Friday, September 19, 2014

Unpacking The Writer ► Packing Up the Newsroom

Welcome to another exciting episode of Unpacking the Writer, the monthly column in which I pull back the curtain -- Wizard of Oz-like -- and expose some of the inner-workings of a low-budget innertube news room and its hardworking staff.

First up, and most importantly, we had another recent health scare with Pops. While out having dinner with the boys, he choked on a piece of treif (breaded shrimp) and had to be Heimliched by a EMT who just happened to be at the restaurant. None of Pops' friends picked up on the warning signs that he was choking. Had it not been for the EMT, Pops would have choked to death. He was rushed to the hospital as a precaution, wanting to make sure he didn't aspirate any food. They kept him a few nights, until all tests proved him good to go. Now he's back home and back into his regular groove.

A scare like that makes me realize I've not really developed a back up plan. My original plan when I moved to Florida never came to fruition. When I arrived I figured it would be easy to find a job as a professional writer, something I had actually been for many decades in Canada. However, I was going from the small pond of Canada into the mighty 'Merkin ocean. I couldn't even get the sharks to look at this minnow, to torture the metaphor further. I found it impossible to get editors in Florida to even look at my previous writing, let alone consider a conversation with someone from -- sniff -- Canada. They all got off the phone with me as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, I wrote for Newshounds ("We watch Fox so you don't have to") for a couple of years under the nom de plume of Aunty Em; and also free-lanced for Stones Detroit; Curbed Miami (one day I hope to get paid the miniscule amount promised for that feature article); PolitucusUSA; and had a disastrous experience at WebVee Guide that started out looking quite lucrative, but ended in farce in just one week. That was easily the craziest experience I've ever had with an editor in a writing career working with crazy editors.

Long story short: I've simply been unable to find a self-sustaining and continuous source of writing income.

I make no bones about it. I started the Not Now Silly Newsroom (in part) with the hope that it would generate some slight income. While the Not Now Silly Newsroom has generated some money, it's so miniscule that it would barely keep a hamster alive. I eat far more than hamsters.

The biggest problem is that I've not been able to attract sufficient eyeballs to light up the scoreboard. Naturally I feel my writing is so golden that I'm confused the world has not beat a path to this mousetrap. I may have misjudged my cheesy appeal. NAH! Who am I kidding? I'm great! Like finely aged brie.

I've managed to convince myself it's merely because not enough people have shared these articles with their family, friends, children, neighbours, and grocer. (Hint. Hint.)

Another problem in attracting eyeballs -- or so I've been told many times by many people -- is that I am using the Blogger platform, as opposed to a a WordPress template under my own domain name. To that end I've hired a big deal Web Designer, with offices on two continents and clients around the World Wide Web. With this company's guidance the Not Now Silly Newsroom is being rebuilt from the ground up. I'm excited because I've seen the mock-ups. I hope you are too.

However, it's more important than ever before that the Not Now Silly Newsroom generate some income, because there are additional costs associated with this renovation. Only propriety, and the Blogger Terms of Service, prevent me from begging you to click on the adverts on this page. (Hint. Hint.)

Not all headlines are funny. Some are quite tragic.
HEADLINES DU JOUR: I can't remember if I shared the genesis and creation of Headlines Du Jour, but it can't hurt to repeat it. Remember: It's only a rerun if you've heard it before.

Headlines Du Jour came to me in a dream. No, really, I dreamed it. 

I don't usually remember my dreams when I wake up, other than wisps of smoke that I can't hold onto for more than a minute or two. One morning I woke up after having worked an entire night in the Not Now Silly Newsroom in my dream state. Yannow those dreams when you wake up after you've been on the job all night? One of those suckers.

I woke up that morning with the idea of Headlines Du Jour almost fully-formed. I even remembered laughing in the dream over the phrase "today's Headlines Du Jour." I took this as an omen and created Headlines Du Jour almost immediately. It only took some minor tinkering for Headlines Du Jour to arrive at its current format.

Sadly I never dreamed how much work it would be to collect, compile, and collate the headlines, not to mention: formatting the post; adding the pics, which luckily are already on my hard drive due to my obsessive pic collecting; and thinking up those snarky little rubrics. It can take anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours from start to finish, depending on the breaks, to post a Headlines Du Jour. Some days, when it's finally been put to bed (to use an old magazine term for published) I'm already exhausted.

That's why I've chosen to only do it 3 days a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and on the weekends (usually Sunday). I'm trying to reserve the days between for writing smaller posts, so I can get back to posting something almost every day, and/or researching some of my larger posts. Then there's always Farce Au Pain to work on. Most posts take a few days to write and edit. Posts as long as this can take days, and I allot 5 days for Unpacking the Writer, but this one only took 3.

