Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A "just talking" entry

Susan wrote to ask me what I think of Carly Simon's new CD Moonlight Serenade? I haven't listened to it yet.

I'll get back to that throughout this entry but music seemed a good way to start.

A lot of you voiced support for Kat's "Kat's Korner: Good God Carole! What crawled into the living room!" in your e-mails. "You" meaning members. But visitors or people who've never felt the need to weigh in before. (There must be some of those or people really good with search engines because Kat's getting e-mails on this and she hasn't put up her e-mail at her site. It has been listed here in the past.)

I think it's great writing (a number of e-mails from members and visitors have asked my thought on it). Jess loved it and wanted to do something on it at The Third Estate Sunday Review. (Thanks to Jess for helping out with e-mails today.) So other than that, I'll save my comments and steer you to The Third Estate Sunday Review where a piece of some sort should go up on it Sunday.

For those wondering about Folding Star, I have a personal e-mail from FS who's just finished jury duty and it was a pretty interesting case. FS also had some thoughts regarding Bully Boy's Roberts but I'm not sure if they were intended to go up here. (If they were, they will be noted.)

Susan, you think I've forgotten your question, don't you?

I haven't.

Let me pass on that Carly Simon has a piece in the current issue of Performing Songwriter. I haven't read it yet.

Posts are about the usual time of late. But they would have been sooner if a) I hadn't gone shopping and b) hadn't had a phone call from Elaine. (Not a complaint either.)

Susan, I got the DualDisc of Carly's Moonlight Serenade. And yes, if I put it in and can't get it to play, I will remember to turn it over. (Susan joked about my not being able to get Bruce Springsteen's latest CD, also a DualDisc, to play in April until it was pointed out to me that I probably had it turned wrong and that CD player couldn't read the DVD side. For those needing more laughs, I carried that from CD player to CD player here and thought, "What the heck?" Then a member was kind enough to e-mail that I might want to consider turning it over.) And no, I wasn't offered a free poster with my purchase. Were you?

There is a point to this, by the way, this isn't just a personal post to Susan. So I'm home and taking off the plastic (there is too much plastic, Susan, it's not just you -- wrapper, plastic sleeve, that stupid sticky label they put on the top) when the phone's ringing.

As most members know, Rebecca's been working on an entry about her abortion. (And Erika, that's why Kat's entry on that isn't up here yet. I was waiting for Rebecca's and planning to put both up here in full in a joint entry.) Rebecca's worked over two weeks on that entry now. If you read Rebecca's entry yesterday, you know that former in-laws are now apparently going over her entry with scissors to decide what they're okay with being up and what they aren't.
From her entry entitled "blah:"

so where's the post you teased us about?
that's what 1 joker wrote.
well due to events on saturday, i thought i better be sure every 1 was okay with what i was writing. my ex-husband was. his parents weren't.
it's created a minor earthquake.
it will go up but they're arguing over what will be in it and what won't.
makes me wish i hadn't put my name on my blog because then i could just post whatever i wanted.
'rebecca people know you were our daughter-in-law.'
i'm getting that a lot.
and i'm sure i'll catch hell for the above. but tough sh*t.

So, Susan, I'm taking off the wrapping paper and trying to make sure I have the right side (the CD side) as I put in Carly's latest when the phone's ringing. It's Elaine. Most members know Elaine who frequently shares here. Besides being a member, Elaine's a long term friend. (Elaine's how I know Rebecca.)

Rebecca's had it. She's not stopping her blog. But this nonsense about what she can say and what she can't has her taking a break. I don't know how long. Elaine doesn't know how long.
She called Elaine, gave her the password for the blog, and asked her to post entries until she's back. (Elaine and I have a joke about that but we'll wait until Rebecca's back to share it. We're sure she'll laugh when she's back.)

Elaine's never blogged (though both Rebecca & I think she should) and is freaking out. (I'm reading what's up here to Elaine over the phone, for anyone concerned.) So it was Blogging 101 (and for more than that, she'll need help from others) in terms of how to do links.

Members know Elaine's feelings regarding the war and her feelings regarding peace. She's assembled some things together for her post. "And I only put in the greeting because you insisted."

