The Australian Financial Review has released its annual Big List, ranking Australia’s “Most Powerful People of 2015”. And it is confusing on a number of levels.
Each year, a panel of super-important people analyse Australia’s even more super-important people and then rank them according to their perceived levels of super-importance.
But, as Pedestrian TV points out, things start to get a bit head-scratchy under the “Cultural Power” list category, when entities and loose concepts begin replacing actual humans.
Thus, we see things such as “same-sex marriage” and “think tanks” listed under the same umbrella as “Adam Goodes”. Observe:
As you can see, “ISIS/threat of terrorism” has outranked triple j when it comes to the sheer magnitude of its influence upon our daily lives, proving once and for all that our passionate love of music pales in comparison to our crippling fear of being randomly blown up.
And by that logic, the list also seems to insinuate that Justice Peter McClellan and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty are the only people we deem capable of saving us from the ever-present threat of ISIS.
On the subject of triple j, the AFR judging panel’s Martin Parkinson, former secretary of the Department of Treasury, said he nominated the youth station for the Big List on account of its 40th anniversary.
“That’s 40 years of changing attitudes of young Australians and supporting Australian music,” he said (via The Music).
While fellow panellist David Friedlander, partner at King & Wood Mallesons, said: “I sit in an open-plan office and all the guys who sit around me are in their 20s. Every week I learn something new that Tom Tilley has told them on triple j’s Hack. He just seems to have a big influence on the thinking of the 20-somethings.”
But not as much as ISIS, apparently.
Anyway, here’s another funny thing. The list’s other two categories – “Overt Power” and “Covert Power” were unsurprisingly populated by a delegation of crusty old white dudes, but the “Overt Power” cover list was subject to a hasty edit of one crusty old white dude in particular:
However, Tone still had the last laugh. Because the print edition went to the presses weeks ago, the mag still has him listed as PM at number 1, corrected by a paper insert. Class.
— Media Watch (@ABCmediawatch) September 25, 2015