Every few months, I end up saying that I'm going to stop discussing politics on Facebook—yet a few days go by, and I find myself in the middle of a digital fray over some social issue.
I like to justify the behavior by saying that I'm limiting my comments to correcting inaccurate information, but deep down, I know that I'm no different than any other online crank who's determined to convince the world of the accuracy of my opinions. While I think the civil discussion of political issues is generally a positive thing, even if it's a somewhat rare occurrence online (see our Comment of the Week on the right), it might be time to stop discussing, say, abortion on Facebook.
I don't know if some sort of block can be set up that sends abortion-related status updates into an unseen void where no insults can be exchanged, but if not, my wife has an excellent proposal: a second Facebook, just for people who want to argue about the subject. There, people who actually think they're going to change each other's minds can go at it, 24/7, without the rest of us needing to be caught in the crossfire. Have erroneous statistics to share? Go for it—but not on the Facebook that the rest of us are trying to use as a distraction.
Of course, my wife also suggested that Rick Santorum supporters be sent to the same alternate social network, but let's take things one step at a time.
The week on The Range
We reported the results of the Arizona Presidential Preference Primary, including how the Project White House candidates performed; kept up with the domestic-violence allegations surrounding state Rep. Daniel Patterson; realized which fringe TV personality Jan Brewer reminds us of; recapped the Tea Party excitement at Rick Santorum's stop in town; wondered if the recall effort against Tucson Unified School District board member Michael Hicks would be successful; studied up on the Bible with Terri Proud; tried to erase the memory of Russell Pearce talking about crushed scrotums; and watched the two heads of the major political parties in Pima County discuss the week's events on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We looked forward to the culinary programming at the Tucson Festival of Books; noted the opening of several new restaurants in town; reported on the opening of a medical-marijuana collective; pointed out a new option for gluten-free folks; and congratulated Janos Wilder on his semifinalist status for a James Beard Award.
We tried (unsuccessfully) to contain our excitement about the forthcoming Freestyle Explosion show coming to the Tucson Convention Center; listened to a mix by two local DJs; visited a museum for purses; watched an old commercial for a long-gone local record store; kept up with the world of bicycling; shared some photos from the first night of the Desert Diamond Cup; enjoyed the sights and sounds of a bridge exploding; glimpsed the creative process at work with a time-lapse video of an Ed Muren III mural; continued our bittersweet tradition of noting David Foster Wallace's birthday; tried to help you avoid the glare of Google's new privacy options; asked you to consider adopting a dog; and got down to the new single by SWV.
Comment of the week
"Since the uber links can't win on the basis of rational argument or performance in office, they must stoop to the Goebbels School of Character Assassination."
Best of WWW
Let's talk about tacos. While we might take our handheld meals for granted on occasion—focusing instead on the Sonoran hot dog, food trucks or something else—the taco is always here, available nearly anywhere, and generally quite delicious. With the Tucson Taco Festival coming up in April, it seems like a welcome opportunity to think about the variety of taco options in town and consider what might be Tucson's best taco. What is Tucson's best taco? Think about it; evaluate your criteria; and join the conversation on The Range.