Barbara Walters may be onto something. Every year the goddess of the newsmaker interview gets people excited about the headliners she finds most fascinating. So what about us mere mortals? We have our favorites, too.
Please note: Although some picks may seem a bit goofy, I am genuinely interested in the activities and antics of these people. I wonder what drives them and ponder their inner lives.
These folks may not have done anything particularly fascinating in 2012, but I found them fascinating anyway.
It’s really hard to pick a favorite, so I am listing my picks in alphabetical order.
Adele. The zaftig and beautifully groomed English singer has an amazing voice and songwriting chops. One expects her accent to be plummy and upper class, speaking of a proper British boarding school followed by classical training. But, no: Adele’s accent is all north London. You hear the street, the commoner, the young woman raised by a single mum.
- Read> Cory Booker’s Food Stamp Challenge
- Read> Cory Booker recounts risking his life in dramatic fire rescue of Newark neighbor
Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson of the Los Angeles Police Department. Granted, she’s a fictional character–perfectly played by Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer–but, still. The Southern accent twanging, chocolate treat sneaking Johnson was a real television treat. Her flaws and foibles, travails in the workplace, and vulnerability resonated with me. I was missing her even before the TNT show wrapped this year.
John McAfee. In the category of “you can’t make this stuff up.” McAfee made big money by being smart, creating an anti-virus software that’s a household word. Now he’s, well… Where to begin?
Bo Obama. Okay, he’s not a person. Nevertheless he fascinates me, and I’m not even a dog person. You may remember the 2009 photo of Bo the puppy running alongside President Obama in the White House. Did the presidential pooch have any idea what he was getting into? Probably not, but I believe that today, the more mature Bo knows his family is kind of a big deal, and–more importantly–so is he.
- Exhibit A> The video of Bo reviewing the 2012 White House holiday decorations: his restrained and dignified progress said, “It’s my world, and everyone else is just living in it.”
- Exhibit B> The White House holiday photo. Talk about poetry in motion! Bo: inscrutable and frolicsome.
Mrs. Marian Robinson, President Obama’s mother-in-law. That quiet smile. That look that says, “Yes, I hang out at the White House. No, it’s not all that.” I like to think she allows herself a few private moments each day of deep satisfaction and pride in her family, although she would never show it.
Yoani Sanchez. This Cuban dissident and blogger may go down in history as one of the new Cuban revolutionaries. Blocked from leaving her country to speak about the true state of things there; dogged by police; and arrested, she Tweets truth to power–in English and Spanish. She loves her homeland.