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Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh
San Francisco, California, US
September 18
Editor in chief
Salon Media Group
I'm Salon's editor. I'm Nora's mom. I'm Sadie's...person/slave. And I'm your friend!


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JUNE 19, 2009 11:47AM

Staying in touch

Rate: 38 Flag

I know I'm not the only one having this problem. I see a lot of you Tweeting one another and writing on one another's Facebook walls and of course doing what you all do here (I'm loving the Father's Day pieces, btw). do we really stay in touch?

Now I have a Salon email account, a personal Gmail account, a Twitter profile, a  Facebook page, a Salon blog, an Open Salon blog, blog comments on each, PMs on Twitter, Facebook and Open Salon...and I'm losing touch! I don't know whether I reached out to marytkelly here or on Facebook; did @chicagosquirrel send me a regular Tweet or a PM on Twitter, and did I answer, and oh, how did I miss this Gmail chat from my daughter last night!

I'm not exactly complaining, because somehow I feel all the LOVE (and it more than counters the O'Reilly generated hate!) but...what am I missing? Who am I missing?

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I use semaphores while standing atop the I-35 overpass.
Too confusing.
note on my door.

`Please No Disturb.

I'll sit on my laptop.
Or, Santa's soft lap.
I'll wear perfumes.
I'll not growl tho.
I wish 2- things.
1) world peace.

2) small change.
Laugh. Oh, Joan. Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat cake.

And thanks for the squirrel's Twitter addy. ;-) We're getting closer, ever closer, to that street address...
It is hard to keep track of everything. I'm still not convinced about Twitter although recent events are changing my thinking. I follow you on Twitter, which was especially good regarding your friend Billo.
Well nothing personal but I never get an answer from anything I send to both you and Kerry! I guess I don't rate. I am not important enough? Don't know. I have the opposite life, Joan. I am in meditation formally twice daily and pretty much all day, I am unemployed and on food stamps--I have 2 real dialogues a week with my therapist, my meditation instructor and my daughter! I go for days without a single conversation with anyone--adult or otherwise! I spend a good deal of each day writing, reading and thinking. While this is paradise and my definition of heaven, it can get kinda lonely. I enjoy OS because it affords me the opportunity to think that I might be reaching someone! However, I have never received an answer directly from the "powers that be." Probably, I think, because my posts are personal and I am not a journalist? Who knows. I am also kinda incapable of cynicism, sarcasm and and hip humor. I just don't get it! Anyway, my antidote to being "out of touch" because you are "too much in touch" is to unplug completely and sit quiet for half an hour,clearing the mind and lightening up. It does wonders!
I'm brushing up on my smoke signals. I know it's only a matter of time before they come back into vogue.
I can't keep up either. Life is way way too quick for me, I always feel like I'm moving in slow motion.
You have our love, we have your back. Don't worry about it.
damn you joan walsh!!!! now verbal's one step closer!!!!

DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overload! I had facebook when "adults" were first allowed to join. Dropped it. Got it back for networking and it had changed so much I dropped it again. Got digg and reddit... Now I actually plan days away from the computer and mark them on my calendar. Scary, huh?
Here's what you're missing Joan: I have been wanting to communicate to you in the last few days that I have never loved you more than when I saw you on O'Reilly. I can't tell you how much affection beamed through my body when I saw you take your deep breath in the prelude to that great battle. I felt your vulnerability and knew that in some strange way that's your strength. Don't ever lose that, girl. O'Reilly's unfaltering certainty will always represent his downfall. You were magnificent in your restraint and you came out smelling like roses and looking the class act you are.

