Sunday, December 07, 2008

A note to our readers

Hey --
Another Sunday. We feel like this is a strong edition. We also feel like we're about to fall over.

Dallas, as always, was soundboard and link locater and much more. We thank him for all that and more. We also thank Trina of Trina's Kitchen who helped as well and we'll note where she helped shortly. Along with them, the following worked on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
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,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends.

We thank them all.

Now let's turn to what we have.

Truest statement of the week -- Strong statement and The Washington Post has been the outlet most aware of the way this issue has played out.

Truest statement of the week II -- Paul Street.

Editorial: A step is not marathon -- Trina of Trina's Kitchen worked on this. This was actually an idea she and C.I. came up with and Trina was excited to be working on it Saturday night . . . until her granddaughter got sick. Trina wasn't able to participate and we shelved this for next week. However, she was able to join us early this morning and we quickly wrote this.

TV: The Fairy Tale -- Ava and C.I. In "Highlights," the gang refers to the fact that Ava and C.I. have written one article for this edition, are working on another and have me (Jim) asking for a third. Elaine has a comment (which I laughed at, I'm not mad, she's correct) in "Highlights." This is the piece that they were working on. Thursday's "I Hate The War" finally contained some sort of statement re: John Edwards' scandal. I wanted Ava and C.I. to grab that in some form here. They didn't want to. They finally compromised and included a bit of what I wanted for a third article into this. I thank them. This is an amazingly strong TV piece and not what they planned to write at all. Friday, when I spoke with them on the phone, they were going to do a reality show. What changed? SNL friends begging for Amy's return to be reviewed. They really don't comment on Amy which they both just realized. They toss this out, "Amy made Baby Mama. She was the most inventive and the funniest." SNL's broadcast ended up dictating the form this would take.

Shame 20 years on down the line -- Betty and C.I. wanted this topic covered. So badly, they came prepared. At the pitch session, they had a sketch out of it as a feature, as an editorial, as a round-table topic, as an overview and as the framework we could agree to. We have nothing against the topic. Had we not covered it before, we gladly would have used any framework offered. But we have and we know this can be intense in research and writing which can make it time consuming. The four ways offered did not allow for anything less than an hour of writing (probably more). The pitch that won was this as a short feature. What Dona always asks for. But even better, the pitch allowed us to do some fiction. We liked that idea. It was a different way to go.

Must grab download: DeShannon's Laurel Canyon -- First, we listened to this download all throught the writing session. I happen to love this and am so glad it's the one we selected. Jackie DeShannon's Laurel Canyon, by the way. We had a lot more on this that we edited out. And we probably spent the longest on this because we had so much we wanted to say. I will say, use the links and at least listen to Amazon's snippet previews. See if you don't end up wanting to download. We're not planning to do a tech feature every week. We are planning to do them regularly. Why? Two big reasons. 1) The digital divide means more interest from longterm readers about what's out there even if they don't utilize it. 2) It's a way to write more about musics (and sometimes movies) which is a topic readers always want. We tried to avoid a review that Kat might do (Kat helped write this) because we don't want to copy Kat. So these will be more tech and overview. We were going to do bargains and hope to do that next week. That's what we put on hold after Ty gave us the summary of e-mails (largely with complaints about downloading albums and issues having to do with that).

Dowd to Fey: And when they met, it was murder (Ava and C.I.) -- This was the first piece Ava and C.I. wrote. Is it not incredible. I love it. After it went up, I had a panic moment. Is it "And when . . ."? That's Max tag-line in the opening of Hart to Hart and I thought it would make a good title. (It is what he says and it does make a good title.) I really can't believe how good this turned out (Ava and C.I.'s writing, not my title). Whether Dowd has ticked you off or Fey, there are observations and critiques in here you will love.

Mailbag -- Poor Ty. He picked out ten e-mails with two back ups for this. And the first question went to C.I. because the rest of us didn't even know what article Ty was talking about. That created a problem because that was one of what Ty hoped would be a non-C.I. question/discussion. Ty had to reshuffle and came up with some good ones from his backup pile.

'Whore' is a fitting word -- One feature on hold that we hope to do next week involves language. But "Whore" is the only term for a woman who demands her own privacy (and whose mother demanded it for her growing up) but thinks nothing of invading a private funeral, acting like a mourner and then writing up a really bad article. She now thinks she should be a senator. We beg to differ.

The Miseducation of Katrina vanden Heuvel -- Trina of Trina's Kitchen came in on this. We were winding down when she joined us. I told her I'd check and C.I. asked her to read over this and add anything she wished. Trina ended up simplying two very complex sections and we thank her for that. Dona said her input was more than that but that's all I remember right now, sorry. Trina, it was a pleasure having you work with us on two features this week. Thank you.

CODESTINK -- This was almost a truest, as we note. Then it turned out Jodie Evans had responded and we felt the need to do something with that.

'Iraq deal will not end occupation' (Socialist Worker) -- Iraq's mentioned in mailbag but this is really the Iraq feature and we didn't write it. The planned editorial was going to be Iraq; however, when Trina was able to join us, editorial was the only slot open for the topic of the economy. So this is the Socialist Worker.

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Ruth, Marcia, Stan, Wally, Cedric, Kat, Betty and Rebecca wrote this and picked out highlights unless otherwise noted. They also grab a question from Ty that wasn't able to fit into the roundtable. We thank them for this feature.

And that's what we have to offer. We'll see you next week.

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