Saturday, August 30, 2008

Notes (Ava)

Ava here and I've got some notes to make.

First, Jess' mother just told me C.I.'s kids are very upset about the e-mail C.I. responded to publicly. What has them upset is that the 'caring' person who e-mailed made no effort to note their mother's condition. C.I. doesn't care about anything like that, it's the last thing on her mind. But Jess' mother told me she thought C.I.'s kids would feel better if it was noted. So let me be very clear, while ____ tried to play like this is something just discovered (one would say ___ knew about it early in the week when ___ was posting at Gutter Trash and taking part in the trashing of C.I.), ___ tries to act sympathetic. The reality is that as C.I. notes, _____ the pain her children have been through is never mentioned or even alluded to. However, the point that also needs to be made is that C.I.'s condition is never noted or alluded to.

C.I. doesn't care. C.I.'s focus is on her kids. But it does matter to her kids that this ___ shows up at the public account trying to act 'concerned' and doesn't have the decency to ever acknowledge what got exposed by Gutter Trash.

If you hear someone's sick, you acknowledge it.

The kids are correct, it is not a small point.

Next, C.I. is editing another entry.

Jim was reading over C.I.'s shoulder.

The plan was three entries. "I'm a mother" (which is the response to the e-mail), "I'm a liberal" (which will post shortly) and "I'm a feminist."

The third one is the most powerful of the three and where C.I. was leading, weaving threads here and there, so that it all culminated with that powerful piece.

However, did I mention Jim was reading over C.I.'s shoulder?

Jim wants it for Third and C.I.'s agreed because it's pretty much complete. C.I. agrees because it's one less thing to write tonight for Third.

I disagree and take the position Elaine generally takes which is when we pull stuff from C.I. and bring it over to Third, Third gets a good article; however, as written by C.I., it was a powerful piece. That happens a great deal and Elaine's never been silent about that fact.

Something so powerful in first person gets watered down when others start adding to it.

I'm all for group writing. I think it's very productive and we hash out numerous things in the process and explore points that, if one person wrote it, wouldn't be explored.

But this is the best example of something that gets watered down in the process.

C.I.'s pulling all of it for Third and, since elements lead up to that in "I'm a liberal," C.I.'s pulling those out of the entry that goes up next.

For those who want to see if Elaine and I are right about this, I will pass C.I.'s original over to Hilda and she can run it Tuesday in Hilda's Mix. (I can't pass it on to El Spirito. If I do that, you'll read it before you read Third's version. Unlike us, Francisco, Maria and Miguel are done by Sunday morning early.)

Oh, I'm sorry.

E l S p i r i t o.

Did I say that slowly enough for the useless readers of Gutter Trash? Yeah, I heard they trashed me at her site. Unlike Gutter Trash, I actually hold a degree in journalism. If I'm posting here, I'm doing a "talking entry." C.I. invented them. Members love them. Sorry that it is so hard for you to follow but I'll assume your education stopped early.

And unlike Gutter Trash, if I decide to use that degree, I won't have to beg for work (and would never get the many turn downs Gutter Trash does). Write from your stye, Gutter Trash, I was raised with money and can go to work anywhere I want and, this'll really kill you, not even 25 yet and I already have enough money that I never need to work a day in my life if I don't want to.

Poor little Gutter Trash, still competing with college graduates for entry level jobs, all these years later.

We'll be off the road while C.I. gets treatments. We do have some speaking events locally (mainly women's groups and a few student groups). C.I. says if we don't, her attention will just be on the treatments so we've got some planned.

I will be popping in from time to time. As always, when I write, it will say "Ava here." In 2005, C.I. did it all by herself while going through this. There's no question that she can do it again. However, there's also no reason that she should have to.

So if you see me, don't assume, "Something's wrong!"

It will most likely mean that C.I.'s just sick of it. Gutter Trash -- check the other sites and note how the posting has been there -- has left a very sour taste in our mouths.

Because we will not be right out the door in the morning. C.I. may drop back on the time for morning entries she does and they may go up later than they usually would. It may not happen. If it does, know that's why and don't think something's wrong.

Unless Gutter Trash violates the law again for another 'exclusive,' if there's anything to learn, it will be learned in a community newsletter.

