Donald Trump has won Time Person of the Year. Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs validates this decision by arguing that every year they choose the person who has been the most influential - for better or worse. She argues, I think correctly, that Donald Trump has been a force to be reckoned with over the year. A force both politically, coming out of nowhere to win what should have been the unwinnable election, and a force personally, allegedly forcing himself onto women.
Admittedly, the shortlist for the year was a depressing read in itself, featuring the tyrannical and exceptionally dangerous Vladimir Putin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the odious, opportunistic and societal dinosaur that is Nigel Farage. Beyonce was also included the list, but when faced with Trumpmania, it was unlikely anyone else would get a look-in.
Given the frankly abysmal list, in some ways I'm glad Time Magazine went for US President-elect. So obnoxious, so arrogant and self absorbed is Trump, that this award at least cannot further inflate his unjustified ego. Imagine Farage had he won it… He didn't even manage to get elected in 2015! Indeed, when commenting upon winning the award, Trump couldn't help but to complain. The change of title in 1999 from Man of the Year to Person of the Year was too PC for him, and he disliked the comment about presiding over a divided America - completely ignoring the divisive campaign he himself ran.
Over here in jolly Blighty, a truly British rumble of discontent took place, the epicentre of which was Theresa May's decision to wear a £995 pair of leather trousers for a photoshoot, in addition to a £295 pair of Burberry trainers. Critics argue that these decisions, in addition to her choice to eat goose rather than turkey for Christmas could suggest that she was distant from the general public.
I had to laugh when I read this. Since when did a pair of trousers become the deciding factor as to whether you are in touch with public sentiment. In a world where people walk around with £800 smartphones and buy Macbooks just to browse Facebook, I don't think material possessions are what separate us from them. Theresa May - god forbid - could be wearing nothing but joggers and some Ugg boots and she would still be out of touch with public sentiment.
It is not the hideous trousers or overpriced shoes that puts her out of touch, ironically it's probably the only thing that makes her relatable. Her position as head of a political class and evident contempt for those in need of state assistance puts her out of touch. The continual meaningless platitudes over Brexit put her out of touch with those concerned about their livelihoods. A desire to bring back grammar schools put her out of touch with a society already feeling the stress of division. Keeping Jeremy Hunt on as Health Secretary demonstrated to me that she was exceptionally out of touch with the reality of public sentiment.
What separates May from Us is not the jeans, it is the very core of her ideology, which is now driving the executive body of our country. Whether she eats turkey or goose in immaterial, much like her choice of footwear. We should not allow the focus to be so easily diverted to such a non-issue when the Government have just enacted the most intrusive and privacy breaching bill of any country in the Western world.
You can keep your trousers, May, and I'll keep my privacy!
Donald Trump wins Time Person of the Year
As commented on above, President-elect Donald Trump has won Time Magazine 2016 Person of the Year. Nancy Gibbs, the Editor-in-Chief said "I've never seen so much agreement about who had the most influence," Gibbs said. "I don't think that we have ever seen one person operating in such an unconventional way have an impact on events of the year quite like this." Commenting on his win, Trump said "It means a lot. It's a very important magazine… I consider this a very, very great honour." He was however, less pleased with the cover description describing his as "President of the Divided States of America". "I think putting 'divided' is snarky," he commented. "I'm not president yet, so I didn't do anything to divide." Ok, Donald, let's just overlook your whole campaign…
Helen Marten wins the Turner Prize
31-year old Helen Marten has won the Turner prize for a series of pieces that is currently being exhibited at Tate Britain. The youngest artist on the shortlist, Marten uses sculpture, screen printing and writing to create her works, utilising everyday things such as cotton buds, snooker chalk and shoe soles, among other objects. For winning the prize Marten was awarded £25,000, which she intends to share among her fellow nominees, who as runner-ups are each given £5,000. Her exhibition space is divided into three sections, and each suggests a terminal where unknown activity has been interrupted. Speaking after receiving the award, Marten took the opportunity to reflect on the world today, commenting on the growth of Alt-right views. "As artists today...we are deeply deeply privileged to be sitting here...whose lifeblood is a sort of diversity and exuberance."
UK Supreme Court hears Government Brexit appeal
This week saw a historic four day hearing on Brexit in the UK Supreme Court, with all 11 Supreme Court Judges in attendance. The court was hearing an appeal case from the Government following the loss of the High Court case in November which ruled that Parliament had to vote to trigger Article 50, and the Government didn't have right to trigger it alone. It is important to state that this is not a case other whether or not Brexit should happen, but the legal process in which it does. The Government was initially taken to court by philanthropist and banker Gina Miller, and London hairdresser Deir Dos Santos. The ruling is expected to be given in January.
