Friday, February 17, 2006

Enjoy Isaiah's comic but, warning, I've got a cold and am doped on cold medicine

I started to blog about four hours ago now. I even had this screen up the whole time. But Kat called and I heard Jill Scott in the background: Who Is Jill Scott? We ended up talking about that CD for about an hour. I didn't even know Kat was a huge Jill Scott fan. I really am too, just something about her voice.

I like a wide variety of music but of people who've come out in the last few years, Scott's probably one of my favorites.

So I got off the phone with Kat, forgot I was online, ended up putting on some Jill Scott and trying to clean the place. I sometimes feel like I must be the last person in my area without a dishwasher. I live in an older complex from the sixties and none of us have dish washers. I liked the place when I was looking at it and always had a dish washer before so it didn't even register that there would be work involved. In case anyone wonders, there's no room to have a dishwasher put in my kitchen (about why I don't buy my own and have it put it in).

There tearing down some of the complexes around and putting up condos. I think sometimes that I should move but I really like the place. It's got a lived in feeling and I'll probably stay until it gets sold and torn down.

But no dish washer . . .

I always worries about bugs, specifically ants & roaches. In college, a group of us decided sophomore year to get an apartment together. It was like living with Lenny Kravitz! (That was a joke and I like Lenny's music.) But you had this one guy who would just leave food lying out for days in his room. He'd do it in the living room but one of the three of us would usually toss it out if we saw pizza sitting on the coffee table. We ended up with this swarm of ants and "swarm" probably isn't the right word. Army?

That's the only time in my life I've ever had bug problems but I'm always paranoid. And with work, church, friends and family, I don't always make it home with a lot of energy. I fix something quick in the microwave and then eat it. I'm usually not up to washing it then and just want to get to bed. So I'll put the dishes in the fridge. This was a busy week so when I remembered I needed to do dishes, there was a pile of stuff in the fridge.

So that was my evening. It's cold out and I've got a cold. Valentine's was great, I've started seeing a woman pretty regularly and we had a pretty good time but she didn't dress for the weather. She looked great, don't get me wrong. She was stylish because we were going to her favorite place which has a pretty strict dress code. But she may have been hurrying or she may not have thought she had a coat that matched or I don't know what. But when we finished eating and left, it was even colder than when we went in, so I gave her my jacket to wear. (And would again.) But I ended up with a cold and was just going to stay in tonight and try to get over it because it's one of those sniffles and light sneezes you carry around all week and can't shake -- the kind that if they continue turns into a really nasty cold which it started to do right before lunch today so I'm doped up on cold medicine and feeling lightheaded.

Probably not the best time to blog but I try to blog twice a week. Usually Tuesdays and Thursdays. But with V-Day falling on Tuesday, no offense to anyone, blogging could wait.
Betty had a funny comment. She said that she, Kat and me are kind of like the characters on a soap opera on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The audience likes them and enjoys them but Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, they're focused on the heavy hitters. That would be people like Mike, Elaine, Rebecca and Wally. C.I.? Betty goes, "That would be the soap star because C.I.'s got a minimum of three posts a day at The Common Ills." True that.

I wish I had that kind of . . . I can't call it time because I've probably got more time than C.I. does. So I'll call it focus. C.I. can juggle and focus. (And go without sleep.)

And like Elaine pointed out recently at her site:

I always assume every reader who reads this site is coming here via one of the community sites and that we're all on the same page. However, a reader wondered why I take Saturday and Sunday off?I don't know that I truly do. Most Saturday nights/early Sunday mornings, I'm am helping out with The Third Estate Sunday Review. I see that site as an online magazine, if you're new to it.

That's really true. Because we all do work on those things. And we get credit for it. But I think sometimes people just visit our sites and think something like, "Oh Betty didn't do much this week." When the truth is we put in between 10 and 16 hours at The Third Estate Sunday Review.

But maybe we don't do enough to point that out? Betty can't because she has to write in character at her site. But for me, this was supposed to be like Trina's Kitchen in that Trina's doing one entry a week. This was never supposed to be a daily site.

But I'm a member of The Common Ills community and a lot of times members are nervous about sharing -- sometimes for good reasons. Billie e-mailed me to follow up on our phone conversation and asked me if I was aware that Trash had mentioned members at her site?
Nope. I didn't go there really. Like I said, it took too long for that site to load and usually you got an error message when it did try to load.

