Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, May 10, 2010

Truth is a Distraction

President Obama, delivering a commencement speech at all-black Hampton University in Virginia, opined that in the era of I-Pad and X-Box, information has become a diversion that imposes new strains on democracy.

Translation: “I didn’t think anyone over 25 knew anything about technology, or that they’d use the very technology that got me elected against me.”

The fact that he compared the I-Pad and the X-Box is a red flag. The X-Box has about as much to do with the dissemination of information as my old Viewfinder. Nor is it much of an arena for exchanging political ideas.

If you want to get to the next level of Dungeons and Dragons, you use the X-Box. If you want to play Guitar Hero, follow the adventures of Rocket Knight, or personally duke it out with Ivan Vanko in Iron Man-2, you need to become an X-Box Expert.

If you want information at your fingertips on how to join the Morristown Tea Party, you hone your skills on the latest Apple creation to fall from the tree – the I-Pad.

No wonder the students looked at him like he had two heads, when he compared the two. He said he wasn’t very adept at X-Box (years ago, my nephew tried to get me involved, too). But maybe he should get his daughters to tutor him. The X-Box website lists this intriguing advertisement:

Tips for Aspiring Dictators

Get your island started in Tropico 3.

Obama is worried. He figured he’d ridden the crest of new generational divide: the electronic wave.  The Internet surfers.  His propaganda machine proudly boasted how he had an I-Pod, which the Secret Service promptly confiscated.

He whined like a 9 year-old whose parents took away his favorite toy.

Maybe very senior people like mother (we don't dare describe her as old) aren’t technically adept, although she’d be willing except that she doesn’t want to spend the money. We’re not our father’s old-fogey generation.

The Late Baby Boomers are perfectly comfortable with technology. Despite what the Lamestream Media might tell you, we’ve never needed our kids to program our remote controls for us. Or our Blackberries. Or our I-Pods.

My older brother knows as much (or more) about his computer as his 21 year-old mechanical engineering student (who’s considering MIT as a graduate school). I have a My Space page (which I admit I haven’t used in years), a Twitter account, and a Facebook Page (sorry, friends only).

Even Mom has a cell phone.

Obama has discovered we’re perfectly capable of networking via the latest technology. It’s how the Morristown Tea Party formed after its official online organizer vanished, never to be heard from again.

The Morristown Tea Party, I’m so proud to say, didn’t just curl up and disappear in a cloud of futile smoke. The participants used the social network on the Internet to discuss the next steps, what to do, and how, when, and where to do it.

This was a national network and apparently other would-be tea party patriots were watching and also took up their banners on their own. I wish someone who’s an official media member – in the Conservative Camp – would post that bit of news online.

It’s all very well that the Tea Parties have official organization now and official representatives. That wasn’t the case in the beginning, though. There were no politically-savvy operatives of one ilk and another keeping it going (in fact, I was opposed to people like that being involved at all), dispensing political activist advice (some worth following, some not), and holding conventions.

It was just us, average Americans somewhere out in the Internet wilderness, isolated, abandoned, and cornered. The well-heeled activists who’ve taken control of the Tea Party movement sniff at the original Tea Party participants as though they wear coonskin caps, breeches, and leather stockings.

So uncouth. Well, who cares, as long as the Tea Parties keep going. We’ve got Obama on the run.

Put that on your I-Pad and poke it.


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