Tag Archives: NewsHounds

Bill O’Reilly and Flavor Flav ► Throwback Thursday

Happy birthday to Flavor Flav, born and named William Jonathan Drayton, Jr., 57 years ago today.

There’s a strange nexus between Flavor Flav and the Fox “News” Channel which requires further explanation.

When I first started writing for NewsHounds — under the nom de blog Aunty Em Ericann — one of the bizarre rumours I heard concerned Flavor Flav and Bill O’Reilly, who would prefer to DO IT LIVE!!!

The crazy rumour was this: That before Maureen E. McPhilmy married Bill O’Reilly — aka Loofah Lad — she once dated Flavor Flav. I know! Right?

This was the kind of job the Not Now Silly Newsroom was made for and I set out to get this wacky story confirmed or denied.

It took a while, but I finally got Flavor Flav ON THE RECORD concerning this rumour. He denied wholeheartedly that he ever dated the ex-wife of the Falafel King, but it certainly made him laugh. It made me laugh, too. Still does.

Raking Muck in the Big Miami ► Unpacking The Writer

An app that allows me to pretend
I’m being sketched on the beach.

Hold on, dear readers! It’s that time of the month when I pull back the curtain like Toto did to the Wizard of Oz and reveal a bit more of myself. AUNTY EM!!! AUNTY EM!!!

But first, A NOT NOW SILLY NEWSROOM ALERT: Further to The Coconut Grove Playhouse Trojan Horse, my 2-part investigative report from last week: While [allegedly] corrupt Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff has yet to answer any of my 11 questions, I did get an apology from the Miami Parking Authority and a confirmed time and date for a meeting with CEO Art Noriega. Hopefully I can answer some of the Charles Street neighbours’ questions afterwards.

Right after The Coconut Grove Playhouse Trojan Horse was published Friends of Merrie Christmas Park reminded me of When Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff Lied To My Face. So I wrote up that exciting episode as well and posted it here a few days later. It’s all part of my relentless campaign to elect ABT – Anybody But Teresa in Miami’s upcoming District 2 election. Maybe I should start a PAC and then buy some radio adverts. But, since I can’t afford that, why not join my facebookery of the same name? Trust me, you’ve done worse things in your life.

Nine years ago, when I moved from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, back to ‘Merka, the land of my birth, the last thing I figured I’d be doing is getting involved in ‘Merkin politics. I lived in Canada for 35 years — more than twice as long as I lived in the States — taking out Canadian citizenship in the process. To become a citizen of Canada I had to swear an oath to Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and assigns. In that oath I swore that I would not serve in the armed forces of another country, nor would I vote in their elections. While it’s an oath I take seriously, once I got down here in Florida I was inexorably drawn into ‘Merkin politics. 
My political foray began as Aunty Em Ericann, my alter ego when I was writing for NewsHounds, the motto of which is “We watch Fox so you don’t have to.” I looked at Aunty Em as performance art, which I carried on for years. Being Aunty Em freed up my writing style considerably. She threw out a lot of the rules of writing and started inventing her own words and lexicon, a tradition I continue here and on the facebookery.

I wrote so many columns for NewsHounds that sometimes, when I’m researching the Friday Fox Follies for PoliticusUSA, I trip over an article of mine that I don’t even remember writing. However, they always make me laugh, which is my primary purpose in life: making myself laugh. If I can make myself laugh with my own writing, then maybe you will too. The supreme compliment, as far as I’m concerned, is “That was funny.”

I still think one of my funniest columns for NewsHounds is retold in The Day I Shook Hands With Glenn Beck ► Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be. Your mileage may vary.

The E.W.F. Stirrup House continues to rot away in
the hands of a rapacious developer. This is what
nearly a decade of Demolition by Neglect looks like.
As my longtime readers know — but I pick up Newbies alla time — my ongoing project has been my 5-years-and-counting source of fascination, the 120-year old E.W.F. Stirrup House in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. Every story I’ve written about Coconut Grove has been a direct outgrowth of my continued research of Ebeneezer Woodbury Franklin Stirrup, his place in the late 1880s, and how he created a place that was, at one time, unique in this country.

I’ve written so much about him that I won’t repeat any of it today, but take a gander at Happy Birthday Coconut Grove!!! Now Honour Your Past to see why it’s important to save his legacy, Then read Shocker!!! E.W.F. Stirrup House Plans Are Finally On File to see how badly this house, so important to the history of Coconut Grove, has been mismanaged.

Not Now Silly explores the historic Coconut Grove Colour Line:
Where The Sidewalk Ends, Racism Begins; Part I; Part II; Part III

As usual, I digress. I was talking about Miami politics. There was a time — and not all that long ago — I couldn’t have told you where District 2 was. Now I have people calling me up to test the waters for a run as Commissioner in District 2. Whether I really want to be involved in the District 2 race, I’m still being inexorably drawn in. So far I have only thrown my weight behind Anybody But Teresa. If, at any time, I come out in favour of a candidate, you’ll be the first to know.

Lately, I’ve also been getting more tips from sources who wish to remain anonymous. It takes a long time to nurture a secret source. So many people have been burned by journalists before. Occasionally, before my sources share their tip, they tell me how they’ve been burned. However, my sources trust that OFF THE RECORD truly means OFF THE RECORD. That’s how I get people to talk.

It takes time to chase down these tips and not all of them pan out. F’rinstance, The Coconut Grove Playhouse Trojan Horse, took a year’s worth of research, some of which included just sitting in parking lots observing for hours on end. At the time I didn’t even know I’d be writing an article about parking. Someone who read that story alerted me to an even bigger story of potential skulduggery and malfeasance. If true, this is EXPLOSIVE!!! This source has been solid on every tip so far, but getting to the truth of this one could be difficult. First I need to know which sewer to start dredging. As they say on the Tee Vee Tubery, STAY TUNED.
Not Now Silly set a new, all time record for readers in January, 2015.
NOT NOW SILLY HOUSEKEEPING: I know, I know, I know . . . I keep promising a new, improved Not Now Silly Newsroom, but what can I tell you at this point? I’m keeping up my end of the bargain by posting stories that my readers want to CLICK on. I no longer know what’s holding things up on the end of my Web Master.

