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Belated thanks

I have said that, for all my other strengths, I have the social grace of a drunken, diarrhetic baboon. I am just atrocious at certain fundamantal social skills.

For example, I should have told two people thanks a while ago, when I could have done so privately. I didn't, so now I feel obligated to do so publicly.

The first is Will Franklin. I take a personal sense of pride in Will as a blogger, as I first discovered him through his linking to some of my pieces and returned the favor. I also recommended him as a guest-blogger when Kevin needed some folks to chip in while he took a vacation. I probably overestimate the value of those things in Will's success, but I like to indulge myself.

Will is a first-rate blogger. I deeply envy his historical knowledge and education, his ability to use graphics to illustrate his points, and his insights. Will also has a clear, intelligent, and (dare I say it) "classy" writing style that he uses to make his points in a convincing (yet not forceful) manner. If one were to assemble a list of "blogs that everyone should be reading," Will's site ought to be near the top.

Why am I saying such nice things about Will? For a couple of reasons. First, I'm stuck for topics this morning. Second, they're all true. Third, I'm simply returning the favor -- and returning favors is the Classy thing to do.

Last week, Will Franklin was interviewed by the National Journal's Blogometer. And in the course of the questioning, he managed to say some very nice things about one of the authors of this site. Some of them might even be true.

Congratulations, Will, and thanks.

The second person who deserves my thanks is Charlie Quidnunc, the guy who does the weekly Podcast for Wizbang!

Now, I don't "get" podcasting. Call me a Luddite, but it just doesn't "work" for me. I am very much a person of the written word. I far more enjoy reading people's ideas than listening to them. I understand podcasting and vidblogging are getting more and more popular, and I have no problems with that -- it's just a movement that thus far I have no interest in.

That being said, I have actually downloaded and listened to a couple of Charlie's podcasts, and thought they were well done. But one in particular I had to listen to and save.

Back on March 22, Charlie devoted a good chunk of the podcast to a piece I wrote. Being as insecure and in need of affirmation and praise as I am, I listened as he read my words, and read along to the original piece. And I grew irritated as he made subtle changes to the words I had written, the words I had so carefully chosen and crafted. And he also interrupted my flow of thoughts with sound clips.

After, though, I realized I was disappointed because Charlie had not read my work. He had not reported accurately what I had said.

He had ADAPTED it.

I write for the printed page (or, if you prefer, screen). I intend my words to be read silently, to appeal to the eyes and brain. When choosing my words and phrases, the ease of their spoken use never enters into the equation. I will build elaborate constructs of words and phrases that would give a Shakepearean actor pause if spoken aloud.

Charlie had dismantled some of those constructs that I had labored over and replaced them with easier, simpler terms that not only are easier to speak, but easier to hear. He had spotted places where what I had done simply wouldn't work for his medium, and corrected them. Most importantly, he had done so in such a way that only the most anal-retentive jerk (such as, say, the original author equipped with the original text) could detect the changes.

And those interruptions of outside material? In the body of the piece, I had quoted several sources. In some cases, I didn't have access to the original words, so I paraphrased. In others, I found transcripts and quoted them.

Charlie put forth considerable effort and tracked down each and every one of those statements, found audio of the people saying them, and put them in the podcast. He took my accusing Liane Hansen of NPR (of whom I am quite fond, despite this) of rewriting history and put up her account of President Bush's statements right alongside Bush's actual words. It's one thing to see on the page (or screen) the two reports, side by side, and see the obvious fabrications. But if seeing is believing, so is hearing.

Charlie, you did great violence to my written work. You changed it beyond anything I would have done. But that is the actions of an editor. You took my work and adapted it for a medium I had not intended it for. Your violations of the style of my work did improved the hell out of the substance of it, making it far better than I could ever have done.

As an author, I am resentful. My ego was bruised by the first word you changed. But that's the whining of a child not understanding why the doctor has to give me an injection.

But as someone who is far more concerned about the message than the messenger, you have my gratitude and my praise. I am honored that you created such a great report out of my piece, and you're more than welcome to molest anything else I write.

And to those who enjoy podcasts -- if you're not listening to Charlie, you should. If you don't I just might do one of my own. Be warned, though -- I not only have the perfect face for radio, but the perfect voice for print. If you don't believe me, I just might scream or, worse, sing -- and NOBODY wants that.


Comments (12)

Jay you will note that 'YOU... (Below threshold)

Jay you will note that 'YOU' and several others have also twisted the things, I have said in the past. Just like you don't like it, even I do not like it.
Jay, it is strange how you never criticize "Western Fundamentalists" over here? People who say we should wipe out Islam? Isn't that hypocrisy on your part, and on the part of several others?
A true believer never does such things. I criticize whatever is wrong and evil, whether the person is a kaffirs like Saddam and Osama or an evil slave of America - Tony Blair or the son of the Satan and the son of satan- George Bush or racist morons over here.

It's interesting that you r... (Below threshold)
SmartGuy:

It's interesting that you rant incoherently about the evil America, when it's the muslims that are the ones hiding their faces and chopping off innocent heads for the video camera.

MU,Islam is not a ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

MU,

Islam is not a religion of peace, never was and never will be. Islam teaches and embraces war, vendettas, oppression and deceit. I don't say we should wipe out Islam, but we should realize and declare that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with democracy as practiced in 1st world nations. We should not allow Muslim immigration and we should oppress Islam as Islam oppresses other religions in the Middle East. The U.S. would need to amend our constitution, but another 9/11 type attack and that might be doable.

Um,,, yer welcome. I guess.... (Below threshold)

Um,,, yer welcome. I guess...

And Thanks!

Hey Charlie, THANKS too - y... (Below threshold)

Hey Charlie, THANKS too - your 'casts are ear and brain candy!

JT, I REALLY think we need to post a larger sign that says:

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS

[do as I say, not as I do]

The Jay Tea ego fest contin... (Below threshold)
Paul:

The Jay Tea ego fest continues.

Paul, I've had a really, re... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Paul, I've had a really, really crappy month at the day job. I think I NEED this, just a little.

J.

I'd just like to see you go... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I'd just like to see you go a whole week without a post telling us how wonderful you are.

If you think you are a good writer, let your work convince us.

I've always thought blogs c... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I've always thought blogs contained a bit of 'look at me-ism', which I've never had a problem with. It's fine by me.

Perhaps they have evolved (or some people want them to evolve) into something else.

Jay Tea is Wizbang, as far ... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea is Wizbang, as far as I am concerned. No offense to Kevin or anyone else.

I will build elaborate cons... (Below threshold)

I will build elaborate constructs of words and phrases that would give a Shakepearean actor pause if spoken aloud.

by Jay Tea

Paul you are right!

MU, read it carefully. I sa... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

MU, read it carefully. I said what I write can be so cumbersome when read aloud that even someone as good at dramatic reading as a Shakespearean actor would have trouble making it sound good. I did NOT say what I write was Shakespearean. In fact, it's a form of self-criticism.

Now go back and tell us all about the 72 raisins awaiting the "martyrs" who blow up buses get in Heaven.

J.




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Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

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