Blogs, Death, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

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By: Greg Mitchell

It all started with my Election Night faux blog at this site, and now there’s no stopping it. Blogging is coming to E&P, after only 120 years without it. We need your help in giving it a name, however, and responding to a couple of other requests below, involving war coverage and musical tastes.

We?ve been covering the impact of blogs for weeks but only moving to launch our own now, after the apparent success of my Election Night experiment (even though no one offered to buy my Sen. Jim Bunning baseball card). I know what I was doing on our Web site during the most important night of our lives, but what were so many of you doing there?

Anyway, we are moving ahead — but before we do, we?d like a little feedback from you, the putative audience.

As a template, you can look at our sister publication Adweek?s blog, launched just this week, called (get ready) Adfreak, which naturally is at www.adfreak.com. Our blog would not look exactly like that but it might work much the same way, with pithy items and (moderated) audience participation. It would have a little more ?attitude? than we normally display and more humor, with a wider array of subjects and with easy-to-find ?comments? (in contrast to our “where-is-it?” Letters section on this site).

Now, the important part: We need a name for it. It should evoke the newspaper world but in a lively way (if that is not mutually exclusive). Here?s a list of names the staff has already come up with, on which you can simply vote, or supply your own:

Spiked
Extra! Extra!
Jump Page
EPiLog
Overset
Etaoin Shrdlu?s Diary
The Daily Miracle
Fish Rap
Nattering Nabobs
Web Break
Ian P. Blog

Though, in reality, it should probably be: God Help Us.

In any case, send your votes or submissions to me at gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com. Name our blog and win a free subscription.

**

Now, to further judge that audience-feedback potential, here are a couple of wildly different blog-like entries that we?d like you to respond to:

The war in Iraq, and the devastation in Fallujah, has inexplicably disappeared from the front pages of many newspapers, so this might be the right time to point anyone still interested to a Web site called ?Fallujah in Pictures.? Its anonymous creator, who apparently lives or lived in New York City, explains: “This is what the war looks like when it?s not cleaned up by the ‘liberal media.'”

Unpublished photos come from AP, Getty, Reuters, and Al Jazeera, most of them screen shots, a few submitted by photographers themselves or grabbed from small-town newspaper Web sites (many used without permission, one must note).

Anyone who is starting to think that the attack on Fallujah might not be such a big deal after all ought to give this a look. Unfortunately, the antiwar creator sometimes does not let the pictures speak for themselves, but he does advise, ?make up your own mind.?

Besides many portraits of dead Iraqis, it includes dozens of official photos and family snapshots of recently killed American soldiers and marines, one group under the heading: ?Ten Days Ago These Men Were Alive.? The rest of the images come at you helter-skelter, and in very bloody color: dead insurgents, Americans being carried on stretchers, Iraqi kids in the hospital, a dead GI in happier times with his wife or child, Iraqi parents saying goodbye to their maybe not-so-innocent son, Army medics, and more, much more.

One of the most poignant shots: four pairs of combat boots with the photos of four dead Americans propped up behind them in tribute. But the site changes daily, so I can’t vouch for the “balance” of what’s there right now. Nor can I say what “balance” means in this case.

In a terrific Op Ed piece on visuals from Iraq in Saturday’s New York Times, film director Errol Morris explains that people often respond “according to their ideological dispositions. Are we looking at the face of freedom on the march, or at the footprint of an out-of-control behemoth leaving a trail of bodies in its wake?”

One way or another (searing truth or propaganda?), the site is sure to make your blood boil, so drop me a line about how you feel, for possible publication. Again: gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com.

**

And now, from the profound to the ridiculous:

This week, Rolling Stone magazine announced the results of its poll of top critics and musicians, seeking to settle once and for all the burning question of what is the greatest song ever (?all time? meaning the rock era, of course, so ?Ode to Joy? was not eligible).

The winner: Bob Dylan?s ?Like a Rolling Stone,? which just happens to have the name of the magazine in its title. Think of the odds of that! (Well, I guess, ?Papa Was a Rolling Stone? might have won.) Amazingly, the Bobster won without my help, but as a veteran of a magazine that once competed with Rolling Stone, I?m not surprised I was not queried on this.

With that in mind, I asked every member of the E&P staff to send me a list of their Top 10 and then I collated the results. You should at least know what you are dealing with on this end. Because we’re talking about a very small sample (seven staffers responded, ages 20 to 56), I’ll just list a Top 11 of songs that got more than one vote, plus a sample of some of the others.

Once again, I?m asking you to join in and send us your own list. Then we will finally know for certain if E&P is in step or out of step with its audience. Here?s my address once again: gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com. Our tally follows :

Two votes or more:

The Who, ?Won’t Get Fooled Again?
The Kinks, ?You Really Got Me?
Bruce Springsteen, ?Born to Run?
Bob Dylan, ?Like a Rolling Stone?
The Rolling Stones, ?Satisfaction?
U2, ?With or Without You?
Elvis Costello, ?What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?
The Rolling Stones, ?Gimme Shelter?
Jimi Hendrix, ?All Along the Watchtower?
The Eagles, ?Hotel California?
Led Zeppelin, ?Kashmir?

An eclectic sampling of some of the others:

Queen, ?Under Pressure?
Van Morrison, ?Streets of Arklow?
Aerosmith, ?Walk This Way?
Delbert McClinton, ?Too Much Stuff?
Karen Carpenter, ?It’s Christmas Time Again?
Cream, ?Sunshine of Your Love?
B.B. King, ?The Thrill Is Gone?
Sam Cooke, ?A Change Is Gonna Come?
The Turtles, ?Happy Together?
Talking Heads, ?Psycho Killer?
The Clash, ?Complete Control?
R.E.M., ?The One I Love?
The Ramones, ?I Wanna Be Sedated?
The Soul Stirrers, ?Were You There When They Crucified My Lord??
Tom Waits, ?All My Friends Are Married?
Hank Williams, ?Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do??
Beatles, ?She Came In Through the Bathroom Window?
Townes Van Zandt, “Lungs”
Sir Douglas Quintet, ?And It Didn’t Even Bring Me Down”
Moody Blues, ?Ride My Seesaw?
Bruce Springsteen, “Jungleland”

Up ‘n Coming:

Next Big Thing, “It’s All About You”
San Saba County, ?Ole Kentucky”

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