First off welcome to the Penguin Awards. This is Rookerville’s attempt to wrap up the year. The one guarantee about awards shows and end of the year lists is that, inevitably, no one can ever agree on them. Rather than attempting to assign a numerical rank to something so subjective in nature, our approach to quantifying what took place during the previous calendar year is more broad – our own preferences in each individual category, with no definitive #1. The subjects of our end of the year series are those that we are passionate about, but ultimately, the person who truly decides the “best of” 2013 is you, the reader. After all, perception is everything. Welcome to the 2013 Penguin Awards, our tribute to the things that grabbed our attention over the last twelve months.
Not-so-Person Of The Year
Blue Ivy Carter (Andrew Rose)
2013 was a huge year for celebrity babies. Prince George absolutely dominated the world news cycle when when he arrived in the middle of the summer, and then milked the attention for all it was worth as he delayed the announcement of his name for the next few weeks. And while George was created to inherit the throne, North West was created after Watch The Throne, born this past June to America’s favorite stars of music videos prominently featuring a stationary motorcycle in front of a green screen. Kate Winslet, Fergie, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Halle Berry, and Alec Baldwin, among others, all welcomed children into the world this past year. They would collectively accrue tens of millions of likes on Instagram and probably influence dozens of terrible contraceptive decisions across the country.
But while all the famous infants of 2013 spent most of their time as amorphous blobs of tissue alternating between crying, pooping, and sleeping, Blue Ivy Carter was lightyears ahead of her counterparts in the realm of child development. You opened your eyes and smiled, North? Blue just WALKED onto a luxurious Italian yacht. You made a few adorable baby noises, George? Blue just reviewed Magna Carta with SPOKEN WORDS. She had FIVE different Halloween costumes! She received an $80,000 diamond-encrusted Barbie doll for her birthday! Her solid food is imported from the French Riviera! She has a million-dollar nursery in the Barclay’s Center! I only made up one of those things! Blue’s approval rating is over SEVEN times that of Congress right now, and given the success of her parents and her already-numerous accomplishments in the “being fabulous” department before ago two, I feel pretty comfortable predicting that she will be running the country some day. You’re my girl, Blue.
Dennis Rodman (Pat Wong)
He is one of my most favorite basketball players of all time. As a Chicago Bulls fan, he was my most favorite Bull after Michael Jordan. He is completely off the wall, unpredictable, and entertaining. He is known as much for his eccentricity as he is for his Hall of Fame rebounding abilities. He had crazy hair, body full of tattoos, and even wore wedding dresses. Accordingly, the idea that he could be a diplomat to another country is absurd. Nevertheless, Rodman became friends with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in 2013. I do not know if it is more hysterical that Rodman believes he can actually be a diplomat that bridges the United States and North Korea or that the North Koreans have so little regard for their own credibility that they would try to engage Rodman to be their ambassador to the United States. Nevertheless, a statesman is anything but what I picture as Rodman’s image. Consequently, it makes him my Ironic Person of the Year.
Miley Cyrus’s Publicist (Ted McLoof)
I mean really, whoever this person is is a genius. Has ever a more obviously bullshit public persona been more readily bought and unquestioned by the public? Cyrus, like Britney Spears before her, is a former Disney teen queen. Unlike Britney, Cyrus’s rebellion is the absolute height of fakery. How do I know this? Because there’s nothing for her to rebel against. Britney Spears faced unprecedented fame, unprecedented insofar as it happened more or less overnight and when she was startlingly young, and sexualized by her handlers before she really knew what was happening. Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, didn’t have a whole lot of fame outside of her original Disney followers—at least not anywhere near to the degree Spears did—and therefore had no pressure whatsoever to shed any kind of public image. She simply got too old for Disney and very, very obviously spoke to her handlers (one of whom, recall, is her own dad, who’s most definitely making sure every step of her career is meticulously strategized, i.e. no unplanned breakdowns) and decided that the best thing to do was to go as “adult” as she could.
Obviously Cyrus doesn’t actually have the maturity or intelligence to smoothly transition into a legit post-Disney career, and so instead performs crude look-at-me-I-need-attention publicity stunts like taking off her clothes at the VMAs and sticking out her tongue (wow. shocking. *yawn*). What’s so incredible is that somehow the controversy surrounding Cyrus is not how phony this whole cut-my-hair-sing-about-drugs-hump-teddy-bears phase is, but rather that it’s “too edgy” for a Disney star to perform. Huh? People aren’t actually buying this shit, are they? So way to go, Miley Cyrus’s publicist. If you can convince a gullible public that anything this person does is sincere, you are capable of an awful lot.
and of course…
Miley Cyrus (Nichole Louise)
I’m not particularly a fan of her, but I do recognize that she made a big, polarizing stir in pop culture this year.