Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --
Sunday. Some features went up earlier than usual. Some didn't. Even so we've had the best record of posting in months.

Here's who worked on 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

We thank everyone for their hard work. We thank Dallas for his hard work hunting down links.

Here's what we've got.

Truest statement of the week -- This was an obvious choice and everyone knew that barring a major statement by anyone near the end of the week, Cohn would get the pick. It says it all.

Editorial: The way it was/is -- Last piece written. C.I. pulled down the book of Bayard Rustin's writing to share something. We liked it so much we scrapped our intended editorial topic and went with this.

TV: P(ure)BS -- As I'll explain in a moment, we were thrown during the first piece we did for this edition. As a result, we knew there would be problems pulling together an edition. I (Jim) asked Ava and C.I. to scrap their planned review and push forward one they'd been toying with for a bit now. They said "No" as they always do. Then they thought about it and said, they could pair it with one other thing and probably get a so-so feature out of it. I have nothing against George Lopez, for the record. They've now twice had to postpone that commentary because I've asked for a stronger, hard hitting topic. (And for all I know, that may be a hard hitting feature when it does run.) But due to all that was going on, I knew we needed them hitting as hard as possible to make for a strong edition. I can't jump ahead so I'll just note this was the third feature written (and, of course, they wrote it themselves). I was banking on the fact that when they came back with this and I read to everyone, it would get us all back on track. Which it did. This is an instant favorite of mine -- both for the writing and for the sense of purpose it immediately restored as I read it out loud to everyone.

2 Books, 20 minutes -- Our book discussion. We're pretty much just going to be doing books on Iraq in these discussions. We're busy and if we're going to go to the trouble of all reading and all discussing, it needs to be on books that aren't getting noticed. A few have asked for fiction. We think you can get fiction reviews, discussion, et al elsewhere. These are two amazing books. You should really check them out.

Roundtable -- This was the first feature we did. We'd not had time for it last week. Betty, Ty and Cedric had wanted to address the whole John Conyers issue (and wrote their own feature last week when there wasn't time for a roundtable). We had other planned topics on the illegal war. Shortly after the Conyers topic was addressed, C.I. drops a bombshell. Jess got stabbed in the back. We're all reeling. Mike's point that the back stabber better not rush off an e-mail to the public account of The Common Ills apologizing is a good one. Jess was stabbed in the back. You have some apology to offer him, you offer it at this site instead of wishing & hoping that you can run to the public account and be protected. We're all disgusted. Dona notes in this that if we can get a strong editorial, the book discussion and Ava and C.I.'s piece, we'll consider it a success. We got that. We also made the decision to table any discussion on the bombshell outside of the roundtable until after we finished the book discussion to make sure we got that completed. That is when I pulled Ava and C.I. to the side and said, "I'm sure the Lopez thing would be amazing, but can you do something harder and wait on that? We really need something brilliant." They delivered. Except for pulling Ava's announcement of who the backstabber was -- she realized it and shouted out the name -- there are no edits in the roundtable.

She's a celebrity, get her out of here! -- This is the feature that ran in the print edition last week. It has a new illustration because we could never get Flickr to upload it. Print readers saw Katrina vanden Heuvel's head (a photo) on top of one of Judy Landers' body (also a photo). We did this quickly and one of the few that Flickr would take this week by us. After three hours of still uploading, we gave up on our other new and original illustrations.

Weeks load of crap in one morning -- Thank you to Allanah who e-mailed that to us. We weren't aware of it but shared her outrage.

Iraq -- Betty said, when Dona was crying "Short features, people, short features!", how about a few lines of verse? She pointed out that the illustrations might or might not load and that if they didn't, a few lines of verse "good or bad" could break up the cut and dry look.

David Bacon's "Living Under Trees" now showing -- Just a PSA for someone who deserves a shout out and has deserves it because his work has earned it.

Highlights -- Mike, Wally, Cedric, Elaine, Rebecca, Betty and Kat wrote this. We thank them for it.

And that's the edition. Hope you found something that prompted a laugh, a scowl, or an idea. See you next week.

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

P.S. No, you weren't crazy if you were here very, very early this morning. The book discussion went up by accident as soon as it was completed. We were all discussing the bombshell and whomever was supposed to hit "save" hit "publish." (Ty says it was me, I say I was talking to Ava and C.I. at that point so it was someone else.)
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