Sunday, August 21, 2005

Blog Spotlight: Jess' "Jess Here"

This is an entry that Jess did at the mirror site for The Common Ills. C.I. reposted it at The Common Ills proper because it was an entry that deserved a wide audience. For the same reason we repost it here along with C.I.'s intro paragraph.

"Jess Here" (Jess' post from the mirror site)
First, thank you to Ava and Jess for all their help. Nothing would get done without them. Second, Jess did a bonus entry tonight at the mirror site tonight and, as I read over it, I wanted to be sure everyone saw it.

Jess here

Jess here. Ava was hoping to get the posts from the main site transferred over here last night but wasn't able to. She and C.I. are both fighting the good fight to save Roe.

So I said let me help. Ava warned me it was a pain in the butt but I had no idea.

Transferring the entries is just copying and pasting so it should be easy. And maybe it is when you are just doing one but if you're doing several it's a pain in the butt. It's taken me over forty minutes to get this done.

[. . .]

I'm Jess for anyone coming upon the mirror site blind. Like Ava, I'm part of
The Third Estate Sunday Review and we're an online mag that publishes once a week. We also do a print edition that we distribute but that's just on our campus. C.I.'s a member of The Third Estate Sunday Review if you ask any of us. If you ask C.I. it's more up in the air.

But we've never done an edition without C.I. and C.I. and Ava write the TV reviews (other pieces are group efforts) so we claim C.I.

The other members are Dona, Ty and Jim. We're all part of
The Common Ills community. We were one of the first sites to spring up from The Common Ills. The Common Ills really spoke to us. Folding Star created A Winding Road and may have beat us as the first site but I think we were the first one from The Common Ills community. Folding Star packed it in July, 2004 and that's too bad because FS covered the Senate and had a really nice weekend policy of doing a book discussion.

But when Folding Star was closing shop, Mike of
Mikey Likes It! was starting up. Before Mike, there was Rebecca and she runs Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. She's currently on vacation and has Elaine filling in for her. (Elaine's doing a great job.) Betty came after Rebecca and Betty runs Thomas Friedman is a Great Man which is a humorous site that's a comic novel. Kat had done Kat's Korner which is her weiging in on the state of music and doing reviews at The Common Ills for some time but she's started her own site as well called Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills). The "of" is because there are a ton of Kat's Korners and Kat wanted to be sure people knew which one was her. And most recently Cedric has started up Cedric's Big Mix.

So it's a pretty big community. If you're new to the mirror site, it sometimes lags behind the main site. It was created by
Common Ills members the UK Computer Gurus when Blogger was having problems and C.I. couldn't post there. C.I. didn't want to miss a day and had already missed an evening so the UK Computer Gurus set up the mirror site that you are at now.

Mike and I see the whole community as kind of the Mamas & the Papas of the internet. So if you can dig that, you can dig the community. What that means is we groove on music and peace.

Myself, I like a wide range of music but primarily acoustic. I grew up playing the guitar and my parents say I was playing the guitar before I was in first grade. That was a little plastic one they got me early on. Music was always playing in my house. My parents were and are hippies. We didn't zone out in front of the TV and we focused on different things. Recently, I've been really bothered by some of the slams from jerks who are "centrist" bloggers who slam "the hippies."
I wonder what they know about hippies. I feel I can talk because I was raised by hippies.

What did I learn growing up? That it matters. What we do and say matters. I learned that a sense of purpose was more important than floating through life. I learned that brand names weren't the be all and end all. They were just a way for marketeering to get your money. And a brand on your chest or butt didn't make you any better as a person. I learned that TV wasn't reality and that most of the news on TV wasn't reality either. I learned that you had to be dedicated to something larger than yourself. Which means I don't know you. You're reading this and I've never met you. But we are connected. We are in this together. Whether you're reading this in France or England or New Mexico or Oregon or where ever. And most of us have things in common if we can break down the barriers and really talk. I don't think that's a bad thing to be brought up with. I don't think, for instance, someone who's slamming my parents and doesn't know the first thing about them was raised with much more than fear and snideness. But they think it makes them look "modern" and "reasonable" and "moderate" and "smart" to slam hippies.

There are about seven people I know on campus who grew up in families similar to mine. I wonder if the bloggers who slam hippies realize how many of us are children of hippies? Or how offended we are when they slam our parents? I also wonder why it is that one guy who slams hippies felt the need to say "Back off James Dobson!" On Dobson he wants fairness. On my parents, he just wants to be an asshole.

He's probably afraid of something inside himself and that's his hang up, he doesn't need to use it trash my folks.

When I'm feeling down, I'll pick up the guitar or put on some music or seek out some friends. I share an apartment with Jim and Ty but Jim's usually over at Ava and Dona's because he and Dona hooked up awhile back. But I know I can speak to any of them or to C.I. or Betty, Cedric, Mike, Rebecca or Elaine. I think it's cool that we've got this community vibe and can be there for each other.

My favorite "new" music is usually Dave Matthews Band or Jack Johnson. I also really love Anais Mitchell's CD. I grew up with music being played constantly so I have favorites that go way back. I was singing along with Carole King, David Crosby, Richie Havens, Joan Baez and the Mamas and the Papas a long time ago. When I first went off to college, anytime I was missing my family, I'd put on the Mamas and the Papas and feel like I was back in the kitchen listening to my dad or my mom or my sister. I didn't want to call them up because I was down and didn't want to make them worry. Sometimes I'll grab the guitar when I'm feeling low and write a song. It's usually just music because I'm not that strong with lyrics. My dad works on prison reform and my mom's a public defender. So let me say one more time, I think the values I was raised with are worthwhile. I think the trashing comes from people wanting to prove how "tough" they are and play war hawk.

The people of this country aren't with them anymore but they can't wake up and realize that. You can see it with the disgusting DLC. They slam the grassroots in their little meeting then say, "Democrats shouldn't trash each other!" After they've trashed us. They're scared of the people taking control of their lives because they're used to sucking up to corporations and taking in the big money. So if those types trash my family, I just consider the source and think about how sad those people are.

Ava asked me to do a "bonus entry" here if I could because the mirror site usually runs behind and C.I. always means to offer something special to just this site. The members who come here first are usually European members and I'll say hello and thank you to all Eurpean members.

In England, especially, you have worked so hard getting the word out on
The Common Ills. You've reposted entries anywhere you could, on blogs, in CD reviews, in DVD reviews, you name it. Sometimes that stuff gets taken down two or three days later but by then someone has seen it.

You're getting the word out and I salute all of you and your hard work.

I'm reading the e-mails that go to the public e-mail address about three days a week so I'm getting a sense of the visitors. There are the right wingers and there are the "moderates" and "centrists" and the biggest surprise has been that the nastiest e-mails come from the "moderates." They hate that C.I. is against the war. They hate that C.I. won't sell out reproductive rights. And they make nasty comments about C.I.'s health and how they're rooting for death.

These are the same types that insult my family so I'm really starting to get a strong sense of the "values" this crowd was raised with. I don't really think there's any excuse for anyone to write someone and say, "I hope the cancer comes back." But that's the sort of crud that the moderates like to write. They need some help and I feel really sorry for them and their "values." I'll take the values of this community, Dallas, Ruth, KeShawn, and all the rest.

Posted at 06:48 pm by thecommonills

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }