You’ve got obvious choices like Sarah Palin and Barack Obama; people I’m just vaguely comprehending like Lady Gaga (but obviously influential); old standbyes like Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton; and, pleasant left-field choices like actor Neil Patrick Harris, street artist Banksy, golfer Phil Mickelson (because he didn’t cheat on his wife?), director Neil Blomkamp and comedian Ricky Gervais.
The essays by Joss Whedon on NPH (“He can get the girl and sing about the boys, and it all works. The public’s perception of gay men is shifting because of this guy, and they’ll be too entertained to notice.”) and Karl Pilkington on Ricky Gervais (“Me calling Ricky, 48, influential would be like Einstein’s mam calling Einstein a genius. I doubt she ever did.”) are an immediate must read.