HEY YOU! YES, YOU!!

HEY YOU! YES, YOU!!


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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Kicking 2015 to the Curb ► The Ultimate Throwback Thursday

As we all look forward to a New Year, some highlights before all the sand runs out of this one:


THE JOHNNY DOLLAR WARS

Maybe I was just asking for trouble, but I began 2015 by . . .


While I thought these crazy cyber-bullies were finally vanquished, just recently "Angie Simmoril" -- who hides behind a wall of complete anonymity -- popped up again to promise big doings on the Aurelius Project for the beginning of 2016. While I had almost forgotten The Flying Monkey Squad existed, this is simply more proof that an obsessed crazy person never really goes away -- unless they die, which is really what I thought had happened with Grayhammy.

Watch this space.


COCONUT GROVE PLAYHOUSE & PARKING LOTS

I wrote so many stories about Coconut Grove this year, but most of them were about the Coconut Grove Playhouse and its surrounding parking lots. That meant I spent a lot of time in parking lots this year, and the year before, while I did research in the field, as it were:










When I agreed to drive a car at this year's King Mango Strut, little
did I know it would be the one with Ken Russell doing yo-yo tricks
MIAMI DISTRICT 2 POLITICS

My campaign to SAVE THE E.W.F. STIRRUP HOUSE not only led to all those stories on the Coconut Grove Playhouse -- which is catercorner to it -- but also got me deeper then ever into District 2 politics. That led to a series of stories about [allegedly] corrupt Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff, which naturally led to that time When Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff Lied To My Face.

When the term-limited Sarnoff put up his wife Teresa to run in his place for District 2 Commissioner, I started following the election closely. My first foray in covering the candidates didn't go so well. Jammed For Time tells the story of getting thrown out of the Grace Solaris campaign kickoff. That didn't auger well for the rest of the Commissioner race. As far as I knew the rest of the field would treat me similarly. Luckily, none of them did. All were gracious about answering questions and posing for pictures. That provided a number of stories, the best of which are:



Interview With District 2's Ken Russell

During the race several of the candidates agreed to talk to me, allowed me to accompany them on door knocks, let me sit in on private meetings and phone calls, and gave me some very interesting inside skinny on the donation process. All of this was done on an OFF THE RECORD basis, to be embargoed until after the election. I'm still processing my notes and recordings to see what kind of story I can get out of it.

To be continued.


PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

As much of a political junkie as I am, I've been mainlining what's been going on in the presidential race. While I've not written specifically about Donald J. Trump, I have created a number of memes currently whizzing around the innertubes. Collect 'em all. Trade 'em with your friends.

However, I have covered the joke that is some of the rest of the current GOP field, and some previous races:







PASTORAL LETTERS

Late last year I reconnected with my childhood friend Kenneth John Wilson. Ken, who is an evangelical pastor in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has written a very important book on LGBT acceptance in the church. I started following his extraordinary story and began a series of Pastoral Letters to him. Occasionally he replies, but I am writing then more to understand my mind than his.





I've started another Pastoral Letter, but it will be a while before I get all my thoughts in order.


FALSETTO VOICE:

I began my research into Coconut Grove years ago at the E.W.F. Stirrup House. While there's not been that much to write about on that issue over the last year -- because almost nothing has changed -- that doesn't mean I've forgotten all about Gino Falsetto, the rapacious developer who got his grimy hands on the historic structure:



I'm also prepping a new story on the E.W.F. Stirrup House.  It's almost half written. Stay tuned. Watch this space. Coming to a browser near you.


This year I also bonded with Fox's Campaign Carl Cameron
THE FOX "NEWS" CHANNEL

My fascination/revulsion with the Fox "News" Channel continues, which is how I picked up Johnny Dollar as an enemy in the first place. No matter. For the last year I've written a Friday Fox Follies for PoliticusUSA website, continued to run Fox Follies and Fallacies, over at the facebookery. However . . .


. . . sums up my attitude whenever I encounter a Fox "News" spouting parrot.


