Last weekend, Ava and C.I. wrote:
And a few e-mails came in expressing an opinion that Elaine and Betty are prone to share with me. That's basically: I've gone too far, I expect too much, I've overtaxed Ava and C.I. by making them write multiple pieces, and they're going to be gone, this is going to force them to walk.
I'm not offended by people expressing those opinions. I certainly consider Betty and Elaine to be friends, after all.
But I think they and a few readers have it wrong. First off, Ava and C.I. have wanted to walk since 2005 and were supposed to in November of 2008. Why do they stay? To keep attention on Iraq is their large noble reason and why they stay here specifically at this site is because they know they are the calling card. Their media piece each week is always the most read article at our site.
Last week proved something, by the way. There are five people who e-mail from time to time who can't stand Ava and C.I. They think the TV scope isn't serious and should be dropped and they don't support feminism. These five are convinced that Ava and C.I.'s article is the most read each week because we publish it last allowing it to appear at other sites.
What are they talking about?
I can tell you and probably confuse you so let me show you instead. Many sites have permalinks or blog lists on one side of the page or the other and it lists the titles of the sites. There's a 'new' wrinkle there and I'll swipe from Betty's site to show you:
Around 2008, Blogger/Blogspot started allowing the option to allow the title of the site and it's most recent posting. We're linked to by The Daily Puma. That's how we found out about the development. Some members of our TCI community -- like Betty -- have their sites set up so that the most recent post shows. Now while we're linked to by The Daily Puma (and we link to them), there aren't a great deal of sites that have us on their lists and even less that have it so that the most recent posting shows.
When Ty and I saw we were linked to by The Daily Puma and that it read our last item posted, we made the decision to always make that Ava and C.I.'s piece. How come? TDP readers are pro-women and/or feminists. They'd probably be most interested in the writing of feminists like Ava and C.I. and the topics they take on.
But the five who really can't stand Ava and C.I. (and aren't crazy about this site either) are convinced that the only reason Ava and C.I.'s article is the most read each week is because they are published last so the article shows up as a link on a few other sites.
With three pieces last week, we could test that. The piece they planned to write was "Media: House of Cards" about the new Netflix series. That was published early and is deep in the mix. But it has about the same number of readers as Ava and C.I.'s usual TV article one week in. So it doesn't really matter where or when in the mix their articles are published.
That was what they planned to write but mean old me made them write two more pieces!
Actually, I asked them to, begged them to and badgered them. But they're strong women and can tell me to leave them alone or to f**k off (and they have no problem telling me to do either).
"TV: 30 Rock goes out sucking" was a piece I begged for. They'd already done two pieces by that point and were very tired and very sick of the edition. They hate this article. It is the most read article of last week. And it brought in readers because the stats are off the charts. I knew it would. I knew that even if it was awful, it would work. (I don't think it's awful, by the way.) Why? No one charted the sitcom 30 Rock like they did. Early on they applauded a functioning comedy with promise. But as the years went by, there were things that began to emerge. Tina Fey apparently finds gay men and lesbians natural objects of ridicule, for example. She's also not too fond of women -- straight, gay or bi -- with active sexual lives. As her prejudices piled up -- and there are many more -- Ava and C.I. were there to chart them.
And a love-fest was already going on for the show's good-bye. This is a show that did not have an audience. As Ava and C.I. explained repeatedly, this wasn't because people didn't know about the show or hadn't watched it. The general pattern for the first three seasons was strong (not spectacular) ratings for the season debut and then it would taper off each week. People gave the show a chance.
And they found it wanting.
The 'press' refused to take the show on. It was a 'buzz' and a 'trend' and these 'critics' that Ava and C.I. long ago labeled "the Water Cooler Set" refused to be critical thinkers.
With so many people refusing to watch the show -- it was always a loser in the ratings -- did the love-fest really represent the average view of the show? Nope.
So I knew this would be popular. I also knew it had to be written the Sunday after the show went off. I told them that if they waited for this week, there would be no point.
"TV: The Super Bowl Ads" was their third piece. And they didn't want to write that either. I had to beg and beg.
By posting it Sunday night, we'd be ahead of the game and among the first to weigh in. I also hoped that just the topic alone would attract some readers and that ended up happening with a lot of new readers writing in.
Like writing about 30 Rock, I felt the topic had to be addressed last Sunday, that to wait until this week would be a mistake.