Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pheaturing Phile Alum Lio Nicol

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. How are you? Wanna play a game? Your first name plus your last name equals your Nazi fighting name. What is it? Mine is Jason Peverett. Man, I don't know where to start today. Let's start off with a story about Spotify.
Spotify is proving that everyone, no matter who you are or what you do, can take action in the fight against neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The streaming music company has banned music by hate groups. It's a big step in refusing to normalize these views. On Monday, Digital Music News published a report highlighting 37 white supremacist bands that were currently available on Spotify. The Southern Poverty Law Center had attempted to call attention to the hate-mongering music back in 2014, when they highlighted the bands' appearance on iTunes. The list included bands with names like Kill, Baby… Kill!, Battlecry and Blood Red Eagle. Three bands I will never interview here on the Phile. In response, on the heels of a violent racism-fueled weekend in Charlottesville, the company acted fast to remove the groups. Speaking to VICE, the company released a statement revealing that it “takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention.” Similar to the business leaders resigning from Trump's panels and the aides attempting to distance themselves from the administration, the move speaks volumes. Spotify users... a.k.a. almost everyone with a computer and headphones... are cheering the decision. Other tech companies, like Twitter, Paypal, and Google, have refused to ban white supremacists on "free speech" grounds. As VICE reports, Spotify and Deezer, a France-based streaming company, are the only music services to enact bans. Apple Music still retains contracts with bands like Resistance 77 and Offensive Weapon. The move is a reminder that you can find ways to stand up for your values in everyday life... even if your job is something as seemingly neutral as sharing music. Expect to see more and more artists taking a stance here. In the meantime, feel free to listen to Spotify playlists like Patriotic Passion, which the brand calls "a soundtrack to an America worth fighting for."
When Donald Trump gave that incendiary press conference on Tuesday in which he said that the people who protest Nazis are as bad as the Nazis themselves, not to mention the fact that he said that some of them were "very fine people," Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were conveniently tucked away in Vermont. Ivanka and Jared have a habit of fleeing the scene whenever things get bad, but people wondered if the parents of three JewishThe Uno Pizzeria and Grill chain fired one of its Vermont employees, Ryan Roy, for attending the rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, the Burlington Free Press reports. Another jobless white supremacist. They're losing their jobs left and right (no pun intended, ugh).children would interrupt their trip to the Ben & Jerry's factory to find some WiFi and use their power as senior advisors to have the administration take a firm stance against the people who chanted "Jews will not replace us!" and other anti-Semitic slogans in Charlottesville. But good news, y'all! The Fair Feminist Voice of Reason has returned to social media to be heard! While Jews and people of color might feel shaken in the wake of the president's inability unequivocally condemn Nazism, former Democratic donor Ivanka Trump has a message for the haters and losers...

Oh. That's it? She emerged from the woods of Vermont in the midst of a national crisis to congratulate the New Mooch? People noticed. Welcome back, Ivanka!
One of the white nationalists who was photographed at the tiki torch-lit rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday night has been fired from his job. According to the "New York Post," Cole White of California was let go from his job at a hot dog restaurant just hours after he was identified by the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist, which has been calling out the white supremacists who were present at the violent protests in Charlottesville all weekend.
On Sunday, @YesYoureRacist provided an update that White had been fired from his job at Top Dog. The restaurant thanked the account for bringing White's actions to their attention. They said they'd make an official statement to their website on Monday, but thought it was important to let everyone know that White had been fired from his position.White's termination was confirmed in a sign posted to the establishment's door in Berkeley...

