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He probably never learned how to program a VCR either

May 10, 2010

First, a bit of an explanation about why I haven’t been writing here.  Basically, I had lots to say but no words to say it with.  It was an interesting form of writer’s block.  More like the inability to express in words how ridiculous I felt things were getting with regard to politics and our country.  I also needed to find a way to separate politics from certain aspects of my life.  I can’t eat, sleep and breathe it.  So I spent some time away and I think I’m coming back with an even stronger resolve to keep writing and fighting for this country.

Having said that, let’s move on to the fun stuff!   I’m going to tear into the president like I would a box of Little Debbies after a week of fasting.  Got that mental image going?  Ok, good.

So, the president was giving a commencement speech and had this to say:

And meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.

I haven’t read the entire speech, but this snippet alone is enough to get me worked up.  The speech, at least in part, was not about sending these new grads off with words of wisdom.  It was about spewing his own agenda, which he seems to be incapable of not doing.  Is he really so afraid of dissenting opinion that he has to warn against it in a commencement speech?  And as a guy who couldn’t even handle giving up his Blackberry for the duration of his presidency, you’d think he’d be a touch more in tune with the power and draw of new technology in this country.  But no, he talks about it like you’d expect an 80 year old grandmother to, with trepidation and ignorance.

That’s what I think this boils down to, the collision of a political agenda and flat out ignorance.  This kind of technology isn’t going anywhere.  You can embrace it and figure out how it works for your life, or you can fight it and only see its flaws.

Maybe that’s what Obama should have said.


P.S.  I’d like to point out that while Obama claims to not know how to use an iPod and has lamented about the dangers of such technology, he actually gave one as a gift to the Queen of England.  I bet SHE could figure an Xbox out.

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