To think this started as a casual conversation in July that began, “How can I monetize my web site?” That’s when the suggestion was made that I’d have to jump onto a WordPress template for that to happen and, while you’re at it, you may as well buy your own domain name. I replied, as I have to others who said the same thing, “But, I don’t want to lose everything that’s been posted up to now at the Not Now Silly Newsroom.” He’s the first guy to say, “You don’t have to,” so he began the process of moving everything to the new platform and template, which I love and approved months ago. Now I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. And waiting patiently, I might add.

If you have any suggestions for me in that area, I’d love to hear it. 

Lastly, Pops celebrated his 89th birthday on Valentine’s Day. He’s the reason I came to Florida. After the death of my mother almost 10 years ago he asked me if I would come down and help him. He didn’t really need taking care of. He still golfed almost every day and was totally capable of taking care of himself. However, he had no idea of the magic created in the kitchen. He couldn’t even fry an egg, let along make himself dinners.

However, every year there is less and less he can do for himself. He’s no longer driving long distances, sticking to just local runs. He stopped golfing, but still meets the boys out on the course every morning. He walks with a cane, but most of the time he’s only using it for balance, swinging it parallel to the ground. That’s why it’s dangerous to walk in front of him or behind him. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been poked already.

So there it is, the life of a writer for another month. Tune in sometime during March for another exciting episode of Unpacking the Writer, from the real files of the Not Now Silly Newsroom. In the meantime, we rejoin the regular Not Now Silly Newsfeed, already in progress.

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.

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.

Unpacking The Writer ► April 2014

Welcome readers both new and old. Once a month, on an irregular schedule, I drop a blog post under the rubric Unpacking the Writer, where I pull back the curtain and expose some of what’s happening on this side of the keyboard, much like Toto did to The Wizard of Oz.

Which is only appropriate because I wrote under the nom de plume of Aunty Em for NewsHounds, the motto of which is “We watch Fox so you don’t have to.” Clearly, I did a very good job of exposing Fox “News” mendacity. You know how I can tell? Although I left NewsHounds more than 2 years ago, the same crazy, obsessive Fox “News” defending, cyber-stalking bullies I picked up back then continue to hound me to this very day. [See what I did there?]

BOOK CORNER: I’ve been writing about the exciting adventures battling my cyber-stalking bullies — chapter by chapter — since the day I launched this blog. They’ve been published at Not Now Silly as needed and now comprise quite a thick dossier on what crazy obsessives do in the Age of the Internet. In previous times they’d be standing on street corners babbling incoherently. This medium keeps them off the street, unless they have a phone smarter than they are.

As of late [and mentioned only to satisfy Grayhammy’s vast curiosity, because he keeps asking] I have been working with an editor to give the project more ‘”shape,” as they keep putting it. They believe The Johnny Dollar Wars could be turned into a Laff Riot Situation Comedy or a blockbuster Gothic Horror movie. [It works both ways.] Until I post a compendium, the best place to start is Anatomy of a Cyber-Feud, which is currently the #3 most popular post at Not Now Silly for the past 30 days, despite it being published way back in December. If you want to keep up with the daily shoot & miss tactics of The Flying Monkey Squad, you’re personally invited to join The Johnny Dollar Depreciation Society, on the facebookery.

Follow the day-to-day craziness of my cyber-stalking bullies at The Johnny Dollar Depreciation Society page.
HARD WORK: Forging Farce Au Pain from the raw alphabet.

CHAPTER TWO: My other book, Farce Au Pain, proceeds a lot slower than I ever expected when I promised serialization way back when. I anticipated having more time to work on it, but life and new Coconut Grove stories keep getting in the way. It doesn’t help that I chose to make my task more difficult. Because it’s being published on the Internet, I decided to link all the facts and references to the existing internet proofs as I edit the manuscript. There are a lot of those, which you’ll notice when it’s eventually published. I’m closing in on it, but I’ve learned better to make any hard promises, otherwise Grayhammy will squawk again. Hopefully I’ll have some news on that front very soon. Stay tuned. Check your local listings. Coming to a browser near you, and all that Jazz.

COCONUT GROVE CORNER: Still awaiting news of a Trolleygate settlement in West Grove. Almost 2 months ago I wrote Is Trolleygate Headed For An Out Of Court Settlement? To quote myself:

So confident are all the parties that an agreement is possible, that they’ve requested a 60-day freeze in all legal proceedings to see if they can all get on the bus. Based on the anger expressed at the Village Council Meeting, it may be an uphill climb on a rough road to a negotiated settlement.

The broad outline of the proposed settlement looks like this: Coral Gables agrees to drop its lawsuit against Astor Development that asks a judge to abrogate its contract with the developer. Meanwhile Astor Trolley/Astor Development agrees to stick the new fake trolley garage RIGHT WHERE IT IS NOW, more or less, as opposed to the non-conforming White Elephant on Douglas Road.

Those 60 days are just about up, if they haven’t expired already. I should put in a few calls. I’ll add that to my ever-increasing To Do List.

This is where the next sidewalk ends.
This historic walkway has been fixed.

MY LATEST WRITING PROJECT: I’ve slowing been crafting another chapter in my ongoing series Where The Sidewalk Ends, Racism Begins (of which there has been only one so far). The next one will delineate another segment of The Colour Line in Coconut Grove, pictured at left.

The Coconut Grove Colour Line has existed for decades. The line was
always meant to keep Black Grove separated from White Grove. But, it’s not just ancient history.

Current segments of The Colour Line are as concrete as the cinder block wall described in Where The Sidewalk Ends, Racism Begins.
Other parts of The Colour Line in Coconut Grove are subtle and almost
imperceptible to the naked eye, unless you know what to look for. Still
other parts of The Colour Line are as clear as black and white when
looking at maps of property values and demographics in Coconut Grove. 

