Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
This is going up Monday evening but we're putting it with Sunday.

What did this edition offer? Highlight:

Ruth's Report -- incredibly strong commentary by Ruth. We loved it.

Mike and C.I. each pick a highlight -- short on time (we'll get to that shortly) we got Mike and C.I. to pick a highlight for each other.

Blog Spotlight: Wally, Cedric, Betty, Mike, Ty & Dona pick Idiot of the Week -- joint post by Wally, Cedric, Betty Mike, Ty and Dona.

What's going on at Kat's Korner -- we do not have time to put up three entries from a site. Ruth and Betty are doing a wonderful job filling in (five us say C.I. is as well -- the holdout? C.I.) so we've just been noting that there are new posts going up. Kat is in Ireland. She has a very ill family member who's not expected to make it. She'll be in Ireland through the funeral.

Humor Spotlight: Wally & Cedric say "There's a felon in the Congress" -- you'd think the fact that a felon is serving in Congress would get at least as much attention and hand wringing as Mark Foley but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Humor Spotlight: Cedric & Wally on Bully Boy's "achievement" -- have you studied the debt?

Humor Spotlight: Betinna weighs in on Gail Collins -- Gail Collins is on her way out. She's been a regular in the story of Betinna. Betty gives her something of a send off in this comically delicious chapter.

Elaine on music -- we all miss Kat and Elaine's picked up the music end by noting it at least once a week. This was a requested highlight from a reader.

Blog Spotlight: Rebecca on the Streisand concert -- we were going to go with this before anyone suggested it (but Ty says four e-mails came in suggesting it). Rebecca was as Streisand's 2nd NYC concert. Don't believe the attempts of that "neutral" media to paint the tour as disappointing.

Kitchen Spotlight: Halloween in the Kitchen -- Trina's focusing on Halloween for the rest of the month.

New content? Yes, we had it. Some.

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;
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot

We thank everyone for their help and we thank Dallas for sound boarding, for links and general support. And more.

This edition a number of people above had things to do and we had also pledged our time Saturday night for an important issue. We ended up starting late. Way late.

Editorial: What does it say? -- as C.I. has noted, we're tired of writing this editorial. Luckily readers aren't complaining about it (they feel it needs to be said). (We agree with that.) The illustration was done by Jess, Ty, Dona and me, Jim. We don't usually note credit on that but C.I. had complimented it at The Common Ills and, so no one would think it was self-praise, noted who worked on it.

TV Review: Try to ignore the Shark in the room -- Ava and C.I. take on Shark Puff (mine term for the show). This actually had two other paragraphs to it but I (Jim) asked them to pull those two paragraphs and expand on it. We were short on time, we needed another feature and the e-mails to Ava and C.I. come in all the time. (Ty notes for regular readers he enjoys discussing the reviews with them. The expansion was due to interview requests and drive bys.)

War Hawks Anonymous (Parody) -- Elaine saved us. Early last week, C.I. made a joke about a group for War Hawks and Elaine said, "Write it!" C.I. didn't. Didn't have the time, wasn't funny, blah blah blah. Elaine called me and was ready to sell me on it but I saw the same value in it she did. She suggested pulling Ava and C.I. off to the side and letting them riff on the topic for 10 to 15 minutes while I took notes. That's what happened. From that framework, we built this parody. We were all tired and it wouldn't have been written if Elaine hadn't suggested it ahead of time. So thank you to Elaine for realizing it was a feature and for calling.

Target: 14-year-old Julia Wilson -- We're offended. You should be as well. Since she's spoken to AP and her parents have, we're kind of surprised she didn't turn up on indymedia today. Then again, we're running out of surprises with indymedia.

The Brazen Cindra -- C.I. suggested this and Marcia had passed on to C.I. We all searched right wing sites for quotes on this. We noted the comments we thought stood out most.

Felon in the Congress -- Ava's just reminded that on the parody, "I saw a woman and she looked like your mother but she was your daddy's bitch" came up because Jess was thumping on the door while they were riffing (C.I. and Ava). Ava and Jess had evening plans and Jess was indicating it was time to go. The rhythm Jess was tapping was bluesy and led to that. This came up with a melody that Jess and C.I. were doing off and on throughout the edition. They usually do that -- La-la-la through the editions. (When Kat's around, she joins in.) Dona ended up humming it and cursing them for "seeping into my brain." She said we should do a short piece. That's what this was.

