Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pheaturing Joseph Eid

Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? I hope you're feeling better than I am. The only thing worse than having diarrhea is having to spell it. Ha. Okay, let's start off with politics, shall we?
So many crazy things have happened in American politics over the last few months that almost nothing can surprise us anymore. Well, nothing except this. Juan Williams, a co-host on the Fox News show, "The Five," has authored an op-ed demanding that Republicans apologize to Fox News' least favorite person, Hillary Clinton. No, this isn't a prank. A Fox News anchor actually wants Republicans to say they're sorry to Hillary Clinton. "When will Republicans drop the partisan games and apologize to Hillary Clinton?" Williams wrote in his piece, published by The Hill. Granted, Williams is one of Fox News' more left-leaning correspondents, so that may be why he's on Hill's side here.Williams noted how Republicans mocked Clinton for saying, "If the election had been on October 27th, I would be your president," at a forum in New York City earlier this month. (She was referring to former FBI director James Comey re-opening the investigation into her emails during the final days of the 2016 presidential race, which certainly didn't help her campaign.) Williams wrote that after Clinton made those comments, Republicans that insisted that she should just accept defeat and take responsibility for a poor campaign, Clinton (sort of) got some support from President Trump last week when he fired Comey with the reasoning that he violated policy when he cleared Clinton of a crime and then condemned her as a "careless" public official on TV. Of course, Comey's firing conveniently came at a time when he was investigating the president's ties to Russia. Now that Trump's firing of Comey has spiraled into a full-on scandal, Williams argued in his op-ed that Republicans need to distance themselves from the "fire" in the White House. If they don't, they risk being fired by voters in the 2018 mid-term elections. The first thing Williams thinks they need to do? Apologize to Hillary Clinton.
A Thursday report from "The New York Times" details all the ways that the former FBI director, James Comey, tried to maintain a professional distance from Donald Trump. One strategy was camouflage. Comey was later fired by Trump, and reports that Trump may have pressured him to drop an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn preceded the appointment of a special prosecutor into the Trump-Russia case. But before he was canned, Comey's worst nightmare was appearing too "friendly" with the president. According to a friend of Comey's, Benjamin Wittes, one of his tactics to avoid the president's affection included actually hiding himself in the curtains at the White House. Here's an anecdote from a "ceremony to honor law enforcement" hosted by Mr. Trump, that Mr. Comey reluctantly attended. Via "The New York Times," "The ceremony occurred in the Blue Room of the White House, where many senior law enforcement officials... including the Secret Service director... had gathered. Mr. Comey... who is 6 feet 8 inches tall and was wearing a dark blue suit that day... told Mr. Wittes that he tried to blend in with the blue curtains in the back of the room, in the hopes that Mr. Trump would not spot him and call him out." It didn't work. Although Comey avoided hugging Trump, according to HuffPo, the president "appeared to blow him a kiss." James Comey: master of disguise.
Are you in the market for a house that is almost certainly going to kill you? Then you're in luck, because check out this house for sale in South Carolina.

According to UPI, the house is located in Cayce, near Columbia. Remax provides some details: it's a single family dwelling built in 1950, with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a mysterious upstairs tenant who will definitely kill you in your sleep. The inside of the house itself is fairly creepy, mostly just because it's in a serious state of disrepair (almost like… someone left in a big hurry…) but it's the description on Remax that really sells the whole "possible murder house" vibe. It reads in part, "Please read carefully before scheduling showings. May not qualify for financing. Great 'diamond in the rough' investment property or primary home needing separate apartments. Little is known about condition except that property has active roof leaks. Property is being sold 'as-is' with no repairs, no clean-up, and no warranties expressed or implied. Upstairs apartment cannot be shown under any circumstances. Buyer assumes responsibility for the month-to-month tenancy in the upstairs apartment. Occupant has never paid, and no security deposit is being held, but there is a lease in place. (Yes, it does not make sense, please don't bother asking.)" Sounds great! Because who doesn't want their new house to come with someone (or something) unknown lurking above them at all times (and freeloading, to boot). The description was originally posted on Zillow, but After the frenzy of attention, Zillow pulled down their listing, but it's still up on Remax. UPI also pointed out another listing for the house on Hotpads, now expired, that included one detail about the mysterious occupant. "Upstairs apartment is occupied by professional artist." Uh-huh. Sure. That's exactly the kind of thing a malevolent demon would say about his profession (you can't trust these artist demons). Another special feature of the house is a random hole in the ceiling (possibly where the ghosts broke through). And then there's the portal to hell located conveniently in the backyard, right next to an enormous paper clip or possibly a brass instrument. Or maybe just some pipes. You'll probably be dead before you figure it out.

