Sunday, May 29, 2005

A note to our readers

As always, we hope you'll find something to amuse or enrage you in this edition.

"Dear Third Estate Sunday Review" returns. Those are actual e-mails sent in. Some are obviously intended as jokes (check out Jorge's). Ones that are truly about serious problems we don't include. It's a humorous feature and has always been intended as such.

Also returning is the feature "Five Books, Five Minutes." That proved popular in the last edition. So popular that Olive e-mailed to request that we do "Five CDs, Five Minutes." (Which we did.) These are not attempts at doing the sort of indepth reviews that Kat of Kat's Korner does. (And Ava just asked, "Did we link to Kat's review of Tapestry in the 'Five CDs, Five Minutes?'" Apparently not. So we'll do so here.) This is an attempt to give you general impressions on five books (or five CDs). You don't have to follow our recommendation. One reader e-mailed that after we trashed a book last week, he went to the library, checked it out and ended up loving it. That's great. And hopefully, whether you agree with our statements or not, you'll be inspired to pick up a book.

If you haven't read the books, hopefully our remarks are enough to give a general idea, again whether you agree with them or not, of if they're books that interest you.

On the subject of books, we thank Folding Star of A Winding Road for being kind enough to allow us to reprint entries. Readers do want books featured. And thanks to Folding Star's generous nature, we're able to increase the space devoted to books.

Betty is our blog spotlight this week and if you mentioned her latest at Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, we're sure you'll enjoy it here. If you didn't miss it, it's still worth re-reading. We thank for Betty for allowing us to reprint it.

We thank Betty and Rebecca for their assistance and input with this edition.

We stand by our earlier statement that C.I. is at the very least an honorary Third Estate Sunday Reviewer because C.I.'s never failed to assist us on any edition.

That said, we thank Ava and C.I. for their TV reviews. That's past, present and future. This edition, they have two reviews and are covering three television shows. "TV: Desperate Houswives or Charmed, who's got the more encompassing view of women?" was very much a rough draft as they went through their notes and quickly created a review. We know it's a rough draft because we're aware that the review was completed in about twenty-five minutes. It doesn't read like one of our own rough drafts however. That takes a keen eye, talent and skill.
If we ever failed to appreciate how good they are, the e-mails that poured in suggesting that we just take a week off if we don't have a review from Ava and C.I. to run surely convinced us of their importance to readers. (If this paid anything, they'd be demanding raises!) And equally surprising to us was the number of e-mails that said basically, "I disagree with every word they word they write, but it's not a Sunday if I can't read them." So it appears that even some of the small portion who truly despise the reviews get enjoyment from them.

Along with thanking Ava and C.I. for both reviews in this edition, we'll offer a note of apology as well. They hit a wall on "TV: Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey Reporting for Two Hours of Self-Love." Half of it was written as early as Wednesday and then they set it aside because they knew the remaining points they wanted to make but weren't sure how they wanted to approach those points. They have doubts about the second half of the review, whether they took the right approach. The rest of us made the editorial decision that not only was it funny, it was exactly the right approach. Given more time, they think they could have figured another approach for the second half. Until they finished it, we were inclined to think that they were just postponing and slacking. After we started talking about how much we enjoyed it (we posted it as soon as it was finished) we heard their doubts and realized that we could have backed off a little (and should have) instead of adding pressure. So our apologies for that. (Ava asking if it's necessary to put all this in and the four of us -- Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess -- agree that it is.)

Lastly, don't miss our editorial. Either Bully lied or his actions placed the nation at risk.

We'll pull a C.I. and note the e-mail address which is

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava
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