Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
Another Sunday. And we thought this would be a quick edition.

Here's who helped with the writing of this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and 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

In addition to the above we thank Rebecca for photo shopping illustrations and we thank Dallas for links, soundboard and more.

We actually planned short pieces. Those fell by the wayside.

Highlights -- Mike, Kat, Rebecca, Cedric, Elaine, Betty and Wally wrote this feature. We thank them for it.

Illustration credits for last week -- last week, we didn't do credit on the illustrations because they're usually us (core six) and Kat. But last week's illustrations were done while we were on the road in Texas so everyone helped and one special person helped a lot with one illustration, Betty's oldest son. C.I. reminded us that we needed to note that and I (Jim) intended to but we were all tired and lost the train of thought. Our apologies for forgetting and our apologies that our mistake led some of his friends to doubt that he helped out. He did. We thank him for that and we belatedly credit him for that.

Uh . . . what just happened to independent media? -- We don't know either. Ty said an e-mail's already come in asking what made one person so special that he got a personal reply from C.I.? If he'd written C.I. directly, he would have gotten that. He's a community member. He took it to us (as did many people). Ty mentioned it to C.I. C.I. knows the pledge gifts the person receives and that he also pledges for no gift each fund drive. Because C.I. promotes KPFA at The Common Ills, because the man is a community member of The Common Ills, because he gives "far more" than many do (C.I.: "Not implying he's rich but he is on a limited budget and he does go out of his way to show support for KPFA. For each year, it's probably somewhere at $300. I'm not implying he's bankrolling their budget. I am stating he's giving more, a lot more, than many in his situation would.") he got a personal apology.

Parody: Mud Flap Gals -- Elaine came up with the name sometime ago. (She says it was a joint creation between her, Trina and Trina's husband -- Trina and her husband are Mike's parents, Elaine and Mike are an item -- it's all in the family!) Gina has already called to tell us, "I love it!" Krista's at work but she swears Krista's going to love it as well. Our reservation? We think it's better if you start at the bottom and read up. We almost posted it that way but we decided to "keep it real." Ava and C.I. are singing "Never was a Mud Flap Gal" to the tune of Tori Amos' "Cornflake Girl" right now.

Brave voices -- Ave and C.I. walked mid-way through this. Or it felt like mid-way. Not because they wanted their names taken off (all pieces written by everyone listed at the top except for the TV review which is by Ava and C.I.) but because they wanted to do their TV review when we still thought we might finish kind of early. They note that David Swanson was supposed to be quoted in the feature. David Swanson was a brave voice. We'll note something by him next week. C.I. says the feature "borders on navel gazing and may be inside the area marked 'navel gazing'." This is where Mike would put in a smiley face. Our point (which C.I. and Ava get) was that those are Brave Voices. Not that we are. We don't have anything to lose by speaking out. With so much of the silence on this issue from the moment it was raised, that might not have been the case for others. Especially for John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton who started the week off and the ball rolling with a very strong critique.

I, Jenna: The Shop Around that failed -- Kat's asleep. We wish she were awake. We think this started with Jess and me (Jim) making jokes about how Jenna Bush was going to write a book. (Ty was off doing research for a class, so we can't count on him and Ava and C.I. both say, "Finish the damn thing.") If that's right, Kat then joined in with the jokes and Ava and C.I. reworded a joke to Bully Boy English and then began making up sentences that might be in a real book by Jenna Bush. At which point, Kat, Jess and I did as well. Then Dona screamed at all of us and we were confused. She said we were going to fast -- she had grabbed a pad of paper and pen and was trying to jot it down. We e-mailed what she managed to get down so everyone would know this was coming up. This was actually the quickest piece to write of everything here. It was also a lot of fun. Sadly, in the real book, Jenna intends to write about AIDs in a foreign country (five articles we read gave three different countries -- one just gave a continent: Africa; we believe it's set in Panama). Since we doubt Jenna would tell it like it is (we'd love to be wrong) we're doubting that her father's idiotic and harmful AIDs policies will be addressed. But if we were Jenna Bush, we'd want to write about someone else's life too.

Sad Sirota -- S-s-s-s-ad Sirota. It's as though he's taken the "Kick Me" sign and tatooted it to his skin. Just another faux left preaching the line of people matter . . . when in reality, shades of an old CK jeans commerical, nothing comes between him and his Congress.

The Stateside Army Book Club -- We knew we'd covered Joshua Key in some form. Dona was freaking out that there weren't enough short pieces. So we went with an e-mail exchange for this piece.

How we got to this point -- the nightmare of all nightmares. 6 hours. A great deal of fun. Until the editing and typing. Ava and C.I. typed this up -- C.I. grabbed one half, Ava the other, they typed, saved to disc -- believe that was Ava -- and then they merged the file and asked us, "Do you know how long this thing is?" We didn't. Jess pulled a lengthy section on the prison industrial complex. Some of which was written solely by him. His concern was that it was so late, we were all so tired and if he wasn't clear, he didn't want to hear about it. (This is a very big issue to his father.) When he pulled that Betty, Cedric and Rebecca pulled a section that was mainly their writing on race. Those were both healthy chunks of the original piece. (They pulled race because they'd transitioned from prison and felt there was no set up. Both sections are saved and can be used at a later date.) Even with that, the thing ran 16 single spaced pages.
Utilizing songs from Holly Near's new CD Show Up, we were able to justify pulling out two whole pages. Even after that, it needed trimming. There's a line C.I. intends to remove (read it right away if you want to know what it was) but that was supposed to be removed but who can remember when you're pulling like crazy. We ended up grabbing what we hoped were the strongest sections. Does it flow? Probably not. C.I. just said to point out that Dona and I worked on it until the end. I don't know if that's for blame or applause. (I'm joking.)

TV: "She's been dead for 10 years!" -- Dona was begging for short pieces, literally begging. Ava and C.I. said they could go short here because there wasn't a lot to say. I read over it and loved but felt there was more paragraph to it so, like a good editor (my call) or a ruthless pimp (Ava's term of endearment for me), I asked them to see if they could find something more to say because it just felt like it was missing something. They came back with the paragraph and it was perfect.

Honey, I bought the war! -- This is the editorial. It's short. ("Short pieces! Where are the short pieces!" hollered Dona.) It's to the point.

Truest statement of the week -- we appreciate the brave voices but an issue brewing for sometime in our e-mails and in e-mails to all sites in the community is where are the women discussing Iraq? In some cases (see Mud Flap Gals) they're intentionally leaving themselves out of the debate. In other cases (what Flander's noting), they are being left out of the debate. Not cutting it.

That's it. We'll see you next week.

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