Late last year, I made a resolution in this space to stop getting into arguments online—and for two months, I did a decent job of keeping that promise.
But last week, my resolution fell apart.
I've had some issues with the Sound Strike organization—set up by Zack de la Rocha and others to protest the passage of SB 1070 by encouraging artists to boycott Arizona—from the start, largely because I think engaging people is usually a better option than dictating policy from the sidelines.
Last week on The Range, our daily dispatch, I responded to a post on the Sound Strike website which brags about the effect their boycott has had. I disagreed in a way that I thought was respectful—but the Sound Strike people didn't take it that way, because they soon jumped on Twitter and started arguing about strange points that I hadn't really made. The argument continued on Twitter and Facebook for a few days, but not to any particular point.
The Internet: Where no one changes their mind.
What was strange about the whole extended event was that both of us are essentially on the same side: I can't stand the immigration nonsense being pulled by Russell Pearce and company, nor can the Sound Strike folks.
The Internet allows everyone to have a voice, but perhaps it gets in the way of those voices becoming a chorus.
We told you know that a federal grand jury indicted Jared Lee Loughner on 49 counts related to the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson that left six dead and 13 wounded; gauged the chances that Republican Gabby Saucedo Mercer could topple Congressman Raúl Grijalva in 2012; informed you that the American Legion wanted the Obama administration to defend the Defense of Marriage Act; and followed the developing attack on unions in Wisconsin, including an effort to ban prank phone calls in that state.
We pushed for the creation of Baja Arizona; let you know that former state lawmaker John Kromko was sentenced to two years of probation following his guilty plea to charges of forgery related to candidate-nominating petitions; and looked in on the misguided Sound Strike effort against Arizona.
On the Chow beat: We let you know that the Borderlands Brewing Company was opening in the downtown Warehouse District in collaboration with Dinnerware; experienced brain freeze at The City Yogurt; tasted the burgers at Branding Iron North; mused about what might be opening at the old Acacia spot in St. Philip's Plaza; squeezed all we could out of the breast-milk ice cream story; and brought you another dispatch from the Food Truck Diaries.
We dazzled you with pics from the UA-Oregon State basketball game by Josh Morgan, as well as portraits of UA dancers by Allison Mullally; encouraged you to support local photographer Jamara Knight, who is in the running to win the National Geographic Photo Contest; recommended the best TV to watch this week, including Pig Bomb; directed you to great live music; urged you to check out the UA's Cosmic Origins lecture series; and fitted you for a vintage beer sweater.
"Me: 'Knock Knock.' Wisconsin: 'Who's There?' Me: 'Way to ruin it for everyone, you assholes.'"
—Facebook commenter Karki Meade responds to the Wisconsin Legislature's attempt to ruin many a drunken night in Madison by banning prank phone calls ("Wisconsin Republicans to Ban Fun in Act of Sore Loserdom," The Range, March 2).
This week, Tucson Weekly TV joined in on the literary fun, interviewing Stephen Baker, author of Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything. Baker followed the development of Watson, the supercomputer that obliterated two Jeopardy! champions on television last month. What makes the book interesting, other than the behind-the-scenes stuff, is the exploration of what Watson teaches us about the nature of learning and knowledge, and what this sort of computing might be used for in the future. (Hint: It's not world domination.)
Also, we went to the stadium formerly known as Tucson Electric Park for the Christina-Taylor Green memorial spring training game, an emotional occasion for a family so connected to the game of baseball.