After 672 days at the Web Producer desk here at the Tucson Weekly, I'll be moving on to a new opportunity as of Aug. 14.
If you're stifling a yawn right now, I don't blame you. In the online age, people come and go from media positions all the time, and while there will probably be far less Insane Clown Posse coverage on The Range after I'm gone, someone will take my place. Life goes on.
However, I do need a frame for this column's premise, so here are two things I've learned over nearly 2,500 blog posts and a little more than a year and a half:
• People in Tucson really care about local news personalities. I may never fully understand this phenomenon, but the second- and fifth-most-commented-on stories in my time here (after my post about Jared Loughner on the day of the Tucson shooting)? Two posts about Martha Vazquez's shoplifting incident. No. 6? A post regarding Chuck George's strange on-air incident and his subsequent leave of absence. I don't get it.
• Christians on the Internet, as a group, are remarkably susceptible to arguments. The third-most-commented-on story? A post about a Christian attempt to remake Halloween as a Jesus-themed observance. It still sounds ridiculous, and I still have no idea why seemingly intelligent people of faith would feel the need to defend it, but they did, in droves, frequently questioning the state of my soul.
My fellow Christians of the Internet: If you want people to take you seriously, calm down a bit. Some things deserve to be called out as the terrible ideas they are.
The week on The Range
We wondered who exactly would want the endorsement of Daniel Patterson; refused to hand over our Twitter passwords to anyone (unlike what was apparently asked of employees of the Arizona Daily Star); examined the Tucson Unified School District's request for everyone just to be nicer; shared an interview with Joe Arpaio; listened to Ally Miller badmouth our fine publication; noted that John McCain still stands by Sarah Palin; kept up with the latest polls in the various Arizona congressional races; and discussed (not always calmly) the highlights of the week's political events with Trent Humphries, Steve Kozachik and Jeff Rogers on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We took some photos at a new university-area tea shop; headed to Marana for a food-truck roundup; washed out our growlers to take advantage of a new Arizona law; and suggested people calm down a bit about Chick-fil-A before they get fired.
We shared photos that one space camera took of another; wondered if Yelp is playing fair with advertisers; felt comforted by the idea of a Jeff Buckley biopic; went to the Fox to see Daniel Buckley's documentary on the El Casino Ballroom; dreamt of an Olympics on Mars; watched a trailer for the new season of Doctor Who; scratched our heads over a Huffington Post advice column; watched a video from Tucson legend Fish Karma; declined to give anyone the finger, even though some made-up holiday on the Internet said we should; read an X-O Manowar comic; announced the closings of the Cactus Moon and Colors; made plans to visit all of Tucson's new breweries once they open; provided advice for the guy who left us a voicemail message about our "piece of shit website"; and read a delightful interview with local artistic genius Lisa Frank.
Comment of the week
"It's no wonder that the rest of the country thinks Arizonans are redneck idiots. ... How did someone like this get in a high-ranking corporate position in the first place?"
—TucsonWeekly.com commenter "AZ/DC" wondered why the angry Chick-fil-A guy had to be from our state ("Local Chick-fil-A Viral Video Costs Tucsonan His Job," The Range, Aug. 3).
Best of WWW
As he wraps up his time as a Tucson Weekly employee Dan Gibson will recap a few of his favorite online moments this week and tie up some loose ends as well, including the case of the little-people roadside tamale stand that might be a figment of his imagination. Also, this is the last week for some of our summer interns, so look for their posts incorporating all that they've learned over the last few months. So much change around here! You'll have to pardon us if we have trouble typing through the tears.