I've made fun of online petitions in the past, ("Sign This!," Weekly Wide Web, Nov. 22), but it appears that, occasionally, Internet petitions actually have some value beyond letting us know which members of our citizenry we should consider flinging off of Earth and into the sun.
Last week on The Range, I mentioned an item about a 13-year-old girl named McKenna Pope, who successfully petitioned for Hasbro to create a masculine (or at least, less feminine) version of their Easy Bake Oven.
She had done so after noticing her brother's interest in cooking things (apparently she watched him warming a tortilla with a light bulb, which is basically Easy-Bake Oven-ing without the box), and learned after a trip to the local Target that, apparently, Hasbro only made Easy Bakes in pink and purple.
One month, one petition and more than 45,000 signatures later (among them, celebrity chef Bobby Flay) and McKenna achieved victory, earning an invite to Hasbro headquarters to view the new, boy-friendly Easy Bake.
Combine this with the recently circulated petitions to call for firearm legislation reforms and to examine the tax-exempt status of the hatemongering Westboro Baptist Church and one could make the argument that, after one of the most divisive periods in our nation's history, we're actually starting to get each other's backs about issues involving equality and public safety.
Sure, we still get tripped up over incredibly stupid issues (nearly 90,000 people knee-jerked themselves onto a petition to have Piers Morgan deported because he doesn't like the Second Amendment, in a fabulous case of wishing to ignore one part of the Bill of Rights in favor of another), but it appears that there's finally a reason to have some hope for a change.
The Week On Our Blogs
On The Range, we gathered around the Yule log GIF on Christmas; watched NBC's David Gregory chat with NRA vice-president Wayne LaPierre; shared the first-amendment rights of a woman to flip off her neighbors via lighted display; mentioned that notorious carpetbagger Jesse Kelly finally won something; celebrated the return of Joe Schmo to the airwaves; welcomed Seis Curbside Kitchen and Catering to the Weekly World Central parking lot; talked about endangered species condoms; and so much more!
On We Got Cactus, we hung out for a week while we let the holiday glow wash over us. Mmm, eggnog.
Comment of the Week
"Well there you have it. There should already be a law against indecent exposure (deliberate showing of genitalia in a sexually provoking or aggressive manner), and a warning should suffice to cure the problem, if not, there are heavy handed laws in place, and the store can ban him. If he's covered up, I don't think you can do anything but refuse service. I don't see what the big deal is unless he is showing off his privates. Tacky isn't always illegal or millions more would be in jail!" — TucsonWeekly.com user Mike L. Taylor commenting about the problems with pajama pants on a blog post that's nearly a year old ("Finally, a Proposed Law I Can Really Get Behind," The Range, Jan. 18, 2012).
Best of WWW
Few things got commenters going like our discussions of guns this week, in both "More Police in Schools Often Means More Students in the Juvenile Justice System," (The Range, Dec. 26), "The National Gun Death Rate is Two-Thirds That of Arizona's," (The Range, Dec. 26) and "David Gregory at Least Tried With the NRA's Wayne LaPierre" (The Range, Dec. 23), combining for a total of 42 comments ranging from reasoned discussion and sharing of thoughtful articles, to calling for The Range to become a "no-spin zone"—whatever that means.