Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Least Influential American?

First, watch the video:

Time Releases Annual List Of Least Influential Americans

Now, try to figure out where you'd land on the list.

Given the criteria The Onion sets forth in this video, it's clear that anyone who has a dog or delivers sweet rolls will rank higher than Jim Stutts of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who hit at -- what was it -- 9,604 on the list. Here's what his wife had to say about his ranking: "He's finally getting recognition just for not having an effect on anyone." Strong, supportive words, to be sure.

Since I have a dog, clearly I'm more influential than this man, since my dog listens to me all the time, except when I tell her to stop barking at random oxygen molecules bounding about in the front yard. Other facets of my life that will put me lower on this list:
  • I have three children and a wife who occasionally listen to me.
  • I have co-workers who occasionally stop by my cubicle on the way out to the bus to chat so it doesn't appear that they're leaving too early.
  • The neighbor's cat Charity acknowledges my presence.
  • I'm enrolled in online classes that force fellow students and instructors to acknowledge my presence.
  • I blog. [Insert pause for laughter]

Of course, my influence in these activities varies greatly from day to day. Mentioning Second Life in a blog post, for instance, certainly increases traffic here, but that can't be done on a daily basis because, frankly, people who do that look very stupid, unless, of course, they've got interesting things to say. Which I do not.

Maybe it's egomaniacal, but I'm tempted to say that I probably rank somewhere in the middle tier of the least influential of my fellow 299,999,900 least influential Americans. Certainly, I have more influence than most children and non-dog owners, but less than used car salesmen and your average state legislator. (Being listened to is one thing, being effective is another.) It's amusing to think about, that's for sure.

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