Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
Sunday and we did tell Kat before we all came to DC that she could return to California on Sunday morning. Knowing how DC sessions tend to go, she didn't want to bail on us. We appreciate that and needed all the help we could get.

Highlights? We got 'em:

Ruth's Report
Music Highlight: Kat reviews "Mommy, May I Pet With Danger?"
Blog Spotlight: Mike on activism
C.I. attempting to walk the slow witted through
Humor Spotlight: Wally & Cedric talk to Super Freaky
Humor Spotlight: Cedric & Wally on Bully Boy Book Club
Blog Spotlight: Kat on how the FDA failed
Blog Spotlight: Mike's pissed
Blog Spotlight: Rebecca's pissed
Blog Spotlight: Elaine answers (a bit) the big (personal) question

If you were online at 6:55 am EST, you saw all the above and probably thought, "At last, they're on time." We were and we had all the features completed and ready to post. What happened? You tell us. Error messages. Knocked offline. Unable to log into Blogger/Blogspot when we did get online. Ava and C.I.'s TV commentary couldn't be accessed. Still can't. It's there in the drafts, it just won't open. (Calm down, they do have a TV commentary this edition.)

New content? We got it and the following worked on it:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and, me, 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 Ils);
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot

Here's the new content:

Shades Include Green (Party) -- as community members who are third parties pointed out to C.I. ("Repeatedly"), the Green Party has gotten very little attention from the media. To believe the mainstream and independent coverage, Hillary Clinton, having won her primary, faces no anti-war candidate. That's simply not true.

GreenStone Media -- Gloria Steinem is part of group creating radio programming attempting to reach women listeners who have been tuning out on radio. The New York Times saw it as the perfect opportunity to once again preach their (Mis)Guided Gospel on Gloria. You shouldn't fall for it and you should make a point to check out GreenStone Media.

About the Times Select . . . -- this is really my (Jim) comments with others shouting out. So let me let it rip on this. First The New York Times did run a correction to their error. They did so on September 13th, it was number eight of twelve corrections the paper did that day in print.
On September 22nd, nine days later, when a community member pointed it out to them, they finally added the correction to the story. Why does that matter? Business wise, it matters. It matters when you see online access to your articles as a scholarly tool for students. They call it "your new research assistant" in their advertising.

Nye-Nye Takes a Fall -- it's amazing how many of the right-leaning centrists are taking a fall these days. First little Lee, now Nye-Nye. There are plenty more and we hope that there's time to watch them all, in the words of the Mamas & the Papas, "Trip, Stumble and Fall."

MyTV's Fascist House -- we still can't believe this was popular. We thought it was a one time thing. We were looking for a visual and Kat suggested a collage so, two weeks ago, we had this feature. We didn't do it last week and did we hear about that. We're not sure it will be a weekly feature but it will be a regular one. Enjoy the collage.

The Tears -- photos? Forget it, we've routed all photos to the gina & krista round-robin (which had a special edition today as well as yesterday -- in addition to the regular Friday editions). So we painted. Listened to Nina Simone, Ben Harper and Michael Franti during that. Rebecca will probably tell the story about this visual so we'll focus on the text. We hadn't planned to touch on this topic but Ty checked the e-mails during breaks (being in DC since Wednesday means the e-mails weren't read after Tuesday until today) and there were actually a number of e-mails asking that we note it one more time. We're happy too and intend to note it in two weeks so look for it then.

Bully Boy cloud -- mushroom cloud? No, it's a Bully Boy Cloud. Projection's what the administration works on.

Dick & Bully Boy hiding behind others as usual -- two drawings in this one. This came about because Jess' dad, Mike's dad and my (Jim) dad are with us in DC this weekend. We all loved Jessica Lange's speech last year. It was brilliant and incisive. But "the dads" (as the moms call them) are obsessed with Jessica Lange (as the moms will tell you). Yes, they note her speech and praise her for it but we think a great deal more is going on. Seriously, only a person as brave and beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside could have given such a powerful speech. That's the backstory to this feature.