Fun "easy to fall into" well for any children you might have! Whoever buys this house, enjoy your future deathtrap home here. Best of luck!
A Minnesota yearbook quote about Donald Trump is making headlines and causing controversy online. It's not hard to see why. "I would like to behead him," wrote a sophomore student in response to the "How do you feel about [Trump]" prompt. "I do not like him." According to the local CBS affiliate, Brainerd Public Schools released a statement regarding the quote in their high school yearbook, saying they were "unaware of the students' statements," they "do not support" or endorse them, and "the administration is currently investigating how this occurred." Meanwhile, Scott Baio... who you might remember as one of Trump's few celebrity endorsers... shared the photo on Twitter and ignited the fury of his followers. "This is in a high school yearbook," wrote the indignant Joanie Loves Chachi actor. He then tagged Donald Trump, the FBI, Sean Hannity, and Kellyanne Conway. It'd be surprised to see if this story will lead Sean Hannity's next show on Fox. In fact, some of Baio's Twitter supporters are so angry they're calling for the student to receive a visit from the secret service.
Oh, Chachi, shut up.
If you live in or near Leeds, England, please contact authorities immediately if you have seen this man...

A group of men, including a man wearing a giant penis costume, are wanted for the "serious assault" of a 26-year-old man that occurred in Leeds center on April 3rd, according to an appeal to the public released by the West Yorkshire Police. The victim reportedly suffered a shattered shin bone, torn ligaments and a dislocated knee after he was attacked by a group of men having a bachelor party, said police. Local Detective Constable Gaynor Burt said the victim was "very badly injured" and "will still require further surgery." This is actually not a very funny story. Other than the giant penis costume. That part is hilarious. Police described one of the assailant's outfits as "distinctive fancy dress outfit" and included the photo above to help people locate the suspect. It certainly is distinctive. The police report says, "We have been making extensive enquiries to identify those involved and would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information that could assist in tracing the group involved, who were possibly a stag party or similar. The costume worn by one of the group is very distinctive and we think anyone who encountered them during the evening would recall it." Let's hope they find this giant penis and the other penises who committed this awful crime. Sorry to be crass, but what a bunch of dicks.
I just told you about how Comey allegedly hid in the curtains to avoid Donald Trump. Well, here's an exclusive pic to show this really might've happened...

Haha. Trump does not even see him I don't think. So, there's a new Trump book coming out. I should pheature this in the Phile's Book Club...

That's so stupid. That's not even a real book. You wanna know what else is stupid? This...

So, Disney is making a sequel to Mary Poppins and I got my hand on the new poster for it. Check it out...

I can't wait to see it. I saw this pic the other day...

And I thought to myself, it reminded me of something. And then it hit me...

See? Hahahaha. Most of you know I pretty much just wear shorts and t-shirts, but if this was the 70s I might be wearing this...

Tragically, the man in the middle died when someone thought he was a giant container of mustard and tried to squirt him on a hot dog. You know what I think is cool? When geeks protest like this person...

You sure don't want to mess with this girl, she will wreck your world without lifting a finger. Alright, so, in June I'll be taking the Amtrak train and I thought it'll be fun if I could post an entry when I am on it. I'm just hoping the train will have wi-fi. Ha! Anyway, I'll be going down south just to Hollywood, Florida, but it made me think of other railways that I hope I hope I don't go through anything similar. Like this the Napier-Gisborne Railway in New Zealand.

The Napier to Gisborne Railway Line is unique in that it crosses the main runway of the Gisborne Airport. Trains have to stop and seek clearance from the air traffic control tower to cross the runway and continue down the line; a 1939 steam train in the middle of an airport runway isn't exactly a common sight! Crazy, right? Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive People Who Went To See Alien: Covenant
5. People who could care less about aliens, but can't resist a good covenant.
4. Moviegoers who naturally assume the eighth movie in a series is the best.
3. Lovers of space-nun movies, who mistakenly think it's called Alien: Convent.
2. People excited that James Franco makes a cameo... and dies early on in a truly horrible fashion.
And the the number person who went to see Alien: Covenant are...
1. Donald Trump, who can easily identify with trying to survive a visit to strange, hostile lands.

