Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Just talking entry (if it posts)

Talking entry and that's all I'll be able to manage this week, more than likely. On the plus side, we are no longer "white listed" by Blogger. We no longer stand accused of being a "spam blog."
(And to think of all those who groaned in dismay over my many typos -- see, they paid off.) What that means is that we can have other entries such as Kat's CD reviews.

She has two and I called to ask her which to go with tonight. Partly so we would have something tomorrow evening and mainly because I think posting two reviews right after one another will lead one to be less noticed. Build the anticipation (and, again, make sure we have something to go with for tomorrow night which was Isaiah's idea actually, to give credit where it's due). She picked the review of Cat Marshall's The Greatest and I'll be copying and pasting paragraphs from her e-mail of that review into another screen. (Links are needed.)

So you've got Kat tonight and tomorrow night. Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts? He'd like it to go up Friday morning but is fine with my posting it Thursday night. Why the wait? I have no idea (and even teased him, "Do you know something the rest of us don't? Are you psychic?") He feels that with Bully Boy's sinking poll numbers, the comic strip will be funnier later in the week and then pointed out that if it had to go up Thursday night instead of Friday morning, it would be an evening entry in a week where I'm trying hard to find time for any entries at all but especially evening ones. (And regardless of when it posts, Thursday night or Friday morning, he says this won't mean Sunday "off" for him.)

A number of you (Jess says the count is 14) were bothered by something in an entry this morning. Yazz wrote at length about it. I referred to an e-mail and a number of you were bothered to think it might be from Frank in Orlando (since he often defended the Times). No, it wasn't. It wasn't from any member. It came in at the public account. A number of members still use that. I can't check it most weekends but I do go back and forth during the week when pulling highlights. But Yazz's question, when he worried it was FiO, boils down, could FiO "sneak back in"? No. He didn't just go away. He insisted upon having comments noted in his kiss-off to the community. That was a kiss-off and, whether he said what he said out of anger or not, he offended the community with sexist comments and (at best) comments that belittled people outside of the United States. He wanted that public. It was summarized by me because the right for him to have his say did not include the right for us to all suffer from direct quotes (that, if we had comments, I would have deleted due to the racist remarks). If tomorrow Marcia bailed on the community, she could come back. For FiO to come back (he can read anytime he wants and has at least once since kissing off the community), he'd have to make an apology because that was an insult to the community. It was intended as such and it was received as such. It wouldn't have to go up here. It could go up in the gina & krista round-robin so it wasn't there for the whole world to see. The point wouldn't be to shame him, but the community does need an apology. Liang (rightly) felt that he made a point to belittle her. He did. Even by summarzing him, that point was clear to her. (And to others.) (And "belittle" is too mild of a term, actually.) This isn't about making me angry (although it did make me angry especially that I ended up summarizing it because he used the "gatekeeper" argument). Long term members know Beth and I have had strong differences. That's fine. (And it's why she's perfect for the role of ombudsperson, she's not going to kiss up to me. If she thinks I'm wrong or anyone is, she'll say so. And does.) But the summary that went up here was offensive enough without including the derogatory terms he used to characterize many members. So no, there can be no "sneak in." I doubt he wants to come back. If he did, having spit on certain members in particular and entire races and a gender, he'd have to make an apology. (One that Gina and Krista would have to judge sincere enough for them to run.)

I'm forgetting a question that came up in the public account, from a visitor. I'm going through the e-mails as I do this entry so if it's not already deleted, I'll try to grab it at some point.

A note on Kat's latest. I prefer for entries by someone other than me to clearly indicate from the start who is speaking. I don't want the credit for something wonderful that someone says. Kat's opening with a quote, so I've added her name (a "credit") in brackets before the tags at the end.

Another note, if you live in the KPFA broadcasting area or if you listen online, check out Against the Grain tomorrow:

Against the Grain
Iraq veteran and conscientious objector Aidan Delgado, whose unit was stationed at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad, talks about why he opposes the US occupation.
For resources and further information about topics covered on Against the Grain visit:

Again, that's KPFA and don't expect to read about it here if you miss it. This is a topic that Elaine covers so check out Like Maria Said Paz tomorrow evening. (If she's not able to catch it, she thinks her assistant can record it for her, we'll grab it here.) That's noon Pacific time. If you're in another time zone, do the math.

And Ruth asked me to do a reminder on WBAI Thursday. It's the first of the month, which means the CCCP at eleven a.m. (eastern time) on WBAI. An hour of strong, original comedy. And who can't use more laughs these days? Janet Coleman is one of the CCCP and she's someone that won Peter's ears and admiration during a pledge drive (not the current one, the previous one) when she spoke about Phil Ochs. (I believe this was the pledge drive for the Pacifica Archives. But I'm not sure about that. Peter just knows that it was in the afternoon, not during CCCP, and during the pledge drive.) He was impressed. And he's e-mailed both Ruth and myself asking for us to give heads up to CCCP ever since. So Peter, there's your heads up. (Time permitting, I'll note it Thursday morning as well. But, this being a crazy week, no promises.) (Coleman also hosts, with David Dozer, WBAI's Cat Radio Cafe at 2:00 p.m. eastern time each Monday.)

