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From the contributor's point of view, reader comments are a good thing in that a contributor can tell if the points he or she is trying to make are actually getting across.
I had the thought that it would be nice for readers to be able to see a page listing links to all of the current comments. This might spark more comments, which can only be a good thing.
Readers should not be passive, accepting wisdom from the contributors, but rather be part of a continuous questioning process that will move everyone towards better understanding.
Comments have been slow-going. I'm going to place the "Reader Comments" link at the top of each article. We'll see what happens...
To Marc Meyers - Hey Mr. Know-it-all. Regarding your snotty comments about Billy Joel's "sudsy" song 'Just The Way You Are' and Phil Woods' solo on it -1. F.Y.I. Woods' solo was not a single take or an organic played-through solo. It is a combination of at least 6 solos that Phil Ramone combined into one solo. It took almost an entire day for Ramone to edit all the different tracks into the final solo heard on that record. 2. Billy Joel did NOT want to scrap the recording because of Phil Woods. He was thrilled with everything that Woods played and he wouldn't care about such stupid show-biz crap as "having the song stolen out from under him". Joel is a real musician and and an experienced ensemble player - not an egocentric pop star like you would like us to believe. Your ignorance is showing. 3. The only reason that Billy Joel considered scrapping the recording was because he wasn't sure if he liked the song itself - not because of Phil Woods.4. Your "ain't us jazz cats better than those stupid-ass rock musicians" syndrome stinks to high heaven. Why don't you get off your lazy ass and check with Phil Ramone about what I'm telling you if you want the real story. Do your job, smartass.
You may or may not be interested to know that Marc Meyers, a valuable member of the AAJ team for many years (whether or not you agree with him on this particular subject), passed away after a protracted illness a couple of years back.
That you disagree with him is one thing. Had you known Marc, however, you'd have known that he was a very open-minded person and the first to take notification of mistakes onboard and make corrections where necesssry. Were you to approach him in a respectful way that engendered productive conversation and a spirit of cooperation, I know he'd have been the first one to say "mea culpa" and correct any inaccuracies you might have found in his work.
Your choice, instead, to use an absolutely unnecessary and aggressive tone that strikes me as no less "smartass" or "know-it-all" than that of which you accuse the late Mr. Meyers, on the other hand, have likely gotten you nowhere - nor should it.
Terry, have you ever heard the term "you catch more flies with honey"? If you want to enter into discussion with folks, especially one where you disagree with them and want to encourage them to consider your point of view over theirs, it's frankly always a far better idea to come from a position of respect and an amicable spirit of cooperation. Certainly, around here, you'll find AAJ contributors to be happy to be corrected if they're in error. The beauty of being a web-based publication is that we can make corrections after the fact, so we welcome them at any time. But nobody needs to be treated with disrespect, Terry, and certainly Marc - one of the truly good guys - absolutely deserved nothing less.
The other problem, of course, is that since you posted your comment against the "Personalize with My AAJ," article rather than Marc's specific piece where you have found the problems, makes it all the more impossible to consider even retroactively making any adjustments. If you don't provide a link to the article in question, I have no way of knowing which one you are referring to.
If you'd like to provide it, I'd love to take a look. While I find it hard to believe that Marc wrote anything that smacks of the elitism you refer to, I'd certainly like to see it and, if there's any appropriate response that can be made, make it.
I would, however, respectfully ask that you rethink your strategy when dealing with such disagreements. Most writers are more than happy to discuss, justify or very possibly make corrections to their work if warranted, though alas, this is sadly not possible for Marc since he is very regrettably no longer with us.
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