The Lileks Zone

OIERTUER dvnksdnjksdfwq, as my child once wrote

Gordon Brown, the British PM, is noted for his earnest devotion to Green belief-systems; from occasional observation, he also seems prone to spout the faux-concern of nanny-twaddle favored by the modern left. If you expected the same from his wife, you’d be correct. This is a good example: his child typed some gibberish on Twitter, and it naturally became a teachable moment for the nation.

Speaking at the formal unveiling of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety’s first strategy, the Prime Minister said last week’s intervention by younger son Fraser had shown him how important supervision was.

“Last week, the people who follow Sarah, my wife, on Twitter received a message of gobbledegook which my younger son had bashed out on the keys and then pressed send while she was out of the room,” he told the audience.

“It started with our mistake and, of course, it was a mistake not to supervise the internet and we were taught a big lesson as a result of that.”

It’s too perfect: the parents were taught a lesson. As opposed to “you can be right sure I taught my child to keep his marmaladed fingers off daddy’s computer, and that was the end of that. Now let us get back to discussing the rum ration for the Navy, and other suitably adult topics.”

Contriteness from his wife:

Shortly afterwards she explained the origins of the tweet: “In future I will turn my computer off when I am not using it – to save energy and avoid junior tweet interference.”

Turn it off? Why not just put it to sleep? But if she puts it to sleep, we risk junior tweet interference again, don’t we. Here’s the thing: having said she will turn her computer off to save energy, which is the most moral and important thing people can do, she has done her part, even though no one expects her to actually do so. The idea that she’ll power down her laptop every time she steps away from the keyboard is nonsense, but it’s enough to say she will. The example has been set, and even thought no one will follow it, we will all feel better about intending to shut down our computers to save energy.

The things one has to say when you’re constantly worried about being greener-than-thou constituents attacking you for having a laptop in the first place. To say nothing of a carbon-vomiting thing like a child.

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December 2009