property? That and the lack of privacy and this peddling of personal information to get us to buy something and further consumerist culture.