Bye, Cole.
The Uno Pizzeria and Grill chain fired one of its Vermont employees, Ryan Roy, for attending the rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, the "Burlington Free Press" reports. Another jobless white supremacist. They're losing their jobs left and right (no pun intended, ugh). After Vice News published a report on the Charlottesville rallies, people identified Roy, who appeared in the video wielding a torch and chanting white supremacist slogans like "Jews will not replace us!" Um, guys? That's actually not how Judaism works.Skip Weldon, the chief marketing officer for Uno told the Free Press on Tuesday evening, "Ryan Roy has been terminated." In an emailed statement, Weldon wrote, "We are committed to the fair treatment of all people and the safety of our guests and employees at our restaurants." Roy spoke to the "Free Press" via telephone on Tuesday night. He said that he attended several Charlottesville rallies over the weekend, one of which was a rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Roy stated the results of his participation in the rally "proved" his beliefs about the "liberal left." He was fired, and on top of that, someone allegedly called the Vermont Department for Children and Families, to try to get his kid taken away from him. Roy explained, "I think it kind of just proves my point, proves a lot of what I think, not that I needed further proof. I think it’s group think." He admitted that he's for racial separation, and added, "Obviously I would advocate for racial separation and racial nationalism or repatriation or even a return to... our country was a white country up until the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act." Of course, Roy obviously has some very fucked up ideas about this country and race, and deserves to be named and shamed for them. But the whole getting fired thing has given more that just white supremacists pause. As Gillian B. White wrote in the "Atlantic," "Of course, the consequence of this dynamic is that taboo political ideas of all stripes can lead to workplace sanctions. While many on the political left are now lauding firings as a way to hold white supremacists accountable, it’s also worth remembering that pressuring employers to sever ties based on political activities, or social and racial beliefs, has historically been targeted in the other direction." In the same article, White spoke to Katherine Stone, a UCLA law professor with a focus on labor law.  According to Stone, it's not "uncommon or illegal" for private-sector workers (such as Roy) to get fired for activities in which they partake during their non-working hours, if it "reflects poorly on their employer." Employers in the private sector are not required to employ people who exercise their right to free speech, according to Stone. Most reasonable people can agree that neo-Nazis are terrible and their beliefs are unAmerican. That they're repugnant and should lose their jobs. The ethical and legal aspects of the situation, meanwhile, are just food for thought. Food that racist Roy will definitely no longer be serving at Uno's Pizzeria.
Among the many horrifying images coming out of Charlottesville this past weekend was this ironic one: a white supremacist doing the KKK salute while sporting the name of an elite paratrooper unit that fought Nazis during World War II.

The 82nd Airborne Division is an infantry unit nicknamed the All America Division, which played a critical role in the Allied win of the 1944 D-Day invasion. D-Day's the one from Saving Private Ryan. It's a big deal. The All American made a point to actively condemn the white supremacist who bought a hat and betrayed its values." Anyone can purchase that hat," the All American unit declares. "Valor is earned." The unit made sure that everyone knows that the white supremacist does not represent their Nazi-fighting values. Truly, they do what the Trump won't... beyond fighting in a war, which we know President Bone Spurs couldn't do. They unequivocally state that supporting America's enemies in World War II is absolutely un-American. The 82nd Airbone will keep fighting fascists... but this time, they don't need to jump into Europe to do so.
Man, you gotta love New Yorkers... On Monday when Trump showed up in New York they told him  fuck you in a lot of creative ways. Here's one way they told him...

It's Trump Rat, kids. Hey, you know I love Star Wars and football, right? Not as much as this guy...

So, if you are thinking about cheating on your loved one you might wanna think twice after seeing this...

Yikes! One thing you might know about me is I like to obey the rules... but not as much as this guy does.

Do you see the sign? Haha. Hey, you know I work at the Star Tours ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios, right? Well, they have recently changed the name of it. Here is the new name...

Speaking of Disney... I have breaking news! Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land are completed earlier than expected...

Hahahaha. I just cracked myself up. Here in Florida some people are very creative with their license plates. Check this one out...

Clever, right? Hey, have you seen what the White House looks like now? No? Take a look...

Sheesh, that's scary. So, one good thing about the Internet is you can look at porn for free. The problem with that though is you might end up looking at porn and not read the Phile. So, I thought I should show something pornographic here. But the problem with that is you might get in trouble if you're reading the Phile at work. Well, I came up with a solution. Check it out, and you're welcome...

Hmmm. Why is there a toilet in the hamster's cage? Haha. By the way, just in case you are a Nazi and don't know what the "alt-left" looks like let me give you a demonstration...

Capeesh? Hey, it's Thursday, so you know what that means, right?

A Queens, N.Y. man sued his local Subway restaurant after he made a frightening discovery that gives new meaning to his former favorite, the Italian cold-cut trio: a knife baked right into the bun. John Agnesini, 27, was shocked to find the surprise ingredient, and a large one at that, in his sandwich. The design director of "HX" magazine was sitting at his computer doing work and not looking at what he was about to put into his mouth. Agnesini said he didn't bite into the knife's blade and wasn't cut, but a few hours later, he said he felt sick to his stomach and went to his doctor. That's not too disgusting, right?

Hmmm... I was sitting on this Mindphuck for a long time. I think I should of sat on it longer. Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, wanna seem wise when you go on a date or back to work? Well, I am here to help you with a pheature simply titled...

Phact 1: Although pancreatic cancers are usually deadly, Steve Jobs had the kind of cancer that was treatable and curable, but for nine months, he refused treatment and instead tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, psychics, juice fasts, and bowel cleansings. Many experts think it cost him his life.
Phact 2: In 2007, a group of college students drove the speed limit (55mph) on I-285 and backed up traffic for miles.
Phact 3: When Charles Whitman began his shooting rampage at University of Texas in 1966, a lot of locals grabbed their rifles and started shooting back. They kept him pinned down until the police could sneak up the tower and kill him.
Phact 4: In California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, "Ladies Nights discounts" are against the law because they are gender discrimination.
Phact 5: During the 2011 earthquake in Japan, 50 workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant did not leave even though 750 others had been evacuated. For four days they kept the reactor from melting down until backup arrived, saving countless lives.