A close up of the fence seen in the background [above left]. Two
feet have been added to the top of it within the last few weeks.

Although the building of The Colour Line in Coconut Grove is ancient history, some of the walls along it were not only maintained, but made taller and more formidable as time went on, a process that continues to this very day. Shockingly so.

Within the last few weeks the latest spot I have been struggling to write about has had its fence — this small segment of The Colour Line — grow 2 feet taller by just nailing new boards over the old. Look for the next blog post on The Colour Line, coming soon to a browser near you.

THE CORNER OF MAIN HIGHWAY AND CHARLES AVENUE: This is where it all began for me 5 years ago when I discovered the Historical Marker and started researching and writing about this small corner of the world. Here are some quick updates:

The deal concerning the Coconut Grove Playhouse continues to unfold exactly as the residents had hoped it never would. The Miami Parking Authority has now painted HUGE arrows in the parking lot on Main Highway, directing traffic to an exit on Charles Avenue. This has increased the traffic in both directions along the Historic Roadway, along which you will find the Coconut Grove Playhouse; the Charles Avenue Historical Marker; the E.W.F. Stirrup House; the former Odd Fellows Hall; the Mariah Brown House, the first house built on Charles; ending at the Charlotte Jane Memorial Park Cemetery, named after the wife and childhood sweetheart of Mr. Stirrup and at the time of its founding the only place in Miami Black folk could be buried.

Meanwhile rapacious developer Gino Falsetto continues to chip away at The Colour Line in Coconut Grove. His Aries Development has checkmated the Coconut Grove Playhouse with the acquisition of the Bicycle Shop on Main Highway at one end. This adds to the property he’s controlled for a while: the two empty lots immediately west of the Playhouse and the E.W.F. Stirrup House immediately across the street. Now whatever people want to build in between all those properties will have to go begging to Aries Development, hat in hand.

Pops on his 88th birthday, February 14, 2014

PERSONAL CORNER: My family and closest friends know, but I’ve not shared this with Not Now Silly readers yet: I came to Florida after the death of my mother to look after Pops. It’s starting to weigh on me and maybe writing about it will help me work some things out.

I’ve been in Sunrise for 9 years, arriving just in time for Hurricane Wilma. When I arrived, Pops was fine, despite his having a stroke about 20 years ago. He battled back and you would never know he had had one.

Pops didn’t really need me to care for him. He was capable of accomplishing more in a day than I did. However, he is of a generation of men who knows where the kitchen is, but just doesn’t know what kind of magic gets food on the table. If I weren’t here, he’d be getting all his meals out of the microwave. A fried egg is beyond his expertise.

However, in every other way he was competent. Three or 4 days a week Pops played 9 holes of golf on the course that wends its way around the condo complex. He’d hang with his buddies at Subway or the condo clubhouse. The last few years he’s been slowing down. At first he’d only play 8 holes of golf, knocking off at the one closest to our building. Then it was 5 holes, meeting up with his crew on the 4th and playing with them through 8.

He may have battled back against the stroke, but he’s getting pummeled by the years. Within the last year he’s been admitted to the hospital twice, both times for having a bit of trouble catching his breath. The last visit was 3 weeks ago. He’s just not bounced back the way we all thought he would afterwards. And, he hasn’t played any golf since. He’s just had a round of tests to see whether we can get to the bottom of this latest problem and we’ll get the results in a few days when we visit the pulmonologist again. Meanwhile he’s on a Nebulizer twice a day and an inhaler 4 times a day and his movements are resricted by his lack of energy.

We’ve recently convinced Pops to start using a cane. After the stroke he always had a very slight imbalance. However, lately it’s been more pronounced. He seems unaware of how he tacks to the right as he walks without assistance. My biggest fear, of course, is that he’s going to fall when I’m not here or when I’m asleep. That’s why I now always make sure a walker and cane are within reach.

This all means I am getting to Coconut Grove less often than I would like, but I wouldn’t suggest Gino Falsetto relax. I still pop into Coconut Grove when I’m least expected. Recently I was fortunate enough to meet his wife Magda. Maybe one day soon I can meet the brains behind Aries Development and can ask him questions directly. Meanwhile, you can help Save the E.W.F. Stirrup House by joining the Facebook group.

Unpacking the Writer ► Closing Out Another Year

Crazy angles. Just like Batman.

Long-time readers of Not Now Silly know that Unpacking The Writer is a monthly feature, in which I pull back the curtain and reveal the man pulling the levers.


New readers may be unaware that this is also my clever way to remind people to click on the adverts on these pages. The few cents I get from the monthly clicks don’t even cover the cost of storing the pics I use. [Did I say “few”? I meant miniscule.] However, now that Google has lowered the price of storage, I might actually be at the break-even point. Whoopie!

No matter. While money was never the reason I started a blog, it would be nice to make a few dollars here and there for all the hard work I put into these posts. On your mark. Get set. Start clicking.

I compare myself to Superman whenever I can.

Something else new readers may not know: I had a residency for a few years at NewsHounds, the motto of which is “We watch Fox so you don’t have to.” Because I was concerned Right Wing Crazies™ might want to hunt me down, I used a nom de plume. Because I thought it was funny, that pseudonym was Aunty Em Ericann. Because that so upset Right Wing Crazies™, some of them decided to hunt me down.

It’s the circle of life.

So, the Right Wing Crazies™ hunted me down and exposed my secret identity, just like I was a superhero and they were trying to conquer the world. No one ever accused them of being Braniacs, however.

In an effort to destroy me — because he couldn’t refute my message — Johnny Dollar was stupid enough to publish details of my alternative lifestyle at his sewer because, clearly, my sex life falls under his stated rubric of CABLE NEWS TRUTH. That’s the story I tell in the very first post on this blog: Johnny Dollar has Proven Himself To Be A Very Dangerous Person.

