America's Latest Sweetheart ~ "I'm Ready For My Closeup, Mr DeMille"

America loves its heroes and celebrities. From Daniel Boone and Jesse James right up to Charles Lindbergh and Lance Armstrong. But in recent generations we’ve saved our biggest spotlights for the biggest American celebrity of all: Technology!

We brag about having the world’s biggest assembly lines….biggest computer banks…biggest oil rigs and space shuttles and power grids and weaponry in the history of the planet. And if you doubt our claim, simply consider our popular Tom Clancy novels, blockbuster movies, and hit television series. The great majority of these star — that’s right, technology! The plot, the players, the purpose all occur against a background of remarkable machines and systems and data gathering whirring throughout the story.

This focus on the marvels of our modern technology probably first began with the old TV series ‘Mission Impossible’ in which the camera is in constant closeup with the drama of the technology being used by the good guys. Then there was the mega-hit ‘Space Odyssey 2001’ where Hal the computer is the star of the story. It continues with such hits as ‘Homeland,’ ‘Gravity,’ and ‘Intelligence’ among dozens more.

The implication….?

The viewers are treated to the thrill of mechanical and digital power harnessed by us in order to pursue noble goals, thwart evil opponents, empower heroic scientists and CIA agents and other warriors in our righteous struggle to bring evil and evil-doers to their deserved doom.

As a properly impressed citizen, I have just two questions about this relentless glorification of technology: {1) humanity created these magnificent technical creatures, but have the creatures begun to surpass the creators? (2) if so, will the creators realize this history-shattering shift in time to do anything about it? I raise this only because the computers in my own home are already beginning to whisper to one another at night when they think I’m asleep.

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