But like C.I. would always tell me when I was nervous about sharing there, "If you mispell a word, make a typo, leave out a word, whatever, it's not the end of the world. You live. Life goes on." Sometimes I think C.I. makes typos intentionally sometimes just to foster the DYI spirit.
(Rebecca suspects that too.) The whole point of The Common Ills, besides being a resource/review, was to encourage people to use their voices. And C.I.'s fostered that and done a great job of it. Most members won't hesitate to do something for the gina & krista round-robin when Gina, Krista or C.I. ask. But they're still hesitant about doing entries at The Common Ills. If nothing else, I've proved at my site that anyone can put stuff out there.

You live. You may see a name mispelled and think, "How did I get that wrong?" but you live. I'm the only member whose name C.I. has mispelled, by the way. This was like a year ago. C.I. put a "k" at the end of my name and didn't notice it until a member e-mailed on it. I told C.I. to leave it. It's just a typo and correcting it goes against the whole feel, in my opinion.

Plus we'd just gone through the nightmare corrections/additions. Some members were offended by C.I.'s note thinking, "Why talk about members like that?" But C.I. wasn't talking about members. It was an entry on our favorite books. Besides including members, C.I. had also invited some sites that members like to participate. One blogger did a huge list, I found out about this from Rebecca, and the blogger didn't have the titles right. C.I. tried to provide links for every book mentioned and it was a pain in the butt to try to find out these obscure books. But C.I. did it. The list finally goes up. And?

This is where we see the note a day or two later. Where C.I. says, "If you e-mail your choices, that's your choices" or something similar. And if you looked at the entry, you saw that blogger had a huge list of books by the name. That blogger had read the entry when it went up and because one member had given a children's book, the blogger wanted to add seven favorite children's books as well as five other books. A lot of them did get added, though not all. Titles were wrong again.

But that was a headache and a half. I wouldn't have done it. I have little time to blog as it is and I don't need to be going into old entries and fixing typos or adding something someone forgot to pick.

It's weird to think of how large the community is. When I started reading The Common Ills it was right after Thanksgiving of 2004 and it was already starting to grow. I think I started blogging around the time West got attacked and C.I. and Rebecca stood up for West (which cost C.I. a link). [If you're not a community member, West is under 18. He blogged at a site and got nasty e-mails saying he better apologize and take back his criticism or the sites he'd plugged in his link -- two in the community, two outside of it -- would never be mentioned again. In addition, the site was trying to get dirt on him by sending out e-mails asking for dirt.]

Like any other member, I'm impressed with what C.I. does and what the community stands for. The fact that C.I. was willing to give up a big link because it was more important to stand up for a kid was just . . . so C.I. I mean, really, it's just so social justice, so "I will not be silent while someone is attacked." And the kid wasn't even a member of the community. He'd never e-mailed The Common Ills or Rebecca before all this happened. But you know C.I. always sticking up for the underdog/little guy. So I thought, "Damn, that's the kind of thing I should be showing my support for." So I thought, "Okay, I create a site and that replaces the link lost."

So I did that. That was my only point. I figured I'd do a community blog report and show you some stuff from the other sites but not really write about stuff on my own.

But when I started out as a member, there was one site and look how large the community is. You've got ten sites, you've got the weekly round-robin, the biweekly newsletter from the UK Gurus.

That's pretty amazing. And I just remembered Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts so let me put his comic from Sunday up at the top of this post.

Isaiah added another element to the community because he lets all of us use his visuals anytime we want to. He says, "You don't have to ask."

A lot of sites post comics from newspapers and I enjoy seeing that. But if anyone ever wants to crack down, they might use that as a reason. So the community has their own cartoonist. And if you think about it, even with Isaiah taking a vacation and needing time off sometimes, he's easily done 52 illustrations and comics by now. He's really talented. Sometimes he doesn't have time and sometimes he's blocked for something to draw. But hasn't he created some amazing stuff?
I love his work. It has an edge that really makes me laugh. Anytime he does something for the round-robins, he'll do a little write up explaining it, and saying that if anyone else wants to do some illustrations as well, that's cool with him, but we're all kind of awe of him.

He's had some great ones, not just make you laugh ones, but some really great ones. If you ask him, he'll tell you those are the worst because he ends up blocked after out of intimidation and a feeling of, "I can't top that." He marvels at the fact that C.I.'s never taken a day off. (We're all hoping C.I. will take a day off. No one deserves it more.) He says he couldn't do that, day after day, the way C.I. does. But C.I. will say you just accept that everything's not going to be perfect, give it the best that you have at that time and move on to the next day.

The one at the top is one of my favorites. It's hard to chose "the" favorite because they're so many great ones. But that's funny and makes a point about signing statements. I'm going to end this because the cold medicine is really making drowsy but somewhere in this entry I wrote that the community has ten sites now. That's wrong. It's eleven.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

You drop the Trash at the curb and let it go

Do people "get it"? Nope.