TRUE STORY: This blog was launched to expose Mark Koldys. Therefore, if you like this blog, you have Johnny Dollar to thank for it. It’s my modest suggestion that the very best way to thank Johnny Dollar is to share my Johnny Dollar stories all across the World Wide Interwebs. Feel free to repost.

The more that people learn about Mark Koldys and Ashley Graham, the more repulsed they are. They are saddened such evil motherfuckers like Johnny Dollar and Grayhammy actually exist. They are outraged that people would do such a thing over political differences. They understand that I might be willing to forget this silly little cyber-feud — even after 3 years of relentless and mendacious attacks — except Koldys and/or Graham keep reminding me it’s time to write about them all over again. What’s funny is how they keep trying to convince people that they are the victims.

For all those reasons I ask my faithful readers to share, or trade, these blog posts with your family and friends. Here’s are some good places to start:

blackflon was once part of the Flying Monkey Squad, but became bored and
gave up his part in the feud. Maybe Mark Koldys & Ashley Graham will take a clue.

I guess I’m just nostalgic for the earliest days of this blog. While it started with the mission to destroy Johnny Dollar, I’ve branched out considerably since then.

For the first year — to keep the continuity and to bring along my NewsHound fans — this blog was slapped with the unweildy title of Headly Westerfield’s “Aunty Em Ericann” Blog, which I got tired of typing. A year ago, April 1st, I simplified it to Not Now Silly, the URL I had chosen a year earlier. It occurs to me that I’ve not told that story here:

When I was originally setting up this blog I was asked to come up with a URL. I knew that it was something that I’d have to live with for a while, so I typed one possibility after another. They were either already taken, or just seemed stupid when I stared at it long enough. I was just starting to get frustrated when Pops called me from the other room. “Not Now Silly” is what my fingers automatically typed. Then I hit enter. It was as good as any URL, I suppose and, just like every problem, I was over-thinking it. 

For some reason Keg tried it in blue before we settled on sepia.

When I decided to rename the blog last year, I reverted to that URL. Keg designed a logo I that I love, based on a pic I found on the innertubes.

To blow my own horn: I’m most proud of my investigative writing on Coconut Grove. Back when I was still disguised as Aunty Em, I wrote my first blog posts on the Charles Avenue Historical Marker. Accidentally stumbling across that marker led me to all my other reporting on Coconut Grove, from the Demolition by Neglect of the E.W.F. Stirrup House; to the quiet racism that led to Trolleygate; the historical racism that led to Old Smokey; right on down to documenting The Colour Line as it shifts throughout the history of Coconut Grove.

And, my Coconut Grove posts do pretty good, click-wise, because I have regular readers now who want to know what I’ve uncovered lately. However, nothing could have prepared me for the click action on my post of February 22nd, Aries Development Continues To Rape Charles Avenue, all about the illegal cutting of the trees at the E.W.F. Stirrup House. It garnered 1297 clicks in just a month, jumping to the #3 in the Not Now Silly Top Ten. Sadly that knocked one of my Johnny Dollar posts down to the #9 position.

Readers: I do it for you. Without my readers, these words would be meaningless. These last two years have been a great ride. I sure hope you’re going to stick around for the next few. Here are some videos I made that combines my love of history and my obsessive picture collecting. See you around the funny papers. Oh, and click on an advert. It won’t cost you a thing and you’ll feel better for it.

UPDATED: WebVee Guide ► Fun While It Lasted

Still waiting for that Friday morning conference call

I am no longer associated with WebVee Guide in any way, shape or form.

I felt WebVee Guide an interesting concept, which is why I joined up. However, I simply cannot recommend, or work with, people who are so paranoid that they’d accuse me of appropriating their images and other intellectual property in my tweets and blog post promoting their web site.

They sent me a cease and desist order. Really. It came from a lawyer, who is one of the owners.

And that was only one thing they were angry about. They thought my tweets were unfair because they drove traffic to this post (which has now been changed because LAWYER!). When I agreed to be their Feature Writer, I simply didn’t realize they
also hired out my tweets and my blog posts. I was still labouring under the presumption that my Twitter feed remained my own and I could use it however I wanted. I also assumed that they’d be delighted that I used my blog real estate (and my own time creating it) to a blog post promoting
their site. I seemed to have misjudged.

So dear readers, I have now edited away all their intellectual property and severed all relations with WebVee Guide. Before I edited this blog post, 163 of my readers looked at it. I wonder how many went to WebVee Guide to check it out?

However, before I edited this page I actually waited 2 days. I sent them an email that tried to explain how they misinterpreted and mischaracterized my actions. When I didn’t hear back I agreed to cut all ties. And, that’s where we are now.

I note they still have me listed as a contributor. So far I have received no hits from it.

I have had some weird relationships with publications in my 40+ years as a professional writer, but this is right up near the top.

Unpacking the Aunty Em Erican Blog At Six Months

My All Time Top Ten. Click to enlarge.

Light the candles and break out the noise-makers!!! The Aunty Em Ericann Blog celebrates Six Months of Existence this week. And to think it all started with Johnny Dollar Has Proven Himself To Be A Very Dangerous Person on April 19, 2012.

It’s been a wild six months for both my readers and myself. In that time I have written 180 posts and published tens of thousands of words. I’ve made new friends and, just as importantly, made several new enemies. However, what have I learned in that time? Among other things, I’ve learned that posts on Brian Jones are hugely popular. My highest-rated post is the July 3, 2012 post on Brian Jones. As of this writing it has had 1991 hits, which is more than twice as many as my 2nd highest-rated post on Josephine Baker, while exactly a month older has only 863 hits. That’s also more than 3 times my Number Three most popular post detailing my HIGH-LARRY-US bun fight with the Fox “News” correspondent James Rosen, which has only 619 hits.

James Rosen, self-proclaimed Beatles
expert and historical revisionist

For the longest time the Rosen post was my most popular. It was sad to see it slide to Number Three because it was my first post about Fox “News” (aside from all my writing at NewsHounds). Its popularity gave me the impetus to launch several wildly popular series on my blog, including The Fox News Spin Cycle and Chow Mein and Bolling. Just this week I spun off a new series called Judge Not, exploring the Libertarian mind (such as it is) of Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox “News” Senior Judicial Analyst.

