Good morrow OS friends. It is Thursday April 21st and here again is your friendly announcer. New to the Weekly? If you missed on the fun, check out issue one. Nothin' better to do, then do number two.
Artwork by Monica Stewart--from Marykelly's "Black and White"
~The Buzz ~
This week the OS feed was full of captivating stories about racism, murder and political mayhem. Pens flew, and in some cases tempers flared. The good sirs Bill Beck and Jan Sand even tossed it up a bit on Chauncey De Vega's post about how certain 'racy' segments of the GOP are depicting President Barrack Obama as a monkey. Oh, and If you haven't read Linnnn's post about her brush with the murderous fiend Ted Bundy, you missed the tale of all tales. "Killer Luck" indeed.
The flame war du jour involved the quirky cat formerly known as "Disco Fett". We're not sure what he's calling himself these days after his blog was accidently deleted, but he seems to have some kind of funky fetish for our resident lightning rod, Emma Peel. What he has against her is hard to fathom, but he's got it bad, or does he? Between Fett and his buddy Rolling, the insults were spread around plenty, to include some pals of yours truly. At some point you just have to let these things go...other fish to fry and all, but those wild boys will not be invited for Easter dinner. Pffft.
~Featured Blogger of the week~
Before I started writing here, I would occasionally read around OS to get a feel for the place. It was a while before I had the courage to comment and I knew nothing about the ratings thingy. One of the first blogs I rated? The inimitable iamsurly. She had a funky fresh avatar and a bio to beat all. When I read these words--
"Charming young lady, with sharp tongue and vocabulary of a seasoned longshoreman, who carries in her handbag worn and tattered membership cards to the Mayflower Society and Daughters of the American Revolution, for which her dues are in arrears."
--I knew this place had potential. Now here it is nearly one year later and I've got my own rag. I am so awesome. Anyway, I figured Ms. Surly would be a tough nut to crack. I mean, it's not like we had any kind of relationship. She doesn't roll like that, but just today I had a stroke of luck when she showed up for a last minute interview less than 24 hours before we went to press.
BB: Ms. Surly, not to be rude but do you realize I tried to schedule this interview a week ago? You could not be reached for comment, as they say. Then you didn't post all week and I started to make other plans for my feature. Yep, waiting around for you put a serious crimp in my style. Can you tell us why you're so elusive. Where is iamsurly when she's not busting balls on OS?
Surly: Well, when I'm not doing my nails or surfing porn, I'm teaching 1_Irritated_Mother's children to hotwire cars and play ding dong ditch while leaving flaming bags of dog shit on the doorstep. She's moved recently and I told her I'd help the kids make the rounds in the new hood over the spring break.
BB: Do you recall hearing from me about six months ago? I told you I had written a post trying to imitate you, a piece which by the way is still my third most popular to date. I thanked you for the inspiration and invited you over for a reading and glass of T-Bird. You came, commented, drank my liquor, then I never heard from you again. Not really a question. A reminder.
Surly: As I recall you ran out of booze early and you were serving moldy cheese and stale crackers. Step up your game next time and maybe I'll stay longer. Or not. Not to mention you've got one nasty ass orange shag carpet in your living room. You should really take a rake to that thing.
Okay Surly, I don't remember it that way, but whatever. Now that I've got that off my chest, I'll resume with the softballs.
BB: Is there a reason why you write in bitchy voice? Is it a mask, or the real you?
Surly: I call 'em as a I see 'em, as they say. I write perty darn near the way I talk. My mother used to tell me to "watch my tone of voice" when I was a kid. Now she pays to subscribe to my blog on Kindle.
BB: Your style is so distinctive. I can see you as a columnist. Do you write in the otherworld (outside of OS)?
Surly: I have my Vintage Recipe card site, but I don't really write anything content wise for that. I do write periodically for a couple of other blog sites run by friends, but the voice is pretty much the same - perhaps a little more brimstone in it sometimes, kinda like a chain smoking waitress in a truck stop bar.
BB: What advice would you give to baby bloggers who are trying to find their voice? Did your style evolve or were you born Surly?
Surly: In my oh-so-humble-opinion blogging is a glorified way to talk to yourself. Most of the time, you're the only one whose really listening. Since I'm really the only person in my universe that matters, I don't really write for an audience other than myself, and maybe my poor beleaguered husband, Dave. If someone eavesdrops and likes what they hear, fair enough. If they don't, well fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.
BB: Well Ms. Surly, I've gotta get back to the Weekly and edit this late ass interview. Thanks for being a sport. Next time you stop by please bring your own toilet paper and I'll open a fresh box of crackers.
So there you have folks, from the mouth of the bawdy broad herself. I ask you, who else could use the word cuntasaurus and get away with it, then tell us why we just might need a twat trimmer to set our nethers straight--none other. But even surly gals have a heart. She can also switch gears and give us a dynamite recipe or a poignant retrospective on the death of a sibling.
Pungent, witty, sometimes bawdy, and always interesting-- iamsurly is truly one of a kind, and we wouldn't have her any other way.
What was Emily thinking?
I have to give it up to Emily. We've seen some damn good work on the cover this week, but how could she have missed these gems.
MaryKelly wrote a stirring mini-memoir giving voice to her childhood thoughts about the haves and have-nots. In "Black and White", Kelly gazes back and forth from the manicured lawns of upper-crust Connecticut to the mean streets of Harlem. Looking out at the wider world from one little girl's point of view, she gets right to the heart of the matter--a truly magnificent piece of writing.
Jeff Howe is one of those writers who grabs you with his elegant simplicity, and sometimes with his hard-hitting science and philosophical studies--the kind of guy who makes it look easy. His offering this week, "A Boy Whimpers Quietly In The Shower" is a heartrending story about one man, one boy, and the vagaries of human life. This piece will capture the hardest heart.
