Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rednecks clinging to our iPods

This past weekend, Obama hit on a major theme of my new workshop, iHelp for the eHome, in a commencement address at Hampton University,
"With iPods and iPads; 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," he told a class of more than 1,000 graduates. "All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."
His point isn't unique. Long before Al Gore invented the internet, Neil Postman made the same observation in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death. And like most parents today, Obama might be wondering how to get a handle on the status of technology in his daughters' lives.

But what I don't understand is why Obama,the President who gave the Queen of England an iPod, is all of a sudden railing against technology and infotainment? Michelle Obama has a distraction device and it's not loaded with Obama's speeches of empowerment and emancipation but Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Beyonce, Usher and Sting.

And despite his self-deprecating assertion that he doesn't know how to use an iPod, Obama revealed his playlist in 2008,
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, to be published this Friday, the Illinois senator said he had "pretty eclectic tastes".

The list of bands reads like the acts at a summer music festival, with the Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow and Ludacris all in the mix.

Maybe Obama and his speechwriters think we're too distracted with our iPods or Xbox to actually Google his assertion but Obama is NOT dumb when it comes to modern technology. Before the election, Obama chastised Americans for clinging to their guns all the while he was clinging to his Blackberry. Shortly before the inauguration he told the New York Times, "They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

His handlers even created an Obama app for the iPod Touch and the iPhone!

So what's up? Is Obama trying to gin up another "crisis" to control? He's put Michelle in charge of obesity so maybe this will be Biden's new gig? I don't know.

But I do know that I'm already emancipated and my freedom allows me to use an iPod for entertainment and empowerment or any other "ment" I want. Enough with the fatherly lectures. President Obama was elected to run the country not dictate our playlist.

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My workshop iHelp for the eHome will be presented today at The SchoolHouse Expo which is sold out. But you can buy all the workshops for only $19.95 here. Or if you're in for a road trip, I'll be speaking at the INCH convention in Lansing, Michigan this weekend.

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