The Number Four Post in my All Time Top Ten is a sleeper that crept up on me. It also happens to be about Fox News. I was shocked when the so-called “news” channel (in the guise of Bill “Loofah Lad” O’Reilly) felt the need to attack Randy Newman for his “I’m Dreaming” song. Since being published on September 22, 2012 it’s already wracked up 471 hits in just a month, which might make it my fastest growing post in popularity. It will be interesting to see how it does over the long haul.

The E.W.F. Stirrup House

My Number Five All Time Post is the one that I wish was really my Number One, because it’s an issue near and dear to my heart. If you’ve not been following my Unpacking Coconut Grove series, please take a look. I am trying to save the historic 120-year old E.W.F. Stirrup House from Demolition by Neglect. A 120-year old house doesn’t sound like much, but compared to everything else in Florida, that’s ancient. The house is not only architecturally important, but culturally important as well. It marks the zenith of the Bahamian community in Coconut Grove which helped build and serve the rest of the community. It was built by one of Florida’s first Black millionaires who . . . Well, please go read it for yourself. Suffice to say that E.W.F. Stirrup was a man way ahead of his time. His important legacy will be lost when his house no longer stands.

However, as much as I am interested in looking back, I am just as interested in the current Top Ten Posts of the Week. Here’s how that breaks down.

I want to thank all my readers who drop in to read what I have to say. While you’re at my blog, please take the time to click on one of the adverts. It will cost you nothing, but it adds a few (and I do mean few) pennies to my account and helps support the time and energy it takes to maintain the Aunty Em Ericann Blog. Thanking you in advance.

The Day I Shook Hands With Glenn Beck ► Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be

Glenn Beck. Picture by author. Eyes by Crazy.

In November 2009, not quite three years ago, I was still in the middle of my Performance Art project that began in ’07. The idea was for this Canadian journalist with a established reputation, to subsume my identity completely and start writing about Politics as a woman under the nom de plume Aunty Em Ericann. The goal was to become a nationally known pundit under that name. Once I started writing about Glenn Beck for NewsHounds, I was well on the path to achieving that goal, if exchanging snarky tweets with former-Watergate felons and current Fox “News” personalities is any indication.

I had hoped to be able to play the joke out another couple of years until it was a punchline known by far more ‘Merkin people than who know who Mel Kaminski is. Unfortunately that was no longer possible after Johnny Dollar, who mistakenly believes he’s spouting CABLE NEWS TRUTH by defending Fox “News” lies, cyber-raped me, exposing my nom de plume along with my sex life, which, as far as I know, neither had anything to do with my political writing at NewsHounds.

Because my nom de plume was unknown to J$, it was clearly unknown. See the logic? Me neither. It became his mission to make it known. Why? Because I wrote the truth about Fox “News.” Yet, my nom de plume was no big secret. Whenever I would have to call someone for research I would introduce myself and
say, “I write under the name ‘Aunty Em’ for NewsHounds.” The list of people who knew my nom de plume includes everyone who worked in any official capacity at NewsHounds; hundreds of friends, family and acquaintances, including cyber-friends I have known for a decade or more [Hi Harryheads]; and random Pop Stars. Trust me, it’s not that big a secret if Flo and Eddie know. Who knows who they will tell when they’re hopped up on that Geritol?

Hell, even Glenn Beck knew. At least he should have known. Because the day I shook his hand, I introduced myself to him. I first told this story at NewsHounds.

The Beck Week That Was
The Dark Underbelly Edition
When Aunty Em Met Glenn Beck

November 22, 2009

It was a big week in Glenn Beck World, the Fun Time Carnival that never seemed to end for me. If I wasn’t watching his show and taking notes, then I was trying to make sense of what the notes said. Then, early Saturday morning, as usual I collated all the craziness to try to bring a sense of the Beck Hall of Mirrors to my vast reading audience.

It’s possible I was just tapped out, but after dinner on Monday I didn’t even bother to review my notes. Maybe I was feverish with the swine (with lipstick) flu, but as I drifted off to sleep on Monday night I was troubled by the recent news out of Tampa, only about 250 miles away as the crow flies, where a marine went postal on a visiting Greek Orthodox priest. When police were finally summoned, Lance Cpl. Jasen Bruce alternatively claimed he attacked the man of God because he was a jihadist terrorist who yelled “Allahu akbar!”, or because he tried to rob him, or tried to grope him. (I guess the police can just pick from a menu.)

As my REMs took me deeper into sleep, I was now inside a Rod Serling short story, later made into an episode of the Twilight Zone. “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” scared the crap out of me when I was a teenager. I was now running down the street in panic. I heard the sound of breaking glass and it seemed to be coming from all directions. Something came out of the darkness and I only had time to flinch before it struck my forehead, opening a small gash which bled profusely into my eyes until I was nearly blind. When I was able to focus on anything it seemed to be a face screwed up in rage, so I turned and ran in a different direction.

As Pogo famously said, “I have met the enemy and he is us.”

Waking up bathed in sweat, relieved it’s only a dream, I turned on the tee vee and the Glenn Beck Show overnight repeat was on Faux Noise. I could relax. All was right with the world. Andy Stern was still the villain, the SEIU were always thugs, and the government was Roman Polanski, raping an innocent 13-year old by drugging her and pushing Health Care into one of OUR orifices. Or something.

Later in the show, and I couldn’t believe I re-watched it after taking notes on the original broadcast but I couldn’t sleep anymore, he said something that pissed me off more the second time I heard it than the first.

Beck said it’s a “literal lottery in Canada to see a doctor.”

That was a literal WTF Moment for me. I lived under the Canadian Health Care system for 35 years. In that entire time I never had a problem seeing a doctor of MY choosing, never had a single difficulty when further tests have been ordered, and never had to stick my hand into my pocket for a penny—no co-pays, no deductibles, and no pre-existing conditions. What’s more: I don’t know anyone who has ever had a single problem in the Canadian Health Care system. Everyone is covered for everything.