I don't feel like putting this in but C.I. asked me to. Should something go very wrong, I am the person who takes over (that was announced in April of 2005 here) and keeps the site going until after election day. Nothing's going to go wrong and we should all think positive.

But in the summer of 2005, as announced at Third, the decision was made that the end date would be after the 2008 election. That is not saying sites will all go dark then. Some didn't think they would at that time (and we've had new community sites since then). For The Common Ills, C.I.'s statement at that time was "I want my life back" and that the community newsletters would continue. Since then, many of you written about it going on beyond that. That's a decision for C.I. to make. Obviously, that's the last thing on her mind right now and no one's asked that in an e-mail but if anyone's wondering, C.I. wanted it noted here.

This is parents' weekend with most parents here. (My mother is but my father couldn't get away due to the political race -- what appeared to be an easy weekend changed on Friday when John McCain announced his running mate.) They leave tomorrow afternoon. The plan was to have a fun Saturday, work all night, see them off at the airport on Sunday and then C.I. was going to break the news to her kids while I explained to Ty, Dona and Jim what was going on. (I told Jess weeks ago. He's the only one I told and I had permission to tell him if I needed to tell someone.) Our fun weekend (always questionable on fun for C.I., Jess and myself since we knew what would take place Sunday evening) went down the tubes thanks to Gutter Trash.

What C.I. did not want to happen has happened with all this, "Are you sure you can do the edition? If you've got the energy, you and Ava can do the TV piece and that's all you have to worry about." C.I. is working on the entire edition. (Though we have all taken up Dona and Jim on their kind offer to type up everything -- except the piece Mike, Elaine, Rebecca, Kat, Betty, Cedric, Ruth, Marcia and Wally work on. Mike types that.) Seeing C.I. bristle on that (as anyone should have expected), I will take a second to say to members, "I'm thinking about you"? That's more than fine. But, "Are you okay?" -- not really working. Think of how many of you write and how many times C.I.'s reading, "Are you okay?" -- over and over. I do understand the concern but I saw C.I. go through the member accounts tonight and saw the toll it took to read that over and over. If you need to express something like that, do it to us at Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and I are all here, will all be here, and if you're nervous, e-mail us and we'll be able to update you.

(Needless to say, that applies only to community members.)

I mentioned John McCain before. C.I.'s on record (since 2004 here) that she will not vote for John McCain. I am on record with that as well. Neither C.I. nor I have said who we will vote for but we have stated publicly we are noting for Barack or John McCain.

I am a Latina. I know many in my own community (especially men) who are voting for John McCain. This is not a bash John McCain website. Third has Democratic readers who are considering or are going to vote for McCain. Third has a few Republican/Libertarian readers who are as well. Those people are not left out. And C.I. and I go out of our way to make sure that they do not feel that we think, "You're stupid for voting for John McCain." Maybe I should throw in that I don't know Cindy McCain. I've never said I do. But Elaine and C.I. do and have noted that they know her, they like her and they have tremendous respect for her work. In case anyone's wondering, I don't know Cindy McCain.

But what I do know is that Sarah Palin is a woman and I do know that we're not going to allow the attacks to take place. Kat already wrote about what happened on the taxi ride and how this sexist pig Barack supporter started smearing Palin and Hillary and admitting that he thought no woman should hold office. We will not be taking part in that crap.

We're not voting for McCain and the decision to put Palin on the ticket didn't change that. We do not agree with her on abortion rights or LGBT rights. We can note that and we can use any tone we want -- serious, humorous, you name it.

But we will not attack her for being a woman. We will not belittle her for being a woman.

And we will call it out when see anyone doing that.

She is not our candidate. That doesn't matter.

Attacks on her like the ones we saw on Hillary will be called out in the same manner. Being a woman is not a 'danger' or a 'liability.' Those who engage in sexism to go after Palin are using the same device they used on Hillary and it was device that harmed all women.

(Yes, Betsy Reed, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Laura Flanders, Amy Goodman -- it's amazing how many times she chuckled at Hillary on air and never got called out, isn't it? -- participated. Women can be sexist pigs as well although the proper term for it when it's a woman is "Queen Bee.")

