As I write this, there are 8,707 comments live on our website that were posted in 2011. There were 6,734 posted at this point in 2010, and 3,933 in 2009, so it would seem that more and more people are finding something worth commenting on within our digital pages all the time—and that's not counting the 680 we had to pull from the site this year for violating our comments policy.
Within those 8,707 comments, there's seemingly every possible viewpoint presented, from vigorous agreement with things we've written to semi-creative assessments of the deficiencies in our collective and individual abilities to process information. However, it takes more than a nonsensical remark offered in the third person to win the Rangie for Comment of the Year ... so congratulations, Margarete de Gaston, winner of this imaginary award for her comment on my post "My Attempt to Become the Michael Phelps of the Pima County Fair Begins Now."
While I appreciate every single person who leaves a comment for whatever reason, when someone decides to take the time to offer information that actually adds to what I've written—even if it's a post sort of joking about me entering a ton of food and craft competitions at the Pima County Fair. In a forest of insults and snark, Ms. de Gaston (whose post is too long to include in the print version) really came through with helpful information about the world of county-fair judging—and that deserves a Rangie.
We brought you analysis of the new legislative and congressional maps approved by the Independent Redistricting Commission; shared Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik's views on the negotiations between the Rialto Theatre Foundation and the Rio Nuevo board; wondered why Pima County Republican Party chairwoman Carolyn Cox was determined to oppose a tax break for middle-class Americans; and brought you the year in review, with a look ahead at 2012, on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We introduced you to some new faces in the race for the presidency via Project White House 2012; noted that a gay man apologized to Minnesota state Sen. Amy Koch, who recently admitted cheating on her husband with a staffer, for undermining her heterosexual marriage; gave you some ideas about how to quit your job in a spectacular manner; asked Justin Bieber to quit rapping; shared the Loft Cinema's Top 10 list of films from 2011; toured a candy factory; and wanted to get a taste of custom-crafted wine at NoRTH.
We recommended more music being enjoyed by our music critics; got an advance look at the Amos Lee performance taped earlier this year at the Fox Tucson Theatre for PBS' Live From the Artists Den; watched a Tucson Mall security guard kick some local musicians out of the shopping center for singing Christmas carols; shared some ghastly bits of jewelry from the Guy Fieri line; talked about comic books; told you how the modern-day Santa was born at the Westward Look Resort; taught you how to wrap presents; recommended some cookbooks; and discovered why the Olive Garden sucks.
"Yes, Dan Gibson, I am in full and utter agreement with your sentiment."
—TucsonWeekly.com commenter "BURNIE MAK" provided one writer with an early and completely unexpected Christmas present, even if it took the prompting of an awful musical performance ("Justin Bieber, Please Stop Rapping," The Range, Dec. 21).
While the Tucson Weekly has its own plans for the Arizona presidential primary, thanks to Project White House, our country's process to select its presidential contenders rolls on elsewhere, even without the positive influence of our citizen candidates. Tucson Weekly contributor Samantha Sais is covering the campaigning in Iowa with her camera in hand, so if you enjoy pictures of people in suits pretending they really love corn, check out The Range for regular dispatches from the political front.
Then, when Iowans cast their votes, we can go back to forgetting about the state for a few years.