I don't understand that pic at all.

President Donald Trump's usual morning tweet-storm veered straight into tweet-tornado territory this morning. The man tweeted eight times before 10am and I could barely keep up. He started out by trash-talking Senator Lindsey Graham, who on Wednesday made a statement saying that Trump "took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer." He was referring to Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was murdered by a white supremacist last weekend. A former reality TV star mocking someone else for being attention-seeking is sheer perfection (if you find his hypocrisy funny). Trump goes on to say that "the public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry, etc. Shame!" What Trump doesn't seem to realize is that the media can't "misrepresent" words that all of America heard Trump actually say. Once our attention-deficit president tired of that line of tweeting, he switched over to talking shit about "Flake Jeff Flake" (we see what you did there, Trump), whom he called "WEAK" on borders and crime and characterized as "toxic." This is fine, everybody. This is how a president should talk. To remind everyone that he is indeed working, Trump tweeted about his meetings today, and threw in a quick shout out to his favorite topic (besides Hillary's emails): jobs!

Jobs jobs, jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs. But Donald Trump just couldn't help himself, and he had to keep tweeting. He was on a roll, and he was ready to double down. He tweeted about how removing monuments of the Confederacy was ripping the history and culture of the country apart (right, not the racism). He reiterated his belief that taking down statues is a slippery slope, because if we take down Robert E. Lee's monument, soon we'll be taking down statues of Washington and Jefferson. (Quick aside: Lee didn't even like statues or monuments, according to PBS.) It's okay, Donnie. No one's even going to notice the statues are missing after a while. In fact, many people will be thrilled that the statues are gone, whichever ones are successfully taken down. We could even put new ones up, of more modern heroes! Life will continue, and statue-inflicted wounds will heal. Will the country heal? That remains to be seen.

The 65th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

One of the author's, Mike Stoller, will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. Pretty fucking cool, right?

Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan is a U.S. terrorist group devoted to the cause of white supremacy despite its members being the best argument against it.

Today's guest is a Phile Alum whose new EP "1" is available right now on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile, the lovely... Lio Nicol!

Me: Lio! Welcome back to the Phile! How have you been?

Lio: I’ve been busy and fantastic thank you! Hope you’ve been well also!

Me: I'm hanging in there. I have to say, since I started interviewing people on this blog about 9 years ago you have been one of the most talented and one of my favorite guests I had here. You're so young and so talented... you're gonna go far. Do you ever think where you're gonna be in the future? Do you plan on making music for a long time?

Lio: Wow, thank you! I appreciate all your positive support. I always think about where I will be in the future and I hope it’s somewhere by a nice body of water in a modest house filled with instruments and family. I absolutely plan on making music for a long time. My biggest goal for myself is writing songs with and for other people, which is a timeless career if you can build and grow with the industry.

Me: I love your new EP, "1." That makes me think of your making music in the future... "1" and then "2" til about "100." Haha. What made you decide to name the EP "1"?

Lio. Haha. I like the sounds of that! I chose the number 1 because this was my first project I felt completely myself in. So it’s like the beginning of me.

Me: Did you have a good time recording this EP, Lio?

Lio: I had a great time! My friend Wesley Switzer recorded these songs in his home studio, Milestone Studios, in Burbank. The EP reminds me of my last days living in San Diego and moving to Los Angeles because I was in that transition when this EP was being recorded.

Me: You play keyboards and guitar, right? Which one do you prefer and which one came first?

Lio: I taught myself piano first so that comes easier to me for sure, but I started to learn guitar over the last couple years and now I really like to play both equally. Although it’s easier for me to write on piano because I’ve been playing it longer.

Me: I love the video and the song "They Sent You Back Down." Is that meaning heaven or somewhere up north? Am I thinking too much into it? Haha.

Lio: HA! I mean I am Canadian and from Montana so your thinking is pretty on point, BUT technically it’s heaven. The concept is that someone is just too good to be true they must have been sent back down from heaven to be your soul mate.

Me: What was the inspiration for the song, Lio?

Lio: I was actually just sitting at my piano in the living room (that I lived in at the time) of my friend Ali’s house, who is absolutely one of my soul mates, and it just came to me. I know that sounds cheese, but I started with the first line and it all just came out. Sometimes our better songs just sneak out of you when you least expect it.

Me: The video looked so much fun and I was jealous of your friend having a fun time with you. Haha. Did you know the other woman in the video beforehand? It looks like you two are really the best of friends.

Lio: YES! Katherine and I have known each other since 6th grade I believe. We are like sisters. After years of going to different schools and being in different states, we finally ended up in the same place and I was so excited to have her in my video as my actual soul sister!

Me: Was everything in the video planned out or was it improvised?

