Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
We've actually been later! :D (as Mike would say.)

We're fairly on time for us, maybe a little early. Let's note who worked on 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

Thank you to all. Thank you to Rebecca for photoshopping the illustrations (including three that would never upload to Flickr -- one of the reason we are late -- we were largely done three hours ago). Thank you to Dallas for locating links and being a soundboard.

So what have we got? (Jess sings "Not a lot." It's a Carole King song, I don't want to know.)

Truest statement of the week -- Margaret Kimberly. Telling the truth. If you don't check her out, you should. We think Black Agenda Report is on our links. If it's not, we'll put it on tonight. We also need to add Ron's site. The plan was to add those and a few others through last week. Forget it. Didn't happen. (Ty and C.I. corrected typos on Tuesday.)

Editorial: The disgusting silence on war resisters... -- one thing about problems and problems that delayed us posting was we ditched our written editorial (it went out with the print edition).
We wrote about the World Bank, half-assed. Isaiah does it much better in today's comic. We could live with what we wrote. That was our attitude for much of the edition: Can we live with it? Thanks to Vic for sending a highlight to C.I. We ended up with a topic we truly cared about.

TV: Wasted away in second banana-ville -- if you count the editorial that ran in the print edition, this was the last thing written other than this note. Ava and C.I. had a workout and then some (we'll get to it). We actually didn't intend for them to do this feature (we'll get to it). As the hours drug and drug, they had no idea what they were going to write, what show they were going to cover. We've seen last minute miracles from them before but this may be one of the better shocks. Well done.

1 Book, 5 Minutes -- This could have been longer. Dona told us we were the laziest ass people she'd ever seen (we'll get to it). We could have. It was planned as a quick feature and basically was.

Don Imus -- We'll get to it? We are now here. Don Imus. Last week. Who could write the story? Ava and C.I. It's what they've touched on repeatedly, sexism, racism, inclusion and exclusion. Those are topics that come through their TV commentaries. I (Jim) asked them for this piece, begged them when they were on the fence, badgered them the minute they got home (Kat, Ty and Jess met them at the airport). This was not what I wanted. I'm not insulting it, it's wonderful. But this was the first feature worked on. They finished it quickly and I looked it over and said, "No, no, no." Asked for a rewrite ("overhaul!" shouts Ava). Now during this, Dona had to attend an event for a friend out here. She said, "I expect everyone to be working and the edition to be half-way done when I get back." Well, expect in one hand . . . While Ava and C.I. were slaving through six rewrites (Ava insists it was seven), the rest of us (Jess, Kat, Ty and myself) were just sitting around the speaker phone chatting with Mike, Cedric, Elaine, Rebecca, Betty and Wally. Just shooting the breeze. For hours. It went by quickly and I had no idea so much time had passed. We were catching up and having fun. I'd stop every now and then to read over Ava and C.I.'s latest draft and say, "No, no, no." Let me talk about what I wanted. I thought this would be the substitute for the TV review. They could grab excerpts from various TV reviews and write around that. They'd have a commentary on Imus, who was TV, and other shows and that would be their TV review for the week. Dona walked in as I was saying, "No, no, No" (for the sixth time, Ava says seventh), grabbed the latest draft out of my hands (Ava and C.I. write in longhand, just FYI) and asked me what the hell I was doing. She sh-ed everyone and started reading. Then asked me, "What the hell's wrong with it? Seems pretty on the mark to me." Well, there was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't what I wanted. As I said it, I realized how stupid that sounded. And Dona asked, "Exactly what the hell have the rest of you done." Silence. We got an ass tearing from Dona about how easy it is to say "No, no, no" to the only ones working while we sit around "on your asses, really you are the laziest asses, the laziest asses . . ." At some point, even she had to stop and laugh. But we were the laziest asses. I take responsibility for that. Wally mentioned sports and that had Betty, Jess, Mike, Cedric and me off on a tear for over an hour and a half. (Dona guesses "Much, much longer.") Dona asked Ava and C.I. what they thought of the piece they'd written. Noting that they'd been in Georgia (they got to visit with Betty, Kat was so bummed she couldn't get out of a photo shoot last week) and Tennessee and that the students they were meeting with repeatedly brought up Imus, brought up the coverage, brought up how offensive the whole thing was, they said they wanted to honor those voices. Dona said, "Put it back in. We'll edit it, just the three of us, and make it all work. Bring all the drafts and let's get it back in because the biggest point of last week was that the wrong voices were being heard." At that point, we quickly started work (Jess, Ty, Kat and myself) on illustrations to be able to show we'd produced something. Dona's not happy with the piece. She thinks Ava and C.I. did a wonderful job but there were two points that there was no way (from the third draft) to work in. (She says, "I let them down. They are strong editors, they just needed a pair of fresh eyes. I failed.") She says it's wonderful unless you've read that one section of the third draft. If you have, you know how much more wonderful it could be. They included the one excerpt from a commentary because Ty had suggested that one at some point (after they said, "Excerpt? We don't read the crap we write. How are we supposed to know what to excerpt from over two years of reviews?") While those of us here were doing the illustrations, we were also speaking with those by phone (Betty, Wally, Cedric, Mike, Elaine and Rebecca) to determine 10 reviews that we thought most strongly fit into the issues of inclusion and exclusion. I wrote up the intro for that causing Dona to say, "What do you know, you can do something tonight. One thing anyway." (I was laughing. Jess just said, "If people don't know how we are, they are going to think you and Dona were about to come to blows." This is just how we are.) So that's what took the bulk of the work -- time! Dona says "Time. The only ones working were Ava and C.I." So we were way, way behind.

Mailbag -- "Short features and don't give me any crap," said Dona. Ty said "10 e-mails" and you'll note, before we're done, Dona's already asking if we are?

What Would A Mud Flap Say If A Mud Flap Could Flap... -- Rebecca wanted to drop this into Ava and C.I.'s Imus thing. This topic, she wanted covered in that. They didn't want it. (It's alluded to but not really addressed.) Rebecca led the push for this and sold the resisters when she came up with the title. We can all remember the childhood rhyme (maybe it was a clapping game) but we can't remember the actual words. But it's the perfect title.

10 CDs listened to while writing this edition -- shorter cried Dona to one idea so Jess said, "How about a list --" "A list?" asked Dona, "Perfect."

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Rebecca, Wally, Cedric and Betty wrote this. Thank you for that.

McCain News -- Wally & Cedric repost that 20 e-mails said, "It's short, please post it in full!"

VOTE INSANE! VOTE JOHN MCCAIN! -- C.I. entry that is even shorter and was argued by a bit more that "You can repost this in full!"

So that's what we've got. Dona's gone through about a half a carton of cigarettes. C.I and Ava feel as though they've been run over by a truck (alert, I'm guessing at least one thing, maybe two, will be pulled by C.I. this evening -- everyone was too tired so look for a few sentences to disappear after we have slept and wake up). We can't believe we wasted so much time. Well, it's not a waste to catch up with friends. (Dona say: "I didn't waste time, I thought grown ups could watch themselves. Ava and C.I. didn't waste time as they were forced to churn out copy over and over again.") So off we go to bed.

See you next week.--
Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
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