Sunday, March 20, 2005

A note to our readers

Well against all odds, we got an edition posted. And only a couple of hours later than the time we've set for having something up.

In this edition, you won't find a TV review. Ava and C.I. (of The Common Ills) were willing to try to pull one together but folks we're talking twenty-four hours plus that everyone's been up.
And C.I.'s still planning on posting about this morning's New York Times.

We all participated in various rallies this week. Some of us at The Third Estate Sunday Review used the rallies as an excuse to visit family knowing that a "I haven't seen you in so long" would mean travel money and the opportunity to be on the ground at as many different rallies as possible.

When that option became viable, we got together to decide how we were going to write the piece.
Local color? A log of speeches given?

Interviews with organizers?

No to all the above. It's the people who make a rally.

And what we cared about was why were they there. So we decided to ask that question. We got so many responses we could publish a lengthy book. Unfortunately, we couldn't put all of them in. We couldn't even offer more than eighty views which came down to ten for each of us. That's the five of us here at The Third Estate Sunday Review (Ty, Jess, Dona, Ava and Jim), C.I. of The Common Ills, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude and Common Ills community member and soon to be blogger at her own site Betty. (We've been really bad about doing permanent links to other sites but when Betty's site goes up, we will link to it.)

So with that decided on, we went to various events on Friday and Saturday. And then via the net and the phone we all hooked up to figure out which quotes to include. It was a long deliberation and we each argued for the voices we had spoken to. (And C.I. slipped eleven people in instead of ten by arguing that two young women overlapped in their comments so that was actually one quote.) All told, that entry took us over four hours not counting breaks.

And on one fifteen minute break, C.I. is off breaking a pretty important story but we'll get to that in a moment.

So you've got eighty or eighty-one voices that we spoke to at various events this weekend. We hope the voices give you something to think about and that you can hear yourself reflected in some if not all. We're proud to provide this record of the two days protest. We're sure others will have other records and they'll be just as interesting and as noteworthy but we decided to focus on the people who attended and to ask them why they attended.

Our editorial was something we had no idea on. We had joked about doing one on the fact that the media wasn't covering the protests. Most will use the excuse that the Sunday paper was set to go before the protests ended Saturday. That will be their excuse for Sunday. For Monday, they'll probably tell us that the reason is that by Monday it was old news.

But a funny and to the point editorial wasn't what we were up for as we struggled to finish this edition. Luckily, when we were coming up blank with ideas for another topic, C.I. tosses out that we might want to do something on Ohio and check out The Common Ills.

We have no idea what's going on but are all furious clicking and depending on download speed immediately shocked or listening to gasps from others while we wait impatiently for the page to download.

There's a Congressional hearing tomorrow. On the vote. And it's being held in Ohio. And the mainstream media's told you pretty much everything they could about Terry Shiavo and Michael Jackson and steroids in baseball and just about every other topic that may not make a huge difference to our democracy. But they haven't bothered to tell you that this Monday there's a Congressional hearing.

We find that shocking.

We're also impressed that on a 15 minute break, C.I. manages to scan The Times, go to a web site they refer to and find on that site a story they haven't mentioned in the paper. C.I., you saved our asses and we thank you for that. You gave us a topic for a strong editorial and you helped us with the draft of that. Hopefully, the media will pay attention to this issue but we won't get our hopes up.

Also in this issue, you'll find Kat's review of Nirvana's boxed set. Kat and C.I., thank you for the permission to reproduce that review. Check out Kat's comments she made to us about that review. We weren't able to score another interview (maybe soon) but considering how late it is as this is being typed, that might be a good thing unless we want to change the title to The Third Estate Monday Review.

And thanks to Rebecca for staying on us to get that done. We were all tired and toying with the idea of taking a nap and then regrouping in an hour. But as Rebecca pointed out, this was going to be an all nighter and we were kidding ourselves if we thought otherwise.

There's a review of two DVDs and hopefully that will make up for the fact that we don't have a TV review up this edition. The DVD review of Danny Schechter's WMD wasn't easy to write because everyone was in disagreement about what the most important points of the film were.
That's because there are so many important points in the film. That thing went through six drafts before Ty asked if anyone was paying attention to the time. (Rebecca and C.I. helped on that article.)

Then it was time to highlight another wonderful comic gem performance from Jane Fonda. Fun With Dick & Jane is a movie that will make you laugh and it has a couple of messages. Whether that got into the film review, who knows? We were running on fumes and waiting for the second wind to kick in. Rebecca, C.I. and Betty assisted us on that article.

C.I. recommended we all step outside and get some fresh air and a brief walk in before we started to work on the story of the protests. Great idea because we were all starting to get on each others' frayed nerves. We came back refreshed and were able to argue and disagree respectfully and humorously. We probably would have been at each others' throats were it not for the walk. Betty, C.I. and Rebecca helped with that article. And besides the approximate of a little more than four hours to assemble the final article, we also took a number of breaks. They may have delayed this edition posting, but believe me they were needed.

Then came the editorial. Betty begged off saying she was tired and the sun was coming up. We don't blame her. C.I. already had the morning Times but stayed on to help. And Rebecca not only stayed on but rallied us several times when we felt like the editorial wasn't coming together.
With a lot of work from the seven of us, we managed to get it done. And while Rebecca said she was going to straight to sleep after she did a quick post on Ohio and though the five of us are about to fall over, we'll note that C.I. was intending to get in a morning workout to clear the brain then attempt to do at least one more post on this morning's New York Timid before getting any sleep. And we're the college students who are supposed to be used to all nighters?

Hopefully there's something for you here. To those who've written since Sunday, we haven't read you. This was a difficult week on campus and Friday and Saturday were devoted to protesting the occupation. None of the five of us even want to look at a computer screen today.
We're all just wanting to go to sleep -- finally. But your comments are read and if Ava reads them, you usually get a response. (Requests for personal information result in a non-response. That is our policy.) If Dona reads them, you may get a response. The rest of us will try to work harder on giving a response when one's needed but we do read them (except this week) and we do discuss them.

Hope you made your voice heard this week. If you did, congratulations for taking part in democracy at the most basic and fundemental form. If you didn't, maybe next time?

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Ava and Jess.
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