Monday, July 7, 2008

John McCain, Technoturd

I have always been technologically challenged. Never met a xerox machine I could operate on my first try. Faced with an unfamiliar vacuum cleaner, I need at least five minutes to figure out how to turn it on. (My husband, who did not marry me for my housekeeping skills, would say ALL vacuum cleaners are unfamiliar to me). Since we got Tivo, I've given up watching television if Mike isn't home. It's just too confusing to deal with two remotes. As for the i-phone I got for Christmas, it still intimidates the hell out of me, but I've made my peace with the thing. At least it's easier than a Blackberry.

As you might imagine, I don't have a natural affinity for computers. I am a technotard - maybe even, as a friend of mine likes to put it, a technoturd. Being a writer, I use my macintosh all the time. This means I have a working knowledge of word and I can bungle my way through powerpoint. I have never, thank goodness, had to learn Quark, or Photoshop, or Excel or, for that matter, any other programs. But boy, do I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Perusing job sites. Looking up the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. Keeping up with Salon or the Huffington Post. Comparing banana bread recipes. Reading the actual text of Obama's historic speech on race. Researching medical conditions for a pharmaceutical writing assignment. And of course, following the latest developments in our presidential race.

Which brings me to John McCain. A man who, when asked whether he was a Mac or a PC guy, answered as follows:
"Neither, I'm an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance I can get." Despite the fact that he once flew fighter planes, the Republican presidential nominee may be more of a technoturd than I am.

I find this profoundly disturbing. For one thing, I'd like to believe the President of the United States is smarter than me. When Bush was preparing to invade Iraq, I kept thinking dumb idea, dumb idea. It turned out to be a really dumb idea, and our commander in chief has proven himself to be a really dumb guy.

I understand only too well that it is possible to be creatively, or interpersonally, or cut-through-the-bullshit smart yet somewhat computer-challenged. But in this day and age, not consulting the internet is the mark of a singularly incurious mind. After 8 years of incurious George, we need a leader who asks questions, seeks facts, studies opinions other than his own and knows how to google. John McCain would do well to remember how Obama beat Clinton: with an incredibly sophisticated data base, a killer website and record breaking online fundraising. It's the internet, stupid.

To read about Obama's "super marketing machine", visit the link below.

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