Sunday, December 28, 2008

A note to our readers

Hey --
Sunday and the whole crew's back. Dona, Ty and me (Jim). We thank Ava, C.I. and Jess for steering last week's edition and think they did a great job.

We're back together for another edition this week and along with Dallas, the following helped 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.

And here's what we came up this week.

Truest statement of the week -- All three truest are worthy. Jane Wagner's is at the top due to the fact that it works on so many levels including as a benediction for the year.

Truest statement of the week II -- I would love to tell you that we all get together and notice writing at the community sites and fight to get a truest for them. That's not true. We should do a better job. (Ava says, "What do you mean 'we'? Ty, C.I. and I are the ones who championed this." True.) Elaine earned this truest. Well done.

Truest statement of the week III -- Bumiller earned her truest as well and that's why we end up with three truest in one week. It's happened before but not that often. If you just don't have the time to read Bumiller's analysis in full, that tiny section quoted here informs you more than hours and hours of Panhandle Media.

Editorial: Democracy or fan club? -- We saved this for last and it either works because of that or falls apart as a result. It has the main point we wanted but there were additional points we were too tired for. Mike and Rebecca especially found that frustrating. Rebecca was the one who ended up suggesting that we tackle Melissa Etheridge in this. She felt that what we had was flat and that Ava and C.I. could sharpen it up quickly if we tacked on Melissa. Ava and C.I. did 15 minutes on Melissa Etheridge with everyone writing down their favorite remarks made by Ava and C.I. and we then worked on plugging that into the editorial.

TV: 2008, the lows and really lows -- Ava and C.I. wrote this and did their usual excellent job. They disagree and cite not including that Mike writes about Chuck each week a new episode airs. They just couldn't afford one more aside. They did a severe editing on this. They don't generally do that -- or any editing at all. They wrote long and by longhand, filling thirty-two pages on a legal pad. They then went through to cut it down to the bare basics. They are not typing the original but if people want it, they will scan it for the gina & krista round-robin this Friday. I loved the long version but it is so much more powerful as it is currently. When I was reading this out loud to everyone and they moved on (in their writing) to public affairs, I thought, "Oh, they ditched the Saturday Night Live section." I was a little disappointed about that but they didn't ditch it, they made it the coda. This is probably my favorite of everything they wrote in 2008 and, as any long term reader knows, I think 2008 was their finest year thus far.

The 2008 Bronze Boobies -- Originally, we planned to hand out 25. Time ran out. You can add to the list yourself. With time being short, Dona put us through a quick voting round and the ones with the most votes (for biggest embarrassments of the year) ended up our top five.

The New York State Annie Riots -- This is fiction. The backstory here is Dona and I got back (with my Dad) late Friday and one of C.I.'s guests was a Broadway composer who was in the middle of a parody of whatever happened to all those child actresses who did the musical Annie? Dona, to the surprise of everyone, not only knew the Annie score, she joined Jess, Ava, C.I. and C.I.'s friend in ad-libbing The Annie Riots. With permission from C.I.'s friend, we adapted it into a short story for this site. Mike especially was thrilled by this because he didn't want to

The Princess Brat Chronicles -- Apparently we have to document Caroline each week. I don't know that we planned that but the e-mails indicate you are expecting that. When possible, we will do so. Thank you to Isaiah and apologies to Isaiah. We use his latest "Princess Brat Speaks" in this. Apologies? C.I. called him and woke him up. Why? This wasn't planned as a feature. When it was tossed around, C.I. said part of it was already planned by Isaiah for Sunday's comic. C.I. called to see if he was still going with that idea. He said yes and asked what was up? When he found out that we were planning to cover it as well, he asked us to give him 20 minutes and he'd draw it up, scan it and e-mail it. Which he did. Thank you, Isaiah.

Best and worst in hardcover music journalism -- Dona wanted a short feature. We wanted to note something in books. There was one outstanding book of music journalism this year and one that was appalling. We paired them up for this feature.

Music 2009 -- "We need another short feature!" Dona insisted. We had Ava and C.I.'s TV commentary which was lengthy and we planned to have a lengthy editorial (didn't turn out that way). Dona wanted a short feature. This was basically Kat, Mike and I picking Ava, C.I. and Ty's brains about the industry gossip they hear (Ty works in film) on music and then us taking the parts we thought were most interesting and writing up a short feature on that.

2009 in DVDs -- So we had books, TV and music for the year but what else? (The editorial is about looking forward, for any who miss that point.) Movies. Belinda wanted a DVD feature. We wrote this as a quick, short feature.

Highlights -- This should be further down because each week it's our opener. However, Mike, Elaine, Rebecca, Betty, Kat, Cedric, Ruth, Wally, Marcia and Stan worked hard on this and turned it into its own feature so we weren't going to go backwards and put it behind other things.

'Iraq now, Vietnam then' (Workers World) -- An important editorial from Workers World. Iraq's covered here, in Ava and C.I.'s TV commentary and in a truest.

US anthem "When The Money's Gone" -- Cher. If you can dig it . . .

And that's it. Happy New Year!

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