People Magazine, where celebrities go to have their entire lives Photoshopped, is getting Internet flack for declaring Bradley Cooper the Sexiest Man Alive. Some of us at Persephone heartily disagree with this choice, so without further ado, here’s my completely subjective and slightly objectifying list of our P-Mag’s Smexiest People Alive.
Honorable Mentions: Amy Sedaris, Alton Brown, Anthony Bourdain, Janelle Monáe, Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K., Conan O’Brien, The Legacy of Julia f’ing Sugarbaker, Joss Whedon, Kal Penn, John Cho (and the rest of the new Star Trek cast of smexy hotness), President Obama, Latoya Peterson, Zombie Vonnegut, bell hooks, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
10. Neil Gaiman, writer
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
9. Allison Janney, actress, honorary Persephone goddess
8. These Guys, hot cellists
We are tired of war. We are tired of running. We are tired of begging for bulgur wheat. We are tired of our children being raped. We are now taking this stand, to secure the future of our children. Because we believe, as custodians of society, tomorrow our children will ask us, “Mama, what was your role during the crisis?”
6. Mae Jemison, astronaut
5. Barney Frank, retiring U.S. Congressman
Capitalism works better from every perspective when the economic decision makers are forced to share power with those who will be affected by those decisions.
Congressman, we’ll miss your face.
4. Christopher Eccleston, actor
There had to be at least one Doctor on this list. It was almost a three-way tie.
3. Idris Elba, rawr.
I’ve always been ambiguous about the existence of God. I’m more agnostic than I am atheist: It’s difficult for me to deny the existence of some almighty spiritual being once I witnessed the birth of a child, or if I take a moment to consider the complexities of man, of the animal world, of Earth, and the Universe. Even if you believe in the Big Bang Theory, there still remains nagging questions about what set the Big Bang in motion. How do the Chaos Theory and Evolution co-exist without a God? If you consider the trillions and trillions of things have to be coincide at the right moment, at the right time, and in the right place for life to exist, it’s difficult to completely rule out the idea of a grand deity, a maker, someone to pull the trigger on existence. If you believe in Occam’s Razor — the idea that the most reasonable explanation is the simplest one — God, in a way, almost feels like the simplest way to explain the miracle of existence.
But now, even those doubts have been called into question. The idea that a God would allow war, famine, disease and Snooki to exist is not unfathomable: It’s the universe’s karmic balance, the yin to the yang of peace, prosperity, and good health. There’s a give and take to existence: Death cancels out life, starvation in Africa cancels out obesity in America, and “Two and a Half Men” cancels out “Community.” But the scales have tipped too far, calling my entire tenuous belief system into question.
I’ve seen Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill.
1. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist
The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.