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Weekly Wide Web

Kim Kardashian Kills the Internet

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It's probably a bad idea to complain about a charity that hopes to raise a million dollars to fight AIDS ... but the very presence of Kim Kardashian as part of it allows for some cynicism, right?

Founded by Alicia Keys, the Keep a Child Alive Foundation asked a gaggle of celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Usher, to "kill" their online presence on Facebook, Twitter and the like until a ransom of $1 million is donated.

Again, this is definitely a worthy cause, but the belief that fans missing out on Kardashian's endless stream of self-promotion (I just learned that she can't "live without (her) illumifill," whatever the hell that is) is a crisis worth getting the wallet out is a little too meta-bizarre to process.

In an era when celebrities are finding ways to monetize their relationship with their fans on Twitter and Facebook, maybe the stars should be doing the donating, not the millions of people who clicked the "follow" button because they wanted to keep up with someone they feel some affinity for.

The Internet is a strange place where everything is free and nothing is free—at the same time—and every new form of social media is either created to be commodified, or it quickly becomes that way. Thomas Frank once said, "Consumerism is no longer about conformity but about difference," but now consumerism seems to be about communication.

Selling out that line of communication—even for charity—just shows us how cheap it really is.


THE WEEK ON THE RANGE

The Range linked to more nonsense from critics of the New START Treaty, including U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl; noted that Kyl managed to work a $200 million earmark into a bill to settle a water-rights lawsuit with American Indian tribes just three days after GOP senators swore off earmarks; and gave you some background on the DREAM Act.

We warned you that rattlesnakes were moving into abandoned and foreclosed homes; enticed your appetite with the TurBaconEpic; and told you about an out-of-area woman who can’t stop not retiring to Tucson, at least according to her comments at TucsonWeekly.com.

We reviewed Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria at the Tucson Convention Center Arena; featured photography from UA journalism students Diana Sokolova and Joshua Morgan; and highlighted great music playing all around town.

We let you know about plans for HUB Restaurant and Creamery downtown; updated you on the repairs to the fire-damaged Takamatsu restaurant; and revealed hidden knowledge about the Honey Lick Martini in our new TucsonWeeklyTV series, “Secrets of Tucson Bartenders.”


COMMENT OF THE WEEK

”Big-city culture is a hard sell in the Old Pueblo. The vaguely demeaning phrase ‘absurdly talented’ says it all.”

TucsonWeekly.com commenter David Kish joins the chorus of dissent against Dan Gibson’s Cirque du Soleil review on The Range (“Review: Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria at the TCC Arena,” Nov. 25).


BEST OF WWW

So far, we’ve had Amber from Harvest and Jonas from Jasper contribute to our “Secrets of Tucson Bartenders” series, and this week, we head downtown to Janos Wilder’s return to the central city, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails. They take the “cocktails” part of their name seriously, using local ingredients and developing fresh takes on classic drinks. Kristian gives us a look into how the new restaurant uses infused liquors to add depth of flavor to their drinks.

Also this week, we have multimedia features to go with our Beyond the Border series, done by students from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, including a look at what life is like for one undocumented worker in New York City.

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