Man Or Machine?

Not Tony Stark, Alex Murphy or even Locutus of Borg… but Barack Obama. All have bonded with technology to varying degrees, willingly or not. Obama’s reliance on electronics to be able to function was again highlighted in India.

An official in the sub-continent was amazed that the renowned orator was dependent on teleprompters. This exclamation of surprise highlighted how little is known about the ‘Great Savior’ outside of the US. More than a few British folks remarked, to me personally, on hearing the mid-term election results that they thought Obama was well-liked by Americans. I guess they have been too wrapped up in their own parochial affairs for the last two years to notice that all was not well (an understatement) with America.

If our overseas friends embraced technology as the president has, they may get a truer picture of the false idol that is still imprinted in their minds, striking a pose while flanked by mighty stone pillars.

When Obama first entered the White House there was much talk of his affection for his Blackberry, a fact that concerned his security advisers. Perhaps he found it a useful way to keep updated with emails, or it appealed to his narcissistic streak, enabling him to see the latest press adulation. Or his paranoia, keeping tabs on his number one enemy, Fox News.

There has never been such a programmed politician. Aside from his love affair with teleprompters, his impromptu statements show all the versatility of a stuck subroutine. His seventeen minute reply to a simple question from a member of the public is a classic example. The crux of the query had still not been addressed as the audience dozed off.

Evasiveness under questioning is nothing new for a politician. I’ve seen masters of this art that can totally flummox all but the very best interviewers. This is not the standard ‘I’ll ramble so he forgets the point’ approach, though. It’s more like the multiple choices given by a technical support website. You can never find the exact problem that has occurred, so you select the nearest to it. The answer you get will not cure your problem, but the program assumes it has done its job.

Obamacare is a typical case. When asked about the cost to businesses and the taxpayer, the deterioration of services or the effect on seniors, the explanation will always include the homeowner who is forced to sell up to cover treatment costs.

These pre-select answers have some hilarious results. A machine can not look ahead to the consequences of irrelevant or contradictory statements. In this week’s post-election press conference, Obama said that perhaps he could have done more to help the fallen Democrats. That statement is open to more replies than I care to count!

The funniest was possibly “I don’t think anyone walks around with a fixed ideology”. This, from a man whose determination to impose his ideals would destroy his government and, if not checked, the country.

If I didn’t know that he is a mere mortal, I would suggest that Obama may have a defective chip, that his frequent inclusion of the word ‘batteries’ in every industry stimulus visit could be a secret code to his boffins that his need replacing.

He can take comfort that a new job awaits him in advertising in 2012. All he needs is a drum, a pair of sunglasses and a pair of sandals… oh, and batteries!

(Editor Dee is in for Skip today)