Sunday, February 02, 2014

Jim's World


With the exception of the weekend we were in DC (2007) covering a protest, we've never had an edition go up later.  And I'm making it go up even later because I decided to write a solo piece.

I need to go over a few basics.

1) Thank you for invitations to Twitter or Linc-whatever or whatever.

However, we don't Tweet.  We're online here.  The only one in the community that even Facebooks is Ann.

2) In July, we changed our e-mail address to

No one checks the old one.  We were hacked and we stopped using it.

Melvin E. wrote, "I have repeatedly written you and have had no response, not an e-mail, not a response at the site.  I want to repeat what I have said one more time, your strength is in the television writing and you should confine yourself to that.  I have written you at [] 16 times in the last two months.  Now I see a new e-mail address.  I would suggest that you go back and change your e-mail address on past articles."

I edited out our old address since we no longer use it.

Ava and C.I.'s TV writing is wonderful, yes.  It is also our most popular feature.  And it is our calling card.  But I doubt we could put together a weekly edition about television week after week.

3) Melvin's e-mail made me log into our old account.  I couldn't even remember the password.  Ty couldn't remember, I was saying, "Does anyone know --" when C.I. interrupted me with the password.

I was surprised to see that Melvin isn't the only one still using the old e-mail address. I'm not going to go through old articles and change our e-mail address.  Sorry.  I don't have the time and they're a record of what our address was at that point in time.  Our new address is on our profile and included often in articles.

Most of the e-mails at the old account were not ones I felt regret over having not seen.  Catherine Jones' "Important message from God" was, in fact, neither important nor from God.

A few of the e-mails were from readers and I dashed off a quick note.  Ten were from outlets or organizations and I replied to them to inform them of our new addresses.  But most readers have grasped that our e-mail address changed.

4) There is a thing called the spam folder.  Yahoo puts some e-mails in our inbox and some in our spam folder.

We only check the spam folder about once a month.  And "we" is me and Ty.  If Ty's on vacation, sick or just needs a break, Ava and C.I. will work the inbox but otherwise they never read e-mails and only know what Ty passes on.

'But I loved their ____ and I wrote 15 paragraphs on it!'

And Ty or I enjoyed reading it and conveyed it in some form to them.

But they don't read the fan mail.  Too much praise makes them nervous.  They prefer to stay focused on what they're doing and not what they've done and they argue that's the only way they've managed to write a piece every week -- at least one -- for over 9 years now.

When I've made the mistake of offering how many page views a TV article got, for instance, the only effect it has had is to (a) make them nervous and (b) make them deliberately write in a different way to ensure that they're not playing a popularity game of trying to repeat what was successful for popularity sake.

5) Jonathan K. e-mails, "I am a longterm reader who's been with this site for years and years but I must object to the current TV illustration using Barack Obama.  I find it to be disrespectful.  Please reconsider using it."

This is the illustration he's referring to.


That is a screen snap from a speech by Barack that was then put through the oil paint effect in Photo Shop.
We had another one of Barack that we used before that.  We have a Diane Sawyer one that I made (or oil painted or whatever effect in Photo Shop).  But Ava and C.I. said it would appear to be promoting ABC World News and since they sometimes cover news programming, they didn't want to have to explain how there was no conflict of interest because they weren't promoting . . .

Before that?

Well the first illustrations for Ava and C.I.'s articles . . .

Let me back up.  We used Isaiah's cartoons here many times in the early days.  We still do.  But those were the first illustrations that went up here.  Then Jess (who was and is involved with Ava) felt that since Ava and C.I.'s TV pieces were regular, weekly pieces and so popular, they should have their own illustration.

He did spin art and some other things.  He would also Photo Shop his artwork.

That's one example of art that Jess created for the TV articles.  Only one of many early examples.

At some point in 2007, this became the illustration.


The White House had teleconferenced with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  I don't remember if this was from a video (a screen snap) or just a photo.  The backs of the three people?  It's Condi Rice, Bully Boy Bush and I think Dick Cheney.  They're looking at a TV screen where Nouri's speaking to them.

When Jess came up with this, they thought it was perfect.

So perfect that, as late as 2009, they were still using it.

At some point in 2010, this became the image for the TV articles.


What Ava and C.I. liked was that it had the viewer all in the shot.  More and more, people watch TV online, so they liked that.  What they didn't like was that the Photo Shop effect -- I believe it was oil painting, Jess and Ty did it --  has that red dot.  No one ever complained in an e-mail but Ava and C.I. were sure someone would misread it and start griping.