That's what you're missing b/c I didn't know which damn technology to use to tell you it. Thanks for making it easier by posting this :)
I have Kreskin working on this. We'll let you know. We're developing a new social networking paradigm, as well. But you'll know when that's done.
I guess we either take cocaine, or meditate, as Poet suggests. Here is my favorite representation of what Facebook feels like:
I am afraid, alas, I'd put the "twit" in twitter...
Joan, you did both! PM here and Facebook...and I'm still waiting to know if Sunday, the 2nd works so we can put the word out to local OSers (and anyone else for that matter) to come meet and play for the day. And, JD will have to make sure his Jeep is sparkly clean for you!
Reading all these talented posts helps remind me of the loneliness, happiness, thoughts, living experiences locked inside the mind... Seems we're all just waiting to be validated before the inevitable fade to black... Technology provides such opportunity, yet steals so much time from embracing those you meet on this journey... So many people, so little time seems to be my problem... Your work has been inspirational... Far too many O Reilly's in this world taking up valuable time, most of us can find you somewhere out there thankfully.....
Good one, Owl! I need a T shirt with that on it.
the operative word in your last paragraph is love...this is an amazing place indeed.

you must feel torn to bits by all the demands on your time, you handle it really well. it reminds me of a favorite author, Tim Cahill, when with friends and talking about his latest upcoming book, was being inundated with suggestions for the title...he said he felt like he was being pecked to death by ducks...and that became the title.

You do it really well Joan, and thanks for all you do.
You're doing fine and you are where you are supposed to be. Don't stress.
You have fans and friends. What more to ask for? How about if you just blog here about once a week. We'll stop by and say hello!

Good job with O'Reilly. He's becoming a character from a Frank Herbert novel...The Baron O'Reilly. Were there any bones under his desk?
You'll always have Freaky. And the rest of us have your back.

So, call Nora. Have a workout and a massage. Lurk and laugh. Whoever doesn't 'get' you doesn't deserve one drop of your adrenaline. Save that for skewering the Bull O'Roilers of the world.

Oh yes, and pick out a new hat!!
I applaud your political commentary; your dismantling of O'Reilly's ego. But we at OS consider this a special community and all of us stay in touch through our posts and friendship. Sometimes a comment, a PM, or just reading one's rating another on the feed pleases. You are a special part of this community. Like it or not, and your busy schedule withstanding, Open Salon is not Facebook, Twitter, or GMail. It is a blogger's paradise. Come and enjoy it more often. We all love you.
Me usually, but, I forgive you.
Smoke Signals anyone?.........they come in a variety of colors now..
Thanks, everyone! I'm sorry ePriddy and poet and bobbot! I do get lost in PMs here sometimes. But poet, I rated your last post! It was just what I needed!

Oh yeah, I forgot that -- ratings! Who did I rate? And where did I comment last? Did someone answer my comment and should I answer back??

Yes, Sally...calling Nora now! And Mr. Mustard, I do lurk a lot!
me. You are missing me. You want to go read my posts, very badly, especially "beau regard prairie" and "children gone". Short, intense, rapturous poetry. You need these.

Also: "no one wins online fights". Two battlin' OS'rs kissed and made up because of this (see comments). Ahem.

I'm just saying.

Joan, your feelings right now so much remind me of what inspired me to write my laying bricks post, where I wondered where the hell I'd been and to whom I owed answers.
I'll make it simple: My phone number is 405-271-3445. Have a nice weekend.
The amygdala cannot manage networking overload. A person needs to be excused for dialing it all back a bit. Thanks for this lovely sentiment. It felt like a personal message.
you're not missing me, I'm just feeling puckish today and thought I'd comment here and add to the burden of lurve!
oh, and Lainey: thank you so much for that! and squirrel, I'm sorry. And Mary, yes, I'll change my flight to get in Sun a.m.!
all is forgiven. i've blocked verbal. hah.
I am not one to be giving life balance and time management advice- and it must be hard for you to distinguish between what is work and what is personal when it comes to some of the communication you mentioned - but I say, just make sure, at the end of the day, that you are still connected to those who matter most in your life. The rest can wait for the morning and will mostly likely understand and forgive.
We love you! Screw Bill O'Reilly!
I'm guessing you're not a member of the slow food movement????
I guess I am going to have to figure out what all the fuss is about on this Twitter thing.
Joan, the thing I find amazing is how much time you make for all of us here on OS, how much of yourself you actually do put out there for us. You certainly didn't have to. And we love the fact that you have.

I like to think that I am a blessing to the people in my life, not a burden. So if you want to tweet or PM or facebook or send a smoke signal to me, fantastic, I'll answer you back. If you don't or can't, I don't want to put some kind of guilt trip on you to make you feel like you should.