Now I am under the ‘Merkin System, which is no system at all. The new Health Care bills, take your pick, do nothing for me, other than provide a sizable penalty if I don’t purchase a policy from one of the rapacious insurance companies. If I could afford Health Care insurance I’d already have it.

Now I wouldn’t mind The Beckereeno arguing (falsely) that Universal Health Care, or a One Payer System, is the slippery slide into Socialism. But as a Canadian I’m getting pretty tired of the lies I hear about the Canadian system.

Before he signed off, The Beckster showed what a good sport he was by reviewing the same parodies that I did in last week’s column, adding one I hadn’t seen yet, a New Yorker column, that mentioned the thin-skinned one. “Last week Eric Cartman played a much thinner version of me. Then, over the weekend, even more animation. This time, from the New Yorker magazine, in which they called me energetically hateful, truth-twisting and the biggest lie of all, only ‘barely overweight.’

“By the way, an interesting fact about The New Yorker — it still exists. I mean, they’re still printing it. Who knew?”

Beck showed he could laugh right along with us. After bashing (once again) Van Jones, the NEA (again), Anita Dunn (again), ACORN (again), Andy Stern (again), and the SEIU (again) he said, “To complete the “South Park” analogy here in the real world, all of those Wendy’s really were sluts. In fact, most of them called themselves sluts. They spoke about it, the benefits of slutdom, on tape. And then, they were caught being slutty over and over again and we put them on television saying that.” “It’s just that nobody wants to believe that their representatives are sluts, even when they say it themselves. But America, no matter what The New Yorker says, sometimes our politicians really are sluts.”

By Tuesday I was invigorated by the rumours, which spread like wild fire. It began the instant Tee Vee Comedian Glenn Beck announced on his show that he’d have a SPECIAL BIG ANNOUNCEMENT at his appearance at (in?) The Villages, Florida on Saturday. It had originally been scheduled as a book signing, but was now being labeled a rally. A rally in The Villages? “Some people say” he’ll announce a Palin-Beck ticket for 2012.

One can only hope. What comedy that will be.

Sassy Sarah Palin didn’t exactly squelch those rumours when she praised him mid-week, according to The Atlantic:

“I can envision a couple of different combinations, if ever I were to be in a position to really even seriously consider running for anything in the future, and I’m not there yet,” Palin tells Newsmax. “But Glenn Beck I have great respect for. He’s a hoot. He gets his message across in such a clever way. And he’s so bold — I have to respect that. He calls it like he sees it, and he’s very, very, very effective.”

Beck spent the week hyping this big announcement, which left me in a quandary. Should I drive the 5 hours to the rally in (at?) The Villages on Saturday to hear this BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, or go to his book signing just up the road Friday evening, a 20 minute drive into the heart of Fort Lauderdale? Five hours versus 20 minutes; BIG ANNOUNCEMENT versus regular old book signing? In the end I chose the latter, knowing his comedy show would cover the former.

Tuesday’s show was all about One World Government and how it was coming a lot sooner than anyone expects.

Ever the coy promoter, when he made his announcement about The Villages late in the show, all that Beckereeno would say was, “I’m going to be in the history books and so will you.”

My mind was aflame ever since the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT of the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. That night I tossed and turned, trying to envision such a world in which a Palin/Beck ticket would have any credibility. I fell into a troubled sleep.

Again I woke up bathed in sweat and, instead of clicking on the repeat of the Glenn Beck Conspiracy Hour, I lay down on the couch in the living room and fell into a fitful sleep.

Wednesday Glenn Beck asked, “Who has confidence in the United States government?” and later told us what’s coming is a “war between the haves and the have nots.” I guess I’ll be fighting the haves. And, as always, they’ll be better armed than I. I didn’t sleep a wink that night.

By Thursday he was warning us “We are looking at the end of Western Civilization, the end of the world!”

It doesn’t get more Apocalyptic than that and it did nothing for my dream state.

I was trying to escape. Long columns and equally long rows of Teabaggers were all marching in a giant square. I was running between them, attempting to outwit my pursuer. Giant pictures of Glenn Beck, dressed in Fascist garb—exactly like the cover of “Arguing With Idiots,”— looked down on the multitudes. Leni Reifenstahl was crawling around with a video camera as she chased Griff Jenkins, who was chasing me with his microphone, trying to get the most telegenic images for the vast nation starved for leaders, as the country went to hell in a hand basket.

Signs that read “9/12 Project,” “Don’t Tread On Me,” and “Frog A Coal Mine” were everywhere, pumping up and down in unison. At the far end of the plaza was a reviewing stand. From my vantage point, dodging the Teabaggers all marching in lockstep, the people way up in front looked like ants, but I just knew Glenn Beck was up there about to deliver the Good News and claim to be the Leader that ‘Merka is Looking For.

As the crowd started chanting “Heil Beck, Heil Beck, Heil Beck…” I woke up bathed in sweat once again, with a realization of what these dreams mean, and you don’t have to be Siggy Freud to have figured this one out. My subconscious finally collated all those notes I’d been taking these past 3 months into a savage picture.

There is a coming disintegration of society. Blame it on those who want Health Care and other entitlements. Blame it on open borders. Blame it on thug unionists. Finally, blame it on the government. When the populace is sufficiently confused and scared, promise them an answer. Promise them a return to a nostalgic way of life, before the Progressives and Liberals got their grimy hands on the Constitution. Promise them an answer and they’ll swallow it whole, no chewing necessary.

Get enough people believing in this bullshit and they will BRING the disorder that Beck describes, just to get it over with already. Am I the only one who sees parallels to Germany before the Nazis took power?

2:38 PM and the line stretches around the corner already

That’s why I was trying to wrap this column up on Friday. It was about 2PM and Beck was not due in town for another 5 and ½ hours. Yet, I was already packing up the laptop, digital camera, and my notes so I could get there early, reconnoiter the local battlefield, and stake out my paparazzi nest. To be perfectly honest, I was more interested in his followers. I wanted to see just what kind of “Real Americans” will show up to bask in his presence.