Haha. Not the best Mindphuck I know, but I had to share. That was from the Cubs game a few days ago. Anyway, if you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, as you probably know by now I live in Florida. Well, there's stuff that happens in Florida that happens no where else in the Universe. That's why there's a pheature called...

Florida Man Cesar Sanchez called the cops in Naples, Florida, asking the operator to send him back to Guatemala. That's one way to get a free flight. The Associated Press reports that in the audio recording of the 911 call, Sanchez says he isn't well, but adds, "It's not an emergency. All I want is to be deported." Sanchez was charged with misusing an emergency call number, which is a misdemeanor. He's still in custody at the county jail and set to be arraigned on May 31th. The arrest report rights that Sanchez should be held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, implying that he'll get his wish. Dreams really do come true?

Back in 2012, Donald Trump thought the U.S. president shouldn't bow to the leaders of Saudi Arabia.
He also said, as recently as the 2016 campaign, that the Middle East country wants to enslave women and kill gay people. Given his apparent disgust for the Saudis, who could have guessed that Trump would start off his first big foreign trip as president by bowing to its king? Wait, I'm sorry... I meant to say he curtsied. Yeah, guess all Trump's principles fly out the window as soon as you flash a little gold at him. But we knew that. Wait... Trump gets a medal and Chewbacca didn't?! But seriously, that curtsy is something else. Even his own long-serving advisor (and Babadook) was pissed.

But the best part? All the conservative websites reporting that unlike Obama, Trump did not bow. Yeah, because he curtsied. Anyway, congrats to Trump on his shiny new participation medal. Keep up the good work, buddy.

I know what Melania is thinking... "Brilliant. That's gonna go over well."

Roger Ailes 
May 15th, 1940 — May 18th, 2017
If you're looking for someone to blame for the dumbing down of America, you should start here. And end here.

Chris Cornell
July 20th, 1964 — May 18th, 2017
Cobain... CHECK! Staley... CHECK! Weiland... CHECK! Cornell... CHECK! All we need is Vedder and we'll have a complete set!

This is pretty cool... at least for me it is.The 60th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The author and Phile Alum Wesley Stace will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a very talented musician from Long Island whose new EP "Watch It Fall" comes out May 26th and will be available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Joseph Eid.

Me: Hey, Joseph, welcome to the Phile, man. How are you?

Joseph: Hello! I’m doing pretty well thank you for asking.

Me: You're from Long Island, am I right? What part?

Joseph: I went to college in Long Island at the State University of New York at Stony Brook but I grew up in Westchester County, which is 30 miles north of Manhattan.

Me: Stony Brook?! Go Seawolves! Are you a Seawolves fan? Do you follow that team?

Joseph: I'm not gonna lie I don't follow the Seawolves. I don't follow sports. But I love the name. Anita unique. A mythical creature. LOL.

Me: I grew up in Port Jeff... so I take it you visited there, right?

Joseph: Port Jeff was my favorite. We used to go out there. I lived in Port Jeff for a summer too. It was awesome. Great summer town.

Me: Ever shop at the Smithaven Mall? Haha.

Joseph: Yes. You're really taking me back now! We would go there sometimes on the weekends in the winter time.

Me: Are you still living in New York now?

Joseph: No, I moved to Los Angeles a little over 10 years ago.

Me: So, did you move to Los Angeles for your music career?

Joseph: I moved to Los Angeles because I needed a change. I had never lived outside of New York as an adult and life in Manhattan was starting to become a little bit too much for me. Not enough space, physically and mentally.

Me: You went to school to study psychology and pre-med? Were you thinking of going into the medical field?

Joseph: I was. I went to a university that was very strong in the health sciences so while my focus was psychology, I decided I might as well do pre-med in case I want to be a doctor or psychiatrist. I thought it would also make my dad very proud.

Me: Where else did you go to high school school?

Joseph: Edgemont High School (graduated), Stony Brook University (graduated), St. George’s School of Medicine (for 6 months then dropped out).

Me: How far along were you when you changed your mind and set your goals to become a musician?

Joseph: It was the first week of my 2nd semester. So I had one semester under my belt and was at the start of the 2nd.

Me: Your parents were kinda strict, did I read that right? What did they think when you made this decision?

Joseph: Well, it was mostly my dad. My mom really just wanted me to be happy. She was disappointed but for her, my happiness came first. My dad was a tough one... he didn’t get it. He thought I had lost my mind and that I was making a huge mistake. He is traditional and felt the arts should be hobbies and that’s all... that they were no career. At least not for his kids.

Me: What do they think now, Joseph?

