Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
First off, we loved last week's edition and we marvel that Ava and C.I. were able to do what we never can (and what we didn't this week), get an edition completed and posting before 7:00 am EST. It's 10 minutes until noon on the East Coast. Fortunately, the core six is not on the East coast.

But we do tip our hats to them and thank them for picking up the slack and then some when four of us were out of pocket due to the holidays.

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;
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills);
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review;
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot

We thank them and we thank Dallas for his help as link locator, soundboard and more.

Highlights -- Kat, Mike, Rebecca, Cedric, Betty and Wally did the picking and the writing -- they made some strong choices.

Joan Mellen lecture on JFK assasination 1-28-07 -- We just said how good it was not to be on the East coast anymore and then something like this comes along . . . If you're in the NYC area on January 28th, you should check this out.

The Nation Stats -- Ava and C.I. implemented this feature last week. We intend to pursue it throughout the year. Near the end of 2006, some friends of C.I.'s started noting that women really weren't making it into the magazine. C.I. went through the 2006 issue up to the point and saw not only was that true, it was worse than most who had sounded alarms had realized. Just to add to that feature, we'll give you a running total here -- in the first two issues of 2007, The Nation has featured 7 pieces written by women and 20 by men, that's almost 3 men for every 1 woman published.

10 Songs We Made Our Own In 2006 -- As Ava noted on this feature and the next one, "See, that's why we finished on time." Meaning, these both involved lengthy discussions and, in several instances, someone insisting we all listen (over phone lines) to one song that they really felt needed to be in the top ten. This feature looks at older songs.

10 2006 Songs That Made It For Us in 2006 -- And this feature looks at songs that were new in 2006.

Joke of 2007 -- Don't pass this news onto Bob Somerby's until he's had his morning coffee.

Let's Make Bad Film: Destroying Marilyn -- A longtime reader wanted a Marilyn Monroe feature and had a film in mind. We were happy to comply and the only real difficulty was in choosing an illustration because we did four. Monroe's fun to paint.

Life With Elmo . . . and Warren Bell -- Ava had another tip for us, "This is why we finished on time." Meaning? This feature was written and it was fine. It may have even been better than what's up. But those of us not participating last week (this was finished for the last edition but held over to put us ahead this week) wanted to add our input. We probably could have saved at least one hour if we hadn't done that. (The illustration was done yesterday.)

TV: Fall 2006 -- like so much bad sex -- C.I.'s coming off the flu, Ava probably still has another day (and I, Jim, have a cold -- just tossing that out there, I didn't work on this feature). They're on Vicks, Tylenol and pills found in the medicine cabinet. Thinking that with last week (when they helmed the edition), we'd been done early, they went ahead and wrote this while they were at their sickest. They say it would be completely different if they'd waited until the last hours of this edition. Want to stay up and take another crack at it? Ava: "Hell no." We think you'll like it.

Editorial: The 3,000 mark looms -- Thank you to a friend of C.I.'s who phoned right when we were about to post the editorial. Did we look at the number we painted? Huh? "2300" is what we had painted. Why? We're tired. Some of us are sick. No one caught it. C.I.'s friend saw the illustration posted at The Common Ills and called to warn us. (Thank you.) We quickly redid it.
And thank you to Rebecca who photoshops all the illustrations.

Truest statement of the week -- We were waiting for the paint to dry (and C.I. had put it in the oven, to be honest, to hurry it along) when Jim's father (my dad) called. We put him on speaker and he wanted to know what we were going with for truest statement of the week. We told him we were so far behind and so tired that we hadn't even thought about it and as soon as the 3,000 illustration dried in the oven, we were posting the editorial, the note to the readers and calling it a "day." He said he had a pick for truest and we all said, "Shoot." (Meaning, "Go ahead." Not "Shoot" as in cursing -- if we were cursing it would have been much stronger.) He starts reading it and we're laughing and nodding except C.I. who's trying to figure out what it's from? It's from C.I.! And it is the truest statement of the week. (Thanks, Dad!)

If we had it in us, we'd edit another feature we wrote for this edition. We don't. We're wiped out. We'll probably run it next week. See you then.

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