Vinyl outsold digital downloads this week
Data released by Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) showed that vinyl albums outsold digital download albums for the first time this week. The ERA found that £2.4m was spent on vinyl albums in week 48 of 2016, while only £2.1m was spent on digital downloads on stores such as iTunes. In what the ERA call a "significant shift in consumer spending habits" they draw comparison to 2015, where only £1.2m was spent on vinyl while a whopping £4.4m was spent on digital downloads. This change in spending is explained with a few suggestions, including Record Store Day, Black Friday, and more retailers stocking vinyl.
Source: The Vinyl Factory
Rag'n'Bone Man wins BRIT's 2017 Critics Choice Award
Rag'n'Bone Man, aka Rory Graham has won the 2017 Critics Choice awards, following in the footsteps of Adele, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith. Speaking of his win, Graham said "I thought they had made a mistake. I was up against two pop giants. It's bloody brilliant! I'm crazy happy. Proper massive grin." Rag'n'Bone Man will be presented with his award and the Nomination Show on 14th January live on ITV, and will perform on the show alongside Olly Murs, Craig David and others. His track 'Human' has been #1 in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria, and he also performed a sold out show at 02 Brixton Academy. This is also the first BRIT award of the year.
To view all the nominee's performances at Abbey Road, follow this link to a YouTube playlist.
White supremacists call for boycott of Star Wars film
White supremacists are calling for a boycott of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story over what they call 'Anti-White Social Engineering'. This is due to the cast featuring women and multicultural actors who rebel against an Empire filled with evil white dudes. One commenter on the Reddit post argued that the film will flop as a result of the female lead, stating, "You can push the female heroes as much as you like, but even most women don't find it interesting." The further into the r/altright comments section you go, the darker things get, with anti-Semitism and racism being focus points. Others are suggesting pirating the film and rooting for the Empire. It's a strange world we live in…
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will release in cinemas 16th December.
YouTube Rewind looks back at a year of videos memes and music
Another year has nearly ended, and it can be difficult to remember all the dank memes and internet phenomenons that have taken place. Luckily, YouTube has your back! Since 2010 Google has been reflecting on the year gone by with a video that looks at all the biggest hits. This year is no exception, and YouTube in partnership with Portal A Interactive have produced a beautifully shot video that captures many of memes and music that took the internet by storm, at and least 77 different channels from across the world. Featured individuals include The Rock, PewDiePie, Marques Brownlee, The Dolan Twins and PrankvsPrank. The video made reference to dabbing, the #mannequinechallenge, the Olympics, T-Rex costume, Game of Thrones and 100 layers, in addition to more.
There is also a behind the scenes video which gets a little bit more up-close and personal with some of the stars of the main Rewind video.
Smartwatch maker Pebble to close after $40m acquisition
Pebble was a runaway success story on the fundraising platform Kickstarter, raising a then record breaking $10m for the development of their first smartwatch back in 2012 However, that was not enough to save the company, who this week have announced that they are being purchased by Fitbit, a wearable technology company that specialises in activity and fitness tracking. As part of the $40m, the software engineering team of Pebble will be integrated into Fitbit but the majority of the employees, including founder Eric Magicovsky, will not be offered jobs. Pebble was unique in that it repeatedly returned to the crowdsourcing platform to generate revenue for its next product, which in hindsight was perhaps indicative of a poor business model. Pebble only six months ago finished its last Kickstarter campaign, raising $12m for three new devices. Backers who haven't received their watches are to be refunded by 16th December.
PewDiePie deletes his YouTube account [Troll]
YouTube's biggest star promised to delete his account if he reached 50 million subscribers - a feat never never achieved on the platform. This week he reached the big number and as promised, has deleted his YouTube account. However, joke's on us, because the account Felix Kjellberg deleted was one he set up in October - Jack septiceye2. In the video he uploaded showing him deleting his account, PewDiePie took the time to mock the media for making such a big deal of his threat to delete his account, and ended the video by saying he will delete his main account once he reaches 100m subscribers.
New trailers for Spider-Man Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy and Baywatch
It has been a good week for trailers, with the long awaited first look at Tom Holland's Spider-Man film premiering on Jimmy Kimmel this week, and looking superb. This seems to finally have the balance right between nerdy Peter Parker, and a wisecracking Spider-Man. Robert Downey Jr. returning as Iron Man doesn't hurt either. The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer successfully retains all the fun and lightheartedness of the first surprise hit film, and I will personally slap anyone who says Baby Groot is not the most adorable thing you've seen this week! This week also saw a trailer hit for the Baywatch movie, starring The Rock and Zac Efron. This is the first I'd heard of this film, and while I rolled my eyes initially, having watched the trailer I'm a little bit more sold. It's silliness and over-the-top self-awareness could potentially save it!
Header image: Number 10