talking post


that's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "GOP Attack Machine". it went up today and this is a talking post. the baby had fever tonight which has finally broken and i'm too keyed up from that (i worry on the littlest things, i don't deny that, i worry big time) to go to sleep. so i was looking at the computer when i came over here to charge up the cell phones. then flyboy asked, 'are you hungry?' we were at a friend's tonight before the fever started and i was too busy wondering what was going on (yes, i was in a panic) so i really didn't eat. (and as soon as the fever broke out i was 'okay, we're leaving!'). so he's making some pasta - vermicelli with some fresh zuchini and some tomatoes and i thought i'd do a talking post to unwind.

kat's "Kat's Korner: Lenny rocks for a Love Revolution" went up today and i love lenny kravitz' new cd - it is time for a love revolution. i also love the next cd she's reviewing. i understand why she's waiting on it - or toying with waiting. she's expected to do 1 review after another and she never planned to a monthly piece, just when she had time. then she started thinking, 'okay 12 pieces a year.' and - because she's so good at it - we all want even more. with her going on the road almost every week with ava and c.i. and with her attempting to do her own site and other stuff, there's really not a great deal of time. so she's worried that if she reviews ___ next weekend, there will be this assumption of 'she's reviewing all the time!' and also what's she going to review for march?

there's not a lot out there. i love music and there's really not a lot out there.

we both read the new issue of spin and they have a thing in there, as part of the cover story, about upcoming cd releases to be excited about and there was only 1 that excited me. it was the breeders' new cd. kat's excited about that and 1 other cd. for me, that's the only thing that excited me. and it was interesting - we both noticed this - that women were hardly on the 'get excited' spin approved list. there were easily sround 60 acts and there were 3 or so women: breeders, no doubt (band fronted by gwen stefani) and some 1 i'm forgetting. i'm pretty sure c.i. told me carly simon has a new cd due out and that excites me. if i'm remembering right, this will be like joni mitchell's new cd in that it will be released 1st at starbucks.

i keep waiting for the good news from the digital front, by the way, but whether i'm reading a music magazine, the washington post, the new york times or whatever, it's always about how music's not selling in any format. that's really sad. i can't imagine growing up without having music blasting and that's really not changed since i grew up.

at 3rd, in 'Roundtable,' we talk music briefly at the start and i just want to back ty up on the fact that the recording of rufus wainwright doing judy is a big, big disappointment. he sounds out of tune and droning. judy at carnegie hall was a huge, huge album. i don't know if i heard it when it came out. i do know it was 1 my grandparents played non-stop later on. i love my grandparents and there's that and 2 other cds (both by frank sinatra) that i think of them from when i was a little kid anytime i hear them. (my grandmother is still alive, my grandfater passed sometime ago). so i know that album. i mean, if you wanted something from my grandfather, sing 1 of those judy songs from the album. he'd be thrilled you knew the song word by word. so i was really eager to hear rufus perform them. but listening, i was less thrilled. i don't know. judy reached for something artistically and rufus seems more like he's attempting to copy her imitators with a lot of angst tossed in. there's no joy - even on the joyful songs - and it never picks up. i was very, very disappointed.

as long as i'm talking about the roundtable, and i see people have e-mailed me asking about it (i've got two screens open and am checking my e-mail on the other) ...

it was fun. it was lively, it was fun, it was friends talking. there's nothing wrong with that. except ...

there's not time for it. now for me, there was. i did a little bit on the other stuff and then went to bed. i believe elaine did shortly after and i know wally and cedric did. hold on, because there's no way i'm doing all those links. i'll just copy and paste from 3rd:

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,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

okay, that's who i'm talking about. cedric & wally also bailed early because they are campaigning for hillary in texas. now that was known ahead of time, that cedric and wally had to be off the phone at a certain time because they were speaking sunday morning at a church.

but here's where there's a problem with spending 6 plus hours on a roundtable, 3rd still has to put out an entire edition. dona and jim had an argument over this after all of us had left the phone (long after i had). (kat, jim, dona, ty, jess, ava and c.i. are always at c.i.'s place in california; elaine, mike, ruth and i were participating from mike's via phone; betty via phone from her home in georgia; marcia from her home; and wally and cedric from texas.) they've got to type up everything (d0na, jim, ty, jess, ava, c.i. and kat). they've got to do final edits. dona had huge hopes for them doing something sunday evening, something fun. at 9 there time, ava and c.i. told every 1 to go to sleep. that was due to the very raw feelings of dona and jim. (they're fine. couples disagree, they argue, that's life.) what that meant was they slept and then had to come back to typing, editing, et al. there was no sunday evening.