Lio: Only the locations were planned by Riley (the videographer), the rest was kind of thought up on the spot by Riley and then he just let us be goofy with each other like we do.

Me: There's a few things in the video I would never do that you did... one was throw colored sand or dust or whatever it was at somebody, or have it thrown at me. It could get in your eyes. I have a screenshot of that here...

Me: What was that stuff anyway?

Lio: I think it’s just dry paint? It was so much fun though and it washed out very easily. I get you about the eyes thing though! I kept closing my eyes and missing Katherine so by the end of that shoot I was covered and she was fine... haha.

Me: The other is riding on a shopping cart... haha. Did the supermarket know you were filming? 

Lio: They did not! We did it on the side in this little small lot and nobody really saw us so that was fun.

Me: Anyway, the video is perfect for the summer. Was that the plan?

Lio: Well, we released it on the 28th and so it’s out for the world to see!

Me: Will you be making videos for the other songs on the EP?

Lio: I will not be making any more videos from this EP but I am working on new songs currently and will definitely be putting a video out with a couple of the new songs.

Me: I like the song "Day Job." What is that song about? You don't have a day job, right? 

Lio: Haha... correct, I go to school at UCLA at night and set up writing sessions during the day. I actually wrote the song about the producer and his wife, Wes and Amy. They are such awesome people and he does the music career and she has the day job life and they do a really great job of making it work so I was inspired to write a song about it!

Me: So, last time you were here I mentioned I love your version of the John Hiatt song "Have A Little Faith In Me" and that I want it played at my funeral. I still do. Is there any other covers you like to do?

Lio: I remember you saying that. I actually covered “Tiny Dancer” which you can find on my YouTube channel as well. That one seems to be a crowd pleasure for sure.

Me: I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but you should record my dad's song, "Third Time Lucky." He was the lead singer in Foghat.

Lio: Oh. Awesome! I will have to check it out ASAP and get this on the list! I love suggestions because I can’t possibly know every great song!

Me: So, what's next for you, Lio? You know, you should come to Orlando, play a show here, and I'll take you to Disney.

Lio: Well, I love Disneyland and have been wanting to come to Florida so who knows! As far as what’s next I am currently writing with lots of other people and working on a few new singles to pump out for you guys!

Me: That's cool! Go ahead and mention your website and everything. Please come back on the Phile sometime. I'm a huge fan, Lio. All the best. 

Lio: Thank you, Jason. I would love to and I always love interviewing with you! You can find me at and through there you are easily connected to all my social medias! Have an amazing life everyone and I’ll talk to you soon, Jason!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Lio for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with singer Travis Crowley. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pheaturing Phile Alum Gary Gerani

Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. So, there are a lot of summer trends happening this year. I decided to not dye the little hair I have charcoal but maybe I'll go out and get a coffee caviar. You don't know what that is? Well, caviar is essentially little blobs of coffee added to desserts and savory dishes and it has taken over Instagram as the next big food "thing." Coffee giant Lavetta makes it "using a syringe and small drops of the coffee. Alginate mixture is added to the diluted calcium chloride." It sounds good, right? Okay, let's get on with the news...
A bag of scum masquerading as a human being was riding the train in NYC last week when he launched into a xenophobic, racist tirade directed at a fellow passenger, who recorded the incident on her phone. "Get the fuck out my country before I murder your whole fucking nation," he says in his anti-Asian rant, directed at a 21-year-old Brooklyn woman who says she's not actually Asian (she's white). "I myself am a little bit of an anxious person and I was getting weird vibes from him," the woman told Gothamist anonymously. "He wasn't giving me a dirty look per se, but he was staring." She said she asked him politely, "can you please stop staring at me you are making me uncomfortable" and that's when his "look turned sour" and he "started asking the surrounding people if I had a right to tell him to stop staring, and said I had less of a right because I was Asian." This is when things "escalated," said the woman, who recorded the encounter and had a friend post it on Facebook. She said she hoped it would highlight anti-Asian racism. "I think they are a minority group that is being targeted as much as other groups," she said. In the video, she keeps telling the man she's white. "I'm not Chinese! I'm not Chinese!" she says. "This is my country too. I'm white." He then makes offensive comments about her "fucking Chinese eyes" and threatens to "murder your whole fucking nation, motherfucker." He also says, multiple times, "you are my property." If you see this man, please kick him in the nuts for me.

