Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tear Down That Wall!

The other day, on CNN, I was adopting American parents place a gadget inot the hands of their newly-adopted Haitian child. The child - no older than four - soon became enmeshed in buttons, oblivious to the proud parents who stood over him.

A technological device is the last thing that child needs. (He's just a baby!) He has been through a great earthquake. His entire world came crashing down. He needs talking with, and walking with, and reading to.
There will be plenty of time for technology. There is a short window - those early years - during which a parent can build a special bond with his child. Those precious years must not be wasted forging an unholy bond between child and technology. Instead of allowing such a wall between ourselves and our children, we should be tearing it down.
Then, there was our president - the same day, on the same channel - standing behind two TelePrompTers as he addressed a grade school audience. (They are just babies!) If you can be human with them, who can you be human with?
On of the raps against President Obama is that he is emotionally detached. His inability to "feel the people's pain," as Clinton would put it, is exacerbated by his tendency to inject technology between him and the people.
Now, as a cost-cutting measure, he wants to put a freeze on executive staff pay. Are you serious? Freeze? With the kind of advice they have been giving him, he should be imposing a pay cut. (Do that we'll call it "even.")
The first thing his over-priced staff should have done was advise him against taking TelePrompTers into a school - any school. In fact, except for major speeches, get rid of the TeleprompTer altogether. Designed as aids, they have become barriers that mirror insecurity.
Technology. It is becoming less and less about people communicating with people, and more and more about technology, itself.
Time for someone with guts in this administration to stand up to our president and say, "Mr. Obama, tear down that wall!" And time for us to do the same.

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