Our mime was a flutter in anxious ooh wee, 'cause daughter was having a baby you see. And Mime had to know if midwife didn't show, just how to deliver on queue. Now we're happy to tell, that all has gone well. The mime and grandbaby are doing just swell. Congratulations Mimetalker on your newest addition. Happy birthday little Cairo!
~The Weekly Funnies~
Scanner's "Trump/Sheen Bombshell" is laugh out loud funny; an alternate reality spoof on the idea of a Trump/Sheen ticket. The way things are going in the political universe, it might not be too far off the mark.
LintheSoutheast is at her satirical best asking, "What's on your list" --a hilarious take on the would-be shopping lists of some notable celebs. Sarah Palin is the "Nouveau riche biche" with spelling issues. The piece is brief and razor sharp. You don't want to miss this one.
Rita Bourland gives weekly prompts for her Fiction Friday series, and the writers do come out to play. Thanks Rita!
OS Weekly's Fiction Friday EP-- Bobbot (Ogden-Hot Chocolate)
Alysa Salzberg (The Clowns Next Door)
Maureen Brown (The Bookshop)
Trudge 164 (Some Birthday!)
Scanner (The Eyes Have It)
Susie Lindau (What Next)
FusunA (The Recital)
Satori1 (Sitting on the Wall)
~In The Arts~
Little Fran - 11 x 16 Acrylic on canvas board (D art 2011)
D art sketched Fran Lebowitz for "This Week's Painting." He writes, "After enjoying Martin Scorsese's wonderful documentary about Fran Lebowitz called "Public Speaking," I looked up every video on YouTube, read her books and have been on a months-long love affair with this woman." I saw the film as well and had the same reaction to this charismatic, consummate New Yorker. If you're not hip Ms. Lebowitz click on the above link for a nibble.
Nick Leshi is the go-to guy for all things pop culture. If you need to know what's going on in the biz, Nick knows it. This week he wrote "Rooting For New York Actors" to highlight the plight of his city's thespians. With shows like "All my Children" (see Bill Beck's post) and "Law and Order"--a source of steady gigs for actors, writers and tv techs for decades--cancelled and fewer shows being produced in NYC, where does that leave the pros?
Robin Kirk, an award winning author and human rights activist, gave us an in-depth analysis on "Dark Materials in young adult fiction." She discusses the genre of dystopian fiction in detail, including some popular best-sellers. To name a few; The Hunger Games, The Book Thief, and His Dark Materials. If your teenager or young adult child is into this growing genre, you might want to read what Robin has to say about it.
This is not the first time I've typed the following words. While OS struggled to get her skirt on straight I lost copy, inspiration, time, and patience. Funny how it's always the editorial that get's stuck in the muck. Is the collective OS consciousness trying to tell me something?
As I was saying--about technical difficulties on OS-- yes they are a bitch. During one clicky fit when I tried to save a draft that wouldn't save, I accidently published an unfinished version of the Weekly. A slow-motion scramble ensued and luckily I was able to delete the post before it turned up in the feed. I then had to rebuild from an older copy in Word. With nearly a whole day lost, I will spend half the night getting the Weekly to press on time. I am not pleased.
Having said that, I can't seem to stay mad. Why? Because maddening though she may be, OS is still 100 percent free.
Over the past several weeks, and even longer, the site has been crippled by sticky slow loads, random wig-outs, etc. Earlier this month, we experienced a full-blown, level 7 melt down. When Emily wrote a post trying to update and apologize some folks read her the riot act.
But why blame her/them? Wouldn't they be doing the best they could since a crippled OS is not good for them either? Sure there may be room for systemic improvements, but I always assume that on any given day, for any given technical crisis, they are doing the best they can to get it resolved. If I was paying for the fun, I might feel differently.
With my finicky finances, there are times when I owe money all over cybertown. Times when the family Netflix account is in arrears--can't get access to my video library. Times when I can't go to Audible and download a new book to listen to in the car. Times when I'm not even on speaking terms with the people at Amazon--no new book for my Kindle to read with my eyes, no newspapers. Hell, at $20/month the daily New York Times is pretty much a thing of the past. In other words, when my entertainment privileges are tapped out everywhere else, OS is always there. It's nice to know a good time is only one click--and 20 minutes --away.
Now, some like to scoff and say OS is amateur hour. Sure it is, but it's also Carnegie Hall and everything in between. Take your pick. You can go to Huffpo or elsewhere and read fabulous prose for free, that's true, but they won't be reading you back. OS is one of a kind in cybertown and I'm happy to be hip to it. Fortunately, there's no need to gush on any further because Scanner said it so well in his post, "I love OS".
Scanman, thanks for speaking my mind. OS, thanks for staying out of my pocket.
~The Weekly Rival~
The lovely Robin Sneed is at it again with another sophisticated issue of OS Week In Review [Video]. This week Robin features OS women who inspire us all with thier outsized talent. She could have included herself on that list. Nice job Robin! Congratulations to OS's own Caitlin Kelly who is out promoting her book, "Malled: My unintentional career in retail " ($25.95, Portfolio/Penguin).
We had to cut two features this week-- "Who gave good comment?" and "In the news." With all the OS problems, there was not enough time to do them properly. We had hoped you all would send in a few comments to help us out. With the exception of one from the good sir Monsieur Chariot, none of you did. Anyway, your pardon is begged. Comments will be back next issue.
From Edward R. Murrow and the staff at OS Weekly
"Good Day and Good Luck."
Editor-In-Chief~ The Bluestocking Babe