by Jordan Zakarin
After two hours of busy signals, Republican nominee John McCain signed onto America Online late Saturday night, marking the 72-year old Arizona Senator’s first experience with the internet.
McCain, his interest piqued by an AARP commercial advertising its website, applied for a free AOL demo disc. After the program failed to run on his typewriter, he had staff direct him to a more advanced typing box, and after a number of hours spent playing solitaire, he picked the screen name MacDaddy08 and attempted to sign on.
Once he recovered from ducking under his desk in fear of his dial-up modem’s screeching sound, McCain was instantly enamored with the new cyber world that he had discovered.
“I heard Ted Stevens babbling on and on about the ‘series of tubes,’ but I thought it was just another one of his nonsensical fits of paranoia,” McCain said. “Then I sit down at this typewriter/television contraption, and it’s like, bam, where did this come from? It’s like this thing just snuck up on me.”
Once he was connected, McCain surfed with all the vigor his 72-year old fingers could muster. After answering a few a/s/l requests in AOL’s Pillow Talk 7208231 chat room, McCain made a beeline for world wide web, beginning his browser adventure by Googling himself. He soon found his way to Ask Jeeves, where the Republican nominee was delighted to see a cartoon version of himself dressed up in a tuxedo, like an English butler.
When asked about how the internet could impact his campaign, McCain, in his first e-mail ever, said he didn’t foresee much opportunity for it to make any significant difference. “Wut am I gonna do, create a website? Only geeks, 4-i’s and pervs do that. Nd wut could it do 4 me, neways? ppl r only interested in the Hamster Dance, which, by the way, is absolutely hilarious. ROLFMAO.”
After a string of fourteen straight emoticons, McCain continued, saying, “listen, at this point, it’s all about the benjamins, am I right? Unless people can somehow take money and send it thru the email or a website, it’s useless. And unless I’m totally off-base here, sending paper, and especially metal coins, is impossible to do.”
When asked about Net Neutrality, the term for the freedom to broadcast and access any content without price or access restrictions from internet providers, a fierce battle over which is being waged in Congress, the Arizona Republican was resolute in his response. “Believe me, there is no one who values freedom more than I do, and I steadfastly believe that we must spread it around the world,” he said.
Continuing on, McCain forcefully declared that, “the United States will not sit on the sidelines and be neutral in a time of conflict. So while we must carefully protect and spread freedom, sometimes it takes a war to do so. If there is an imminent threat, we will not hesitate to launch an attack on the Internet.”