Sadly, incidents like this are not uncommon, and reports of racially-biased and xenophobic hate crimes have risen since you-know-who became president. Fuck.
In wonderful news for Prince Harry and awful news for Prince Harry fans, reports claim that Britain's favorite royal is engaged. Harry has been dating the activist (and, um, "Suits" star) Meghan Markle for just over a year. The couple has been on vacation in Botswana, and reports suggest that Harry flew Markle to a private island and proposed. Recent unconfirmed reports claim that Harry supposedly had a ring made from a piece of his mother Princess Diana's jewelry. But instead of a piece of royal swag, "The Sun" reports that the couple is "wearing Zulu betrothal bracelets." The pattern of the bracelets allegedly signifies marriage. If any royal has it in him to elope, it's Prince Harry. What would Kate Middleton think?! If he did propose, Harry would have been taking a page out of Prince William's book. William proposed to Kate Middleton in Kenya in 2010, although he claims he "didn't really plan it that far in advance." Until Queen Elizabeth gives her blessing, we won't get a confirmation out of Buckingham Palace. But a pal of Harry's couldn't resist but share the story with the U.K. press. The source also claims that Harry had the help of the Zulu king and queen to create the traditional betrothal bracelet. It's all a bit hard to believe until we see that bling. "The world is watching, so the royal red tape needs to be adhered to," said the source. "Meghan won’t be landing at Heathrow with a giant rock on her finger."
Sometimes even good people have bad ideas. So I'll try to give this clothing company the benefit of the doubt, even if they DID try to "reclaim the swastika" by putting the universal symbol on shirts against a rainbow backdrop. Reeeeeeeeeally, clothing company? Really???

Yup, really. A small clothing company called KA Designs apparently attempted to take what has become a Nazi symbol of hate ever since World War II, and "rebrand" it as a symbol of "love." Their intentions may have been pure, especially since the swastika was originally an East Asian symbol of "life," "love," and "peace" before the Nazis claimed it for their reign of terror. But given its history, can the swastika be "reclaimed"? "The swastika is coming back, together with peace, together with love, together with respect, together with Freedom," the company said in a video shared on Facebook last month. In an interview with "Dazed and Confused" magazine last Sunday, the company said, "We really like the symbol in its shape and aesthetics, and we would love to share the beauty of this symbol detached from the Hatred associated with it. This project only represents the first step of our 'master plan,' and we are excited about what the future will give us." You have to admire their optimism, I guess? But... surprise... people are not on board with the "new swastika." Even against a rainbow backdrop, it's still a swastika. And that's just not something you want on your shirt. No matter how brightly colored the rainbow or how "rebranded" the meaning, that's a no thank you, please. Since the internet backlash, the shirts have been removed from the website Teespring where they were being sold, and the company that designed them has sort of apologized, while sort of defending the design. In a statement to the "Jerusalem Post," they said, "This project was intended to be innocent and peaceful. We were sincerely trying to convey an extremely positive message. But as soon as people saw the Swastika, they became violent and aggressive. That's why we want to forgive and ask forgiveness. Thank you and sorry."
If you've ever lurked around the Mildly Penis subreddit you've probably come across the Christian Science Society Church in Dixon, Illinois, because, well, it looks mildly like a dick. Last week the Christian Science Society Church was in the "news" (if that's what you call stories about giant dick churches) once again, this time because allegedly a water main had broken right on the corner of the street, making it look like, you know...

It's one of those stories you see on the Internet and pray is true, but unfortunately, it's not. The part about the Church being a dick, now that is 100% true. It's just that "too good to be true" part about the water main that's, well, too good to be true. Turns out it's from a Tweet in 2013. And of course, true to Internet form, the Daily Dot points out that someone went WAY too deep in analyzing the photo and made the case that unless every single car was in the same location during the water main break as they were when Google’s satellites passed by, this was a hoax. In fairness, it's a great story and you could totally see "Fox & Friends" covering something dumb like this. Or at least falling for the fake story. So don't feel bad if you bought in when you first saw it.
It turns out if you mess with Jonah Hill, you mess with the entire Internet. A video of Hill talking to local reporters at a university in 2014 has resurfaced. It's now going viral because of one particularly dumb question a reporter asked him about his weight. At the beginning of the video, Hill appears to be discussing his recent weight loss, when the reporter asks him this, "Are you still considered the fat guy, when you go to a party or anything?" When Hill doesn't respond right away, the reporter presses on. "Are you the fat guy in Hollywood still?" Um... WHAT?! I'm not sure exactly what made the reporter think that was an okay question to ask Jonah or any human being for that matter, but here we are. That kind of question could make anyone lose their cool, but not Jonah Hill. Instead, he had this to say, "Do you have any other questions... that are smart?" The footage of the interview has resurfaced, and people on Twitter love Hill's response, but they are NOT HAPPY that that reporter had the gall to mess with their precious Jonah. Here's a life tip for everyone: don't ever ask anyone if they're considered "the fat guy."
Speaking of Jonah Hill, did you know he has a brand new movie that just came out? I have the exclusive poster here to show you...

I bet it is gonna be funny. So, you know about the whole Trump/Kim Jong Un pissing war, right? Well, if I was Trump I would watch out... Kim Jong Un is ready to fight...

