THE 2010 PERSON OF THE YEAR: BRADLEY MANNING

Rape, murder, lies, sex, war, carnage, leakage- the past 12 months have had all of this and more in common with, well, every other year in this, the 2010th year in the Gregorian Calendar. But because list are comforting and things must be compartmentalized, quantified, ruminated on, and debated- and because Time magazine FUCKS this shit up every year, I offer you the 2010 No Cure For That Person of the year award.

But first, some dishonorable mentions:

Tony Hayward for being the arrogant face and voice of a willfully negligent environmental terrorist of a corporation who presided over the largest environmental disaster in US history and one of the largest PR disasters in world history. You are free to enjoy your dishonorable mention now that you have your life back.

Pat Robertson for, in addition to just being a windbag-o-douche- stating that the Haiti earthquake was the result of Haiti making a deal with the devil.

Pope Benedict, for your continued efforts at shielding priests from criminal prosecution and allowing them to wear the cloth after you knew they raped and molested children, here is wishing I am wrong in my opinion about the non-existence of an afterlife and that hell does in fact exist with Beelzebub saving an eternal seat for at table with Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacey.
It is hard to give your heroes a dishonorable mention, but Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, for throwing a massive rally against rallies and protest against protest a Slactivist festival that hold high the Kid Rock Ethos of “the world is really awful but there is nothing we can do about it” I declare that the 2 kings of Comedy Central go directly to jail and do not pass go.

There are more, easy targets for dishonorable mention of course; Sarah Palin, Lebron James and the father of that Indonesian 2 year old baby who was smoking a pack a day come quickly to mind, but let us now shine a light on some of the most positive movers and shakers of 2010:

Honorable mention must go to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Laying bare the lies governments tell us that lead us to and keep us in a state of perpetual war makes you a hero on this list even as the likes of Sarah Palin calling for you to be hunted down like Osama bin Laden. WikiLeaks is said to be taking precautions in the light of such threats, but if we were going to hunt him down like Osama, it would appear that his life is not in that much danger after all. And while I think he could do away with his Ray Ban sponsorship deal he still earns a place high on this year’s Person of the Year honorable mention.

Lady Gaga also deserves honorable mention, not only for achieving fame while artistically de-constructing the fame monster culture we live in, but for using her celebrity status to advocate for gay rights and the abolishment of DADT. Even if her motivation is to overtake Madonna and Barbara Streisand on the iPod playlists of gay men all over the world, the ends (methinks) justify the means.

Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein, the married couple DIY independent media power couple get high praise for their work this year. She a journalist and he a comedian and together the hosts of the only podcast I actually listen to – you should all run right now to citizenradio.com to subscribe to their show to find out why G Gordon Liddy once told Allison why her writing wants to make him vomit and why Jeneane Garafolo described Jamie comedy as a cross between George Carlin and Bill Hicks. Pull yourself away from corporate media mouthpieces and listen to what true independence sounds like. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

This person of the year however, goes to Bradley Manning.

Displaying the courage, hearts and brains to pull back the curtain and show us much more than the menacing Wizard of OZ, Private First Class Bradley Manning allegedly (so this award must come with an asterisk, until his suspected involvement is confirmed) is the reason why Secretary of State Clinton, among other high-ranking officials, are scrambling to mend fences.  But exposing the machinations behind the hegemonic homicidal foreign policy of the United States goes well beyond any dream like dorethean allegory. Because, while it is true that we are no longer in Kansas, to stretch the boundaries of the Wizard of Oz metaphor, life in the post nuclear era is never so simple as clicking our heels together and awaking from a dream.

Private First Class Bradley Manning is now in jail, charged with illegally copying classified documents.

Manning said he hoped the release of the videos and documents would lead to “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms”.

In fact, the ongoing discussion that will not die down anytime soon as a result of Manning’s actions are challenging Americans to face is a deeper meaning behind the phrase “there’s no place like home.”

Runaway Slave

by Davis Fleetwood Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

We may have an African American in the White House, but Lebron James, the man simply known as the KING, is still being treated like a slave. This, according to the even tempered wordsmith, the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Jesse Jackson was reacting to the drunken rage open letter to Cleveland fans sent by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday, in which Gilbert said, ” As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier. This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.”

Apparently, no one ever imparted the wisdom of hitting the save as draft button and sleeping off jug of Long Island Ice Tea that you consumer watching LeBron’s ESPN special “decision” show. While most would agree that the Cavs owner is guilty poor font selection, behaving like a 10th grade Romeo whose love is going unrequited and the just plain Bombastically ridiculous claim that the Cavs will win a championship before the HEAT- The Rev. Jesse Jackson sees something much more sinister at work.

Jesse Jackson said: “His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.”

Slave Master Mentality? Come on Reverend! I am as left wing as they come. I mean, shit, I sneak Public Enemy onto my kid’s ipod, I cheered when Mookie threw the garage can through Sal’s Pizzeria, and my date to see Jungle Fever was a black woman.

Yeah, LeBron honored his contract. And while Dan Gilbert does not own LeBron, can’t we agree that LeBron owned his former boss a phone call. Can’t we agree that the circus orchestrated by LeBron has turned him from one of the NBA’s good guys into one of the villains?

But I hear you; I am not naïve enough to pretend that we live in a post racial society. I know that we may not have achieved MLK’s dream of living in a world that does not judge one by the color of their skin but by the content of their character – but we live in something that is offering a different kind of leveler of the playing field: the Hypercapitalist Celebrity culture. I mean, if the OJ Simpson trial taught us anything it is that people are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the contents in their wallet.

By this standard I’m sure LeBron would say, cares not what fans in Cleveland burning his jersey think. Rather, I am sure LeBron would agree with the immortal words of Mel Brooks, “It’s good the be the King.”

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A freelance writer, Davis Fleetwood has worked as a writer/ media consultant for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as a contributing editorial commentator for The Uptake. His videos have been seen by over 14 million viewers. He has been called (among many other things) “one of the most prominent voices in YouTube politics.” (-You Tube News & Politics chief, Steve Grove) He was a “Best of YouTube, 2007” nomination. His book DROPPIN’ KNOWLEDGE LIKE A CLUMSY LIBRARIAN, is now available from No Cure For That Press, and his first full length feature documentary, MANIFEST DESTINY’S CHILD, is due out on DVD this June.

THE HERMIT WITH DAVIS FLEETWOOD is a sometimes serious, sometimes satiric look at the top headlines, current events, and political trends. The show is Independently produced by a staff of one & runs on the fuel of your individual donations.

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