And Kat's review just went up. She just called as well. She's angry. She lost a post. She said she called Betty to warn her that Blogger's having a "technical" problem according to the message but Betty said she found that out a few minutes ago while trying to post her entry. So nothing from Betty tonight. Kat may try to post something. There's nothing more frustrating than attempting to write something, feeling like you're finally done and then losing the entire thing. (That happened over and over during the last edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review.) I'm so sick of this nonsense. I'm sure there sick of technical problems as well. And that it drives the people crazy when they come up. They probably have a million e-mails screaming at them. But I'm not in the mood in for it. If this entry gets lost, too bad. I'm not redoing it.

Kat asked me to call Betty because she was so upset. (Betty and Kat are not the "nonsense." It's all these problems that keep popping up.) Betty is upset. She's got to go to sleep. It's later her time than it is mine. She just feels like everyone thinks she blows off her site. Tonight, her older sister took the kids for a few hours so she could work on her latest chapter. The whole thing's lost. She worked a few hours (three?) while her kids were with her sister. Then when they came home, it was bath time for them (church night tomorrow), read them a story before they fell asleep, and then she returns to the computer to polish her latest chapter. The whole thing gets lost in posting. (And she saved throughout her various drafts but none of that is showing up either.) I know no one thinks Betty "blows off" her site. But that is what she thinks and it's really upset her tonight.

Kat's furious about this happening to Betty. My reaction is more along the lines of wanting to just cry. (But I'm really tired. Time of the entry is when this thing was started, not when it's posted.) I'll try to call Betty tomorrow and see if she wants to dictate a chapter to me. If so, I'll make time to post it for her tomorrow.

I have no idea where I was or what I was intending to get to before Kat called so we'll just wind this up here. But if you're a fan of Betty's writing (I am, a huge fan) and you have time, drop her an e-mail to let her know that you're very aware of all the problems with Blogger/Blogspot in the last two weeks and you don't think she's blowing off her site.

For newer members, when she started the site, Thomas Friedman's columns came out Sunday and (I think) Thursday. She had enough time to digest two columns a week and get a chapter up. Then they changed the schedule. Now he posts on Wednesdays (her church night) and Fridays. There's no time for her to think about them the way she wants to. The turnaround's too quick. Before the change, she was doing two chapters a week at Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man. And if we hadn't lost everything repeatedly at The Third Estate Sunday Review (or if she'd bailed early), she could have gotten her intended chapter written on Sunday. Betty stayed on the phone working with everyone until it was time for Sunday school. She pulled an all nighter, went straight to Sunday school and church with her kids and was wiped out all Sunday. That's just crazy. Not on Betty's part. The fact that every feature got lost in posting. I'm too tired to do time differences but I believe the way we were working and had completed and saved features, that by Betty's time, it should have been either midnight or one in the morning when we were done. Instead, she was up all night. Because of "technical problems." It's insane.
Betty's e-mail address is at her site but if you'd like to let her know you understand the problem is not her, use the private one published in the gina & krista round-robin to be sure she sees it tomorrow.

With all I've written here about how upset she is, I still haven't done a good job of conveying it. Okay. It's cry or think. I'll call her tomorrow. If she wants to dictate an entry during her lunch, I'll take it down and post it for her tomorrow. I also think I have an idea, that if she likes it, that may allow her more time (turnaround wise). It's too bad she picked someone as unpopular as Thomas Friedman. Any other columnist and there would have been so many e-mails to the paper complaining about the change that they would have had to switch the schedule. (Friedman and his few lovers would no doubt dispute the unpopular. They really aren't my concern tonight.) But I think I have an idea that, if Betty can work with it, will reduce the load and allow her to get two entries a week. (Betty, if you read this before I call you at work, remind me when we're on the phone because I'm really tired tonight. "Vanity" or "You're So Vain" will remind me of the idea, in case you have to jog my memory.)

By the way, thank you to Elaine and Mike. I don't know if I said that last night. If I didn't, I should have. I forgot to note Octavia Butler's passing when I dictated Monday's DN! entry for the second time (e-mail attempts never made it to the site -- we were still "whitelisted" by Blogger/Blogspot at that time). Ty had asked me to. I did in the e-mail version but I was rushing on the second attempt and forgot. So I asked them if they could include it in their entries on Monday. I don't do that usually. If there's something I think someone's interested in (like tomorrow's Against the Grain), I'll pass it on. But I don't ask someone, "Please include this." Their sites are their business. But I blew it on the second attempt at the entry and I wanted to be sure that Butler's passing was noted because she was one of Ty's favorite authors.
So thank you to Elaine and Mike for noting it. And although I noted it here as soon as I could after I realized my huge error, my apologies to Ty.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com. I just scrolled up and can't believe I've worked hours on this entry. Oh well . . .