Dean Clough

December 11, 2023

Portico Darwin: Clickbait of the Year


1 Minute Read + Data Review

Happy Monday, but I'm sorry:  there's just so much here that I find ridiculous and disturbing.  
And that's even after rolling out my annual Portico Darwin Award nominees on Friday - something ridiculous and disturbing in its own right.

To be clear, I have mostly nothing but respect for both Taylor Swift and Deion Sanders.  And if it weren't for her red lipstick and his in-my-face Christianity, there wouldn't even be the "mostly" qualifier.  Both are generational talents, and both are inspirational to a whole bunch of people.

But come on.  Taylor Swift is a very attractive and talented singer/songwriter/dancer, but at the end of the day, she's a pop star, albeit a very rich one.  But Person of the Year?  No.

And get ready, Swifties:  Tay-Tay will be nay-nay in terms of music that stands the test of time.  Or am I wrong, and Red (Taylor's Version) will be this century's Led Zeppelin IV?

Doubtful.  Very doubtful, and I don't care how adorable she is or how amazing her concerts may be, and really, have you seen Roger Waters live?

And Deion?  Look, I love my alma mater, Boulder, and just about everything about the whole f'ing state of Colorado.  But this choice is an embarrassment.  Deion and my Buffs were hot for about 3 weeks in September, end of story.  At least nobody really cares about what's in Sports Illustrated anymore. 

I do get it:  these selections have always been about selling magazines - or clicks, in today's world.  T-Swizzle and Neon Deion certainly do that. 

Yet if you look at previous choices, there are few as silly; last year the picks were Volodymyr Zelensky and Steph Curry, for example.

More?  Here are the picks from 2022 back to 1960 for both Time and Sports Illustrated.  With - shocker - a bit of editorial where I felt it appropriate.  Groups are in quotations, and the selections I find as dumb as this year's are in red, in Taylor's honor.

Me?  I'll take Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bill Russell every time, and twice on Sunday. 
Perhaps now you can understand why I find this year's picks . . . underwhelming?

I will be back Wednesday . . . from glorious Hoboken!  Trust me:  I am very much looking forward to fact-checking last year's Travel Guide.


It's always a highlight when a communiqué arrives from literally my oldest first cousin and Darwin family titan, Lally Darwin Heinz Esq.

Happy Birthday from one of the few eyewitnesses - sorta.  Your appearance was a major Darwin Family event.

Keep shining and keep on writing . . .

London bells 🔔 will ring for thee.

Yeah, but you were the first. 

That's little Lally sitting on her father Sid's (my uncle's) lap.  Then it's our grandmother Elsie (it's true), our grandfather Bill, and her uncle Bill (my father). 

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  


How about "People" by Barbra Streisand?  Said absolutely fucking nobody, ever.

Instead, let's go deep into the catalog of America's finest musician.  Which is decidedly not Taylor Swift. 

No, it is of course Miles Davis, and here he is, continuing to perfect a genre he largely invented, jazz fusion.  This is the Textbook Star People, from 1983.

About Dean Clough