Joseph: My mom is so extremely proud of me. Sadly, I don’t think my dad really gets it... he doesn’t understand that it’s my calling and that I have no other choice. I’ve had to let go and just accept that he may never understand it because it is very far from what his experience is.

Me: So, I love your music... how long have you been songwriting? You started off writing poetry before you were a songwriter, right?

Joseph: I’ve been writing songs officially for about 15 years... but before that I always wrote and wrote... whether it was poetry, essays, philosophies about life, etc. My first poem I wrote when I was 6-years-old.

Me: Alright, can you share a poem here?

Joseph: This is something I found in an old book I was doodling in about 12 years ago (by the way I keep all my journals... I have about 30 to 40...).  Let me touch down so I can be free. Let me touch down, let me touch a tree. Let life be a lesson and let me conceive a dream of a day I believe. And live in a way that I can respect and hold on to love and grow and effect. Let errors be marks that show where I’ve been and the pain that they spew become part of my skin. And feel it get thicker as life gets bigger and harder but better, the world's getting wet, the rain’s coming down. The land that I stand on has turned into sea, I swim with my faith in my destiny, and I know this love will deliver me.

Me: That's pretty good, and deep. Do you find it really different with poetry writing and song writing?

Joseph: I don’t really write poetry anymore... every since I started playing guitar, my songs are my poetry. Now, I just think of the songs as poems set to music. But yes, it’s a very different thing to write a poem than to write a song for me. With songs, I connect with the music, a feeling, a concept that reveals itself. With poetry, it was more of an intellectual process for me.

Me: Who are your musical influences, Joseph? Have you ever listened to Graham Parker?

Joseph: I haven’t listened to Graham Parker... should I?

Me: Duh. Haha.

Joseph: Sounds like it. My musically taste is very diverse. I love songwriters... stories that move me, teach me, lyrics and melodies I can sink into and play over and over and over again. I like depth. Artists who have influenced me are Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Suzanne Vega, Ray LaMontagne, Indigo Girls, Billy Joel, Elton John, Madonna, Prince, George Michael, Stevie Wonder, and many more. Folk plus pop equals me.

Me: How old were you when you started to play guitar? Did you teach yourself?

Joseph: I took a couple of intro classes, but basically just taught myself. I was in my early to mid 20s... I started playing later in life.

Me: Since your first EP you released a few years ago, how has your music changed?

Joseph: I can honestly say that the writing was strong then and I am proud of that first batch of songs and would still play them. What’s changed is my skill... as a singer, guitarist, and performer. The evolution has been exciting. I found my sound and am confident in my style. And the bands and players who join me on the recordings are stellar. So they help raise a good song to be it’s best. I also have become very honest and not afraid to say what I feel and share whatever it is I am going through. I used to hold back early on.

Me: I love the single "Watch It Fall" from your new EP with the same name... I have to ask... watch what fall?

Joseph: Everything... but mostly my dream. I wrote it at a time when I was feeling down. Questioning if I was ever going to be able to fully make a living as an artist and the jobs I was doing to sustain my dream were just so hard and I wasn’t happy. It was a dark time so I use the building and the neighbors in it as metaphors for everything being hopeless, falling apart, and sinking low. I’m much better now. I’ve learned you will always have those times, now I’m just smart enough to know they won’t last and anyway, this is who I am, there is no turning back.

Me: The characters in this song... are they based on real people?

Joseph: Do I have to answer that? I think it’s best if I don’t. Maybe.

Me: Does songwriting come easy for you, Joseph?

Joseph: It does. It’s the one thing I just know. It’s in my cells. Don’t get me wrong, it may take months sometimes to get a song exactly where I want it to be. But I can also write some songs in 20 minutes or less. It’s something that comes naturally to me, but then the process of tweaking, editing, re-writing, etc.. That takes time.

Me: You played all over Los Angeles... and played at a place I heard of called El Cid. I couldn't help to think that El Cid sounds like Eid... or looks like it. Am I weird?

Joseph: Haahaaa, I never noticed that. You are right! It looks a lot like my name. and yes you are weird. But aren’t we all?

Me: I think so. Haha. I would have joked about that if I were you... Eid is an unusual last name... I am almost 49-years-old and I have never heard that name before. What is its origin? You can say the same about Peverett... my last name. Its origin is French I am afraid. UGH!

Joseph: There are two origins for the name Eid. Mine is Lebanese. It means “Celebration." It precedes every holiday and every celebration in the Arabic language. Eid of this and Eid of that...   There is also a German origin of the name and I have come across a couple of people of German descent with the name Eid. I’m not sure what it means in German.

