Time's annual 100 Most Influential People In the World issue is hitting newsstands today. With more fluff than a gay-porn set, the charticle is divided into five barely discernible categories — titans, pioneers, artists, leaders, icons — and each of the 100 is profiled by a friend and/or colleague and/or someone else on the list.
American politicians, Chinese moguls, Middle Eastern leaders, and Tea Party puppet-masters (the Koch brothers, of course, take two spots) make up a large chunk of the entries, while a motley assortment of celebrities provides the requisite eye candy. Beyonce, who appears on the cover (an honor that will surely go to Kimye next year, after nonstop complaining by Kanye), is written up by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, which appears within the first 50 words. Dolly Parton performs godmother duty by writing up Miley Cyrus, saying, "She was very proud of the work she did as Hannah Montana, but...she was just smotherin’ and chokin’ in it."
In fashion/art terms, Phoebe Philo gets high praise from Stella McCartney (part of the Kering stable) without mention of Céline (LVMH). Net-a-Porter's Natalie Massenet is lionized by Jenna Lyons, while Christy Turlington-Burns gets a nod from Melinda Gates for her charity work. Finally, it wouldn't be a useless list without James Franco rhapsodizing about Marina Abramovic, whose nominal punctuation is conspicuously absent. "I trust Marina to carve the artist out of her celebrity," he writes, "and use her celebrity to bring what she stands for into the here and now." Huh?