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Twitter at Its Worst

If you ever want to feel troubled about the state of humanity, take a look at the trending topics on Twitter.

Maybe there will be something related to the news of the moment, but odds are that names related to tabloid-news culture will be up there, along with perhaps a hashtag joke of the moment.

And over the weekend, the hashtag #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend jumped to the top.

No one can seem to figure out how this little burst of misogyny came to be, but for awhile, there were a sickening number of tweets using domestic violence as a punch line. Thankfully, the tag was largely taken over by those condemning the concept, some of whom tweeted links to anti-domestic-violence charities and help lines—but the fact that the idea took off in the first place is disturbing.

What's strange is that the powers-that-be at Twitter were at the same time rumored to be censoring the hashtag #fuckyouWashington, a regrettably juvenile response to the debt-limit panic.

Twitter is in a strange place at the moment. The owners are desperately trying to find a way to monetize their wildly popular service, so maybe having the word "fuck" sprayed across your front page isn't exactly the image to display to potential corporate sponsors—but if they're going to edit the trending topics (which I'm not entirely sure they should be doing), wouldn't violence against women be a better topic to try to push out of the spotlight?


The week on The Range

We tried to make sense of the debt-ceiling crisis, and listened to both John McCain and Raúl Grijalva pontificate on the issue; updated you on the latest in the mini-dorm drama; found ourselves further confused by Tucson City Council candidate Tyler Vogt's e-mail strategy; didn't like the idea of having our Web-browsing history stored by the government; and remembered civil rights leader Richard Chavez.

We watched Tucsonans crash their cars into each other; congratulated the makers of Precious Knowledge; waited outside of the new northwest-side Culver's to get a ButterBurger; celebrated the birthday of Miss Peggy at the Buffet Bar; panicked over Mexico invading Texas (briefly); prepared ourselves for Pac-12 football and celebrated the return of the NFL; added up the number of stories in the Arizona Daily Star written by their own reporters; wondered how Groupon stays afloat; discussed Murphy's Law for dogs; talked about Pearl Jam on KFMA; discouraged you from performing surgery on yourself; and threatened to punch anyone who pulled the "nausea tone" prank on us.

We pondered what Morrissey and Marr might look like in comic-book form; found an air-conditioned place to take the kids for story time; started getting our news from Beaker; played with a Ron Swanson doll; watched a chimp bottle-feed a baby tiger; tried to figure out the best show on television; wondered if George Lucas can still make a great movie; found ourselves confused by the trailer for Battleship; learned how we're supposed to be playing Monopoly; looked back at how MTV covered the Internet in 1995; marveled over Beyonce as we shook our head at Joe Pesci's rap career; encouraged you to watch Mad Men on video; and enjoyed the 1975 TV movie Someone I Touched.

Comment of the week:

"adj. loos·er, loos·est 1. Not fastened, restrained, or contained: loose bricks. 2. Not taut, fixed, or rigid: a loose anchor line; a loose chair leg."

Part of TucsonWeekly.com commenter Major Chaos' attempt to explain that he meant to say "looser" instead of "loser" ("Hey, Congress! What the Hell?" The Range, July 31).

Best of WWW:

Singularly named KFMA FM 92.1 morning show host Fook has been nice enough to hand over five minutes or so of his most recent Wednesday broadcasts to Tucson Weekly web producer Dan Gibson, so we sent intern Katie Cunningham down to the station to learn a little more about the former Chicagoan, what he's learned about Tucson so far, and why he left the world of professional poker behind to come back to radio. If you'd like to catch a little bit of The Range on the airwaves, tune in Wednesdays at 8:10 a.m., or catch the less-immediate archive of the segment in YouTube form on the blog later.

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