The approaching millennium is rapidly proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that humans are the most dangerous and stupid animal of them all.
Although seemingly harmless and undoubtedly vapid, a recent Time Warner on-line poll asking voters to choose their person of the century has touched off a controversy involving four large organized religions, and every minority group you can think of.
Campaign groups are actively organizing voting blocks in an attempt to steer their historical figure to victory, not to mention desperately attempting to place the century in a far too glowing light.
A few weeks ago, when Adolf Hitler topped the list, a mass e-mail campaign by Jewish groups called for a pro-Yitzhak Rabin movement. What the Jews forget is that according to their calendar it is the year 5759, leaving 41 years to find a better candidate.
Jesus was dropped as an eligible contender, to the screams of the Christians, after Time realized he did not live in the 20th century, nor has he lived in any of the last 18 centuries. Mohammed was disqualified on similar grounds. One message on the bulletin board asked, "Why not Buddha?" Why not?
The strongest Hindu contender would have to be Mahatma Gandhi, and although the pacifist will not win, India should honour him in some way. Perhaps they could name an atomic bomb after him.
Don't knock the token chicks on the list. Madonna is a very good business woman and Princess Diana was very good at whatever it was she did. Although not photogenic enough to beat Ronald Reagan, the best of the women candidates is Mother Theresa.
If you're making bets, don't expect a Mother Theresa comeback. Most Catholics are still wrapped up in a Pope John Paul ii vs. Pope Paul vi argument.
Other Christian groups, after the disqualification of the Messiah, shifted their support to-get this-Billy Graham. The evangelist is probably a nice guy, but how can you be the Person of the Century if you have to pay for all of your own TV time.
Which brings us to another good point: while most are modern, virtually all of the top contenders are constantly on TV. Has Bill Gates really changed the world as much as Henry Ford did? Probably not when you consider the time span. Yet a population that has always lived with cars has a skewed perception toward the revolutionary thinking of Windows 95. This contest has as much to do with A&E's Biography as it does with actual accomplishment.
You have to take these things with a grain of salt. A similar list placed the sinking of the Titanic ahead of the Nazi surrender. In ranking TV's greatest moments, a TV Guide readers' poll placed a General Hospital wedding episode ahead of the Berlin Wall coming down. I think we all remember how beautiful Laura was that day.
I'm no Nazi, but I can grasp their importance in shaping the world in which we live. Ditto the Bolsheviks, the Birchites or Werner von Braun. I'm not saying they are good examples for the kids, but they all played important roles in the struggle to reach this point in history.
So many groups. So many divisions. So much self-centered interjection. And in the case of Elvis Presley, who currently tops the list, so idiotic.
If you must vote, please vote for me, Collin Gallant. At least then I can achieve what so many of the voters are seeking-the Person of the Century will look and think exactly like me.
May we have a blast being as egocentric and inane in the next 1,000 years as we were in the last.