So, you know the Disney movie Hercules? Well, before that movie came out some of the characters had a completely different look...

That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

Mark Hamill is one of the most wittiest celebrities when it comes to signing autographs. Check this out...

Hahaha. Have you ever been arrested and had a mug shot taken? I haven't, but if I did I wouldn't want to be wearing a t-shirt like this woman wore...

I hate to say it but she looks kinda cute though. One thing you might not know about me is I like to do what I am told, and take things literally. Some people take that a bit too far though...

I should try that with my cell phone. Haha. So, back in the day do you know they used to be ads for drugs? Don't believe me? Check it out...

Here in Florida people try to get away with some crazy license plates like this one...

That should actually be my license plate. Haha. Do you watch "Game of Thrones"? I don't as I don't have HBO. Anyway, I didn't know the show took place on present day earth. Look at what one of the characters was wearing on last night's episode...

She looks like a Trump fan, right? It's football preseason and some football fans are like me, they also like Star Wars. Some take it a bit too far though...

Speaking of Star Wars, did you know Big Bird was supposed to be in the first movie? I wonder of Gary Gerani knows that. If you don't believe me check out this rare scene from A New Hope.

Told ya. Hahahaha. So, ladies, are you looking for a new different kinda bra to wear? How about this one?

The cool Chopstick Bra was created by lingerie-maker Triumph International Japan to promote the use of reusable chopsticks. That's right, you can enhance your cleavage and save the planet at the same time. That's stupid. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Ways To Convince Trump That Climate Change Is Real
5. Warn him that higher, drier temperatures would make his hair a prime target for wildfires.
4. Explain that, while it may not affect him in his lifetime, it will affect Barron's children... and then explain who Barron is.
3. Tell him that it'll cause widespread animal die-offs long before Donald Jr. gets a chance to kill everything himself.
2. Put the central air in Trump Tower on "low," but tell him it's on "high."
And the number one way to convince Trump that climate change is real is...
1. Have climate-change believers donate more money to his re-election campaign than climate-change deniers.

Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, wanna sound cool around your offices water cooler? Well, I am here to help. Once again here is a pheature simply titled...

Phact 1: Serial killer Dennis Rader a.k.a. BTK asked the cops if it was safe to communicate via  floppy disk. In the "properties" section of the document, police found that the file has last been saved by someone named Dennis and the MS-Word was registered in the name of a church to which he belonged. After getting caught he couldn't believe that the cops had lied to him.
Phact 2: After scientists discovered that deep-sea dragonfish had chlorophyll in their eyes, the U.S. Pentagon began funding research for inexpensive night-vision eye drops.
Phact 3: At the end of cleaning up Chernobyl, three men were forced to travel to the top of reactor 3's chimney to hang a red flag. Due to high radiation levels, the entire operation had to be timed to last no more than 9 minutes. Their reward was a bottle of Pepsi (a luxury at the time) and a day off.
Phact 4: Chipotle uses 97,000 pounds of avocados per day and they use about 60 avocados to make a single batch of guacamole.
Phact 5: Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were drunk in the scene where Leia and Solo arrive at Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back due to partying all night into the morning with the Rolling Stones and Eric Idle.

Are you a lazy person? I bet you are not as lazy as the person who did this...

That's pretty clever I have to admit.

It has been an ugly couple of days in Charlottesville, Virginia. On Friday night, hundreds of tiki torch-wielding white supremacists descended on the University of Virginia's campus for a rally and clashed with counter-protesters. The violence continued on Saturday, and escalated to the point where a car was driven by a white supremacist into a crowd of anti-racism protesters. One woman was killed in the car crash. Two police officers also lost their lives in a helicopter crash related to the white supremacist rally, "The Washington Post" reports. In a statement about the incident on Saturday, Donald Trump condemned violence and hatred "on many sides," but failed to explicitly condemn white supremacy. Of course, the president's failure to mention that white supremacy is bad sparked a widespread backlash. After the outrage, an unnamed White House spokesperson provided an update to Trump's remarks on Saturday. The new statement reads, "The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together." Translation: "Wait, you want us to say that the president doesn't approve of Nazis out loud? So people can hear it? Ugh, FINE." At least they updated it?

Today's guest is a Phile Alum and author of "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three," the 64th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome back to the Phile... Gary Gerani.

Me: Hey, Gary, welcome back to the Phile. How are you doing, sir?

Gary: Very well, thank you.

Me: Last time you were here it was Super Bowl Sunday... did you watch the game? Are you a football fan? I am a Giants fan.

Gary: I’m not really into football, although I did watch some of the game on my giant plasma screen. Baseball’s a little different. Being a kid from Brooklyn, I grew up a Mets fan… nothing like those once-in-a-while miracles. Most of my fellow Toppers were Yankees guys.