Not all Fox "News" memes are funny. Some are quite tragic,
'specially ones noting the intelligence of Fox "News" viewers.
FOX "NEWS" WATCH DU JOUR: Something else unanticipated -- more like a nightmare than a dream -- was just how many Fox "News" Headlines Du Jour pop up in any given week. [You can take Aunty Em out of the NewsHounds, but you can't take the NewsHounds out of Aunty Em.] There's so much tomfoolery and shenanigans on the Fox "News" Channel that sometimes it takes up more than half of the Headlines Du Jour.

A suggestion has been made to spin off the Fox "News" Headlines Du Jour into a stand-alone series, with guaranteed laughs a'plenty. While the Not Now Silly Newsroom is seriously considering this new way of pointing our Fox "News" mendacity, even tho' it would mean more work for this underpaid scribe, a thought I had while typing this sentence may be a better alternate route. Details to follow.

Meanwhile, you're now reading a paragraph that really contains nothing more than a blatant plug for The Johnny Dollar Depreciation Society, a cozy little blind pig I operate in an apartment above The Facebookery's storefront. The dregs and denizens who gather there on a daily basis, because they've got nothing better to do, are all dedicated to the mockery of the Fox "News" Meat Puppets, as they continue to plumb the depth of journalistic malpractice.

COCONUT GROVE UPDATE: Sincere apologies to those who come here because of my Coconut Grove posts. There's nothing to update. I've not been down to The Grove for several weeks. To be fair: I never created Now Now Silly to be Grove-centric. That was just a happy accident.

I have been kicking around an article that's been percolating since I visited Detroit ('Merka's first throwaway city) on the 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research and took pictures of the Birwood Wall. Naturally, the article is about walls. It's about the 8 Mile Wall. It's about the Coconut Grove Wall. It's about the walls around Gated Communities. And, the overarching theme (or maybe over-reaching theme), is how these can all be attributed to Racism.

Long story short: Often what's on each side of these walls is as different as Black and White. Walls do far more to divide us than they do to protect us.



However, in the next post about walls I've wanted to include some video. The last time I was in The Grove I shot several videos, but none of them came out the way I had hoped. [I now realize it was a stupid idea to try a long traveling shot at that speed.] I've now created a little storyboard and all I need to do is find the time to get back down to Coconut Grove to shoot the mini-documentary that'll accompany this important story.

Stay tuned for part three of Where the Sidewalks Ends, Racism Begins.


Total readership, with my high water mark
of December 2103. I need to up my game.
FURTHER HOUSEKEEPING: I'm not so sure what analytics I will have over at the renovated Now Now Silly Newsroom, so this might be the last time to look at these stats as Blogger feeds them to me.

This post is the 639th since I launched the Not Now Silly Newsroom in April of 2012. Nearly a quarter million people (241,455, to be exact, as of right this second) have hung out for some period of time at Not Now Silly. Forty-two percent of my readers use Firefox, with Internet Explorer (26%) and Chrome (15%) rounding out the top three. Sixty-six percent use a Windows OS, with Macintosh number 2 at 21%. About 5% arrive here on various mobile devices, but my web designer says that's going to pick up considerable. From his mouth to The Flying Spaghetti Monster's ears.

Also behind the scenes: There are 21 drafts of articles I've yet to publish. Some will probably never be finished, while others will be published in the fullness of time. They either require further research or I haven't found the right way to tell the story yet. [See above.]

The stats I always find interesting is how readers arrived at these shores. While I can see the various sites people have come from, far more interesting to me is what search terms landed people here in the first place. In descending order they are [all sic]:
Brian Jones, Josephine Baker, 3 Stooges, Detroit, Beatles Let It Be, Alan Turing, James Rosen, Bonzo Dog Band, Three Stooges, Fats Waller, Austin Cunningham wiki, Detroit 60's, leggy newsbabes, Roger Ruskin Spear,  the color line in coconut grove, 9/11 news articles, anyone from Detroit's black bottom, examples of newspaper headlines, Josephine Baker children, skin in the game pun, stoping cyber bullying, brian jones beatles, controversies of sarnoff, fox news spin cycle, fox news spin cycle female host, headly westerfield, in the 50's the chicken roost in hamilton, on served chicken on a bun what is the receipe?
Who knew there were so many Chicken Roost lovers?

The most fascinating stat is what countries my readers live in. It's no surprise that 'Merka and Canada come in at #1 and #2 respectively. However, I'm surprised I have so many readers in Russia, Malaysia, Ukraine, and China. However, I'll take my readers where I can find them, even in Commie Countries. Futhermore, I'm not planning to outsource Not Now Silly production to China like some other Bain Capitalists.

