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.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Love Makes The World Go Round ► Unpacking The Writer

Reflections on the last month
Whew!!! It's been a whirlwind couple of months and it's long past time for another Unpacking The Writer.

As longtime readers of Not Now Silly know by now the Unpacking The Writer series is a monthly look at what's going on inside this writers head. This month I'll include my heart.

Last week, for Throwback Thursday, I wrote about my Nuptial Nostalgia Tour, a 2-week road trip in which I visited Toronto and Hamilton, cites I have lived in. Meanwhile, Pastor Kenny Responds to my latest Pastoral Letter called The Trunk Lost In Transit, which means all my gentle prodding to have a dialogue about God, Atheism, and the LGBT communities has paid off. There will be more to come in that series.

My numbers for the past 30 days. Click to enlarge.
Since the last Unpacking The Writer I've also written about Tuli Kupferberg, U-Roy, Yma Súmac, Arthur Godfrey, and Linton Kwesi Johnson for my newest series A Monday Musical Appreciation. Under the rubric of politics I've also written More Proof the Palin Family Are Liars and Grifters; taken a well-deserved slap at Bill "The Falafel King" O'Reilly; written about the day Frederick Douglass Escaped; and concocted a little thing called Donald Trump, Demagoguery, and The National Shrine of the Little Flower.

I've also written A Message to Facebookers, an effort to vanquish the trolls on my timeline; reported that Don Knotts Is Back in a highly anticipated Morgantown update; written about Murder and Morning Television; and launched Throwback Thursday with The Westerfield Journals.

It's been a very productive month. 

One of the statistics the Blogger platform returns to me is what search terms people have used to arrive at the Not Now Silly Newsroom. I always find this a weird, but interesting list. In the last month 2 people have arrived here by searching for "harris faulkner tit pictures." I'm sure they arrived disappointed, since there are none. (Not that I wouldn't want to see said pictures myself.) Two people have arrived here by searching "headly westerfield" and 2 by searching "where thevsidewalk [sic] ends headly wersterfield [sic]," which links to one of my more popular series on institutional racism in Coconut Grove.

I'm also celebrating an anniversary, of sorts. I've been writing Friday Fox Follies, my weekly column for PoliticusUSA, for a full year now. It's a challenge to write because it's carefully crafted by using the actual headlines found on the interwebs and put in prose form. It's a lot of fun (for me, at least) when it all comes together, but there are times it has to be forced more than others. In fact, as soon as I publish this post, I'll begin the next FFF column.

However, I've saved the biggest news for the very end: I fell in head over heels, madly, crazy in love. Incomprehensibly, it's been reciprocated and I am happier than I've been in many years.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

All Hail the King of Late Night Talk Shows ► Throwback Thursday

The undisputed King of Late Night is -- and forever will be -- Johnny Carson. On this day in 1962, Carson took the helm of The Tonight Show, and nothing was ever the same again.

Carson didn't invent the modern talk show. That honour goes to Steve Allen. However, Carson reinvented the talk show and kept reinventing it night after night for 30 years, racking up nearly 5,000 shows. But it wasn't his endurance that made Johnny Carson a star. According to Biography:
Audiences found comfort in Carson’s calm and steady presence in their living rooms each evening. Revered for his affable personality, quick wit and crisp interviews, he guided viewers into the late night hours with a familiarity they grew to rely on year after year. Featuring interviews with the stars of the latest Hollywood movies or the hottest bands, Carson kept Americans up-to-date on popular culture, and reflected some of the most distinct personalities of his era through impersonations, including his classic take on President Ronald Reagan. Carson created several recurring comedic characters that popped up regularly on his show, including Carnac the Magnificent, an Eastern psychic who was said to know the answers to all kinds of baffling questions. In these skits, Carson would wear a colorful cape and featured turban and attempt to answer questions on cards before even opening their sealed envelopes. Carson, as Carmac, would demand silence before answering questions such as "Answer: Flypaper." "Question: What do you use to gift wrap a zipper?"

In August I was thrilled when Variety announced Johnny Carson Returns: Antenna TV to Air Full ‘Tonight Show’ Episodes starting January 1st:
Antenna TV has struck a multi-year deal with Carson Entertainment Group to license hundreds of hours of the NBC late-night institution. Antenna will run episodes that aired from 1972 through the end of Carson’s 30-year reign in in 1992. Because NBC owns the rights to “The Tonight Show” moniker, Antenna TV’s episodes will be billed simply as “Johnny Carson.”