what happened in the roundtable is explained in the intro dona writes to 'House Armed Service Committee Hearings you should...' i love jim and 1 of the reasons is because he can admit it when he's in the wrong. jim does that in his 'A Note to Our Readers.'

as dona points out in her intro, there were long discussions about sports and about the matrix and a lot of defocusing. i left at 1 point to nurse and get the baby back to sleep. i was probably gone 45 or 50 minutes. when i left, sports was the topic and had been the topic for some time. when i came back, it was still the topic. and when there was a pause, i did point that out and ask, 'has this been the topic the whole time i was gone?'

there is no way that the bulk of that would have ever gone into the roundtable.

i don't want to call it 'a waste of time.' i know jim is calling it that because we talked on the phone today. it's a topic that interested a number of people participating. but the reality is that it and other things meant no sunday of fun. instead, the gang woke up and had to go back to work on 3rd.

and, jim said this was ava's biggest criticism, when 3rd's done, jim's done. that's not true for c.i.

c.i.'s got to write 2 entries for the common ills. (c.i. calls both of sunday's entries 'phoned in' due to being so tired.) and, ava's right, that is something to keep in mind. dona had plans and every 1 was going to be taking part and having fun. instead, not only did they all have to go back to work on 3rd when they woke up but after that was finally done, c.i.'s having to pull together stuff at the common ills. that's not fair and that's why there's a problem with including things in a long roundtable that you know will never be part of the transcript.

1 person e-mailed to take offense (e-mailed me) with dona's remarks that it was the guys talking sports and sci-fi movies. well, it was the guys doing it. betty loves sports so she may have taken part in some of that but jim doesn't remembering her talking a great deal if she did partake. but the guy e-mailing points out that c.i. & elaine are speaking a great deal at the end.

1st, c.i. and ava can speak as much as they want. they're the 1s taking notes (that get typed up as the transcript) so if they wanted to talk the whole time, no 1 could complain. 2nd off, c.i. & elaine didn't pull any remarks. every word they said was in the transcript. they did not talk about sports or sci-fi movies (or the other topics that were never going into the rountable). there is a part that's not in the transcript, where jim calls a break (which every 1 needs but especially ava and c.i. who are having to do stenography of the whole thing). as soon as he did, i heard dona tell jim very clearly, 'when we come back, wally and cedric are speaking, the topic is the texas campaign and they need to get off the phone because they have to speak early this morning and they've been up all night.'

we stepped away from the speaker phone - ruth, mike, elaine and i - and went into the kitchen to get something to eat and to talk about that. dona was obviously ticked off. i understood why, we all did. wally and cedric were supposed to have spoken over 4 hours ago and then be done so that they could sleep. it hadn't worked out that way.

when we were all back on the line, before we started, dona said, 'cedric and wally have waited patiently. they have real on the ground information. they are going to share that and we can stay on that as long as needed but that is the topic so let's stay with it. remember that texas community members are a large number of the community, remember that the texas race is very important to the democratic primary, remember that we're not seeing reports from the ground in texas in the press right now. people should comment and ask questions but let's keep the focus on texas. it does matter and readers from outside of texas have e-mailed noting they are very curious about what cedric and wally are seeing.'

so that allowed focus in that section. then impeachment followed. that was due to their readers e-mailing on it. i think all the comments made are worthwhile but i honestly wouldn't have included that. i know why ty did and i'm not insulting him - it was a huge deal in their e-mails. i also applaud ty for bringing up 1 more topic. if he hadn't, i think the roundtable would have been interesting but no great shakes other than texas. i don't think the impeachment was a topic to go out on. the topic he brought up was important.

and what happened was ty suggested it go to elaine and c.i. and every knew it should and understood why. jim said mike and i could come in on it. c.i. and elaine have been talking about this at length.

let me note the topic: non-democrats endorsing obama in the democratic party.

non-democrats endorsing him and doing so as 'democrats' or 'independents' when they are in fact socialists and communists.

there's nothing wrong or shameful about either group. but why are they lying about it? why don't they say 'i'm a socialist for obama' or 'i'm a communist for obama.'