About the TV reviews -- this is the expansion by Ava and C.I. While they did there two pieces, Jess, Ty, Dona and I were painting illustrations. Rebecca photo shops them as needed and we thank her for that.

We almost tossed out illustrations. They're a thrill to paint and play, but they're a pain in the ass after. Some dry quick enough, some don't. Some have posting problems. We had that the edition prior, we had that this edition. It slows us down.

Probably an hour of time was consumed with this.

There was talk of ditching of them but Ty and I felt they needed to go in. I think they round out an edition, Ty noted that readers really enjoy them.

This is a good point to talk about the illustration with Ava and C.I.'s stuff. People want to know what it is? Jess painted it. It was supposed to have another part to it. He was waiting for it to dry and then forgot. Readers have been saying that there should be something for Ava and C.I.'s reviews (the only thing that didn't have an illustration) and Jess agreed. He was trying to create something that could run each time. When it was time to e-mail the scans to Rebecca, it was too late for Jess to add to it. He told Rebecca what he was going for and she responded, "Let me play with it and see what I can do." (He was going for something that you might see in the opening of That Girl. That kind of look.) People like it and Jess credits Rebecca with it. But they're asking what it is? If someone guesses correctly, we'll note it next edition. Otherwise, we'll leave it a mystery. But, time permitting, Jess wants to take another stab at an illustration just for Ava and C.I.'s pieces. So it may change next week. It may not. Time's something we're always short on.

Time? When we were in New York, we were happy to go on and on and on with an edition. People would sometimes leave that were helping out. C.I. never did. Now that the six of us are together, Dona says: "Huge apology to C.I." This edition, we started around midnight. Probably a bit later. We'd all agreed to help out on an issue and spent all Saturday night on that (the six of us did). At one point, Jess thinks it was three a.m., we were all so exhausted we were just staring into space. Dona asked C.I., "How would you get that jolt of energy if we were in NY?" How? Candy run. We did that. We got chips (Funions ended up being extremely popular), candy, V8, and who knows what else? That fueled us through the edition.

Normally, we won't be using Saturday time to volunteer. But it did make us wonder. Around four, Dona said we should have all taken an hour nap. (That would be seven if we were still in NY.) And we agreed that would have been great. So what we're thinking for next Sunday is going by the time zone we're in. We may try that this Sunday and see how that goes. Had we taken a break, we would have been rested.

We have a music piece for next week. We also hope to get a piece on the incredible student activism that's been going on. But we were wiped out. That's why we leaned on Ava and C.I. to do two pieces. If we recommended highlights with links as opposed to reposts (something readers don't want), we could free up an hour.

We're not trying to get out of doing the edition. We are aware that it was one thing to block out the weekend for it in NY. Ava's been very public about the fact that she's wanted sleep since October of 2005. The note didn't go up with the other things because we were too tired to write it. The plan was for Sunday night. But Ty went to check with C.I. about meal choices (we were trying to figure out what to eat) and came back and told us there's nothing left there. C.I. was that tired. So we all agreed to wait until Monday. (What did we eat? We went out. We were too tired to cook, to tired for sandwiches, you name it.) (Dona says again, "Huge apologies." She notes this was probably true on many weekends but we weren't aware of it -- how drained C.I. was. C.I.'s doing The Common Ills and this site on the weekend. We just do this site on the weekends. People helping out don't usually post on Saturdays or Sundays. Due to the size of The Common Ills -- number of entries -- C.I. can wait for 20 minutes sometimes just for a post to index and publish.)

So we're trying to figure out how to simplify the process without cutting the content.

If you're wondering about CounterSpin, we will pick that up next week. C.I. noticed something and was wondering if we had as well. That was brought up on Friday. We were too tired for it this week. We're amazed by the e-mails coming in asking how they can test our results, by the way. It's rather obvious but we'll go into that next week.

Ty just mentioned something. We're adding a PSA. "Cindy Sheehan supports Malachy McCourt for NY governor" is now up. Jess is a Green. The rest of us are Democrats. That doesn't mean the Democratic Party has a lock on our vote. Whomever earns our vote gets our vote. We announced that we were all now in California awhile back. Before we did, we were receiving these press releases. We still have a print edition on our old campus and we'll note that PSA in the print issue next week. Were there time, we'd have written more than the quick intro. But you need to know the candidates in your races and politicians need to stop believing they own your vote. Especially Democrats who think they can stay silent on the war. Or bend to the right because there's no chance that anyone would abandon them. If there are Greens in your races, we encourage to find out about those candidates and see if they speak to you.

That's it for this edition. See you next week.

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