ROAD TRIPS:

This year I took 2 marathon road trips, both more than 3,000 miles from door to door. These are just some of the posts these road trips generated:






TWO NEW SERIES:

Before the road trips I stopped aggregating the Headlines Du Jour. It took several hours 3 days a week and it was a trap, without any achival value. When I got back from the road trips I began two brand new series. Launching Throwback Thursday with The Westerfield Journals was one and Monday Musical Appreciation the other. I'm quite proud of both of these series. In both these series I am highlight some of the lesser-known history-makers.


NAME DROPPING

One of the things I've been accused of over the years is name-dropping. I plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the internet. What's the penalty? Izzit just a fine or jail time?

No matter. Exhibit A and B as evidence against me this year:




Those are just some of the highlights from the last year. No one knows what 2016 will hold for the Not Now Silly Newsroom, but I'll be writing it from Toronto. More specifically, Kensington Market. It felt so good in September, I'm going to do it all over again. To that end, I've launched a Go Fund Me to help defray my moving expenses. It's amazing how much stuff I've accumulated in the last decade. Help me get back to Toronto:


 

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Big Day for Florida & Music ► Monday Musical Appreciation

Two musical events occurred on this day in history -- 8 years apart -- that changed South Florida and music. 

In 1960 the teen comedy Where the Boys Are was released to theaters around the country. SPOILER ALERT: It's the madcap story of 4 college girls who take a road trip to Fort Lauderdale on Spring Break for some sand, surf and sex.

Where the Boys Are made Fort Lauderdale an official destination for every footloose college student. Starting with the very next break in 1961, college students poured into Fort Lah De Dah. The media publicized it, creating new converts for the next year.

At first no one minded so much because the kids brought money. However, every year there were more Spring Breakers than the previous until, as TIME magazine told its readers in A Brief History of Spring Break:



By the free-loving '70s, Fort Lauderdale's fun and sun had become decidedly raunchier. With gratuitous PDA and "balcony-diving" — negotiating one's way from balcony to balcony to get to other floors or rooms, a practice typically performed in a drunken stupor and thus madly dangerous — the norm, many communities began questioning why the heck they had invited such unruly houseguests in the first place. By 1985, some 370,000 students were descending on Fort Lauderdale (or fondly, "Fort Liquordale") annually — prompting yet another exploitative film, Spring Break starring Tom Cruise and Shelley Long. But by the end of the '80s, the town had enough: stricter laws against public drinking were enacted and Mayor Robert Dressler went so far as to go on ABC's Good Morning America to tell students they were no longer welcome. As a result, spring breakers were pushed even farther south, and to destinations outside the U.S. where the sun was hotter and drinking ages lower.
By the time I moved to the Fort Lauderdale area in 2015, Spring Break was just a shadow of its former Bacchanalian self.

Where the Boys Are is a pretty good movie and has held up over the years. It's a wonderfully kitchy throwback to a simpler time, but still explores some serious social issues about teens and their sexuality. It also hosts a wealth of good acting, including Paula Prentiss in her first movie; Yvette Mimieux, playing an innocent who has a downfall; and George Hamilton, playing George Hamilton, the role he was made for.

However, avoid 1984's Where the Boys Are. It's so bad it's not even good.

Eight years after Where the Boys Are came the Miami Pop Festival, a 3-day extravaganza featuring a who's who of the music scene, including (alphabetical list stolen from the WikiWackyWoo): The Amboy Dukes, Chuck Berry, Blues Image, The Box Tops, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat, Wayne Cochran, Cosmic Drum, James Cotton Blues Band, Country Joe and the Fish, José Feliciano, Fish Ray, Flatt and Scruggs, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, The Grass Roots, Grateful Dead, Richie Havens, Ian & Sylvia, Iron Butterfly, Junior Junkanoos, Jr. Walker & The Allstars, The Charles Lloyd Quartet, Hugh Masekela, Joni Mitchell, Pacific Gas & Electric, Procol Harum, Terry Reid, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Steppenwolf, The Sweet Inspirations, Sweetwater, Joe Tex, Three Dog Night, and The Turtles. All for $7.00 per day!!!

The Miami Pop Festival was the first big festival on the east coast and was the precursor to Woodstock.

And, nothing was ever the same again.