The Top Ten is always changing slightly. You can see the current Top Ten in the column to the upper-right. However, the Top Ten at THIS MOMENT IN TIME looks like this:
1). The Detroit Riots ► Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Five
2). Brian Jones ► A Musical Appreciation
3). The Johnny Dollar Wars ► Chapter and Verse
4). Day In History ► Josephine Baker Born
5). Aries Development Continues To Rape Charles Avenue
6). Chow Mein and Bolling 5 ► Bully Boy Lies (Again)
7). Did Roger Ailes Dupe James Rosen, Or Did Rosen Dupe 'Merka?
8). The First Three Stooges ► Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be
9). Is Marc D. Sarnoff Corrupt Or The Most Corrupt Miami Politician
10). Does Fox "News" Support Johnny Dollar? ► The Mark Koldys-Johnny Dollar Comment of the Day
Proof of concept of new logo. The final
will probably look nothing like this.
Hopefully by the time I publish Unpacking the Writer for the month of October, the BRAND NEW & IMPROVED Not Now Silly Newsroom will be up and running, fortified with Niacin and your daily adult requirement of news, history, and snark. It's a slow process. However, I'm in no hurry to get it on the net. I would rather it be right than fast.

Ever onward and upward, dear readers.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Headlines Du Jour ► Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hello there, Headliners.Today's birthday belongs to the Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, one man who often got the best of Jack Benny. He lived through may Headlines Du Jour of yesteryear:
Let's look at today's Headlines Du Jour:

SO GLAD WE'RE LIVING IN A POST-RACIAL SOCIETY:





IN LGBT NEWS:





GUNS, GUNS, GUNS:





ANOTHER EXCITING EPISODE OF COPS GONE WILD:




GOP STANDS FOR GOT OUR PRIORITIES:



GET THE FRACK OUT OF HERE!!!



TODAY IN CLIMATE CHANGE:



TODAY IN RELIGION:



FREE THE WEED!!!



VIDEO BONUS DU JOUR:



ANTI-SOCIAL NETWORKS:



BEST HEADLINES DU JOUR:




FOX "NEWS" IN THE NEWS AGAIN:




HARRIS FAULKNER IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



SEAN HANNITY IN THE NEWS AGAIN:




STUART VARNEY IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



ELISABETH HASSELBECK IN THE NEWS AGAIN:




CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



VIDEO DU JOUR:



Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Headlines Du Jour ► Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Howdy, Headliners. Today's birthday belongs to Riley B. King, better known as Blues guitarist B.B. King. He's seen more than a few Headlines Du Jour of yesteryear:
Let's get to today's Headlines Du Jour:

SO GLAD WE'RE LIVING IN A POST-RACIAL SOCIETY:






FREE THE WEED!!!








TODAY IN RELIGION:



FOX "NEWS" IN THE NEWS AGAIN:






IN INNER SPACE:



IN OUTER SPACE:


Science says the universe could be
a hologram, a computer program, a
black hole or a bubble—and there
are ways to check




VIDEO DU JOUR:



Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fox "News" Loses A Big One In Court

The Fox "News" slogan that thinking people laugh at
It's no secret to fans of the Not Now Silly Newsroom that our Head Writer, Headly Westerfield, has -- to put it crudely -- a hard-on for the Fox "News" Channel (and its crazy Fox "News" defenders) ever since he wrote for NewsHounds under the nom de plume Aunty Em Ericann.

That's why bad news for Fox "News" is generally good news for the Not Now Silly Newsroom. Consequently, we were delighted to read about a recent decision by a New York federal judge upholding a FAIR USE argument on behalf of TVEyes, a service that archives, transcribes, indexes, and resells every minute of every day of every news channel. Subscribers pay $500 a month for access to this treasure trove of history in the making.

Fox "News" sued, saying that a service such as this: 1). Infringed on its copyright; 2). Would affect the channel's ratings, because the service would also allow people to watch a live channel stream; 3). Would harm the licensing and syndication arm of Fox. According to Wendy Davis at MediaPost:
U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan said in a ruling issued this week that TVEyes' indexing and clipping service was “transformative,” and therefore a fair use, because it serves a different function from the original broadcasts.

“Without TVEyes, there is no other way to sift through more than 27,000 hours of programming broadcast on television daily, most of which is not available online or anywhere else, to track and discover information,” Hellerstein wrote of the service, which counts the White House, Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs and branches of the U.S. military among its 2,200 paying subscribers.

