Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --

Another week. Here's who participated in the writing of this edition:

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

Thanks to all (other than the core six) and thanks to Dallas for locating links and sounding board duties. Thanks to Rebecca for photoshopping our illustrations.

New content:

Truest statement of the week -- this was a hard one because there were a lot of contenders, 10 possibilities in all. C.I.'s the one who brought Betty's statement to the table. Pulled from her chapter we did notice that it worked not only for Betinna (the lead character in Betty's online novel) but also for truest statement. The only one who objected? Betty. She and Wally wanted a statement by Jane Fonda. We'll try to work that into a feature next week. (Ava notes, "It went up Thursday at The Common Ills.")

Editorial: Terri Johnson steps up and stands up -- the list of war resisters grows and grows and so does the silence from small media. We're really impressed with Terri Johnson. For the gina & krista round-robin, there were seven roundtables. Ava and C.I. co-chaired one, Ty co-chaired one (with Kat and Mike). Terri Johnson came up in every one of them. Best question, from Ava and C.I.'s roundtable (asked by KeShawn, C.I. notes), "Do you think any of the 'token feminists' are going to note Terri? I don't. They couldn't note Suzanne Swift and she was White." (Noted with the permission of KeShawn and Gina and Kirsta.) ["Token feminist" refers to women who go to mainstream mags claiming to be feminists but then -- as if on a chat and chew -- want to giggle and talk pop cult and have so much fun being silly.] We don't think we can count on small media at all -- of the 'mainstream' kind. (Off Our Backs may note Johnson.) And if the 'tokens' couldn't say a word about Abeer or Suzanne Swift or Katharine Jashinski, you know they won't have a word for Johnson. But Terri Johnson matters.

TV: Dud -- There's a little note at the top of Ava and C.I.'s commentary that's really to me (Jim) and has to do with the fact that I begged and begged for them to review the Bill Moyers' special (which they both saw). They said no. They pointed out that my last minute suggestions meant they reviewed Andy Richter's show . . . days after the cancellation was announced. As regular readers know, Ava and C.I. do a TV commentary every week. They've yet to miss a week (one week they took on film) since they started doing the beat. (There's disagreement as to whether that was the last half of January or the start of February 2005.) They only review broadcast because our earliest readers were young people -- a lot of young families -- and they didn't have cable or satellite. So they've stuck with broadcast ("No great loss, spared us kissing the weak ass of Entourage, or rather, fighting off the Water Cooler Set to make room for our own lips," says Ava.) That's over 100 commentaries. Granted some didn't focus on one show, but a lot of them did. With UPN and WB becoming CW, they were nervous. When the big three decided Saturdays meant show repeats a show you already air during the week, they were really nervous. Between now and November 2008, they have to to a commentary each week. That's not easy when you're just dealing with broadcast. So in the fall, they started planning what they would review. They'd grab the shows that needed the highlighting -- because they'd quickly be cancelled or because they really needed someone steering you to them. About four episodes in, Dona and I started watching 30 Rock and started saying, "Review that. It's funny." They told us, 30 Rock is going to be renewed for fall 2007, we need to grab shows that won't be around to fill up a week. (They were right about 30 Rock. That's also why they postponed Brothers & Sisters. "One of the reasons," adds Ava.) They logged hours with Drive and I was saying, "Oh wait, do Bill Moyers." Drive was cancelled last week. They think they're pushing it as it is by reviewing it now. And next week, they're probably grabbing another bye-bye show. This summer, they're thinking 30 Rock, Brothers & Sisters and Medium. The last one was reviewed here. They're not sure whether they did it or we all did it together. They want to review it again (they still recommend the show) for that reason and because a "critic who should know better" is freaked out by the show and sees it (and a few others) as a sign of our recent decline.
(C.I., "Apparently, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Girl With Something Extra, Bewitched, et al. sailed right past her.) But they are concerned about what happens when they've reviewed all they can. Medium, they're fine with taking a second pass at. There's a show they panned it in its first season that they'd consider offering another review on. But they really don't want to re-review. So I'll try to stop insisting they drop what's planned to cover what I want them to cover. Ava's already told me I'm on her shit list along with their mutal friend who swore the network would stick by Kidnapped (one of the earliest shows to get the pink slip last fall). So that's how they did Drive this week. I should note that they said they had no comments on Bill Moyers' special. I should also note that, though not reviewed, the special pops up in several other features this edition -- those observations are Ava and C.I.'s. To put it in C.I.-speak, "Translation," they could have reviewed the Moyers' special. So that's the TV commentary and try to top that Mike! (And Mike's comments ended up resulting in 33 e-mails saying, "Yeah, Jim, why did you give Ava and C.I. the short shift in the note?") (Private message to Mike: ":D")

What's it all about, Bully? -- Jess says we should have written this first. This is actually part of a 'trilogy' this edition. We wrote it last and Ava and C.I. both had to be punched to wake back up. (I'm joking on the punched part.) This deals with what's not covered.

Sacrifice? -- this is another part of the trilogy. This deals with conventional falsehoods.

Iraq Quiz -- We thank those who came before. NOLA Express ran a great Vietnam quiz in the early 70s and this is us updating it. Since the press won't deal with reality (see 1st part of the trilogy), it's very likely we'll have another illegal war in a few years. Hopefully, someone will see our quiz and carry it forward as well. (NOLA Express' quiz is not available online. We're not even sure if they're archived -- in the older sense of the term -- anywhere.)

Radio Blab -- the rest of the trilogy. A really bad radio broadcast resulted in the trilogy. Kat heard it and thought, "Ugh." She was the only one who did. C.I. was dictating a snapshot last week when the friend being dictated to asked, "Are you going to tackle that shit that aired on ___?" What are you talking about? Kat had it recorded. She played it and we've all heard it now. Avoiding the issues, running from reality (and pissing on the peace movement), so glad to have that kind of listener supported programming.

This Wednesday, May 2nd, Cooper Union, Voices of a... -- Howard Zinn, Anthony Arnove and others, Wednesday, May 2nd, NYC, Cooper Union. Don't miss it. We got to see this (Voices of a People History of the United States) out here (West Coast) and we loved it. You will too. If you're in or near NYC, catch it.

Mailbag -- short feature! It was noted, after it posted, by Dona that C.I. didn't say a word. C.I. says we were trying to watch the time.

The Nation Stats -- 4 to 1. 4 to 1. We need Jim Morrison to write us a song about that and we need The Nation to explain why they think it's acceptable to print 4 men for every 1 woman?

10 CDs listened to while writing this edition -- quick feature and one that readers who think they can tell inspiration/motivation by what we listened to while writing enjoy.

Highlights Ava and C.I. did the TV commentary. All else above was written by everyone. This was written by Mike, Wally, Cedric, Betty, Elaine and Rebecca. We thank them for that.

That's it, see you next week.

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