Me: I have to ask you about the singles artwork for "Watch it Fall." Who did that art? I have to show it here...

Me: I like it.

Joseph: Paul McCarty…he does a lot of my CD design stuff too. I told him exactly what I wanted and gave him examples and he made it happen in 2 days. He does GREAT work!

Me: Is that based on your real place you live?

Joseph: It is. And the cat is based on my cat Mango.

Me: When you got to L.A. or was it New York City you worked with David Lemar... I am not aware of him. Who is he and how did you end up working with him?

Joseph: It was in Los Angeles. I met him at a blues jam that he hosted. It was my first year here. I was so nervous to get up and play cause he was amazing... and he said, “get up here, show us what you got...” I shyly went on stage and was like “Hi, I’m a singer songwriter, here is an original...” He accompanied me immediately, so tastefully, I was amazed. He didn’t even know what key the song was in. After that, he told me I was allowed to come back and play again next week, dropped his card and said, “If you want to go to the next level, give me a call.” And that was the end of it. He changed my life. He would say to me, “These guys playing around here at these bars, they aren’t your competition. John Mayer is your competition.”

Me: If you could share the stage with anybody, Joseph, who would it be?

Joseph: Hmmm, I don’t like sharing stages. LOL. Just kidding. I’d love to play a show with John Mayer actually speaking of him... He can play some lead on my songs, and some harmonies... and we could sing a few tunes together. I can let him sing a few on his own too. Haha.. He’s talented. I wouldn’t mind collaborating with him. Also would love to have folk legends, Indigo Girls sing with me on stage. They were a huge influence for me in high school and college. As folk artist and lyricists, they are it. Very profound story telling.

Me: So, do you have a band that plays on the EP with you or did you do everything yourself?

Joseph: Full band. These guys have toured with some of the greats. Vern Monnett (lead guitar/pedal steel), Lynn Coulter (drums), Steve Nelson (bass), Bobby Crew (keys), Craig Stull (background vox), Andy Najera (sax)... and my co-producer/engineer Brian Soucy.

Me: What do you have planned next, Joseph?

Joseph: CD release show in L.A. end of June, and then one in NYC in July and a few east coast shows, then possibly a residency I am working on in downtown Los Angeles. Also, I’ve been writing custom songs for folks for special occasions. I just started my 3rd one for a client and I absolutely love it... and so do they. It’s a great gift idea. If anyone is interested, contact me for details.

Me: Man, I hope this was a fun interview. Go ahead and mention your website and everything. I wish you continued success and I hope you'll come back on the Phile soon. Take care.

Joseph: This was a great interview indeed. Thank you so much!, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and all social media stuff, you can find me @JosephEidMusic.

Me: Good job. Can't wait for the EP to come out.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Joseph for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Friday with singer Julio Duran from Polar Waves. 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, May 15, 2017

Pheaturing Jack Crosby

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? So, today's And today's Dumb Bigot on the Internet Award goes to..... this guy. He should not be honored.

If you haven't been acquainted yet, this is 35-year-old Alexander Downing. He went on a drunken, bigotry-fueled diatribe directed towards a Muslim family on a Texas beach last week and a video of the incident went viral. And so did his mug shot.