And on the flipside of that blessing/burden thing -- I think I can safely say that many of us on OS (myself included) find that your having provided us with this space and sharing what you have with us has been a terrific blessing. Thank you.
joan, it would mean the world to me if you watched the video i made for you. i would give anything to be able to confront o'reilly like you did. kerry seems to be busy or something, but a lot of people left offerings in response to the contest he started. you inspired us. it's not a crown of olive branches or laurels, but they're all we got!
It's dizzying, isn't it? I think you need to forward everything you can to one central location otherwise you'll be like an virtual spinning top, trying desperately to respond to everyone but getting so dizzy that eventually you topple over.
Not me!
Just keep doing stuff like this.
It even inspires blogs with your name in the title!
Joan, I have no idea how you keep up. freakin' idea. You stay in contact with more people in more ways more often than probably the next thousand other citizens combined. So as the saying goes, "release perfection." Relax, take care of yourself, have a glass of wine, and turn everything off for a while whenever you need to....
BTW Joan,

I live for the day that you are given your own weekly show on CNN because you are a feminist voice of reason in a sea of mysogyny and political ignorance. And you do it with a lot of class too.
God, I use a lot of things to miss people, Myspace, Facebook, Open, Gather,, no wait, drop that last one, OH JESUS DID I JUST SAY ADULTFRIENDFINDER ON JOAN WALSH'S COMMENT SECTION??

Yes, yes I did!!

Well, I could have been the 2nd response when this went up but I knew everyone else would say it better.

But they didn't say this, which I did in a couple of your venues and not want to be sure it is clearly heard:

You are one of my heros Joan Walsh. I love you for all you have taken on for us. I don't use that word lightly. Ann, Molly, Hillary, Joan, Rosie and Sarah (Weddington) . Thank you.
Grrr, and I WANT to be sure it is clearly heard .....
PS WHY haven't you changed the hat yet? The whole world is watching now!
Hand written letters on personally selected stationary sent to you by those who have a special place in your heart!

I have noticed my postman is a little thick around the knees....:) or :(
You're missing some peace of mind!
You rated a post of mine several weeks ago. Late at night - for me, maybe not so late for you! But I saw it. And I was so pleased! Because it was a poem, and I really appreciate anyone rating or commenting on anything I write, but maybe poems especially.
yes, it's kind of special to be rated by you. And nobody would have ever known if I had not glanced over to see it happen. Which is so cool! I'm glad you get to sneak around and read and participate without demands to wear ANY hat.
I don't know how you do it. I'm exhausted from waking up and immediately checking two email addys, facebook and then cruising OS while I adjust myself to being awake and alive.
Then there's another email addy. And I'm not exactly a public figure! But I find that the more I increase my capacity for this connectedness, the more I am getting lost in my own weird soup.

Plus, y'know, I live with my sigoth of 11 years and it's very funny but also sort of disturbing that I just IM'ed him on Facebook even though he's in the next room.

I try to turn it all off for at least one full day a week. Maybe you can't do that - but maybe you should try shutting off some of it for a specific amount of time each week. Why am I giving you advice! It's all simple - you have to HAVE to walk away once in awhile and just frigging see the sky and breathe.
I have some media maven friends who, like you, need to be reminded that, as much as we rely on you, you're no good if you aren't happy and healthy and on top of your game. From YOUR perspective and YOUR soul.
Be well!
Kudos! I don't see how you manage to stay so connected and actually manage to keep thinking as well as you do. There's certain kinds of thinking I can't do unless I'm unplugged. Btw--I thought you WAY over-estimated Bill Clinton's commitment to racial justice on Joy-Ann's post.
I'm (sorta) glad it's not just me feeling this way! Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming against the current in the raging stream of communication and there's nary a life preserver to be seen...
you made me feel dizzy with that list, (how do you manage, VR is right, breathe in and out, just relax with the cake) reading the comment thread put me back on my feet and I think my weekend is going to be a happy one.
I don't twit, face or any of that stuff. I did learn how to send text messages but rarely see any use for it. Cool of you to reach out, though. Peace and love.
I can't imagine how you keep up. In your position, you have to stay connected. I'm lucky to be able to disconnect anytime I like without much ado. I only have OS (much time spent) and Facebook (little time spent) accounts and I can't keep up. Any more and I'm sure I would implode.

