I’m sure you’re outraged about the United Nations’ decision to grant non-member observer state status to Palestine last week over the objections of the United States, Israel, Canada, and a bunch of tiny island countries. This is widely seen as a small but pivotal step towards a two-state solution. Is this a slap in the face to American efforts in the Mid-East peace process?
-Foreign Policy Mavens
I find it really hard to get worked up about this despite the media trying their damndest. I think the best I can do is chortle at the idea that anything the United Nations General Assembly does means anything at all. While I appreciate the Star Trek ideals of a worldwide democracy it doesn’t really reflect how things actually work in the world. If Great Britain hadn’t abstained and all four of the other permanent members of the Security Council had voted that way we could talk about global implications.
More importantly, one of the major objections I read from the US/Israel contingent was a concern that this recognition could lead to international consequences for actions taken by Israel against Palestinian forces and civilians. If your objections to something involve fears that your actions would elevate from just plain shitty to war crimes you should probably not do those things anymore regardless of some legal technicality.
I’m afraid we’ve messed up again over at Time Magazine. This year we put up a web poll for our 2012 Person of the Year. That poll caught the attention of a quasi-malevolent group of Internet pranksters and now Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is the runaway leader in our poll with almost ten times as many votes as the first runner-up. While our editors will select the actual Person of the Year I can’t help but feel embarrassed by this, should I?
-Richard Stengel, Managing Editor, Time
You should be embarrassed but probably not for the reason you think. I get it, you have a website, you’re a very hip company, not at all like those stuffy old magazines. Oh, that’s right, absolutely everyone has a website now. You don’t need web polls to engage your readers; you should do that by actually having engaging content. The only way you should keep this stupid poll up is if you think you benefit somehow from the publicity you get when this same thing happens every year. I know there’s no such thing as bad publicity but that doesn’t mean it’s all helpful. You’re an American institution and it’s time to stop acting like a college newspaper.
Isn’t this your fourth anniversary column?
-An Avid Fan
No, no it isn’t. I sure thought it was last week. 208 divided by 52 is four, no one’s denying that but then I remembered that I skipped a week earlier this year. Last week was the four-year mark. I would still like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Michael Davis World for giving me this opportunity and for continuing to keep the lights on. I love doing this and I love having a place to do it that doesn’t end in.tumblr.com. I hope to see you all back here in four years undoubtedly complaining about America’s obsession with Justin Bieber’s divorce.