"Man of the Milennium": WAY too soon to Say!!!

Hey, I realize that NOBODY’S “Ten best” lists, or “man of the year” or “man of the century” lists should be taken too seriously. Such lists should be made only for fun (or to sell magazines!).

So, I won’t argue the pros or cons of any individual person as “man of the century.” Personally, in THIS case, I think the safe, obvious choice (Franklin Roosevelt) is also the right one. But… aren’t we jumping the gun? How do we KNOW yet who the most important person of the century was?

In the year 100 A.D. (of course, NOBODY was using that date at the time, but humor me), would anyone in ROme have named some obscure Jewish carpenter as the most important person of the first century?

We don’t even know the name of the Chinese inventor who first concocted gunpowder. Back when the powder wasn’t used for much but show, would anyone have called him the most important man of his century?

In the year 1500, would anyone have said Johannes Guttenberg was the most important man of the 15th century? (I doubt it.)

In the year 1900, would ANYONE have name Karl Marx or Charles Babbage as the most important man of the 19th century? Hell, no!(They turned out to be rather important, though, didn’t they?)

The point is, history isn’t static. Things that happened in the 20th century will have important, unforeseen consequences in the 21st century. POSSIBLE examples?

IF China becomes the dominant superpower in the 21st century, mightn’t we have to look back and say that Deng Xiaoping was the most important man of the 21st century?

IF Islamic fundamentalism continues to grow exponentially, and eventually dominates half the globe, mightn’t we have to look back and say the Ayatollah Khomeini was the most important man of the 20th century?

IF the radical “Green” environmental movement grows and dominates 21st century politics, mightn’t we have to look back at Rachel Carson as the most important person of the 21st century?

The possibilities are endless. It could be a long time before we know who was REALLY important.

Good point, I actually enjoy having my myopia pointed out to me and what you are saying is true. (At first I thought you meant that somebody might do something really spectacular between now and midnight and get the prize.)

The BBC news website has been running one of these “X of the Milennium” polls each month for the past year. The most noticable thing is that they are all grossly biased in favour of recent examples.

For example, Robbie Williams is rated higher than Mozart in Musician of the Milennium and Stephen Hawking ahead of Darwin, Einstein and Newton as scientist of the Milennium. It’s just nonsense.

Very good point. In 500 years the only four 20th century people that anyone will remember will be Groucho, Chico & Harpo (who will still be funny) and Unca Cecil who will be revered as the Messiah.

Hey, it could work. He’s got more apostles and his jokes are funnier. Who wants to be St. Paul?

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Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

According to The Daily Show’s Millennium special on Comedy Central, the man of the millennium is …

… (drum roll please) …

… Charlton Heston!

Why? Because, he was Moses, and Ben Hur, and the only man alive when the Earth was overrun by talking apes, and the brave investigator who discovered the secret of Soylent Green – all rolled into one!

The truth, as always, is more complicated than that.

Asia Week actually named Deng XiaoPing (so sue ne for my spelling) as the political man of the century - ouch!

Interesting because it is a largely pro capitalist, progressive website/publication. Maybe it isn’t as simple as Coms vs. Caps.?

Perhaps once the supposed “third way” becomes prevalent we will see more of this type of thing.

Let’s not forget the man of the Millenium might not become apparent as such until sometime during THIS year (the LAST of the second millenium). :slight_smile:

I vote for William the conquerer. But most of us USers are anglophiles.