P.S. I put a curse on O'Reilly in your honor. His legs should be growing together any day, now. He'll be doing the penguin walk the next time you see him. Just thought you'd like to know.
I sure do share your sentiments here. I personally just cannot keep up with it all. How many ways do we need to communicate with one another? Is one better than the other? I am sure in a quandry about all these means to what end? I tend to go back to "regular email" for my most important communications as Facebook has become so terribly crowded and I find myself frustrated trying to keep up with it all. And Twitter?! I am way behind on getting that up and running as I am running out of time for all these communication venues. Where to begin?! Drowning in a sea of choices!
Whoohee! Joan's coming to town!
Quantity reduces quality.
I'm surprised you care, considering that...especially given this were clearly the correct choice for Director of OS.

Ah well. I can't keep up either. Most excellent job on trying to...
When in doubt, use smoke signals.
Where is the love from the editor for conservative constitutionalists like myself and a handful of others on this site? We risk our egos and reputations every day stirring the pot in the hot kitchen of OS.
It's that dilemna of having more ways then ever of staying in touch but still not really connecting. I don't think the majority of my 240 facebook friends are really friends at all, I have skype but always forget to use it, yesterday I went on twitter and ended up on Justin Timberlake's page where I wasted 20 minutes and just now I got an email from my editor hinting quite strongly that another local paper beat us to the punch on a story I was supposed to do two weeks ago. Oops...time to refocus
"Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat cake. "

(via VerbalRemedy)
I never got a Facebook and almost never use Twitter. There are too many things to keep track of. And people are always emailing me to join some other obscure sight they're joined. It's too time consuming.
As I'm sure others have said - your performance on O'Reilly was admirable. You really do have the patience of a saint. Regarding the rest...there's an interesting book I read about ten years ago called "Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything" ( that I think speaks volumes of this kind of thing. Of course, you may have read it - but I think it did a great job of (almost) predicting the era we're living in now.

As incredible technology has become with regards to keeping in touch with people, it seems we have less time to do so these days. Thanks to the internet, we're all quite popular in one way or another. After all, if a green alien scouting the Earth for a coming invasion like me gets an audience, why not the rest of you puny humans?

All jokes that I only get aside, you're doing a fine job. Keep it up.
So many different "advancements" designed to make our lives run more smoothly can have the opposite effect. If it all becomes too much, here's what to do: Click your heels three times and say, "There's no place like home."
There's something dream like about the way we communicate now. Voices half heard in the darkness. In some ways, it reminds me of when I was a kid and would be sitting in the back seat of the car at the end of a long trip, and my mom and dad would be in the front talking, and I would lie in the darkness and listen to their voices and now that everything would be good.
"I'm not exactly complaining, because somehow I feel all the LOVE (and it more than counters the O'Reilly generated hate!) but...what am I missing? Who am I missing?"

O'Reilly-generated hate (compound adjective)
Whom am I missing (pronoun object of verb)

But why should I be so picky? After all, you're only an EDITOR!
Joan I love the tweets. tweets are great for "whats happening now." For me it all depends on what you're trying to say.

(And then once in a while I get to see you on tv and tell people I know you.)
umm, well, about your hat...
In a scene from "He's Just Not That Into You", Drew Barrymore's character complains about all the social media tools and the difficulty of following them all. She longs for the days of a phone and an answering machine with a cassette. This reminds me of that. It is all a little overwhelming, isn't it? Do I post to my twitter account and route that to FB? Do i blog on Pretending to Farm and move that to OS? And how do I respond to the comments and likes? It's mind boggling. Just call me Ned Ludd.
I discovered Salon quite by accident. I think it's all to do with niches. Like green moths on green trees who are protected from relentless predation, each technology offers a haven where like-minded find the comfort of resonance. I like it. Can I please stay for lunch?
Oh, I do like the Mrs Dalloway hat, btw. Most fetching....
I have a Facebook account, but I never read it. I'm afraid to go and look.
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