Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --

Another Sunday nightmare. Here's who participated 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

We thank all of the above and we also thank Dallas for his help on all features and Ruth of Ruth's Report for her help on two features as well as Penny for help on one.

What do we have?

Truest statement of the week -- This seemed like an easy selection that one could narrow down to a decision between two choices then we read Margaret Kimberley on Saturday and realized there was a third contender and she actually left everyone else in the dust.

Editorial: It's not an issue to be 'dropped' -- December 11th, in Canada, their parliament holds hearings featuring US war resisters. Will it get covered? If last week's big 'debate' is any indication, the answer appears to be 'no.'

TV: 60 Wasted Minutes -- "Another home run for Jim!" cheers Bradley in an e-mail. Thank you, Bradley, and I do think I (Jim) deserve the bulk of all credit for the TV commentaries since I write the headlines. (I'm joking. But good to know I managed to please at least a few readers this week.) This was a very rough edition. We started very late due to attending a concert Saturday night. It had to be Saturday because we all wanted to attend (Kat, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, C.I. and myself). That ruled out Friday since Ava, Kat and C.I. were not back from 'the road.' (A documentary Ken Burns could make that might actually be of interest!) Sunday, Ava, C.I. and Kat are still get their bearings, packing to go back on the road and really don't have time for a concert. So that was a must. We knew we'd start late. There was another article this edition that was a bit more than we thought it would be. And the impact from it had us convinced the TV commentary would be "immediately disposable" as C.I. billed it. So it was a great surprise to us when we read it. We usually read it when we're about to get ready for the editorial or before if morale is low. It always boosts everyone's spirit. This time, we waited until after a two hour debate over some sections of the lengthiest piece this edition. It had gone through several drafts and two hours discussing it wasn't helping. Dona suggested we take a long nap and regroup (just the core gang) to decide what to do. Mike reminded we hadn't heard Ava and C.I.'s commentary, so I grabbed it and read it outloud. Let me repeat, because I have been repeatedly criticized for this by our readers, when I kept insisting Ava and C.I. should cover news programming, it was because of how wonderful a job they could do with it. Thanks to the writers' strike, I get my wish. And readers get another hard-hitting commentary from Ava and C.I. so it's win-win for all! ("Not for us," says Ava. "We had to watch the program.")

Who's killing the peace movement? -- The longest article. The point of frustration. It was wonderful in every draft. Ruth helped with this one and we thank her so much. I wrote an intro to this piece but, briefly, this started as part of a snapshot C.I. was dictating over the phone last week. "Pause" is now repeatedly said by whomever takes the dictation (if they're typing as it's dictated and not recording and typing up later) because the snapshots are e-mailed and if you go over 50K, an e-mailed entry is not going to 'hit' the website but instead be sent back with a failure notice. So those who type up as C.I. dictates repeatedly call "pause" these days and save the draft. They then inform of the K. This was too much K. C.I. said, "I've just got 15 minutes left. Trash all of that and we'll start over and forget the peace movement." Ava tore the cell phone from C.I.'s hand and said, "Don't trash it! Send it to Elaine!" Ava knew this was too good to be trashed. Elaine loved it. It wasn't sent to me because I would've immediately planted a flag in it and declared it "Third Estate Sunday Review territory!" Ava and Elaine were hoping a miracle would happen and C.I. could finish it and post it as an entry at The Common Ills. Time never emerged. There was also the possibility that it could be serialized in several snapshots. That didn't work out as well. As Kat suspected, it became a Third piece. We made it through several drafts and they were all good. There was concern on C.I.'s part about some of the comments. Dona declared a break after two hours of back and forth regarding the last draft (which we had thought was worth posting this morning). We all took a nap because we were getting nowhere. We phoned Penny this afternoon and read it to her. She wanted something added so we attached a note at the end. She also made clear that there was not only nothing to be concerned about but that it was a wee bit too soft. We agreed. We went back to earlier drafts pulling out stronger sections and did one more go at it. It was the last thing posted her and went up immediately after being written. It didn't even get a spell check. We wanted it up and done with. This sort of piece is exactly the reason this site started in the first place.

Dope of the week (US division) -- Short features, Dona reminded us early on. We had the peace movement article planned, we needed short pieces. A number of readers wrote in about Katrina and Moonbat. Readers Geneeva was the one who suggested that since we do a "Truest," we needed a feature to point out the "dumbest." We agree. When readers raise one, we'll declare a "Dope of the week." This features two of Isaiah's illustrations and we thank him for them.

Dope of the week (British division) -- Moonbat. Ruth and Rebecca heard this interview in real time, the rest of us listened to the archived broadcast this weekend. Ruth also helped with the writing of this feature. We thank Ruth for all her help.

Green Party -- more candidates are declared for president than media is telling you.

About those permalinks -- The biggest complaints in the last month have been about our permalinks. We have no idea why. With regards to A.N.S.W.E.R., they are added now and that was a legitimate complaint to make. But they are a pain in the butt to add and we're honestly thinking of exploring returning to our old template which was so much easier. (However, C.I. says going back means adding permalinks all over again "and I'm not doing it so if we switch, someone else better volunteer.")

Here come the revisonary tactics -- We really wanted a mailbag but Jess pointed out that the peace movement article might take longer than we were thinking (our visionary Jess) so we decided to address one e-mail that struck us as the most needing addressed. We'll try to do a mailbag next edition. We also have a roundtable on hold involving a question a member suggested. Why is it on hold? We're going to use for a week when war resisters get the least attention and we're hoping this isn't it since there will be a hearing in Canada.

KPFK ballots due by midnight December 11th -- You have until midnight December 11th for KPFK to receive your ballot if you're voting in their LSB elections.

Highlights -- Kat, Mike, Elaine, Betty, Rebecca, Cedric and Wally wrote this and selected the highlight except where noted. They were very tired and left the in-progress, two-hour discussion to write this. We thank them for it.

Note -- My note explaining we were going to sleep on the article and why.

So that's it. We think there's something here to make you laugh, make you outraged, make you think. Dona says it's probably one of our stronger editions of this year.

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