Time released their most recent influential 100 list for 2010, and though it's full of the usual suspects - like the grossness that is Sarah Palin and Lady Gaga, obviously - there are a lot of choices that fill me with total joy. Here, my nine favorites. Picking 10 would have been too expected. Oh, and I'm a jerk.
1. Zahra Rahnavard, Iranian activist. This is my favorite excerpt from Shirin Ebadi's blurb on her, because it says so much in so little: "Mir-Hossein Mousavi may be the face of Iran's Green protest movement, but the government fears his wife just as much."
2. Kathryn Bigelow, director of "The Hurt Locker." Fellow director Oliver Stone hit gold with the last paragraph on her: "Yet despite enormous accolades, her film is considered a financial failure — like all films about the Iraq war. The question lingers: Why, despite our country's love affair with violence, do Americans refuse to see these realistic films? With The Hurt Locker, Bigelow unflinchingly stuck her finger in the tragic heart of a national wound — our inability to face ourselves."
Also, I still can't get over that picture.
3. Banksy, artist. It makes sense that Shepard Fairey, the guy who made that iconic Obama poster, would say this about the mysterious British graffiti master: "He doesn't ignore boundaries; he crosses them to prove their irrelevance." Simple and direct.
My favorite Banksy piece. So fucking good.
4. Conan O'Brien, God among men. It seems fitting that George Lopez would write about Conan, since they're going to be on TBS together, and I really like the honesty Lopez gives in this piece by kind of admitting that he first doubted O'Brien's on-air talent: "He wasn't a performer; he was a writer. But then I watched, and I recognized his unique perspective. He said things that made me laugh, and I started to feel him. He kept fighting — and I started to respect him. In the world of comedy, his was a Cinderella story in size-15 shoes." Fuck yeah he is!
5. Neill Blomkamp, director. Ridley Scott's blurb about the director of "District 9" isn't that lengthy or engaging, but the list he gives of Blomkamp's feats stand on their own: "His first feature, the improbable but utterly engaging alien-apartheid allegory District 9, has already brought him more acclaim than most filmmakers will ever achieve: a Golden Globe Award nomination, two BAFTA Award nominations and an Academy Award nod, among others." Hopefully it's the beginning of a long and great film career, because, holy fuck,
"District 9" was awesome.
6. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, executive producers of "Lost." My boyfriend hates me because of how obsessed I am with "Lost," but he'll have nothing to worry about in a few weeks when the show finally, depressingly wraps. But until then, Time's TV critic James Poniewozik puts the appeal of "Lost" pretty well: But Lost is, above all, a soulful and funny saga of flawed people seeking redemption, and these storytellers combined their big ideas with some of the most rollicking popcorn entertainment since Star Wars. With the series' May 23 finale, a.k.a. the TV event of the year, the torture finally ends. And the long debate over the ending begins."
Holy crap, I'm so excited. Even though this promo picture for the sixth and final season is weeks old, it still gives me the creeps.
7. Neil Patrick Harris, actor. Everyone this year has gone apeshit about how much Lady Gaga has done for the LGBT community, but part of me thinks her constant making out with girls and flashing of her ladybits is just fucking exploitative at best. On the complete other side of the spectrum, though, is NPH, and I love what Joss Whedon (a man whom I will forever love for bringing me "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") has to say about him: "He made the issue of his sexuality disappear without desexualizing himself. He can get the girl and sing about the boys, and it all works. The public's perception of gay men is shifting because of this guy, and they'll be too entertained to notice. That's more than a good trick. That's magic." Word.
Years after "Harold and Kumar 2," this is still pretty magical, too, I have to say.
8. Prince. There's nothing else to say but Prince. The artist formerly known as a symbol hasn't really done much this year, but it's interesting that Time still included him on this list - and having Usher write about him is pretty valid: "I was interested in music and trying to find a model. It was Michael, or it was Prince. He had an attitude, a rawness that Michael didn't have. He was not urban, but he was our version of what cool could be. You look at an icon like James Dean or Steve McQueen — they represent a certain energy, a certain poise. That's what Prince has."
Plus, he has that tongue. I'm not approving of it, but I'm just bringing it to your attention.
+ Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed, Flickamag, SciFiScoop, Fanpop, Blogspot, Soulbounce