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Protests change one man’s opinion

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By The Staff

Alright, I will admit it.

I was wrong.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column decrying the uselessness of Twitter, the Internet service that allows people to send short blasts of information to a list of people who sign up to receive them. In most cases, these 140-character blasts are used to carry irrelevant tidbits like “home from work now. going to take a nap” or “wearing my new sneakers and they are GREAT.”

I wrote that no one should care about the mindless comings and goings of average people or even those who have established some level of celebrity. I made some cute connection between “twit” and “Twitter.”

I felt pretty good about the column in a “I’m so clever” kind of way.

Then something unexpected happened – thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest what they said was a rigged election.

The Iranian government started ordering foreign journalists out of the country. The state-run media minimalized the protests. The hard-line government clamped down on information coming out of the country.

With traditional media under government control, the protestors turned to social-networking sites such as Facebook and yes ... Twitter.

Now, these Twitter posts are nothing like “real” journalism. They are posted by regular people on the ground who may or may not be accurate in their reporting. But the posts give a fascinating insight to what is going on and the feelings of the people involved.

Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic.com called the ‘tweets” the “raw data of history” and I agree with that assessment.

As a patriotic American, I fill with pride and excitement to see the Iranian people fight for democracy. The tweets I have read give me hope that real change could come to Iran.

Still, that doesn’t mean I care if Aston Kutcher is eating dinner or getting ready for a bath.

•••••

The next few weeks are shaping up to be possibly the most exciting times in the history of Owen County.

This week, hundreds and hundreds of visitors will be pouring into the county for the U.S. Clay Shooting Open Championships at Elk Creek.

The first annual Sweet Owen Arts in the Park will also be held this weekend at the Owen County Fair. The organizers have been working hard for two years to make this event a reality.  There will be plenty of  local artists displaying and selling their creations as well as lots of musical entertainment. It should be an exciting event.

The Owen County Fair is almost here too. This week, the News-Herald, in conjunction with the Owen County Fair Board, is publishing the annual fair book, which outlines events, rules and schedules for the various programs. From the looks of it, there will be plenty of interesting and fun-filled events.