Barbara Walter's Most Fascinating Person of 2011 is a little different than in previous years. Winner Steve Jobs is already dead. And even though he may have died in October, he is an obvious pick.
Jobs retired as Apple CEO and was actually selected for the honor when he first retired. But after Jobs died, the "rule" was broken for him, which seems only fitting since Jobs was not one who ever followed the rules. And the weirdest part is that he was the most deserving of anyone else on the 2011 (or 2010) list.
With the distinction of "Most Fascinating Person of the Year," Jobs joins last year's list with stars like Justin Bieber and the cast of Jersey Shore. But they are all jokes by comparison.
Jobs was something different. He was no saint. He had an illegitimate child he took years to claim and many say he was not known for being overly nice in the workplace (some even called him a "tyrant"). He was human and flawed and he had a dark side. Of course, the dark and the light coexisting is exactly what makes a person fascinating.
Jobs was complicated and there is no one way to describe him. He saw the future and he made it happen. He was a perfectionist who shaped the world into the perfection he saw on his head. Hell, he designed the computer on which I type these words. He was heroic.
Perhaps nothing sums up why he deserves this honor more than the 1997 Think Different campaign he launched soon after he came back to Apple as CEO. He said:
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. ... They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.
Indeed. No matter how you felt about Jobs, he changed computers, he changed the way we interact and he changed the world.
Now let's talk about the rest of the list. Other celebrities include Pippa Middleton, Katy Perry, Herman Cain, Amanda Knox, Donald Trump, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. About 75 percent of those are really silly, especially when compared to Jobs.
I am all for keeping the list diverse, but come on, people. How has Pippa Middleton changed the world? And what makes her fascinating? Her rear end?
It is pretty sad for the list that the deceased one is just about the only pick with substance.
What do you think of the list?
Image via Southernpixel Alby/Flickr