I got a number of e-mails on "the Scold." I think, "Good riddance to bad trash." You're talking about someone who has this image of herself as "inclusive" but she's not. Trust me, as an African-American, the few times I've gone to her site I've seen White world, White world, White world.

She's jerking off with lame topics every entry.

It's her loss, not the community.

I avoided talking to C.I. about this because judging from the tone of the e-mails I've received a number of you are calling for some sort of statement. I didn't want C.I. to think I was one more person saying, "So what are you going to write?"

There's no need to write anything. She's a White woman (girl?) living in a White world that wants to get on her soapbox about what people aren't writing about (important stuff) and then can't even follow her own scolding advice the next time she blogs.

She's nothing. She's trash. The first time my grandmother ever said that, I was shocked. I was probably about seven or eight and I said, "Grandma, God made all of us equal." She agreed with me but she said when someone wants to hold back others, they're "trash."

There are a lot of ways to hold back others. The most popular way is silence. She practices silence with regards to race. She won't note an African-American, she won't blog about an issue that has to do with the African-American community.

I'm looking at two forwarded e-mails. The first one basically says, "I felt like you just pulled the welcome mat" and it's to the Scold. Then the Scold writes back, basically, "I didn't pull the welcome mat!" She did exactly that and she did it a long time ago.

Who cares what her problem is? Who cares if she's pissed off that C.I. linked to Joan Mellen's
"HOW THE FAILURE TO IDENTIFY, PROSECUTE AND CONVICT PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S ASSASSINS HAS LED TO TODAY'S CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY"? Who cares if she's pissed off because the sun was shining on on her empty inbox at the start of the week or because she woke up with a boil on her butt?

That's what my grandmother means by "trash." Someone's poor, they're not trash. They're homeless, they're not trash. Someone's trying to hold others back, they are trash. That woman is trash. Forget the rest of the world for a second, in this country things aren't that great. They're not great for African-Americans, they're not great for gays and lesbians, they're not great for single-parent families. They really aren't great for anyone.

Now if someone's sole concern is herself and in whining day after day about herself, that should tell you something. If, in all her whinings or false claims (I especially laughed at her claim to be 'the one' promoting media from outside of the United States -- I think we all know which site dedicates Sundays to that) she can't write about the reality beyond her own comfort zone, she's trash because there are people fighting for survivial, forget their rights, just fighting for survival.
And she's not interested in that. As she promotes herself as some sort of 'progressive' or whatever the popular term is, she's playing the same handbook that always gets played.

At the risk of being rude to the community, this nonsense destroyed a great entry. You've got a taste of it in "Other Items" this morning. If you read the tail end of that entry, you know what we missed out on. I know very well because it actually happened in the book discussion before last. Jim said, "That's too strong to go up here, it belongs at The Common Ills." Because it's C.I.'s point to make and C.I. should get the credit for making it.

So the whole thing got pulled and those of us in the discussion have waited and waited for that to go up. It should have gone up last night. That was the plan last weekend. Instead C.I.'s dealing with "nonsense" (I agree with that word choice) that has nothing to do with The Common Ills. Trash wants to do something "attention-seeking" (as Elaine pointed out) and we're supposed to stop everything to address that?

Mike angry and I understand that and understand why others are too. But I asked Mike to take Nina out, have some fun tonight and then, when he gets back, read my entry before he posts. I'm not angry. The word that describes what I feel is "relief." Why?

I don't think she was worth being linked to and now she's not. Good riddance. Trash was taken to the curb and it no longer pollutes the community.

There was never a welcome mat put out to the community. That was obvious when she attacked C.I. and Ava for highlighting an important front page story from the New York Times.
Now they highlighted it on Sunday, when it ran in the paper. On Monday, the paper's article was the talk of the net. Trash had already trashed Ava and C.I. on Sunday with some distorted reasoning of how it didn't matter (the story). Well the article did matter. But did you see her scream at anyone else that week for noting that story? No. She shut up on that.

The few times I'd read her (which were honestly in copy & paste e-mails, her site had huge troubles loading), she was obviously pulling that nonsense again. Like when she was screaming about the "free speech rights" of military recruiters - after C.I. had written repeatedly that recruiters do not have free speech rights. She was just trying to stir things up all along. She's a bitter person and we're all better off now that we don't have to worry about her.

