Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

Hey --

Doing the note late on an edition that ran late for a number of reasons. Chief among them, Betty's son wanted to speak to C.I. over the phone, Betty's oldest son.

When we were all in DC for last month, we stockpiled up some illustrations to use in future weekly editions. We all worked on those and Betty's son worked very hard on those. We had noted that on that weekend; however, we hadn't posted any. Betty's son wanted to know when some would be posted and C.I. rightly guessed that the reason had to do with school. So, if you go to school with Betty's son, YES, HE DID DO A NUMBER OF ILLUSTRATIONS. And they will pop up over the next months.

It is a pain in the butt to upload to Flickr. (We all miss Hello! which was never this much of a problem.) It takes forever to upload and half the time you get an error message.

There's a cover of Tori's CD used this edition. It's used in a review by Kat as well. But for the review, it never would post to Flickr. Rebecca and C.I. worked very hard (for at least two hours) trying to figure out some of the problems. They reduced the Tori cover and it did upload, they reduced (and cropped) the Ms. magazine cover and it posted. But those took forever. If we can plan and don't get involved big in a feature we're working on, we can remember to start posting images after midnight. By four in the morning, Flickr's a nightmare of slowness probably due to too many users.

But we did upload three (we think three uploaded, we haven't checked that) illustrations Betty's son worked on. Two are used this edition. The moon and stars illustration is mainly Betty's son but Kat and C.I. added some touches to his finished artwork. The bug illustration is all him. He did those illustrations and many others we will be using. If you're in a class with him and have doubted him, next time e-mail us and we'll set you straight. He has a very strong eye for detail and anytime he can do an illustration himself or one he works on with the rest of us, the illustration is 100% better because of it.

Along with Betty's son, 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,
Wally of The Daily Jot;
Trina's Trina's Kitchen;
and Ruth's Ruth's Report

And Dallas, as always, hunted down links, acted as a sounding board, scanned the Eddie Bernice Johnson newsletter and much more. We thank everyone.

What do we have?

Truest statement of the week -- We went with Yoko. We would have loved to have had two and may note our second choice next week but to be honest, we were just too damn tired. Yoko says it all so if we were only going to go with one, that was the one to go with.

Editorial: It's the silence from the stupid -- Ty's checked the e-mails and the general consensus is "OH MY GOD! I hadn't even realized how little coverage had been given to war resisters who have gone public in 2007." (That's almost a word for word quote from reader Malina but it captures the sentiment of the others Ty's read thus far as well.) There are two months left in the year and Ross Spears, Eli Israel, go down the list, all these war resisters going public this year and where is the coverage?

TV: CBS rolls the dice -- Ava and C.I. Ay-yi-yi. As they like to say. This is so damn amazing that we ended up reworking the edition to carry through the theme. I know e-mails will come in slamming me (Jim) for this because Ava and C.I.'s readers are so devoted but this is my favorite of everything they've done since the fall season started. This is just amazing. We love it. I was reading it out loud to everyone and they were laughing or saying, "Holy sh*t!" This is just perfection and so them. A new reader wrote in and I'm saving Ty a reply. Beth Ann notes she loved Twins and is glad they enjoyed Melanie Griffith in it. She wanted to know what week the Twins review posted? Never. It never made it up here. That's my fault, I kept asking them to postpone it and cover something else. (I do that especially when I fear we have a weak edition.) It ran in the gina & krista round-robin and because Beth Ann is a young reader and a very devoted fan of Twins (she provides quotes from the show in her e-mail), Ava and C.I. scanned it and sent her a copy of the review that ran in the round-robin. That was probably a one time thing. Beth Ann clearly loved the show, had all the episodes memorized and they were happy to do it (even on a day when they just want to go to bed).

Ms.magazine: This is what 35 years looks like -- This was something we planned for next weekend. Ava and C.I. were speaking to friends for this and they also passed on some friends to me. The plan was to get some more comments (we only spoke to about thirty women) and then make this an in depth piece. We rushed it in instead. The longer version was too long and we had to edit it. One thing that got pulled were our own reactions. But I'll note here every adult participating identifies as a feminist and if you had checked with some of us a few years back, that wouldn't have been the case. The feminist movement is more alive than ever and congrats to Ms. on 35 years. Ruth worked on this.

Memo to Pelosi -- What do therapists say? If you don't pay for it, you won't get well? (Elaine would know.) So SCHIPS is important, Pelosi says and we agree, but it's not important enough to fund it the way other programs are, instead it's create a new flat tax and demonize one segment of society. The bill was destined to fail.

Tori Rocks Boston -- In addition to all listed above, Tracey (Ruth's granddaughter) shared her thoughts on the concert as well.

Eddie Bernice, what you got against peace? -- If you're against the illegal war, sign the peace pledge. It's pretty basic.

What's up with Ruth? -- What is up with Ruth? She's started her own site. She also worked with us on this edition. And we thank her for also making time for this interview.

If a picture sings a thousand words . . . --- Noting a Van Fair feature, a photo essay that we wish we could provide tiny, cropped portions of throughout. You really need to check it out in a physical copy. Online the photos won't have the same gravity.

Bug us -- That is as in depth as we wanted to go into that book. Rebecca had another complaint which was the really bad chronology that led her to call C.I. and ask, "Norman Solomon is over 70!!!!" No. But when he's recounting why his father left a job, he does it in such a confusing manner that readers may think he was in high school at the time. We like Norman Solomon, we didn't like the book, and we were shocked by the way women were repeatedly treated in the book. We do not think it was intentional, we do think it needed to be noted.

Supporting War Resisters -- Courage to Resist has a letter and Kat, Ava and C.I. learned of it while speaking to active duty service members last week, one of whom passed it on to them and asked that it get attention when they speak. We copied the letter and you can print it up and sign it. Or, as community member Eddie noted to C.I. tonight, you can click here and sign it online at Courage to Resist.

Highlights -- Mike, Kat, Cedric, Rebecca, Wally and Betty selected these highlights unless otherwise noted and they also wrote the piece. We thank them for it.

That's it. Long, long edition. See you next week.

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