2:38PM: I pull up to Barnes and Noble and although it’s a full 5 hours before Ben Gleck & Entourage arrive, there’s already a good 50 people lined up to see The Great One. Some are in lawn chairs, while others just shuffle in place. It’s only slightly amusing to see they are all behind plastic yellow tape that reads “CAUTION – CUIDADO,” separating them from those who had no idea Glenn Beck was going to be here and just wanted an afternoon’s book browsing experience. I unload the laptop from the car and, playing dumb, ask, “What’s going on here today?”

Once assured I don’t have to stand in line if I just want to go inside and use the wifi, I ease past the crowd by simply rolling my portable office right along the outside of the tape and into the doors. Let them wait outside in the 80 degree heat and high humidity. I’ve got my elitist computer as early entree.

The line grows to the back of the building.

I know from watching Beckereeno’s Connect The Dots Hour as intensely as I do, that you have to be bug-eyed crazy to buy into his opinions and conspiracy theories. None of these people have the bug-eyed craziness seen at his 9/12 Teabagging and SCAer rallies. It’s a pretty calm, sedate crowd. And, that’s what scares me most about this group of people lined up to see the man the Anti-Defamation League recently called “the fearmonger-in-chief:” they all look so effin’ normal! Yet, how normal can they be if they wait in line 5 hours for a few seconds of Glenn Beck’s time?

And, what does that say about me? Hopefully, it says that once I confront my personal demons I will stop having these nightmares.

By arriving so early, I am able to witness what was, obviously, a manager taking some of the store staff on a Glenn Beck Autograph Signing Preview. He tells them that at about 5:30 the line will be let inside the store and people will be allowed to start lining up upstairs. Taped arrows on the floor indicate how the crowd will snake up one aisle and down another. (They must have learned people moving from Disney.) I follow the taped arrows, much like following The Yellow Brick Road, until I come to a large open area in the center of the second floor, where a large table sits. I realize at once this is where The Great One will be signing his name over and over again.

It’s peaceful. It’s quiet. I am overcome with serenity.

3:40 PM: I set up my computer in the coffee shop, kick some of the above around for clarity.

The heterogeneous crowd.

4:30 PM: I convince a woman to watch my crap while I go outside for a cigarette. It’s a full three hours before The Great One arrives and the line has trebled. It now snakes around the corner of the building all the way to the back before turning back around and coming halfway back to the front. I wonder when I’ll have to join the line in order to get a copy of “The Christmas Sweat(er)” autographed by The Great One.

There’s something else about this group of people that’s slightly unsettling: They are all Caucasians. There is one person in line that I would guess to be Native American, but beyond this woman, I can see no blacks or Latinos, despite Fort Lauderdale having a very large populations of both. [Later I do hear a few Cubano accents behind me in line and a guy ahead of me was 1st Generation Cuban American.]

5:00 PM: I realize that I am about to miss The Glenn Beck Show in order to get a glimpse of Glenn Beck. But then, so will he. This is as good a time as any to mention that I have maintained, since the start of this column, that Breck prerecords his Friday shows. Earlier today, at 11:30, he did a signing or two. (I’ve seen conflicting itineraries.) Ain’t no way The Fat Man did a show today, or any Friday for that matter.

Expecting trouble? More police cars than your average Reggae festival.

I see some movement in the line through the thin pane of glass that separates me from these Beckerheads. Something’s going on so I pack up my stuff to take it out to the car. The line has doubled again. As I walk out to the parking lot, I can’t help but notice the increased police presence. Three cop cars are lined up in a taped off area of one side of the parking lot and another car is on the far side of the door. I put my stuff in the car to join the line, only to find out I need a Glenn Beck book to join the line.

I go inside and buy “The Christmas Sweat(er)” under the twin assumptions that it’s the kitschiest and the cheapest. I’ve already been informed that he won’t sign “Common Sense,” which made me wonder if he’s ashamed of it. Then I join the line for what appears to be a two hour wait. Random chatter overheard:

“I never really got into it [politics] until this last election. Then I started to see how they was lyin’ to us all along.”

“They say ‘Call your Senator, call your Congressman,’ but you know what? You call and they’re not listening.”

“They [Obama administration] will tweak the Constitution best they can.”

“It’s our own fault he [Obama] got there.”

“They never disprove him.” [Beck]

“There is a thing called Freedom of Speech you know.”

“We’re entering Dark Times, as he keeps telling us.”

“The thing with these people is you have to have an iron fist in a velvet glove. You have to be an SOB because you have MTV against you and all the universities against you.”

“That’s why I decided to go to a technical college instead of a university, so I [unintelligible],” replies the 20-year old.

6:00 PM: I’m finally at the front corner of the building, as people are slowly let inside and the line snakes forward. Ahead of me two guys are decanting a beer into coffee cups. “It’s the end of the week.”

Several times in line I heard reference to this mythical 1.7 million figure that showed up in Washington for Beck’s 9/12 Shindig and Dance Party. “The Washington Post said there were 60,000.” “They don’t want to tell the truth of how many are against them.”

I realize this is a waking nightmare. These people are spouting every Right Wing, and often debunked, Talking Point that exists. However, still among the various chatter were some classic exchanges.

“Isn’t that what the Tea Parties were supposed to be about?”

“I never did figure what they were about.”

One woman shouts to arriving friends, “Here are the Patriots!” These people think they’re saving the nation by buying one of Beck’s books.

The line snaked up and down the aisles of the store
and up and down the aisles upstairs too.

“Were you here for Steve Doocy?” one asks, as if I need any more proof I’m in a Faux Noise crowd.

“Doocy was here?”

“No, he was at Borders, but he was signing books.”

6:30 PM: I am at the front door with just 7 people ahead of me. Beyond this point you not only need a Glenn Beck book, but a wristband. However, it’s a full half hour before we get a wristband and start following the arrows on the floor.