Talk -- talk, get the word out. Media, big and small, has failed on Iraq. Criticize, complain, make jokes about it (we do) but also get the word out on the war. [C.I. came up with the "wok" joke and we had to beg for it to be included. In the end, my dad convinced ("Him, the judge and jury of all things funny," says Dona) C.I. it was too funny to leave out. Look for that to pop out as you read. Prepare to laugh.] We had an extra helper on this one, Betty's youngest son. While we were painting, her kids were as well. He thought this was something he could add too and he did. Due to me, my fault, because I had set that on the floor to dry. Betty was apologizing when he showed it to us. No need for that. It was a black & white visual. He thought it needed some dark blue. (His favorite color.) Looking at it, we agreed it needed color and quickly added some more to it. We like it better this way. So on this feature, we also need to credit Betty's youngest son.

TV: Heroic Would Be Pasdar in a Loin Cloth -- Ava and C.I. don't read their reviews. When they can avoid it, they don't even read over them. They farm that out to someone else (we're all usually willing and huddled up reading it out loud). You can steal their jokes and, if you do just a sentence at a time, they never notice. Do more than one sentence and by the third or fourth, they'll catch on (due to the rhythm, Ava says) that you're actually quoting them. So the point is, as hard as it is for the devoted readers of this weekly feature to imagine, they really don't know what they wrote after. (In fact, they're already preparing their year-in-review after they shot off a funny Monday about Bo Derek and we told them it should have gone into their review. "It didn't?" they asked. No. They agreed it was too funny, and too accurate, to let it drop so they've noted it for the year-in-review in December.) So, long story short, they wrote their commentary. We read over it. We laughed. The moms laughed, the dads laughed, everyone laughed. Ava said, "Thank God that went easy." C.I. said, "I think you just cursed us." Whether Ava did or not, we couldn't post their commentary. The title's there in our folder, it just won't open. We all tried to help by offering the funny lines we remembered from it. Ava finally told us to all be quiet, that they can't reconstruct a review from a few remembered funny lines, and they went off to write another one. This one is funny too but completely different from the earlier one (C.I. notes not completely, they recommended the show in both reviews).

Editorial: Darrell Anderson Needs You -- War resister Darrell Anderson needs all of us right now. One voice, one person left for the government to do whatever they want with no one giving a damn is one person. People calling out their support for him loudly is using our power. So use it. If you believe the war needs to end, you're in the same boat with Anderson. You wouldn't want to stand alone, don't let him.

That's the features. We thank Tracey and Jasyon for being sounding boards throughout the edition. Ruth and others helped at various stages but, as Ruth put it, "I'm not a teenager." Tracey and Jayson are but that doesn't make it any easier. (Ruth is their grandmother.) We thank Gina and Krista who went straight from e-mailing their special-edition to attempting to help us. (At one point seven computers were trying to log into Blogger/Blogspot, all without succes.) As always, we thank Dallas for being a sounding board, a link locator and more. And, Dona wants this noted "for the record," last week's links problems are not Dallas' fault. He did them the same way he does them every week. For whatever reason, the links had problems and ended up wiping out sentences and whole paragraphs. Hopefully, we won't awake later today to learn that's happened again.

So that's it. That's what you got. Hopefully, you got something to make you laugh or make you think or make you angry. If you got all three, great. If you didn't, well aren't you a greedy son of a gun. Repeat after me, "It's not all about me." See you next week. Jess says get over to The Common Ills. C.I.'s about to do the entry there and when it's done, those of us who've been up all night will be going to sleep. Thirty minutes short of thirty-five hours with no sleep for most of us. (A little less for sleepy head Mike who woke up late on Saturday.) C.I. just pointed out we didn't thank Rebecca. We didn't. Our oversight. Happened last week as well. She tweaks the visuals and makes them look as good as they can. They're illustrations by the way. We're not going for "art." (In fact, Kat's not allowed to pick up a paint brush. She can, and did, use toothpicks and other things. But since she is trained, she's not allowed to use a paint brush. This is very DIY. Mamas and Papas motto: We try to be professional, without being professional. Or something like that -- C.I.'s telling me I screwed up Michelle Phillips' quote. It's late for us.)

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