Sunday, March 13, 2005

A note to the readers

Another all nighter which some of us live for and others of us don't.

We're really excited about this edition.

But first a note on what didn't make it into the issue. Donna and Ty were supposed to do a first draft on what sort of e-mails we won't reply to. (We is Ava and sometimes Dona. The rest of us usually just read them.) Ava read a number of e-mails on her day this week from people asking personal questions. We don't respond to those. We'll have a piece next week on that fingers crossed.

Now about what's in this edition.

For those who like a little laughter with their criticism of The New York Times, check out "Like good parents we start out to give the potential speech only to discover The Timid has a secret to share." That was a lot of fun to write. It was also a piece we argued about a great deal.

We being Ty, Jess, Ava, Dona, Jim and C.I. of The Common Ills and Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. At one point, and remember this was an all nighter, C.I., Ava and Ty were of the opinion that there were parts that could be construed as making fun of gays and lesbians. Certainly we would never intentionally make fun of GLBT. We were using the coming-out process to make fun of The New York Timid. However, due to strong objections and comments like "I can't take part in anything that's going to hurt someone who had a difficult coming out," we struck six paragraphs. The four of us who felt it was funny and obviously not making fun of GLBT like to think that had the piece been written yesterday evening when we all started piecing everything together, the paragraphs would have raised no objections. But we understand that it was an all nighter and nerves were frazzled. We are all now comfortable with the piece as it appears and hope that everyone, regardless of whether or not they've ever come out on any issue, can enjoy it. (Well, everyone but The Timid.)

Another thing that put us behind was our interview with Kat of Kat's Korner. That's not a complaint. But Kat had promised us five minutes after midnight when her company had gone home where she would briefly discuss the review of The Beekeeper that we highlight.

We were thinking we would get some interesting statements out of the talk, maybe a paragraph, maybe two. We got an actual interview and we're very happy to have that. But it wasn't planned and that put us behind schedule.

The DVD review was about the only thing that went quickly. We'd all seen Orwell Rolls In His Grave and we knew what we wanted to say.

The editorial on The Timid was another story. That was a very long process and we thank Rebecca for helping with each draft. We also think C.I. for answering various questions and recommending previous embarrassments of the paper of record. We wish C.I. had been part of that editorial and feel it would be stronger if C.I. had been. But we respect anyone's right to say that they're not sure that they can be objective or that it's in their scope.

C.I.'s issue was that over at The Common Ills only members would write about The Timid's editorials, C.I. tries to refrain from commenting on the on the opinions of the editorials. So since our editorial was about an editorial in The Timid, C.I. drew a line about helping with the actual writing or reviewing it in draft form.

We thank C.I. and Kat for allowing us to reprint the wonderful review Kat did of The Beekeeper
(the new album by Tori Amos).

We thank C.I. and Rebecca for all their help.

Rebecca said she was going to crash after the editorial went up. Ava said the same thing (and no one blames her). C.I. was with us all the way until the morning Timid was delivered. We appreciate all the help. And we don't make a point to say "This was written by." Because it is a group effort. Everyone of us contributes and when C.I. or Rebecca contribute, we note that (C.I.'s big on disclosure). (C.I. and Rebecca took part in the interview with Kat.)

But those of us who stayed for this note to the readers are all in agreement that we do need to single out two participants for one article. It's about being honest and it's about giving credit where it's due. Ava and C.I. did the TV review all by themselves. They watched the episode, they made notes and when every other sentence was calling for a rewrite on an early draft of the editorial, Ava said she'd add her input when we got a completed draft and that she and C.I. were going to break off and work on the review of Smallville.

That review is funny. When we saw the first draft, we didn't see a thing to change. We all laughed and enjoyed it. Had we not been scrambling all night (and all morning) we could have all particpated in that. We don't think we could have made it any funnier if we had all participated.
Ava and C.I. did all the work on that and though we don't usually make a point to say "This was written by" we do want to point that out. (And we did try to get them agree to a byline on that -- it would have been the first byline at this site. They refused. But they're not with us writing the note so they can forget about being modest and take the credit they earned.)

As always we hope you find something you enjoy. If you do or don't, let us know. Smallville was a show that seven e-mails had asked us to review. C.I. brought up reviewing Orwell Rolls In His Grave and Ty noted that we'd had e-mails asking about that as well. So we are reading even if only Ava and sometimes Dona actually replies.
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