Elaine told me that C.I.'s biggest concern was Billie and Wally. Billie because she did her Black History Month highlight the night before The Common Ills was pulled. I talked to Billie and she told me, "If my writing's that bad, so sorry, kiss my ass." I agree. If Billie's writing was a problem for the woman, and it more than likely was because she's one of those 'I am color blind!' types, then get gone. Don't let the screen door hit you where the good Lord slit you, but get gone.

I talked to Wally and he said C.I. had spoken to him in the same way Billie's phone call went. 1) Are you okay? 2) Would it help you if I posted something about this or would it make it worse for you? 3) Read _'s writing and think about the lack of quality before you question your own.

We're better off without linking to her. The woman is just evil. She's trash. In one entry a week, Ruth does more than that woman does in a month. Trash drags you down. You can try to make peace with it or to be tolerant but what's the point?

If someone's a racist, they're a racist. You're better off not associating with them.

So we're better off and she never resulted in anyone e-mailing The Common Ills (according to
Jess and Ava). The Common Ills didn't grow because of links. It grew because of the passion of the members. Now that passion is being misdirected. It's being directed to a "You must comment" movement. Why?

Why does C.I. have to comment on everything? Older members will remember we went through nonsense with Frank in Orlando. We'd have to constantly put everything on hold because he'd be ticked off and whining. And people were getting sick of it.

I think the energy is wrongly directed again. Trash is gone, rejoice.

Don't get bogged down in nonsense.

Did you read KeShawn's entry last night? It's funny and it makes some strong points. KeShawn almost pulled it because of this nonsense. He was worried what Trash might write. Guess what, Trash and all her Trashy brothers and sisters, will write whatever. It doesn't have a thing to do with what we're doing or what we're emphasizing.

If past experiences are any indication, C.I. could care less about Trash. But when everyone tries to draw C.I. into something, it is draining. When there's a community issue, C.I. goes through every darn e-mail. A few people who e-mailed today were noting C.I.'s comments in the replies that got sent out last night. Did you not get the point? Trash doesn't matter.

We do what we do in this community and we're not obligated to anyone. If someone delinks, too damn bad for them. It was a different issue when Kat was attacked. That was someone actively sticking their claws out. Trash isn't even a worthy opponent.

Her nonsense was as weak ass as everything else she does. So let's rejoice that we never have to hear anymore of her dithering thoughts about the White race (because that's all she could write about) and stay focused on what's important.

Today, Margaret Kimberly wrote about "Haliburton Detention Centers" and, if you think about it, the only other place you probably remember focusing on that was The Common Ills. That's what the really important voices do. They catch what could fall through the cracks otherwise. But C.I. won't be able to catch anything if everyone's screaming, "You must respond!"

Everyone needs to speak in their own voices online. And if they do, and they're honest, you'll realize quickly whether you're welcome there or not of if the person has anything worth saying.
Trash had a long list of topics that people should be writing about but Trash never wrote about them. Didn't we just go over this on Sunday at The Third Estate Sunday Review with "Cowardly Journalism Review (Parody)"? Those people make themselves useless.

I mean look at Trash's book reviews and you'll note that her idea of politics is Al Franken. That says a lot about her level. She has to read commentary because she can't handle actual ideas. For all her soap boxing, she can't go beyond Baby's First Political Reader. Ask her who Bayard Rustin was and she'll probably have to do a Google search before she can answer. And she fancies herself an "intellectual" while she reads those dumb-downed books (all by White males).
Where does she steer you? To a newspaper story. You seeing a big suport for indymedia there because I'm not.

She thinks NPR is alternative media obviously. She's another pampered, White woman who thinks she gets the news she needs from NPR's canned programming. A few minutes is about all the attention she can give to an issue and she needs the calming, White voice of NPR to serve her up the news. Her apartment probably smells like patchouli oil and is covered with cat hair. Are you starting to get the picture? She's sipping her latte from Starbucks and headed to the big-box book store where she will relate only with Whites except possibly for some African-American child that she'll feel is cute so she'll smile to the parent of the child, pay for her watered-down books and leave feeling she's really 'progressive.'

The thought of listening to Pacifica probably strikes her as "radical." She's more comfortable looking up her horiscope in Town & Country while NPR drones on in the background with all the voices droning on in that NPR sound as they play the usual lean right coverage.

That's your snapshot of Trash. She's not about promoting anything but what's acceptable to the mainstream. She doesn't challenge and she certainly doesn't support independent voices. (Do you ever see Trash promote RadioNation with Laura Flanders? No, that's too 'out there' for her delicate NPR sensibilities.) If you're lost, read "It's all White" because it addresses more reality than Trash ever could.