A few weeks ago, I pitched my editor a story called “Which Musician Had The Most Definitive 2017?” It was one of those ideas where you have a headline in mind and not much else, but my editor nonetheless gave me the go-ahead on Slack. Almost immediately, however, I realized I was screwed. Which Musician Had The Most Definitive 2017? What does that even mean?
My initial thought (I think) was to gently satirize the whole “Person Of The Year” concept, in which a publication or website decides that a single human (or sometimes group of humans) signifies an essential truth about the past 12 months. Specifically, I wanted to vent my low-key annoyance over how the “Person Of The Year” always seems to represent something positive, even when the year in question was fraught with ugliness, fear, loathing, disgust, bigotry, greed, and … well, I think you can already tell I’m talking about the very year that we’re mercifully about to exit, 2017.