“The White House uses TVEyes to evaluate news stories and give feedback to the press corps,” Hellerstein wrote. “The United States Army uses TVEyes to track media coverage of military operations in remote locations, to ensure national security and the safety of American troops.”
A far more accurate slogan for Fox "News"
Little wonder Fox "News" sued. Fox "News" would prefer people don't have an express lane when exposing the patented Fox "News" Bullshit™ to the antiseptic light of day. While there is a great deal of Fox "News" mendacity exposed on the net, rarely is it the worst of the worst. Obsessive Fox "News" watcher Headly Westerfield codified it as The First Ten Rule at NewsHounds:
Over the years a pattern has developed on Fox “News,” and more specifically Fox and Friends, that’s worth examining in detail. News Hounds has often noted that F&F is the morning agit-prop table-setter for the entire Fox “News” day. However, within that pattern lies another pattern worth deep exploration. The First Ten™ minutes of Fox and Friends is the most important part of the channel’s entire day. A number of stories are covered on The First Ten, but the underlying thread is usually that they all make President Obama or the government look bad. Under the guise of bubbly happy talk, this heavily scripted segment—with just enough tomfoolery to make it sound ad libbed—is NEVER posted on Fox’s web site. That’s a shame because The First Ten™ is where Fox “News” launch a lot of its trial balloons. Some manage to float airily throughout the Fox schedule, trailing Right Wing memes. Others sink without a trace after one airing.
While that description is still accurate for those Foxy Friends on Fox & Friends, it also applies to the Foxy Friends on Fox & Friends First and those other Foxy Friends anchoring Fox & Friends Weekend.

But wait! That's not all!!!

Increasingly during the broadcast day the patented Fox "News" Happy Talk Jab At Obama™ happens more and more than it ever did before. It happens most often when there are two anchors sharing the screen, but not exclusively. Sometimes it's right at the end of one of the so-called pundit panels. It also happens as one anchors throws to another. At times it's during the (possible) ad libs at the end of a story with the reporter who covered it in the field. There are other times it feels like extemporizing during the bumper going to commercial.

You never know what crazy person Fox "News" will put on
the air and what crazy crap might tumble out of their mouths.
However, no matter in what part of the day the comments fall, it's a safe bet they'll be excised when the segments are eventually posted on Fox News (dot) com and FoxNation. These smears, attacks and (quite often) outright lies already debunked are delivered as an aside, a conversational transition, a segue from one thing to another. But, they are some of the more insidious statements made on the Fox "News" Channel.

Too bad the Not Now Silly Newsroom cannot afford a subscription to TVEyes. As it stands the Not Now Silly Newsroom supercomputer is kept busy collecting Headlines Du Jour and researching Race Relations in Coconut Grove, for the most part. There is simply not enough left-over computing power to record Fox "News" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, despite the installed tuner. The computer chokes on files that big.

However, with a subscription to TVEyes I could order up a specific 20 seconds of video in which, f'rinstance [and totally made up as an example, because this would never happen in real life, donchaknow?], Tucker Fucker Carlson whines about how society as we know it is about to come to an end because the Nanny State has blah, blah, blah . . .

Sorry. Got carried away.

However, if TVEyes wanted to donate a subscription to the Not Now Silly Newsroom, Head Writer Headly Westerfield would certainly welcome it.

Headlines Du Jour ► Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hello, Headliners! Today's birthday belongs to Hezekiah Leroy Gordon Smith, better known to Jazz fans as Stuff Smith., violinist extraordinaire. Among the Headlines Du Jour of yesteryear:
Here is today's Headlines Du Jour:

MORE OF THAT REPUBLICAN OUTREACH:







THE SPERM WARS:







ANTI-SOCIAL NETWORKS:







GUNS, GUNS, GUNS:




FREE THE WEED!!!






FOX NEWS IN THE NEWS AGAIN:


The media monitoring service — used by MSNBC,
among others — is found to be transformative



Loofah Lad showing no self-awareness whatsoever

FALAFEL KING IN THE NEWS AGAIN:




No longer preggy leggy Meggy showing
off her journalistic credentials...again.

NO LONGER PREGGY LEGGY MEGGY IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



Tucker Fucker Carlson showing
off his journalistic credentials

TUCKER FUCKER CARLSON IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



BOB BECKEL IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



Bully Boy Bolling showing
off his journalistic credentials

BULLY BOY BOLLING IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



STEVE DOOCY IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



Greg Gutfeld showing off
his journalistic credentials

GREG GUTFELD IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



THE TARANTULA IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



Sean Hannity showing off
his journalistic credentials

SEAN HANNITY IN THE NEWS AGAIN:



IN INNER SPACE:





IN OUTER SPACE:




VIDEOS DU JOUR:



Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.