Because everyone reading it would say, "What's happened to Rebecca!"

It'll be up here tomorrow (in full) but for now, it'll just be up at Rebecca's site.

But before anyone e-mails, "Has Rebecca stopped blogging like Folding Star?" I wanted to explain what's going on there.

Elaine says she's still nervous and will probably do similar entries like what's up currently. She can do whatever she wants, but I think Rebecca picked wisely for a substitute. (And when Rebecca's back, maybe Elaine will finally start her own blog -- hint, hint.)

I didn't speak to Rebecca today and I don't have an e-mail from her (and if Jess had seen one, he would have mentioned it when we were on the phone this afternoon). Elaine had a message to pass on that I'd put up here but it would be heavily edited. (With a lot of "***"s.) To edit it, or boil it down, her entry that's she's worked on (for over two weeks) was finally "approved." It's two paragraphs consisting of six lines. Rebecca said "f**k that sh*t" and decided to take a vacation. It might be a day, it might be a week. Elaine's filling in for her and says she'll do it until Rebecca's back from vacation (as Rebecca asked her to). But that's what's going on and Rebecca wanted everyone to know she hasn't stopped blogging.

Elaine says put in about Joan Baez. She's telling me what's she's got pulled for the post she's doing and mentions Joan Baez. I mentioned I almost bought Joan Baez tonight. You didn't buy Joan! was her reply. (Baez's albums from Vanguard are being remastered. If you're into Baez or think you might be, please make sure you buy a version that's got a cardboard case. Otherwise, you're missing out some really great linear notes as well as bonus tracks that have been added to the remasters.)

No. There were two remastered ones that I hadn't seen before and I couldn't decide which to get (and know there's no point in loading up on CDs mid-week any week but especially as busy as things are of late). I got Buffy Sainte-Marie because they had The Best of Buffy Sainte-Marie in the folk section. I don't know BS-M as a singer. I'm familiar with some of her songwriting. But Kat did "Kat's Korner: Almost 41 Years Later" back on the first day of January and Buffy Sainte-Marie had several albums on the list (I'm remembering several). I'd thought about grabbing one then but they all disappeared within the month. Then, on Democracy Now!, they used one of her songs a month or so ago ("Universal Soldier," I believe -- if you're only reading the text, you may be missing some strong music used between segments) so when I saw it tonight, I grabbed it.

And Susan, see I haven't forgotten you, Elaine said put it on because it would set the right mood while she explained what she was attempting in her post. Which is why I haven't listened to Carly yet. I'm assuming, as always I could be wrong, that my favorite song on Moonlight Serenade will be Carly's version of Rogers & Hart's "Where or When."

We've noted Elaine filling for Rebecca, so let's note Cedric and Mike. At Cedric's Big Mix, Cedric's steering you to a Davey D. article and encouraging to keep open minds:

A lot of times friends say "Rap is so violent." I'll be like "What rap?" And they know only one kind. Or they know the scandals. But sometimes there's a story behind the scandals that they don't know because nobody bothered to put it in a newspaper. I really like this story by Davey D. and I hope you'll read at least the part I put up here. I hope you'll read it with an open mind and think, "Okay, I don't know everything that I think that I do just because I read it in a paper or saw it on a TV."
That's what I'm pulling for.

I'll talk Elaine through adding Cedric to Rebecca's permalinks tomorrow night. Betty's adding him to her permalinks when she posts her next entry. (Which she wants to be tomorrow but everyone knows she has a lot on her plate. And, by the way, if you missed it, The Third Estate Sunday Review has an interview with Betty in their latest edition.) Mike will be adding him if he hasn't already.

For members who've e-mailed about pop ups and display problems with viewing Cedric's site,
use FireFox and not Explorer and that should cut down on some of the problems. Cedric's using BlogDrive (which is what the mirror site for this site is set up on). You can e-mail Cedric by visiting his site. (I'm not seeing that option. But I think that's a BlogDrive problem currently. If it's not, we'll note Cedric's e-mail here tomorrow if he wants it noted here.)