Me: I have to tell you that you are one of the most popular guests I get to interview for this blog. Do you do a lot of interviews generally?

Gary: Wow… that’s a cool compliment. Thanks! I’ve done interviews and video commentaries for various projects over the years, so I guess I’ve become pretty comfortable with public chatting.

Me: What about conventions? Ever go to conventions as a guest or just to show up and walk around? I go to conventions like the Tampa Bay Comic Con, Clermont Comic Con and MegaCon once in awhile and I kinda like it. I have been going to cons pretty much off and off since my first one in New York in ’83.

Gary: Yep, I’ve been going to conventions since the late ‘60s. Lately I’ve been doing signings for IDW and Abrams at the San Diego and New York Comic Cons.

Me: I did get to go to Star Wars Celebration this year which was pretty cool. Have you ever been to one of those?

Gary: Not yet, sorry to say. I did write a public essay about Topps’ history with Star Wars for Charles Lippincott, but I forget which convention it was intended for.

Me: Okay, so as well as the Topps Trading Cards series of books which have been pheatured on the Phile you have been writing and putting together some other books... "Top 100 Horror Movies," "Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies," "Top 100 Fantasy Movies," and recently "Top 100 Comic Book Movies." That book I will pheature in the Phile's Book club soon... anyway, how did these series of books come about?

Gary: Back in 1976 I wrote a book called "Fantastic Television," which was the first book to deal with sci-fi, fantasy and horror on TV. It was very successful, and, several years later, IDW asked me to create a brand new book division of my own, which we dubbed “Fantastic Press.” The idea was to carry over the flavor and style of my original creation into the 21st Century, with a colorful new line of trade paperbacks. I came up with the “Top 100” gimmick as a way to make these movie genre overviews more entertaining. Hopefully I succeeded!

Me: Do you pick them for the most popularity of them, or how well they did at the box office or are they your personal favorite movies?

Gary: I suppose it was sort of an arcane combination of all three factors. Ranking aside, all of the movies covered are essential entries in their genre. I’m especially fond of some of the more obscure titles.

Me: It would be hard to come up with a 100 best anything myself, so I give you 100% kudos on this, Gary. Are these series of books fun to put together?

Gary: It can drive you a little crazy at times, but mostly it’s an enjoyable task.

Me: Okay, so I am not a big horror fan at all... I think the only horror movie I ever saw in my life is Poltergeist. I do not like to be scared. Hahaha. Is Poltergeist on the list?

Gary: Ha! I don’t remember. Probably… it was a significant horror film, one that made the genre “safe” for the whole family.

Me: As the co-writer for Pumpkinhead I gather you do like horror movies, am I right?

Gary: Oh, sure.

Me: Speaking of Pumpkinhead that could be the name of the Donald Trump movie. Hahaha. How many times has anyone made that joke to to?

Gary: You’re the first, actually. But hell, it fits.

Me: Okay. What's the scariest movie you have ever seen, Gary?

Gary: Polanski’s Repulsion.

Me: By the way, the last book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club "The Fly King" by Karling Abbeygate. I say check out out... I could only read it in the day time. Do you do a lot of reading yourself or are you always writing? 

Gary: I’m doing very little fiction reading these days, sorry to say. Haven’t had the time… which is a shame.

Me: Okay, so with the top 100 sci-fi movies Star Wars had better come first, am I right? Or Empire... hahaha. What is your favorite sci-fi film?

Gary: Forbidden Planet was #1, with Five Million Years to Earth (Quatermass and the Pit), 2001 and Star Wars right up there.

Me: Is Westworld on the list? I love that movie! I was told to check out the new series on HBO but I don't have HBO so I have to wait. Have you seen it?

Gary: Nope. And I don’t think Westworld made the main line-up. That said, it is a fun movie, with Yul’s Mag7 Terminator a memorable screen villain.

Me: What about Logan's Run? That's a great movie.

Gary: No comment!

Me: Okay. Oh, back to the horror movies... Solent Green... I saw that one but I don't think it counts as horror, does it? It wasn't that scary.

Gary: It’s a legitimate science fiction movie, though, with its overpopulation theme and all. The early ‘70s were bursting with socially aware sci-fi flicks (Silent Running, Damnation Alley, No Blade Of Grass, etc.). Star Wars ’77 transformed the genre into spectacular, roller coaster fun, and the rest is history.

Me: With the fantasy movies I say Labyrinth has to be on it and I don't know if Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Bedknobs and Broomsticks counts as fantasy... I am sure they do but being on the list might be a stretch. What's your favorite fantasy movie, Gary?

Gary: Lord of the Rings. But there are many, many great fantasy films, of all different kinds and from all different countries. Donkey Skin and The Miracle of Marcelino are right up there with The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Wizard of Oz.

Me: Recently I started watching the Harry Potter movies but stopped half way through the fifth one. I take it you are in those movies. I am surprised that there are no card series for the Potter movies... maybe they are, I don't know. Hahaha.