“This is not a clip show. This is full episodes of Johnny Carson, the man that everyone in late-night agrees was the greatest host of all time, airing in real time as he did back in the day,” Sean Compton, Tribune’s president of strategic programming and acquisitions, told Variety. “Tuning in to ‘The Tonight Show’ is like taking a walk down Main Street in Disneyland. The minute you step in there, you feel good and you know it’s a place you want to stay. We cannot wait to bring this show to fans who remember Carson and to a new generation of viewers who have never had the chance to see Johnny in his prime.”
Starting January 1st we'll see more comedy brilliance like this:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tuli Kupferberg ► Monday Musical Appreciation

Today we celebrate the life, poetry, and music of counter-culture icon Tuli Kupferberg, born on this day in 1923. He was a ground-breaking New York City Bohemian in the right place, at the right time, to find his claim to fame in the Hippie era.

According to his obituary in the New York Times:
The Fugs were, in the view of the longtime Village Voice critic Robert Christgau, “the Lower East Side’s first true underground band.” They were also perhaps the most puerile and yet the most literary rock group of the 1960s, with songs suitable for the locker room as well as the graduate seminar (“Ah, Sunflower, Weary of Time,” based on a poem by William Blake); all were played with a ramshackle glee that anticipated punk rock.

With songs like “Kill for Peace,” the Fugs also established themselves as aggressively antiwar, with a touch of absurdist theater. The band became “the U.S.O. of the left,” Mr. Kupferberg once said, and it played innumerable peace rallies, including the “exorcism” of the Pentagon in 1967 that Norman Mailer chronicled in his book “The Armies of the Night.” (The band took its name from a usage in Mailer’s “Naked and the Dead.”)
When I was growing up The Fugs and Frank Zappa were my introduction to the counter-culture. While the '60s was filled with psychedelic bands, the fact that their records appeared on mainstream corporate record companies took them down a notch in my opinion. But, not The Fugs. They were as real as real could be.

Rolling Stone's obit reads in part:
The Fugs formed in 1964 when bookstore owner Sanders and poet Kupferberg, both barely musicians, teamed up to play an unpolished rock & roll combined with lyrics stocked with political satire and profanity. Because of their anti-war imagery — "Who can train guerillas by the dozens? Send them out to kill their untrained cousins?" asks frontman Kupferberg in "CIA Man" — and rambunctious live shows in the mid-'60s, the FBI reportedly investigated the Fugs. The band ultimately recorded six albums between 1964 and 1969, with Tupferberg contributing some of the band's most renowned tracks: "Nothing," "Kill for Peace," "The Ten Commandments" and "CIA Man." After a 15-year hiatus, Kupferberg and Sanders reformed the Fugs with a new lineup.

Kupferberg earned a reputation as one of New York's foremost bohemians, and even served as the inspiration for the man who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived in Allen Ginsberg's epic poem "Howl." Kupferberg "jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown," Ginsberg wrote. Kupferberg later admitted he was the jumper of Ginsberg's poem.
Whenever things get too real for me, I remember The Fugs Gospel-inspired tune Wide, Wide River, which, in a perfect world, should have been Number One on the Hit Parade longer than Carole King's reign on the top of the charts. Crank it up!!!

PSF:What did think of the Beat movement when it first started happening?

I remember being shocked by it. I guess I was still in some sort of traditional mode. Shocked, jealousy and then adaptation. It was liberating. I was shocked by Ed Sander's freedom of sexual expression. I'm sure people were shocked by mine when I started. Ginsberg is your best example of a liberating force. It's not just the language or the freedom of the language because that just reflects character structure. A person who drops dead or wants to kill someone would use all those words you're not supposed to use. It's more than language. It's attitude towards sexuality and human relations along with domination and love. It's not that people who shout about sexual freedom understand everything that's involved. In order to have good sex, you have to have good human relationships and vice versa. When I grew up, in my community, you weren't going to have sex until you got married- this was a middle-class Jewish community. Maybe you went to a prostitute... But that gradually broke down. That was all for the good and not just for me but also for most of America.

PSF: So you got to be part of the Beats yourself then?

Everyone was. But I felt that they had a heritage with the bohemians. The term comes from 12th century University of Paris. The craziest students came from Bohemia and they gave them this name. There's this old tradition of living outside of the mores of society. Until the burgeouis revolution, most artists lived on the patronage of the ruling class. LA VIE DE BOHEME, the libetto for that opera, tells you what was happening then in the 18th century. So that's a 150 year old tradition that's still going on. It used to be linked to geography with places like New York, San Francisco, Munich, Paris. But now, with the Internet, you could be crazy, wild, free and self-destructive anywhere you want. But hopefully, there's still communities of people out there. Utopian colonies who are just friends.
It was always about the poetry. Here's Tuli in recitation:

Tuli died in 2010 at the age of 86, but his poetry and music live on forever.