However you may have arrived here, this is the old Not Not Silly Newsroom.

It's a long story -- hardly worth going into here -- but after this place was declared a Brownfield Site, we abandoned it for the NEW! IMPROVED!! Not Now Silly Newsroom.

Feel free to stay and read what you came here to read, but when it's time to leave go to the new place by clicking HERE.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Music of Detroit ► Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Four

The BBC produced a nice little documentary on the music of Detroit, Michigan. Includes contributions from Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, George Clinton, Martha Reeves, John Sinclair and the MC5, among others. This is the music of my youth.

Sadly Part Four of this documentary cannot be embedded. However, it wraps up here.

Previous Entries:

Unpacking My Detroit ► Part One
Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Two
Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Three


Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be ► My Days With John Sinclair

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Mark Koldys-Johnny Dollar Comment of the Day ► The gretchen carlson Edition

This time, it's not so much what was said as what wasn't said. First take a look at Johnny Dollar's Wall of Resentments and Paybacks™. What's missing? I'll let you decide:

If you guessed gretchen carlson [I won't capitalize her name ever again] then you can move to the head of the class. Yesterday was the day that gretchen carlson FAMOUSLY walked off the set of Fox and Friends when Brian Kilmeade made a not-so-friendly sexist joke. It was everywhere EXCEPT at J$'s sewer. Maybe it's time for Johnny Dollar-Mark Koldys to retire that obviously lying rubric:

Actual screen capture of an actual lie

Johnny Dollar has learned well from his [alleged] financial backers. "Cable News Truth" is no more honest a slogan than is "Fair & Balanced."J$ doesn't think you can handle the truth, or wants to hide it from you. For your viewing pleasure, here is gretchen carlson walking off the set of Fox and Friends.

Not only did Johnny Dollar-Mark Koldys ignore it, but it appears as if Fox and Friends never addressed it either.


Johnny Dollar: Thanks for reading the Aunty Em Ericann blog!


Josephine Baker hiding behind crossed
eyes, a favourite pose of hers.
Merriam-Webster defines "synchronicity"as "the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality—used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung." Seems simple enough, but there are whole web sites are dedicated to making it complicated, like "Understanding Synchronicity." Then there are others that profess to make synchronicity to understand, but only complicate it all up. A perfect example is this interesting essay as Dr. Eric Weiss who jots down "Some Reflections on The Definition of Synchronicity," which spins the Merriam-Webster definition into 3,553 words that makes my head hurt:
We cannot define synchronicity in terms of any one conventional discipline. It certainly doesn’t belong in physics as that discipline is normally understood. Nor does it really belong in the sphere of general academic psychology.

There is no academic discipline for which synchronicity is an object of concern. Not only is synchronicity outside the boundaries of any particular conventional academic discipline, it is actually outside of the entire meta-structure of academic disciplines that contains both physics and psychology as we usually understand those terms.

More generally, we might say that synchronicity is a concept that has no place within the modern view of the world. It is a concept that is relevant to the modern world, that was developed in response to the needs of the modern world, and that is of interest to people who have been educated in the modern world. But it comes into the modern world almost as a koan, as a kind of indigestible pill. If we are going to digest it, we need to define it, but we can’t define it in modern terms. What are we to do?
I know what I do when faced with extreme waves of synchronicity: I remember that we are all governed by the immutable, invisible, odourless, colourless laws of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. That's when I begin look for the deeper meaning which exists beneath and within the unexplainable. There are no coincidences. All Hail His Noodly Appendages!!!

Since losing the nom de plume "Aunty Em Ericann" I have been awash in His Synchonatic Reflections™ and revel in the New Order of the Universe as it now aligns. Let me explain in a nutshell, without resorting to complicated theorem.

Think of your own personal synchronicity as a blanket you are shaking rhythmically up and down. The sine waves created by the blanket is a two dimensional representation of your synchronicity in a 3-Dimensional space. However, everyone knows that synchronicity works in the 6th Dimension, where it interacts with the 'waving blankets' belonging to everyone else. Where these waves collide are where the EXACT moments and locations the FSM has stitched together Space and Time and Gravity and Dimensionality and Predestination. If, as they contend in Quantuum Mechanics or String Theory or Whatever They're Calling It These Days™, that all choices are possible in the Alternative Universes that exist, then the chances of anything so improbable can be proven possible by multiplying boiling water with pasta and adding sauce.

The 1st time I saw Sally Kellerman
Pastafarianism explains how and why Deborah Barry, The Happiness Coach, dropped back into my life unexplained a full 35 years after we first met. It also explains how and why I was to meet Sally Kellerman immediately following -- dare I say it? -- a spaghetti dinner 40 years ago, only to have her thrown back into my life recently in a way that proves that Noodly Appendages direct our every reality.

[I have reached out to Sally Kellerman and we'll see whether she remembers that evening in Burlington, Ontario 45 years as fondly as I do. It all depends on how attuned she is to her own synchronicity.]

Add to all of this my latest and last bit of synchronicity: Over the past weekend a large group of us split off from the family festivities and wandered over to The Rust Belt Market at Woodward and 9 Mile in Ferndale, MI. After a while I had seen it all and wandered across the street by myself to a used bookstore on 9 Mile. It was a wonderful bookstore with every shelf jam-packed to the ceiling with books of every size and description. This is the type of place I could lose hours inside.

Not the actual shelf in the actual
store, but an amazing recreation.
As I walked along the narrow entrance aisle created by all the bookshelves. To my right, at about the six foot mark, was a book pulled out at an odd angle. Every other book on the shelf was perfectly perpendicular save one, that drew my attention. The word Jazz was almost completely exposed and the copper-coloured cover was an usual hue. However, it still didn't get my blanket shaking yet. However, as I reached up to straighten the book I pulled it out a little farther instead. Suddenly I was holding a book that I never knew existed and wanted to read immediately: "Jazz Cleopatra: Josephine Baker in her Time."

I had only just, more or less, finished my little pocket biography of Josephine Baker, which had been highly praised by some of my friends. Baker's life events were still rattling around in my head. Just that morning I had been telling my brother-in-law the high points of her life. Joe (my bro-in-law) had heard of the Stork Club incident, but didn't realize it led to a life-long friendship with Grace Kelly. Then suddenly this book actually tried to jump off the shelf into my hand. Naturfally I bought it.

It seems like The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not quite done with me. I will go wherever He takes me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Musical Interlude ► Happy Birthday Harry Nilsson

Dateline June 15, 1941 - A happy father had a son*, Harry Edward Nilsson III.

There was a time I listed my Top Three artists as Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, and Harry Nilsson. Who knew that Sinatra would outlive the other two?

I first learned of Harry Nilsson the same way much of 'Merka did, when The Beatles name-checked him twice during their '68 press conference to announce the formation of Apple. Wait! What? Who? The Harry Nilsson Web Pages picks up the story: 
The album came to the attention of the Beatles (through Derek Taylor their press agent). At the press conference to announce the formation of Apple, the Beatles were asked "Who is your favorite American artist?" to which John Lennon replied, "Harry Nilsson." When asked "What is your favorite American group?" Paul McCartney replied, "Harry Nilsson."
Harry's arrangement of "You Can't Do That" weaves some 20-something other Beatles' songs in and around the Lennon-McCartney melody.It needs to be heard to know why The Beatles were so knocked out by it.

The great irony of Harry Nilsson's all-too-short artistic career is that while he is an amazing songwriter, the two songs he is best known for were not written by him: "Without You" was written by two of the members of Badfinger and was originally recorded by that group, while "Everybody's Talkin'" was written by Fred Neil.

That's why we'll start with songs Harry wrote. Here's a rare version of "Coconut" created for one of his his BBC shows. All vocals are Harry re-recorded specifically for this 'video' and the instrumentation is minimalist. to say the least:

Many people have covered Nilsson's "One." His version followed by the obscure Chris Clark on the even more obscure Motown subsidiary label Weed, because that's what this LP was apparently fueled by.

Here is a rare tee vee appearance of Harry's on The Smother's Brothers Comedy Hour. Harry was a good friend of The Smothers Bothers, which is why he thought he and John Lennon could heckle them at The Troubadour, but we won't rehash THAT story. "Think About Your Troubles," the second song here, is personally one of my favourite Harry Nilsson songs. I like the circular story. I like how it sums up this larger dynamic than the listener and then says, "You  think you're the center of the universe? Well, I got news for you." The third song is from the upcoming "The Point" cartoon, which is remembered fondly by many big kids.

Another rarity from his BBC tee vee special is this medley of three covers intertwined, Walk Right Walk, Cathy's Clown, Let The Good Times Roll all recorded with 3-part harmony done by Harry himself.

Here's the very obscure Miss Butter's Lament, written by fellow Canadian Bob Segarini.

When Harry Met John resulted in Pussy Cats, an album that marked the nadir of Harry's career. Yet there are still some true gems on this LP. Harry makes his ravaged voice work for this incredibly emotional cover of Jimmy Cliff's Many Rivers To Cross.

I could go on and on, but this makes a good starting point for Harry Nilsson if you are just getting to know him.

*1941, by Harry Nilsson

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today's Fox Snark ► Gretchen Carlson ► Updated with New Snark!!!

Following Fox "News" personalities on Twitter and facebook can be a never-ending source of amusement. Especially Gretchen Carlson.


Names have been called. I absolutely deny being an anal grammarian. I have made my own share of errors and typos over the years and, no doubt, you'll find some here. We all make typos. Here's what makes gretchen carlson's messages stand out: the guests names are always in lower case, while more gets capitalized than absolutely necessary. Add to that all the other errors and following gretchen carlson is like following a Magical Metaphor™ for the Current State of Journalism in 'Merka™.

Since the above, I also caught:

It's not that she doesn't know where the Caps Lock Key is. However, it's only for corporations: NY Times, JP Morgan, Solyndra and Congress. Most ironically she can also capitalize Capitol Hill. Just not people.

Is gretchen carlson is trying to be the e.e.cummings of journalism???