Gary: ArtBox hired me to launch their Harry Potter trading card line a decade or so ago. It was successful, and I believe they continued on for some time. I have no idea who has the trading card license now (Rittenhouse?).

Me: Okay, let's talk about the latest book to be pheatured in the book club... "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three" which came out last summer (even thug back in February I didn't realize it was out) but I wanted to pheature all three of your Star Wars books in this series. I love this book and I have to say somewhere I still have the whole collection of this card series. It was the first series I completed I think. When you were writing this book was it as much fun as writing the first two?

Gary: To be honest, probably not. Writing the first book was a blast, because I jumped head-first into the memory pool. The world really did change in 1977, and we were at the heart of all that excitement. Star Wars was always an exciting proposition, but by the time the third film came along, a lot of us were awfully tired!

Me: What about when you were originally putting these cards together back in the early 80s... was it pretty much the same as it was when you started out?

Gary: Like I said, Star Wars started off as a world-changer… by the time Jedi was released, we were already living in a changed world, so the impact wasn’t quite as striking. Still, we found things to be inspired about.

Me: How did you make this series different from the other series of cards, Gary? The stickers were different, right? 

Gary: We were a well-oiled machine by the time Return of the Jedi came along. Maybe just a little too slick for our own good. The stickers were a bit different, and kind of cool. It wound up being a nice, commercial card product.

Me: Back when this movie came out the whole Vader being Luke's dad was revealed... so you must of found out before you saw the movie. Did that ruin to for you?

Gary: Actually, I found out the same time everyone else did… at the movie’s premiere! George Lucas and company really managed to keep it a secret… the script I had read, which I had based the card set on, made no mention of it. Quite a surprise, right?!

Me: Yeah, that's cool. What is your favorite card in the series, Gary?

Gary: It’s got to be the notorious "Threepio having an erection" shot, the most famous trading card I ever edited. Read all about it in the Star Wars ’77 Abrams book.

Me: Yeah, we talked about it the first time you were here on the Phile. Back then did you ever think they would make any more Star Wars movies?

Gary: Yeah… we at Topps were told to expect sequels by our contacts at Fox and Lucasfilm. That first movie seemed clearly designed for follow-ups.

Me: Did the marketing for cards change since you started doing them? I think the Star Wars cards were the hottest property that Topps had, am I right?

Gary: It’s fair to say that Star Wars is Topps’ most successful tie-in property, if you don’t count Baseball. "Charlies Angels" tied with Star Wars for multiple series during this late ‘70s period, by the way… five series each.

Me: Hey, did you work on the Superman: The Movie cards and "The Mork and Mindy" cards? I had those as well. Any plans on those books?

Gary: Yes, yes, and who knows? Abrams has done many of these Topps tie-in books, although they seem to be slowing down now. We shall see...

Me: Okay, so, as well as writing and putting together some really cool books you are a screen writer. Last time you were here you mentioned you were writing a screenplay with a Hollywood legend in the lead. Can you say what that movie is now and who that legend is?

Gary: It’s John Travolta, and the movie’s a racing drama called Trading Paint, which has finally been officially announced for filming in ’17. 

Me: Wow! That's cool! Is it a comedy? It's a NASCAR movie?

Gary: It’s about the dirt track racing scene, small town stuff. Like Pumpkinhead, we have a city-country culture clash (our heroine is an outsider) and an emotional father-and-son family drama, in addition to all those screeching tires and roaring engines. No Stan Winston monsters this time, however!

Me: Did you know Travolta beforehand, Gary?

Gary: My writing partner knew him, in Florida. I’ve been doing on-and-off screenwriting work in Hollywood for years, mostly for projects that never got made.

Me: When the movie was being written did you have Travolta in mind of the part?

Gary: Absolutely! It was written specifically for him.

Me: You know... I think Foghat's "Slow Ride" should be in the movie... wink wink. Whatcha think? By the way, my dad was Lonesome Dave, lead singer in Foghat.

Gary: Wow. Impressive! Kinda fits, too...

Me: Gary, can you come back when this movie comes out?

Gary: Sure, of course.

Me: I have you back and pheature the "Top 100 Comic Book Movies" book soon.

Gary: That’ll be MY pleasure, Jason!

Me: So, you're always working... any new projects coming out, Gary?

Gary: Let’s see… trading cards, books, movie scripts… and a documentary! I’m producing one right now about a great TV composer, Billy Goldenberg, who did all of Steven Spielberg’s early TV work (including the score for Duel). Should be finished sometime in 2018. What can I say… I like to keep busy!

Me: That's cool. Take care, and I will have you back on the Phile soon.

Gary: Looking forward to it, my friend.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Gary Gerani for another great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Phile Alum and singer Lio Nicol. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker