The too clever folks at Time magazine have succeeded in their quest for ever more ridiculous persons of the year: this year the POY is “the protestor.”

Kurt Andersen, the former New York Magazine editor and a leading light of the deep thinkin’ branch of New York's intellectual-glitterati axis, has produced a lengthy essay on the honored protesters.

The essay tosses together the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street protestors. In Andersen's eyes, they are quite similar. As he put it, "Everywhere, it seems, people said they'd had enough."

I guess the Occupy crowd had had enough of sitting around the student center or debating gender theory, while racking up humongous college loan debts and then finding to their astonishment that debts don’t pay themselves (they want us to pay, and, with President Obama at the helm of our great nation, I fear there is some likelihood of the brats' getting their way).

I am trying to wrap my mind around the notion that these people (New York Observer: "Hottest People at Occupy Wall Street") have much in common with a Tunisian vegetable vendor, whose dream was to own a truck, who set himself on fire as a matter of protest. He really did have numerous reasons to say he had had enough.

But from Andersen's vantage point it is hard to distinguish them:

It's remarkable how much the protest vanguards share. Everywhere they are disproportionately young, middle class and educated.

The Tunisian green grocer (who in Andersen's unfortunate turn of phrase "sparked" the Arab Spring) was not middle class and educated. But I guess Andersen could not avoid including him because of his truly revolutionary act. The same could not be said last year about the Tea Party, which didn't make POY, despite having changed the political landscape of the nation. The Tea Party was not cool, many being ordinary, middle-aged folks who perhaps uncomfortably remind people who’ve clawed their way into having a special table at a chic New York  eatery of their own origins somewhere far from Manhattan.

Enamored of the hip, Andersen wouldn’t have relished scrambling about interviewing Tea Partiers in quite the same way that he obviously enjoyed meeting these protestors. There were filmmakers, a “soft-spoken pro-anarchist activist,” and a Muslim Brotherhood member with a Tigger Notebook–oh, my! These people are just so cool.

But really this is all about fashion. Here is the lead-in to the photo section:

We’re in the business of making icons. From immortal covers to probing profiles to our annual Person of the Year, TIME has always shaped the first draft of history with the personalities and moments that mattered most. We get iconic.

What they don’t get is seriousness. What they don't get is how out of tune the Occupiers are with 99 percent of the country. At a time when Gallup reports that most people are afraid of big government, Andersen supports these big government anarchists who turn parks into urban cesspools. He hopes they will have lasting impact:

The wisest Occupiers understand that these are very early days. But as long as government in Washington — like government in Europe — remains paralyzed, I don't see the Occupiers and Indignados giving up or losing traction or protest ceasing to be the defining political mode.

The “wisest Occupiers”—now that's high concept. Are the wisest ones the thugs who shoved a grandmother to the ground in Washington, D.C.; the ones who cost members of the 99 percent wages by shutting down neighborhood businesses or busy ports,the one who defecated on a police car, the ones who filled 75 Wal-Mart carts with merchandise and fled, leaving the mess for hardworking clerks, or the exemplary citizens who kept people awake all night with their incessant drumming?

The essay reveals little about the nature of protest but everything about the mentality of a certain kind of New Yorker who writes for magazines that no one out of the tiny isle of Manhattan much reads anymore.