Unpacking The Writer ► Master of My Own Domain
Nothing up my sleeve!

Welcome to another exciting edition of Unpacking The Writer, the monthly series in which I pull back the curtain and reveal the inner-workings of the Not Now Silly Newsroom. This month I’m revealing far more than usual.

The suicide of Robin Williams kicked me where it really hurts: in my raw, naked emotions. I’ve still yet to shake it off.

It did so for a number of reasons. For one: There was a time in my life I freelanced as a Joke Plugger. The job entailed sitting all by myself and thinking of funny things that a comedian could say. Then I would write down, in my best block letters, the funny things on a 3 x 5 index card. If the funny thing didn’t fit on a 3 x 5 index card, I would continue to rewrite it until it did fit. Jokes are all about brevity.

Once I had gathered a number of these index cards with funny things on them, the harder part began. I would take them to comedy clubs. Then I would buttonhole comedians before or after their set and show them my index cards. When comics are riffing, it’s all fun and games. They all want to top each other. However, when comedians are discussing comedy, it’s serious business.

I’m sure they could feel my interior flop sweat as they shuffled through my 3×5 index cards with funny things on them, yet they’d never crack a smile. They might deadpan, “This is funny” or “I like this one,” or even “That’s been done by so-and-so,” but never once during that entire time did I elicit a laugh from a comedian, despite having sold many of them jokes at $25 a piece.

However, it was incandescent comedians like Robin Williams [and Richard Pryor and Andy Kaufman], who exploded the entire comedic paradigm of JOKE-SET UP-PUNCHLINE, that convinced me I would never achieve fame in the writing-funny-things-down world.

Robin Williams was the John Lennon of comedy. I make the comparison for a number of reasons. In the world of comedy there was no one who could touch him. So many people grew up to his comedy stylings that more than one generation revered him. And, his death was as incomprehensible and tragic as Lennon’s.

I hadn’t heard Robin Williams speak of his depression before he hanged himself, but I have since. It reminds me that everybody’s depression is entirely unique and that all depression is exactly alike.

Hello. My name is Headly and I suffer from depression.

I’ve suffered from depression as long as I can remember. It’s a roller coaster. Sometimes I’m down and some times I’m further down. And, some times I am so far down that I feel I’m in the Mariana Trench. Sometimes I just think of myself as broken. While some days are better than others, rarely do I feel “happy” — whatever the hell that means — for more than a fleeting moment or two. When things are passing for what I feel is normal — whatever the hell that means — I think of it as anhedonia. It’s only when it dips lower do I acknowledge it’s really depression.

In all the years I’ve suffered from depression, I’ve told very few people. Some that I have told have probably forgotten by now. Some of you are learning for the first time, even tho’ we’ve been face-to-facefriends for decades. However, for most of my readers, it’s really none of your damned business. However, I feel that this reveal is important.

It’s not about you. It’s about me.

Not that I think I will ever conquer my depression. It’s just something I need to learn to live with, and “live” is the operative word. As dark as things have ever looked, I’ve never contemplated suicide. Yet I’ve often had the thought that the people around me might be a whole lot better off if I weren’t around. That’s one of the warning signs that I am more depressed than usual because it has a name. It’s called passive suicidal ideation.

I presume only my most loyal readers and cyber-stalkers will have read this far.

of relentless — almost daily — attacks, it would appear The Flying Monkey Squad has tired
of the feud they started when they exposed my alternative lifestyle over a difference of opinion. In fact, Grayhammy — aka Ashley Graham — has not been spotted since July 4th, which I guess you could call my Independence
Day. “Some people say” that my full-length book, The Johnny Dollar Wars,
had its intended effect. To be fair, there are others (like me, f’rinstance) just
waiting for the next shoe to drop; knowing full-well they are working on a new project to smear me. Only time will tell.

However, for the time being, I’ve stopped promoting The Johnny Dollar Wars with timed tweets. It has peaked at 1,910 views (as of this writing), making it the 3rd most popular post at Not Now Silly. Meanwhile, The Johnny Dollar Depreciation Society will
continue to supply your daily adult requirement of Fox “News” Snark.

Today on Fox “News”

WE GET MAIL I: I’ve been asked why I go after Fox “News” so relentlessly. You mean aside from the fact that it deserves every bit of it and a whole lot more besides?

While those in the know already know, my newer readers may be unaware I wrote for NewsHounds, the motto of which is “We watch Fox so you don’t have to.” To maintain anonymity I wrote under the nom de plume of Aunty Em Ericann. I started as their Glenn Beck expert, but moved on to provide truth about other Foxy personalities over the course of my time there. [That’s also when I picked up my crazy cyber-stalking bullies. They actually feel as if they are defending Fox “News” with all their lies and smears against me. Crazy is s crazy does.]

WE GET MAIL II: I’ve been asked more than once, what makes
for a good Headlines Du Jour headline? Each day, as I am driving along
the information highway, I collect some of the more interesting
headlines that I share on my Twitter or Facebookery feeds. I use my own
interests as a guide for what to include. I reason that if I find it
interesting, there’s going to be a others who also find it interesting.
Then there are the subjects I tend to gravitate towards because I have a
greater interest in certain topics than others. These include, but are
not limited to, LGBT Rights, Racism, Bullying, Religion, Income
Inequality, Hemp, Gun Control, Bizarre Conspiracy Theories, Outer Space,
and, of course, the Fox “News” Channel Follies Du Jour.

LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST: Huzzah! Huzzah!! Huzzah!!!

Big changes are coming, dear reader, which will only enhance your daily field trips to the Not Now Silly Newsroom. There is a great deal of excitement in the
Not Now Silly Newsroom these days as we begin to renovate the entire
space from the subbasement right on up to the microwave communication
dishes on the roof.

This isn’t going to be anything like our
last redesign which — let’s be honest — was merely cosmetic. A year
ago last April the name changed from “Headly Westerfield’s Aunty Em
Ericann Blog” [an unwieldy moniker to say the least] to Not Now Silly. I
slapped a new logo on the top, splashed a little paint here, pasted up
some wallpaper there, and then I called it a relaunch. But, it was all
smoke and mirrors. So what if the Not Now Silly News Director added a
microwave to the lunch room? That hardly appeased those who toiled in
the subbasement collecting each day’s Headlines Du Jour.

Nope! This time we’re renovating the entire Not Now Silly Newsroom.

A brand new look on a new platform, with a renewed determination
and a new domain name: NotNowSilly.com. It’s time to take the Not Now
Silly Newsroom to the next level. Who is with me?

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.