Due to the crap that Gutter Trash started, and started in public and launched for an entire week (though the person e-mailing this morning forgets those BASIC FACTS) being only discovered late Thursday, we still haven't seen Barack's speech. We've been dealing with other things. We're going to try to watch it and other coverage before writing our piece but we may not. (If we don't, we already know how to handle that absence.)

Jim, Dona and Jess have waited Thursday, Friday and today to respond to the attacks launched on C.I. and on them by Gutter Trash. It is most likely that we will be addressing it there. If so, it will be harder hitting than anything here because Jim, Dona and Jess are incredibly pissed (for themselves, for C.I., for C.I.'s family). Betty, Rebecca and Wally (maybe Cedric too) are currently on the phone with each other trying to figure out an outline for the edition and Dona's already ruled, "Short pieces whenever possible."

If it gets very late and it's not anywhere done, we're going to sleep and publishing Sunday evening. Again, it's 'parents weekend' at C.I.'s house. (Partly because C.I. had already been talking about that and also because, once the news came, it made it easier to explain to her kids on why she was inviting them for the entire weekend. They fly in and out regularly. But they have their own homes and jobs and generally stay for more than two days only on their vacations or on Christmas and Thanksgiving.)

I want to strongly recommend Elaine's amazing post. As I warned her, she better get it up before Jim hears about it. He read it and his first comment was, "If I'd known she was working on that, I would have tried to make it a group effort." No surprise. It's Elaine's and it's wonderful. (Elaine says she didn't use spell check, she didn't read over it. No s**t. How could she? She's been dealing with Gutter Trash's b.s. since Thursday night. No one needed the damage Gutter Trash caused. Something the e-mailer this morning forgot to mention in the e-mail of 'higher purposes.')

Wally and Cedric will post at some point Sunday morning or Sunday.

Everyone else has already done their weekend post at their own sites.

I think that covers everything.

(And I'm sure it's all confused Gutter Trash and her knuckle dragging, mouth breathing readership of two -- plus sock puppets!)

The e-mail address for this site is Members use the private e-mail addresses. The public e-mail is not for penpals. That's probably what so upset Gutter Trash the most. When my boyfriend explained to her that we didn't have the time or desire to be her penpal. Poor lonely girl. Jess is good, but I never knew him to inspire such a psychopathic desire on the part of someone to have him. Paws off, Gutter Trash, I saw him first.

Sorry, one more point. The Palin issue. I raised it because a writer we do not highlight has yet again e-mailed her crap to the public account tonight. We refused to highlight all the garbage she wrote (sexist attacks) on Hillary. We refused to highlight it here and Jess e-mailed her back to tell her to stop sending it. She got the message. Now she's back with an attack on Sarah Palin and how Sarah can't be qualified. Red Annie, Dan Quayle was vice-president. The bar's not all that high. More importantly, we don't need you sending all of your articles to us. We don't need it, we don't have the time for it. You will never be highlighted here.

There's a Congressional candidate who still does not get that point. (Democrat.) When we complain about the public account, we complain for a reason. Everyone has a press release, everyone has an article, everyone has a book tour, TV appearance, campaign stop, fund drive, you name it. People who've been highlighted in the past know they can send in and continue to be highlighted. Those who have been repeatedly ignored really need to get a clue. (Such as a failed candidate who has e-mailed every week -- sometimes twice a week -- for over eight months.) In terms of the Green Party, anyone who e-mails a press release on the Green Party gets highlighted. Congressional, Cynthia, local race, it doesn't matter. In 2004, the wounds were still deep (from the never ending attacks launched in 2000) for Greens who became members of this community. C.I. knew that and made the decision that their party would get highlighted. That's candidates. During the primaries a number of Green voices thought they could join in the attacks on Hillary. They're crap never went up here or at Third (and I'm thinking of three people in particular that e-mailed here and to Third always with the same stuff that we never highlighted).

For visitors who are NYT fanatics and will e-mail at some point asking, "Why didn't you highlight ___ in NYT!" C.I. hasn't read it. No one has. It's still in the blue bag it's delivered in. If it's a strong article it will be noted Sunday night. (Assuming there's an article in it on Iraq. That's not always the case.)

I mentioned a number of people, I thought of all:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess
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,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen