Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
Sunday. Noon. Shouldn't have been.

Two things put us behind schedule. First I (Jim), asked (demanded) at the last minute, after Ava and C.I. had already roughed out and researched their TV review, that they instead address the Stephen Colbert issue. I didn't handle that well. My enthusiasm was overbearing and I apologize for that. (Dona asks that I add the point Rebecca made on that, which was that others could have and should have stepped in. That's for others to address.) My apologies to them.

This was supposed to be an easy issue. We had most of it mapped out ahead of time. Cedric gave a heads up to what to expect on Thursday at his site.

Then, possibly due to the thrill I'm thought to get from deadlines, overnights and rushing madly, I announce on Friday that we "must" have a Colbert commentary from them.

Why "must"? Because Ava and C.I. don't tip toe. They've offered their feminist critique from the start. They've spoken out when others have stayed silent. They've never been afraid to call it what it was. As the topic became a huge topic in e-mails, it seemed to me that it "must" be addressed by them.

So that put us behind. (They had to make calls on Saturday and figure out what their approach would be.) It also destroyed a Friday work session. (Ava and C.I. walked out -- well C.I. got off the phone and Ava walked -- smart on both their parts.) Coming off a no sleep weekend last weekend and participating in rallies on Monday, we were all tired. That's why we planned the edition ahead and hoped to be done by two a.m. when we talked throughout the week.

Didn't happen.

The biggest problem, that added four hours to this session, was the musical we provide. Was it a problem to write? No. Jess, Kat, C.I. and Rebecca had come up with bits of it during the week. I was doubtful about how it would be pulled together and C.I. came up with an outline.

The only thing we changed was we reduced it. It was intended to have more scenes and more characters. But when we started writing it, we were still thinking, "Oh we'll get sleep." So we reduced the scope. (Ty thinks it's stronger this way and I think most of us are pleased with it.)

So what was the problem? The polish. And we wanted to check spelling on that more than we usually do. But we couldn't get into it. Betty tried on her computer, Wally on his, five of us on the computer we were crowded around and C.I. as well. Finally, Mike was able to get into it.

It wouldn't scroll at a normal rate. It wouldn't open and then it wouldn't scroll. It took an hour just for Mike to read it to us, not because he reads slowly but because that's how slow it moved. Then it wouldn't publish. We'd intended to get it up quickly, to post it behind the entries it's now ahead of. But Mike couldn't get it to publish or to save to draft. Maybe it's just too long or maybe it's one of those many strange problems that pop up when we work on our editions? Who knows.

To be C.I., "Here's what we do know." Our highlights this issue:

Music spotlight: Kat's Korner "Neil Young's Living With War -- key word 'Living'"
Comite Judicial del Senado investigara afirmaciones de exencion de Bush (Democracy Now!)
Blog Spotlight: Rebecca on Goldie & Marlene's mother and daughter rally
Ruth's Public Radio Report
Blog Spotlight: Rebecca with what Kat calls "Truly, the last chance Texaco"
C.I. checks the NYT on their coverage of the immigration issue
Humor Spotlight: The Daily Jot wonders if Condi hears bells?
Humor Spotlight: "Betinna" tells you about Thomas Friedman's "Trash Dump Psuedo Politics"
Blog Spotlight: Elaine on the ones we need protection from
Blog Spotlight: Kat on music, Guns and Butters and RadioNation with Laura Flanders
Blog Spotlight: Cedric's Bix Mix on Law and Disorder and Bully Boy
Recipe spotlight: Pasta salad with avocado dressing in the Kitchen

We thank everyone for their permission to repost. And, for those wondering, due to Maria's working on the immigration issue in her area, Francisco and Miguel doing the same, there was no feature at The Common Ills that highlighted Democracy Now! headlines in Spanish and English for us to use last week. Two e-mails came in on that.

The following worked on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and me. Jim;
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review;
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills);
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot

Plus Dallas who did more than hunt down links this edition (though that's more than enough work), he also contributed to the musical. We thank everyone.

