Response to Barbara Walters top Ten of Most Fascinating People

Friday, December 20, 2013

I don’t think I have ever watched a Barbara Walters most fascinating people special before, but I Dvr’d it this week. I hadn’t realized this was her final show and that she was retiring. So in a way, watching her felt like I was participating in history in the making. I really enjoyed the looking back at the last twenty years; the amazing people who unexpectedly die such as John F. Kennedy Jr., but I’ve always had a soft-spot for the Kennedy’s. I wondered if any of the Kennedy women have ever made the most fascinating people according to Barbara Walters. Caroline Kennedy, after all, is the first female ambassador to Japan. I also think highly of Maria Shriver.

I also was intrigued in how many most fascinating people ended up with egg on their face, like Lance Armstrong or Tiger Woods. I don’t think Alex Rodriguez ever made the list.

As Barbara Walters reminisced about the past twenty years of most fascinating people, I agreed with her about fifty percent of the time. I definitely don’t think that Sarah Palin deserved to be on the list three times. She’s definitely out there and draws attention.

The list of 2013 left me with a lot of questions. I haven’t been keeping up with Hollywood, so the name Jennifer Lawrence didn’t mean anything, but after Walters’ interview with her, I could agree that she could make the list. She seemed like a down-to-earth real person, and I commend that. So, why in the world would someone like Paris Hilton make the list. I loved it when Barbara asked her if she was dumb and ditzy and Paris said no, but then had this really ditzy laugh that followed.

I applauded Walters’ choice of “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts. To show the world her ordeal of cancer treatment is powerful and courageous.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against Miley Cyrus. I am not of the demographics that would have watched Hannah Montana, but everyone really loved her as that character, but it seemed liked the only reason Miley made the list the second time was because of the radical change in her personality as she grew up. Perhaps the good girl who never swore would have lasted if she didn’t grow up in Hollywood, but just because she can’t keep her clothes on and sticks her tongue out when people take her picture, doesn’t warrant an appearance on the most fascinating people.

When Walters announced that Pope Francis was on the list, I was a bit skeptical, but after listening to her description of all that he is doing to moderate the Catholic position on gays, I saw him in a different light. He even takes the city bus makes his own phone calls, and wants to be close to the people.

I had the same question when Edward Snowden’s name came up. I knew he was a fugitive of the United States for espionage, but I have never been very clear on why he fled to Russia. Now that I realize that his intention was to alert us to the fact that Big Brother is watching everything we’re saying and writing, like perhaps this blog, and he didn’t like that idea and wanted other people to know that this was going on. I didn’t get the hit that his intention was to sabotage the United States.

The last two on the list really left me wondering. I had never heard of Duck Dynasty, but that’s all I have been hearing about since Barbara broadcasted this special. Is the cast of Duck Dynasty fascinating because they sell duck calls or have a reality show and are ultra conservative? I just don’t get it, and I hope to never hear any more about them.

I’m somewhat torn about the last person on the list: Prince George. I do have a soft spot for royalty, though Prince Charles never has caused me to raise an eyebrow. I did shed tears when Lady Diana died, but she was an amazing woman doing amazing things with her position. And yes, the baby prince is cute, but how can someone be fascinating just because they happy by chance to be born into royalty?

And so I’ve been thinking about who I would name as the most fascinating people of 2013. I’m a bit biased, but I think the Boston Red Sox team of 2013 should have made the list. They were especially fascinating with all of those beards and the slogon of “fear the beard.” But, I am after all a die-hard Red Sox fan so am a bit biased.

Has Peyton Manning ever been on the list? I think he’s a very amazing person, especially after coming back from such a difficult injury. Have any football players made Walters’ list? Joe Montana?

I think it’s fascinating the Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013, though a Nobel prize in anything would be fascinating, but Literature is the only thing I can say I understand.

The other day, and I say that figuratively since it could have been weeks, I was watching Dances With Wolves. The scene when the idiot calvary guys were shooting a horse has stuck with me, and even though I knew they really weren’t really killing the horse, it was just the way it was filmed. Every bullet, every angle, accented the tragedy. Other directors would have shot it differently and it would have had a different impression. The vision that directors have to flesh out the story is powerful. Has Ron Howard, though in my mind he’ll always be Opie, ever been on the most fascinating people list? Stanley Kubrick? Nora Ephron?

         I only have a list of about five who are currently following my blog, but I’m curious as to who you think should be on the list of the most fascinating people of 2013.


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