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Despite this we stay for October 28, 2010

Computerized Politics

by Carol Dunn

HUERFANO- Here we are in election season again when savvy politicians decide, “Hmm.  I think I will record a political message on a computer and then have it call people and annoy them for the next 30 days – make that a message as loud as a C130 flying 100 feet above the County Courthouse.” These calls now outnumber the calls we’d been receiving about refinancing our mortgage.  Don’t these computers know we are on the “Do Not Call” list? – or did we actually sign up on the “Call and Annoy Me” list?  We have digitized politicians who are concerned about how we won’t vote and survey companies that are concerned about how we will vote.  I’d rather have my husband clean up dog barf than listen to any more messages about how incompetent and badly dressed the other guy is, and that he has halitosis.  I am wondering if there are truly people who sit at home and wait for their phone to ring so someone will tell them how to vote.

    I realize this is not a problem unique to Huerfano County, but we may be more at risk because our phone book is about as long as a recipe for salsa.  It’s thin enough to be inserted into a computer’s CD drive, and then the computer can ingest all the numbers into its memory and start dialing.  Then we unsuspecting Huerfanos are toast.  

    These repeated calls are like listening to Jack Benny play the violin or the Village People singing YMCA.    They make the “Day the Earth Stood Still” sound like a good idea, when Gort might show up with an electromagnetic pulse to disable all phones and computers until the election is over.

    Long ago in a galaxy far far away, I had a short employment experience as a telemarketer.  That was back when not everyone in the country hated telemarketers – only half of them.  But at least we were human!  We said meaningful things like, “How are you today?” Maybe that is why I am so sensitive about getting a phone call from a computer.  You can’t talk back to a computer, or tell it to take a hike, or tell it to take you off the “Call and Annoy Me” list.  It just keeps blabbing and blabbing and blabbing until you hang up on it.  And if you wait a second and lift up the receiver, it’s still there blabbing and blabbing like nothing even happened.  Frankly, this takes some of the joy out of hanging up.

    So politicians, beware.  Some of us do not like Facebook or Tweeter or getting loud phone calls from computers that are too human-challenged to know when we hang up on them.