“We’re trying to do lots of stuff like, err, save the nation.”

I just realized this is the largest concentration of toupees I’ve seen since I moved to Florida. Dotted among the people are also 3 NRA shirts, 3 Tea Party Shirts, and more ‘Merkin Flag Motifs than usually found in a bookstore.

8:00 PM: No sign of Beck and the lobby grows crowded.

8:08 PM: Several men wearing official Glenn Beck T-Shirts arrive, but they’re more like moving men than advance men. They are pulling a large black zippered box, about the size of a refrigerator compartment. “Some people say” Beck might be inside.

However, Beck’s obviously snuck in another door and a few minutes later appears on the upper level to cheers. He grabs a megaphone.

“Any 9/12 members here?”

More cheers.

Look! A voice from on high!!!

He tells us that tomorrow in (at?) The Villages he’ll be announcing a different direction for his show. The economy’s not good. What are they [in Washington] doing? Nothing. While he was in the hospital two weeks ago he was just like us. He was watching and wondering what to do.

“I’ve been waiting for a leader to show up. No one’s showing up.”

And then he hints about what he’s announcing tomorrow, what he’s calling “The Plan.” And, it’s a hundred year plan.

Did I just hear him right? A One Hundred Year Plan?!?!?! Even the Communists only came up with 5 Year Plans.

“I’ve learned a lot about community organizing in the last year.” [Loud laughs.] Democrats and Republicans join us, but if not we’re moving on.”

Then he went to sign autographs and the line moved like wildfire. Someone earlier said Beck could sign 800 autographs an hour. I scoffed at that. I figured it’d take 10-20 seconds each. Eight-hundred? No way.

I’m now a believer. When I was finally approaching The Beckster it was all stage-managed so quickly that I barely had time to react. I stopped to take a picture, but someone was already at my elbow pulling me forward, blurring my first shot. Then someone snatched the book out of my hand as Beck scrawled across it. I stopped to take another pic, when my book was thrust back into my hand and I was nudged forward. Just then everything parted. One of Beck’s people said something to him at the same time he thrust his hand forward. I was the only one standing there. I shook his hand firmly, one pump, and said, “Aunty Em.”

Look at the circles under his eyes. I have just introduced myself to Glenn Beck as “Aunty Em.” He didn’t care.

However he never heard me. He was already turning his attention to the next book to sign and I was being pulled along. It took 4 seconds, tops. You do the math.

When I got about 10 feet away, and was no longer being hustled along, I turned to take in the scene and the stagecraft one last time. There are the ‘fluffers,’ those getting people ready for their 3 seconds of Beck and the ‘cleaners,’ who guide people away.

What I was able to notice was the fact that the table which had been set out for signing wasn’t there. Beck brought his own thingie, which is what was in the big box his advance men carried in before he arrived. It’s a large lectern-like piece of furniture that allows Beck to stand behind, while also standing on a small milk crate, or something. This way he’s able to lean on the lectern and be normal height, but can raise himself on his back legs and be taller than anyone else.

It was one of those instinctual moments for me. Obviously Glen Beck found he didn’t like sitting at a table signing autographs, with everyone looming over him. Therefore, he carries this piece of furniture along with him, so he can always be the Biggest Guy in the Room.

When I left the building people were posing with a man in an Obama mask and in front of Beck’s bus. There appeared to be another 200-300 people still in line ouside and who knows how many in the conga line inside the store.

I went to this thing partially as an anthropological study and partly to do something about my nightmares. However, after hearing all the idiocy around me all day and Beck’s mention of a 100 Year Plan, I am not sure I’ll ever sleep again.

With all my love,

Aunty Em

Mark Koldys-Johnny Dollar Comment of the Day

This one’s almost too easy, folks. If this isn’t the most supremely hypocritical thing Johnny Dollar-Mark Koldys has ever said, you’ll have to prove it to me.

Ain’t that rich? Proving that J$ is a fucking hypocrite is like shooting fish in a barrel.

When I wrote “Johnny Dollar Has Proven Himself To Be A Very Dangerous Person”  I made the point:

However, why is Johnny Dollar dangerous?  Under the guise of his rubric of “CABLE NEWS TRUTH” he published GrayHammy’s long character assassination on his website, which exposed my alternative lifestyle.  Reprehensible.  Disgusting.  Beyond the pale.  And, we must ask: Why was this done?  Simply because I write for NewsHounds.  If it’s something that could potentially hurt NewsHounds, then why not destroy Headly Westerfield personally by all means necessary?  I’m merely the collateral damage in the years long war J$ has dishonestly fought against NewsHounds.  There was no other reason to expose things about me that have no relevance to my writing for NewHounds and there is nothing in that article that has any relevance to NewsHounds.  Johnny Dollar has proven himself to be a very dangerous person.  

Not only was I collateral damage, but in the Johnny Dollar-Mark Koldys tradition, he will stop at NOTHING to defend Fox News, because he’s a Cable News Truther. What my sex life had to do with Cable News Truth is a question you’ll have to ask of him.

While you’re at it, please ask him why he is now contacting other people from my past to ask whether they know me or not. Seriously. This MoFo is psychotic. Next thing you know he’ll be asking Ted Nugent if he remembers this goofy kid on Gilchrist Avenue 45 years ago standing at the end of the driveway.

Neither Bob Marley nor George Harrison are alive. Therefore, Johnny Dollar-Mark Koldys will just have to take my word that I spent time with both. Or, in the case of Harrison, plenty of video footage exists. I can let J$ know how he can order up B-Roll. Marley? Plenty of people saw us together. Pictures? Probably. I can point him at people who were there. I just want to be helpful.

Oh, maybe this’ll help: John Sinclair still visits Detroit. Maybe Johnny Two Cents will want to interview him next. There’s a very public story on the innertubes about me and my friend John Sinclair and Dr. John.

Johnny Dollar? Mark Koldys? GreyHammy? Ashley Graham? Go fetch!!! You sick fucks!!!