Now let's go to Mike's Mikey Likes It! where he's noting that we have a different standard for being upset about the deaths of innocent civilians, addressing one of his readers who thinks he gave out bad advice (the reader he was advising didn't think it was bad advice) and is noting recruiters which is Mike's signature issue.

I love the work everyone does at their sites. I think Rebecca offers things that others might miss and that she's a strong blogger. (And she will be back to blogging. She's just pissed off, and I don't blame her, and on vacation as a result.) Betty's doing a comic novel over at Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man. Cedric's just started and doing a wonderful job. The Third Estate Sunday Review does a mix of work that I applaud. Mike's site is the site that I go to both to learn and to smile. His enthusiasm just stands out in every post and it's highly contagious. Kat's site, which is what Cedric credits for inspiring him, "is what it is" and is completely Kat.

I'm going through all the above for two reasons.

A number of you are still surprised that Folding Star decided to close down A Winding Road. I understand your surprise and I miss it too. But Folding Star made a difficult choice and I support it. Not just because I may end up doing the same, but because it was a difficult decision to make.

The second reason for this entry is that I'm doing it while I'm on the phone with Elaine. I'm reading it to her and talking to her as I write. She's still a bit nervous about filling in for Rebecca but it's not going to be difficult at all and she'll see that soon enough. ("Yeah, right," is Elaine's comment to that.) But I told her that she didn't have to be the sage or the seer and could just speak plainly about what she was thinking or had done. So I'm trying to demonstrate that with this entry. (And to answer Susan's questions.) (Susan was one of the first people to e-mail when The Common Ills started. The entry quoting Carly, whose music Susan and I both love, led to Susan e-mailing.)

The point is that it doesn't have to be a headache (though it can be). (I'm in a very good mood tonight which Elaine says comes mainly from laughing at her "freak out.") (She may be correct.)
And it's just speaking about something. It can be something important to you but it can just be talking as well. It just needs to be your voice.

And screw typos. I read an article I wanted to comment on (Wally, it pissed me off too) and I'll throw that in here. Forget that I make a typos. And always will. (And, Jordan, I didn't mispell Ruth Conniff's name yesterday. It wouldn't be surprising if I had. But the post you're referring to, it's up twice from two different e-mail accounts, if you'll look at the titles you'll see that "Ruth Connif" results from the title being cut off. In yahoo, you can make the title quite a bit longer than you can in other e-mail programs. I could very easily mispell Ruth Conniff's name but in that instance, the problem is that the title got cut off.)

But the article argued that spelling was important. It is important. It's also not, or shouldn't be, an obstacle. I'd feel that way even if I never made typos. (Or mispelled words. Some aren't typos, some are "Oh, that's how you spell it!") One of the biggest stumbling blocks to members sharing their own thoughts with the community has been concerns over grammar and spelling.
Sometimes that results from English not being the primary language, sometimes it results from other reasons.

A typo hasn't killed me. It won't kill you. The point that's always been stressed here is that we need more voices, not less. And when I read that article, I thought, "You stupid ___." It was a long whine about how something didn't turn out the way he wanted (I'm not naming the author) in terms of an organization. (In fairness, he was supposed to be providing a contrarian voice -- that was the theme of that issue of the magazine.) Reading it, I thought of a line from Carole King's "Chalice Borealis" (off Speeing Time) "didn't turn out quite the way you wanted."

More voices are needed, not less. And that kind of nonsense just scares people off. I've seen it keep people from speaking. (Clarence Thomas, of course, uses that as his reason for not speaking. Maybe it's not a bad rule in all cases?) Speak your truth in your voice. A lot of gas bags have very little to say (though they pontificate at length). If their lack of genuine thought or of any committment to what they're speaking of doesn't prevent them from wasting our time, you shouldn't let anyone stop you from speaking or writing about something that matters to you.

Ideally, there will be another entry tonight. But Elaine truly is in the midst of a "freak out." So I'll post this and stay on the phone with her for a bit. If we end up on the phone too long, that will be it for tonight.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com. (And thank you again, Jess, for going through e-mails today.)