The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

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Meet the Contra-Contrarian

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 by billsimmon in blogging, Digital Culture, friends, Life of Bill, people I want to get drunk with, writing | 1 Comments

I have just submitted my first post to The Contrarian — the blog run by The Contrarian Media Group, which in turn is run by musician, writer, music policy wonk and former Vermonter, Casey Rae-Hunter. The Contrarian used to be Casey’s personal blog, but recently he’s been expanding the ranks of authors there and even actively seeking out new voices for the site. I shot him an email and said I was game. I doubt I’ll be a constant voice over there, but I’ll be chiming in on a semi-regular basis when I have something relevant to contribute. There will no-doubt be some cross-posting as the venn diagram that depicts the spheres of interest for The Contrarian and Candleblog contains a broad common area.

Here’s a snip from my first Contrarian post, which is about a recent Army intelligence report that warns that terrorists are (gasp!) communicating via Twitter…

The really hilarious part is the list of other groups of people who are using Twitter. According to the report, aside from terrorists, “Twitter has also become a social activist tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences.”

It’s a weird list. Why, for example, does it single out “communists?” Are communists really using Twitter more enthusiastically than other political groups, like say, Democrats or Republicans? Are fascists using Twitter? Neo-Nazis? Where are they on the list? What about organic farmers?

And aren’t all these groups also using other forms of technology to organize, like blogs and email lists and fax machines and phones and shoes and ballpoint pens? Twitter is a communication technology that is widely available and very popular. Of course these groups (and every other social group you can name, except, possibly, luddites) are using it.



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  1. Glad to have ya, Bill!

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