The TIME 100
Whether they loved it or hated it, readers freely shared their reactions to our 2005 list of the world's 100 most influential movers and shakers. There was pleasure in finding personal heroes, annoyance over the inclusion of the "undeserving," and a feeling by some that the list was just too darn long
Your recognition of the talented individuals who make up Time's list of the most influential people [April 18] enabled me to appreciate and comprehend the events that have shaken and stirred our world today. Thank you.
Pomona, California, U.S.
I was pleased that your list included Indonesia's Dina Astita, the teacher and survivor of the Indian Ocean tsunami who is coordinating efforts to restart schooling in her remote Sumatra town. It was a pleasure to read about someone who isn't a millionaire or an internationally known religious figure. Ordinary people like Astita who can overcome tragedy and put a positive idea in motion are the ones who are truly influencing and changing our world.
New York City
Andrew Sullivan's piece oversimplified the theological position of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. He did not change his stance with regard to the reforms set out by the Second Vatican Council. He just remained faithful to what the documents actually say and did not get caught up in the so-called spirit of Vatican II, which was so prevalent in the late 1960s and '70s.
(The Rev.) John A. Cramer
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.
I was upset by your choice of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch politician and director whose film Submission portrays a Muslim woman ritually abused by the men in her family. As a female practicing Muslim living in the West, I have found it frustrating that the Western media are obsessed with the "plight" of Muslim women. While there is progress to be made in women's rights in the Muslim world, change does not necessarily have to occur within the Western framework. Most Muslims find Hirsi Ali too extreme, though we don't agree with honor killings. Why couldn't you pick someone who genuinely represents the majority of Muslims in the West and has had a positive impact on the Muslim community and the world at large?
I am delighted that you included Illinois Senator Barack Obama. I was extremely impressed when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Even though I am a lifelong Republican, my first thought was: Here is a young man for whom I could vote. As you noted, Obama's speech was lyrical. He didn't denigrate, attack or spew hatred. With time and experience, he will be presidential material.
Los Osos, California, U.S.
It was great to see the creators of the video game Halo (Jason Jones, Marcus Lehto and Charlie Gough) on Time's list. I'm a gamer and welcome such recognition because most of the media attention that video games get is the bad kind. What some people don't understand is that not all video games are violent gorefests. There are some whose combination of music, visuals and stories makes them dazzling masterpieces.
Sarasota, Florida, U.S.
Henry Kissinger's puff piece on secretary of State Condoleezza Rice neglected to remind readers of the dubious role she played in pumping up the rationale for invading Iraq. She misrepresented the Iraqi nuclear threat to the U.S. in a way that either was deliberately deceptive or showed ignorance of the truth. That failure ought to have been an instant disqualifier for someone in a position to shape U.S. policy.
Hillsborough, New Jersey, U.S.
Actor Richard Gere's article on the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, was inspiring, informative and motivating. We should all be concerned with the plight of Tibet. We must protest the oppression of Tibet and its people at the hands of the Chinese. The U.S. government should impose sanctions on China. Gere's description of the Dalai Lama warmed my heart and calmed my spirit. I pray his exile will soon end.
Mary M. Revis
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
One hundred of anything is way too much 100 caviar canapés, 100 chocolate sundaes, even 100 dazzling human beings. Don't you realize that TV has shrunk our attention span to 10 nanoseconds? Couldn't you space out those remarkable folks say, five per issue?
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Once again, your list of influentials is peppered with people whose impact if any does not go beyond the borders of the U.S. I agree that Americans such as Condoleezza Rice, software inventor Bram Cohen and to a limited extent New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer have achieved breakthroughs that the rest of the world can care about. I was not impressed, however, by your choice of Senate majority leader Bill Frist, Wal-Mart ceo Lee Scott and, goodness, actor Jamie Foxx, among others. It's like 2001 all over again, when Time chose Mayor Rudy Giuliani over the real Person of the Year, Osama bin Laden. The world is not the U.S., and the U.S. is not the world.
Edwin Del Valle
I hope South African president thabo Mbeki gets the chance to read that Time has named him "the most powerful man in Africa." Mbeki has an opportunity to pioneer change from within. At the top of his list should be taking a stand against autocratic rulers like Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who is personally responsible for running down Zimbabwe's once thriving economy. It's time to take a hard line against exploitative politicians and crooked leaders. Mbeki must do so now. That is the moral responsibility that power bestows upon him: advocacy for the weak, frail and oppressed.
Tafadzwa G. Gidi
The Pope's Passing
Your articles on Pope John Paul II painted a picture that was marvelously balanced [April 11]. An itinerant evangelist, hardheaded when it came to moral issues, John Paul II was a legend who gave a new face to old age and humbly accepted suffering, as Christ did. The best manner of appreciating what this man did is to follow in his footsteps.
Kanene Benjamin Ezekwudo
I am a Muslim living in England, and despite obvious differences with Catholics in my personal beliefs, I was deeply saddened by the passing of Pope John Paul II. The adopted motto of the Muslim sect to which I belong is: "Love for all, hatred for none," and we share in the grief of mankind. John Paul II undertook his mission as leader of the Catholic Church with great humility and devotion. He was a man our Muslim community fully respected, and our regard only increased as we witnessed the brave manner in which he fought ill health over the past few years.
There is no doubt that Pope John Paul II was a great guy. He traveled widely to meet people and tactfully handled global political issues. He would have been the most significant Pope in history if he had broken the centuries-old restriction on the ordination of women priests. Why does the Catholic Church still treat women as inferior? I hope the next Pope grants women equal respect and gives them their rights.
I will remember John Paul II as a pope of the people. He did not confine himself to the Vatican but traveled the world, meeting and blessing the members of his flock, young and old, common and famous alike, as a good papal shepherd should. He was a kind, honest and just man whose love for his faith and his people were apparent in his deeds as well as his countenance.
Mary Kay Arndt
Arlington Heights, Illinois, U.S.
Of Royals and Nuptials
Re the photograph of the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles [April 18]: Camilla would have been more tastefully dressed if she had not been wearing white or something awfully close to it. White is worn to symbolize purity. And Camilla's broad-brimmed hat looked like a lampshade. I don't mean to be critical, it's just the truth.
Joy D. Koch
Taytay, the Philippines
The Duke of Windsor's marriage to Wallis Simpson in 1937 lent a certain acceptance to marrying a divorced woman, and no doubt many copycat marriages followed, some of them less than successful. It is noteworthy that most subsequent photos of the Duke showed a sad man. Now Prince Charles' marriage to Camilla has given cachet to marrying one's mistress and could lead to a rash of copycat marriages, some of which will be less than successful. Let's see whether Charles' future photos reveal a sad man.
Santee, California, U.S.
Re your article "Smoldering Hatreds," about the grudges between Japan and South Korea, and China and Japan [April 18]: Some might think the Japan bashing is being instigated by the governments of China and South Korea. But provocation also comes from Japan and its textbooks, which are criticized for whitewashing history. There are rabid nationalists in every country. It is upsetting to South Koreans and Chinese for the Japanese Prime Minister to regularly visit the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japanese soldiers including convicted war criminals from World War II. Would Europeans feel comfortable trading with Germany if Chancellor Gerhard Schröder regularly met with those who deny the Holocaust?