New content? Have we got new content!

"Editorial: Bully Boy Thinking?" came about when no one was in the mood for our planned editorial. Donna said a theme "of sorts" had emerged in the edition and at other sites during the week, so we made that the topic of the editorial.

"TV: The Urine Stains of David Mamet" is the TV commentary Ava and C.I. planned to do. They ended up doing it in addition to the other piece. They note that they wrote both in the time they usually write one so "You get twice the commentary, that's worth less than half each."
Oh, those kidders. This is Ty's favorite review of a show this year. It's a strong one and the Ava and C.I. fans will laugh and be pleased.

"Darfur" -- sometimes, probably because we all want to get done with an edition, someone sits on something. C.I. sat on this last weekend. And only brought it up either before or after we finished the editorial. Why wasn't it brought up sooner, we lamented, so we could write about it for the last edition? I begged C.I. to write it solo and put it up at The Common Ills because I was sure someone would put forth the idea. Betty was worried about that happening as well.

"Head on Home (a musical in four scenes)" last we talked about the need for new ones of thinking. We included ourselves in that. Jess, Kat, C.I. and Rebecca came up with the idea to do a musical. That's been mentioned before, Ty thinks. But they came up with the idea for one on the movement and the opponents to the movement. Their original plan was that the entire edition would be in verse. (Even the TV commentary that Ava and C.I. do.) That was a little too out of the box for some (including me) but we were agreed on a lengthy feature. It's four scenes due to time restrictions (which made us simplify) but I think we're all pleased with it. As Cedric pointed out at his site, fail or succeed, it would shake things up. It did.

"Where do you get your information?" this was going to be one thing but ended up becoming something else. It was going to be about Guantanamo and it is at the beginning. But we realized that we'd failed to note KPFA's The Morning Show. We took out some paragraphs and ended the Guantanamo section with Michael Ratner who was a guest on Thursday's The Morning Show. We then discussed The Morning Show. Not as much as any of us would have liked to (Kat especially had a ton of things she wanted included -- including Monday's regulars but neither Kat nor C.I. could remember the two women's names -- it was late, very late). It is what it is, to use Kat's phrase.

"Radio highlights for Sunday (and one for Monday)" heads up to programming you can hear online or over airwaves depending upon where you live. If you miss it's live broadcast, everything contains an archived version. (Laura Flanders' six hour show is cut down to an hour but that's an hour minus commericals.)

"Why He Took On Rumsfeld: Ray McGovern Talks to Democracy Now!" Ray McGovern talked to Democracy Now! so why are all the links we kept seeing taking us to CNN? The point of this article.

"TV commentary takes a back seat this week to Colbert" the feature that I said we "must" have. I'm tempted to add, "Thank me for it, readers." Okay, I did add that. Ava and C.I. are strong voices. That's why this was the dream topic to me for them.

"Book: Anthony Arnove's IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal" -- we kept meaning to note this book in a feature for two weeks and kept missing it. We'd forget. We'd remember at the last minute.
We finally have something up on it. It is what it is. (What the book is is incredible. Read it.)

"Shame of the Week (Musical)" -- we're not sure which mother started this. We know that Trina and Wally's mother were on the phone and saw the commerical on TV. We know that Wally's mother called Jess' mother while Trina spoke to us about it. We know that Jess' mother and Wally's mother (Trina's Mike's mother, by the way) called us about it. They were livid. C.I., Kat, Rebecca and Elaine walked us through the whys. Read it. We think it's pretty shameful that the song's being used in a commercial (especially that commercial.)

So that's what we offer this week.

We're tired. C.I. still has to write and post at The Common Ills. (Dona adds and speak, and catch a plane and write the "And the war drags on" entry for tonight.) Hopefully you found something to make you laugh, make you think or make you mad.

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

P.S. This week, Ty's off vacation and back to reading e-mails.
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