and why are they endorsing during a democratic primary?

i mean, you're a democrat or you aren't. if you're not, maybe you need to shut up about who the democratic party chooses or not? the general election is for every 1 but the primaries are supposed to be for members of the party.

equally true is that the closet cases are all over 40 and they're not being open about their politics. equally true is that a number endorsing obama favor the current system of government being scrapped. so why are they suddenly interested in the political process?

these are conversations elaine and c.i. have been having at length (and both have talked to me about it as well).

it's an important topic. if you read it, you'll see i'll yield my time to be sure it will be discussed at length.

here's the other thing, c.i. speaks fast. so in terms of time - the e-mailer was going on about how c.i. and elaine 'hogged' the end - c.i.'s speaking twice as fast as any 1 else in the entire roundtable and doing that to stay on time and get the roundtable done quickly.

in addition, if c.i. wanted to hog time, when dona tosses to c.i. for a wrap up, c.i. would have done it. instead c.i. says, 'give it to mike.'

but if the e-mailer didn't grasp it, c.i. and elaine didn't pull any comments from the transcript. every thing they said in the roundtable is in the transcript.

you have whole hours that are not included - whole hours when c.i. and elaine didn't say a word - so i'd be careful about claiming some 1's hogging all the time.

as a general rule, elaine speaks the least of any of us in the roundtables except maybe ruth. so maybe that's what the e-mailer was picking up without realizing it? that it was 'more' elaine. but it was worth hearing and dona's always telling her before any roundtable starts, 'elaine, you need to speak more.'

in terms of c.i. - remember i've known c.i. for decades - you need to look at what c.i.'s talking about for the bulk of the roundtable. those aren't topics c.i.'s bringing up. it's not c.i. saying, 'this is what i want to talk about.' in any roundtable, the bulk of c.i.'s time is spent adding details or comments to represent the common ills community. c.i. has to do that because sometimes we say something that might be seen as an insult or we say something and don't grasp it's an issue to the community. c.i. has to speak for the community. that's not c.i. pulling a 'i want to talk about this.' in addition, there are some topics that c.i. has to be the go-to on.

we used to do a feature at 3rd called 'the third estate sunday review news review.' that was supposed to be a quick feature. dona thought it up thinking we could do it 'live' - have a transcript piece, and it would be 1 hour. about 30 minutes before, every 1 would prepare their 'report' for the news review. my focus was the environment and jess did the peace movement. i forget what every 1 else did. jim and dona were helping with research and being 'producers.' some 1 had to be anchor and we all agreed it had to be c.i. because c.i. has the widest base of knowledge.

c.i. would have no idea what a report was on. the most known would be something like 'jess is going to report on peace' so c.i. would ad-lib an intro to jess who would do his report and have an exchange with c.i. asking questions and making comments. and when the next report wasn't ready - and it often wasn't - c.i. and whomever was reporting at that time would be told to stretch. so it required big ad-libbing abilities and a wide range of knowledge.

c.i. didn't want to be anchor. c.i. hated being anchor. but c.i. did a great job. (as the thing began stretching to 90 and then 120 minutes, dona killed the feature and no 1 was happier than c.i.)

so there's a reason c.i. speaks in almost every case. it's not like me, just piping off. if you check the transcript, you'll see things like c.i. making comments to insert reporters' names into the conversation, providing background on comments made, etc. this isn't c.i. having fun, this is c.i. anticipating e-mail complaints, etc.

and c.i. is expected, by the community, to speak for them. if i make a mistake on something, no 1's surprised. if i have an insult, some 1 will e-mail me nicely and explain how i insulted them without realizing. (and i will e-mail back an apology.) with c.i., the whole community expects c.i. to represent. that's members who are irish-american (since kat and mike are irish-americans and since there are less press attacks on ireland currently, that's not as big a concern these days but in 2005 it was), that's third party members, that's the lgbt community, that's the south which feels maligned every time some idiot like laura flanders or amy goodman pens a column repeating stereotypes as truth, etc.

so the guy who e-mailed needs to go back through the roundtable grasping that (a) most of the time elaine hardly speaks and (b) looking at c.i.'s comments and seeing what's 'this is my personal opinion' and what's providing context, credit for reporting, etc.

okay, pasta, sauce and bread (bread! didn't know we were getting that too!) are ready so i'm done.