Last week, I wrote about how incredible it is that we live in an age where data can be transmitted, almost instantly, to any corner of the globe.
Last Wednesday, we were smacked in the face by the realities of living in such an age.
We're now familiar with Innocence of Muslims, a schlocky, poorly made film apparently directed by a man better known for making soft-core porn than works of art; with the rage of thousands of Muslims, who refuse to stand by as their prophet is insulted; and with the name of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was one of four Americans to lose their lives in a protest-turned-attack upon a U.S. consulate.
The reasons for the violence are still murky—the film itself is chief among the explanations being given, though cases can be made for a range of theories—but the truth is there's no acceptable explanation for the deaths.
In the same vein, there's no acceptable reason for Americans to cry for return strikes against Libya, Egypt or any of the countries who have protesters calling for American heads. This ridiculous, eye-for-an-eye, "let's nuke the place and let the One True God sort 'em out" bullshit is as much a part of the problem as the people who are launching rockets at American embassies.
What many Americans have missed is that multitudes of Muslims have mourned the death of Stevens, and that there have been counter-protests, vigils and letter-writing campaigns to console Stevens' widow. I view those Muslims, and those who feel that their religion is more peaceful than their recent history implies, to be a quiet majority—not unlike political moderates who would prefer to expand civil rights while slowing unwieldy government spending.
It may be naïve, but if a few bigots with a video camera (and their financiers) can make this big of an impact, in the same way, I have hope that a few decent people can do something that actually benefits this world.
We shared the schedule for this year's Tucson Meet Yourself festival; marveled at the work of SugarSong Custom Cakes; took a look into trading food with our neighbors; considered overstuffing ourselves with Sonoran hot dogs; drooled over Dragoon Brewing's Ojo Blanco; looked into Epazote Kitchen and Cocktails; previewed the soon-to-open Wild Garlic Grill; challenged readers to live on $4 of food a day; talked about the new U-Like Buffet at Oracle and River roads; and updated you on the return of MaFooCo and the opening of Umi Star.
We recapped Twitter reactions to UA football's victory over Oklahoma State; considered free speech and tattoos; looked at the fury of Yelp restaurant reviews; reminded you to not drive through flooded washes; reconsidered who soldiers should "friend" on Facebook; remembered the Sept. 11 memorials on Mars; shared news about the resignation of UA Poetry Center director Gail Browne; realized that cat videos have transcended internet culture; talked Twitter wars with Heroes and Villains; cooed over the baby zebra at Reid Park Zoo; planned an exit strategy in case this "journalism" thing doesn't work out; wandered through Casa Video's documentary section; and read a harrowing story of schizophrenia and family.
We also looked at President Obama's post-convention popularity bounce; giggled at a failed Tea Party concert in Phoenix; checked out the Flake-Carmona race; kept track of the political wars on the airwaves; read Raúl Grijalva's blog; updated you on downtown rezoning votes; gave you a list of Pima Community College's chancellor-search committee members; shared a map of the world's Muslim protests; linked you to Jim Nintzel's Political Roundtable; and a whole lot more!
"Yo soy un Latino! (I am a Latino!) Grijalva does not represent the way I think, nor does he represent (the ways in which) so many more like me think, believe or live. Adios, Raul. Vaya con Dios y desfruta su tiempo libre. (Goodbye Raul. God be with you, and enjoy your free time.)"
—TucsonWeekly.com user "Bisbee boy" sends Raul Grijalva his regards ("Grijalva Believes That Latino Voters Will Send a 'Very Big Wake-Up Call' This Season," The Range, Sept. 13).
In case you missed it: Adam Borowitz's "Can You Survive on $4 of Food a Day?" post from Sept. 14 stirred up a great amount of discussion, from eye-witness accounts of SNAP-card abuses, to words from program supporters who encourage modifying the rules, to comments by people who may or may not have been talking out of their asses. It's definitely worth a look. Good work, commenters!