For better or worse, Twitter is a place where you can get some sense of the public's reaction to breaking news. While most tweets are still focused on meaningless crap (other than your tweets, which are insightful and clever, I promise), when something's actually happening, Twitter explodes with immediate reaction.
This was, of course, the case regarding the death of Whitney Houston on Feb. 11. Whitney Houston was one of the biggest stars on the planet at one point, and that time period coincides with the adolescences of quite a few people who tweet, so it makes sense that people would express some nostalgia-based sadness over her death. She did sell more than 100 million albums worldwide, so her death was kind of a big deal.
However, the generally accepted notability of this pop-culture event was lost on someone in my Twitter feed, who used the opportunity to mention that it would be nice if people were half as sad over children dying in Sudan as they were regarding Whitney Houston. While it would indeed be nice if Americans would discard just a bit of their fascination with celebrity to care about the rest of the world, it was comical to me to look back on the tweeter's previous dispatches to the world. Just one post earlier, he was quoting The Hangover—apparently also forgetting about the plight of humanity.
If you're going to get sanctimonious via social media, make sure you're not doing so on a tweet-by-tweet basis.
The week on The Range
We kept up with the latest from the Congressional District 8/2 race(s), including Paula Aboud's announcement that she's running in the new district, and Ron Barber's entry into the CD 8 contest on the Democratic side; and Martha McSally's candidacy, and Citizen United's support for Jesse Kelly on the Republican side. We introduced you to Ray Carroll's opponent in the Republican primary for the Pima County Board of Supervisors; shared messages from the Project White House candidates ahead of the debates this weekend; announced that a Navy ship would be named for Gabrielle Giffords; wondered when and if Romney-mania would set in with Sen. Jon Kyl; and discussed all the week's political events on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We introduced you to a 13-year-old local food blogger; shrugged our shoulders at the news that Frost is making a world-record-attempting gelato; made reservations for Valentine's Day at the Waffle House; mentioned Tucson's up-and-coming underground supper-club scene; let you know about an oxygen bar on Seventh Street; suggested you avoid proposing with the help of Pizza Hut; and put on our flip-flops to go to a new beach-themed restaurant.
We told you about a documentary on the subject of plastic bags showing at the Loft; gave away tickets to see Brad Garrett at Casino del Sol; recapped Noam Chomsky's speech at UA Centennial Hall; resolved our differences with a Girl Scout; stayed wary of baby dingoes; watched Grammy winner Bon Iver jam with The Roots; suggested you go see Gift of Gab at Club Congress; felt strange watching a local tattoo company's ad; pumped our fists at the Benny Benassi concert; and teared up a bit over the death of Whitney Houston.
Comment of the week
"This is a horrible article. I have a dingo for a pet. My pet dingo is the most loving, caring animal. Oh, and my pet dingo saved my life once." —TucsonWeekly.com commenter "noname" doesn't appreciate our jokes about dingoes eating babies ("Mini-Dingoes Don't Eat Babies, Do They?" The Range, Feb. 9).
Best of WWW
In next week's issue, we'll have the electoral information you've no doubt been waiting for (assuming you're a Republican or Green Party member): the Project White House endorsements. The candidates have been working hard—hitting the streets, introducing themselves to actual people, and making clever YouTube videos—and it will all come down to a somewhat arbitrary endorsement system overseen by an altweekly staff that changed party allegiance en masse a month ago. However, you don't have to take our endorsement as gospel, so we'll keep presenting information from any candidates for president who feel like sending us anything. At some point, the fun of the Arizona primary will be over—but until then, we're going to make the most of it.