Which was why I came up with the Diane Sawyer image to begin with.

At some point, Jess came up with this.


Ava and C.I. loved that.  They wish it was still being used.

It's a TV screen and it's an eye.  But it only became both of those things in Photo Shop.

It was very popular but we felt it was time for an update and have been using the one that "longterm reader" Jonathan is bothered by.

If Jonathan is a "longterm reader," he has a very bad memory.  The current image was not our first usage of a Barack image.  And if he's concerned about disrespect of the office, he should have objected in the three or so years we used the image of Bully Boy Bush.

But if we're disrespectful, if Jonathan's right about that?


There's far too much worship of public servants -- especially ones in the Oval Office.

Barack is worshipped, Bully Boy Bush was before him.  Seems like the last Oval Office occupant people could be somewhat honest about was President Bill Clinton.

6) Nardo e-mailed insisting, "I don't understand why you have to be so gay all the time.  Every article at your site is about gay this or gay that.  Why do you have to push homosexual rights so much?  You and the other homosexual advocates do little to convince the rest of us who are the majority of this country."

Hmm.  First up, I'd note that Third is Dona, Ty, Jess, me, Ava and C.I.  (I word it that way because Ava and C.I. are a writing team and they've also become a hugely popular search term.)  Ty is gay.  That's not a secret.  He and his boyfriend have been together since college.  They live at C.I.'s house and have for years now.  Before Ty moved to California, he lived with Jess and me.  Ty isn't just a friend, he's family.  And so not only is Ty going to speak out for equality, we all are going to.  Betty, Ruth, Marcia and Stan join us in the writing of many articles here.  Betty's brother is gay, Ruth's grandson Jayson is gay, Marcia is gay and Stan is her cousin.  So there are additional connections.

That said, while we are strongly pro-equality, I'm confused as to where this assertion that we have all these gay articles is coming from?

I told that to Ty and C.I. and we will have a gay article this edition.  Ty was joking about a gay porn topic or issue and C.I. had told him he should write a piece on that.  Ty had brushed off the suggestion but thanks to this assertion that all we do is promote gay rights, Ty says he's got to write the piece now.

In terms of TV, if they're doing a history of piece, Ava and C.I. will often note Ellen and her coming out and her sitcom.  When Happy Endings debuted, Ava and C.I. were the first to hail Adam Pally's Max as a breakthrough gay character. They wrote about the TV show Partners once and included it in two other pieces.  They've probably noted Sean Saves The World four or five times now this year (including this week's edition).  They wrote about that bad show Ellen Barkin ruined -- they wrote about that probably three times. The New Normal, Jess just told me the name of the show.  They think Will & Grace is one of the great sitcoms of all time.  They wrote at least two pieces on it when the show was still in production (one tearing it apart for the awful concluding episode) and they've mentioned it since.  In November, they wrote "TV: Gay characters: Two networks stand still while a third retreats."

It's an issue Ava and C.I. cover.  It's not the only issue they cover.  You do realize Ava and C.I., just by themselves, write over 52 TV or media pieces a year, right?  That they do at least one every week and several weeks they do more than one?  And that they've now been doing this for over nine years?

It's an issue they cover, it's far from the only issue they cover.

In terms of group pieces, I'm sure we've editorialized on many issues -- on many gay issues.  I know we did on marriage equality and I would argue we coined the phrase here.  I know we cover crimes against gay people in New York because we have friends from our old college who live there and will call us up and say, "Did you hear there was another hate crime?"

Ty's written pieces about his life.  Ava and Dona have done the same -- the two have both written about their pregnancies.  Ty's life and his partner are as valid as Ava's life and her partner (Jess) and Dona's life and her partner (me).

I wrote a piece about buying Ty his first gay porn magazine back in college.  We were roommates, Jess and I had our straight porn.  Ty was interested but had never bought.  So I went out and bought a magazine for him.

I've also written Jim's Worlds taking on the reporter for the Miami Herald, Joel Wing (twice), and others.

So my point here is I don't see how we're gay obsessed.

I'm not insulted,  Nardo's world seems to be either anti-gay or gay obsessed so I'd rather be on the gay obsessed side.  But while we are very pro equality, I'm just not seeing how every article we write is about promoting gay rights.

Maybe I'm missing something.

If so, that's fine because, again, if the choices are anti-gay or gay obsessed, I'll go with the second one.

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