Why the Radioactive Space Monster Is Time’s Person of the Year for 2019

2016 feels so far away.
2016 feels so far away.
Image: Time Magazine/Handout via Reuters
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2019 has been one of America’s most divisive years. Between the Yankees-Mets World Series, the Justin Bieber-Angelina Jolie divorce, and, of course, the invasion of our planet by a 300-foot space monster who destroys everything in his sight, these United States have rarely seemed so un-United.  

In other words, we knew that our choice for Person for the Year would attract controversy, no matter who or What we chose. Indeed, the Space Monster has certainly proven destructive for some—namely, those who have been crushed under his foot, or liquefied on the spot by his radioactive breath.

But there is no question that the untameable beast sent by an enemy planet to wipe out all living beings has been the year’s most influential figure.

Whether you’re cheering on the ongoing apocalypse, or cowering in fear at your impending demise, the Monster has definitely touched your life. And that made our decision simple.

Sorry, Travis Kalanick: The editors of this magazine had no choice but to name Radioactive Space Monster our Person of the Year for 2019.

It’s an honor that has been bestowed on Vladimir Putin, Rudy Giuliani, and Jeff Bezos. Now, the title goes to the hell-creature who killed all three of those men with his flaming tail.

We can hear the reader complaints already: The Radioactive Space Monster leveled all of Cincinnati. The Radioactive Space Monster isn’t technically a person. The Radioactive Space Monster is currently eating me.

But we chose to put all of those concerns aside. Our job is not to judge the Space Monster’s actions, but to deem whether he has been more influential than, say, Janet Yellen.

And given that the Radioactive Space Monster flung Janet Yellen directly into the sun, we have to give this round to the Monster.

How did we get here? When the Space Monster arrived on the global scene, many laughed him off, creating savage memes about his sex life. Then he ate everyone at the People’s Choice Awards, and no one was laughing anymore.

The president, of course, urged diplomacy.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could cooperate with the Space Monster?” he asked, as the beast rained down his poisonous feces on Santa Monica.

(It later came out that the president had bought millions in stock options in a corporation specializing in extraterrestrial warfare cleanup. From his solid-gold monster-proof bunker, the president denied that this affected his decision-making.)

Either way, the Space Monster’s stunning rise from tabloid curiosity to Destructor of Both Legolands has been fascinating to watch, from a news perspective. And the rise of the Space Monster has mirrored the rise of stridently pro-Monster publications like, Morning Joe, and the Village Voice, which was bought by a prominent scion of the Space Aliens.

Meanwhile, after their warnings weren’t heeded by the public, many “traditional” journalists have been forced to do soul-searching—especially those who have had their souls sucked out through their throats by the Space Monster.  

But if the ascendance of the Monster proved anything, it’s that journalists are nowhere near as influential as they once were in preventing global destruction by a Leviathan who traveled through a wormhole to reach our galaxy.

And so the Beast, who currently looms over New York City like a Murder Blimp, is our Person of the Year. Whether you love him, you hate him, or you’re currently sitting inside his second stomach waiting for your bones to be dissolved by his internal acids, you’ve gotta admit: This was his year, and no one else’s.