Crying after being an abusive bigot is not a good look. The family was trying to enjoy a private access beach in South Padre, Texas while on vacation for a family reunion, they explained in a caption on YouTube, when Downing approached them and started hurling Islamophobic slurs, threatening the family, yelling about Donald Trump (shocker: this guy is a Trump supporter), cursing and even grabbing his crotch, in front of their children, as the video shows. Horrible behavior. Also, illegal behavior. The family filmed the incident, including their call to the cops, who eventually showed up and arrested the guy, FOX 61 reports. But you already knew that from his history-making mugshot. For the record, no shame in crying like a little girl! Unless you're a bigot. It's awful that this poor family had their family reunion ruined by this dude's horrific bigotry. And worse, incidents like this are not uncommon in the ol' U.S. of A. But on a brighter note, at least the whole world got to see him cry.
J.K. Rowling retweeted a police report after an extremely rare, handwritten draft of her Harry Potter prequel was stolen from its owner after selling for £25,000 at an auction in 2008, according to "Time." "PLEASE DON"T BUY THIS IF YOU'RE OFFERED IT," shouted Rowling to her 10 million-plus followers. The story, written on a postcard by Rowling herself, was sold to benefit English PEN, a center that works to defend freedom of expression for writers. But look, you don't have to buy this black market postcard to read the Harry Potter prequel you're desperate for. According to reports from 2008, the prequel was made available to fans online around the time of the postcard sale, and now it's widely circulated on Potter fan sites. The short story follows a young James Potter and Sirius Black. They bamboozle a pair of pathetic town cops, then crush a few broomstick adversaries in an alleyway. If you're interested you can find the whole thing over at Mugglenet.
Millennials have a rising epidemic on their hands. The condition is painful, difficult to treat and increasingly common, according to doctors. Even worse? The cause is the thing millennials love the most. It's called "avocado hand." Millennials love avocados. Unlike other stereotypes about this generation... that you're lazy and entitled, that you don't read... this one is true. But as everyone knows, avocados need to be sliced open and cut to be consumed. And cutting a fruit that has a ginormous, spherical pit in the center of it is risky business. According to a report in the U.K.'s "The Times," surgeons are reporting "growing numbers" of patients ending up in the ER with injuries related to peeling, slicing or removing the pits from avocados. Ouch. "People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them," Simon Eccles of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, told "The Times." He said he sees about "four patients a week" suffering from the condition. The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons is even calling for safety labels on the fruit to reduce the number of avocado-related injuries, which often involve nerve and tendon damage and may require "intricate surgery.""We don't want to put people off the fruit, but I think warning labels are an effective way of dealing with this," said Eccles. "It needs to be recognizable. Perhaps we could have a cartoon picture of an avocado with a knife, and a big red cross going through it." Or, people could just follow this handy avocado cutting safety guide...

Last night, Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough won the title of Miss USA for the second year in a row. Before being crowned, McCullough, who "Newsweek" reports is a scientist working at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, answered a question about whether she thought healthcare was a privilege or a right. She went with "privilege." McCullough also declined to call herself a feminist, saying she preferred the word "equalist." Kara McCullough's answers caused mixed reactions on social media. Some conservatives agreed with McCullough (who, according to "Newsweek," follows President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump on Twitter), and showed their support for her. But lots of people disagreed strongly with her opinions. On one hand, you've got a woman of color scientist as Miss USA, which is great! On the other hand, she doesn't seem to know the actual definition of feminism (which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with man-hating), and she views healthcare as a privilege only for people who have jobs. Hmm.
Russian President Vladimir Putin took a break from shirtless horseback riding and late-night phone calls with Donald Trump to give an impromptu piano recital in China... well, if you'd call having a cameraman on hand to film the whole thing "impromptu." According to "The New York Times," Putin decided to tickle the ivories while waiting to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing yesterday. Putin plunked out "Evening Song," by Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi, and "Moscow Windows," by Tikhon Kournikova, two songs written in the 1950s. Let's be real, though, he's not very good. Don't quit your authoritarian day job, Vlad. The clip went viral after "The New York Times" tweeted it with the caption "a piano recital in Beijing showers perhaps a softer side of Vladimir Putin."
Hey, Vlad, do you take requests? Play "Putin on the Ritz" next!
This just in, Trump is about to respond to Putin playing the piano...

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

Hey, that's Dan Rad... never mind. Have you seen Trump's new toad tattoo?

Why the hell is a water balloon being thrown at him? By the war, he just wrote a new policy. Let's see what it is...

Ha! So, most of you know I pretty much just wear shorts and t-shirts everyday. But if this was the 70s   I might be wearing this...

Hahaha. The man on the right is wearing the bodysuit equivalent of half-and-half soft serve. You know what I think is cool... geeks that protest. They're normally very creative.

Whether you love the original trilogy or couldn't get enough of Rogue One, this sign is a great reminder that Leia and Jyn were critical in taking down the Empire's world-destroying weapon. Okay, so, yesterday I posted a graphic that advertised the Phile will be on Amtrak in June. It's true. On June 10th I will be taking the train down to Hollywood, Florida to see U2 in concert, and I thought it'll be fun to post a blog or two from the train ride. Don't ask me why it would be fun, but I think it will be. Anyway, I don't know what kinda ride that will be, but it made me think of some of the world's amazing train rides that I wouldn't wanna go on. Like the Maeklong Market Railway in Thailand.

The food market in Maeklong, Thailand is located on top of train tracks. Several times a day shopkeepers swiftly pack up their food stalls and pull back their canopies to let the trains pass. Once the trains have rumbled through, the crates of vegetables, fish, and eggs are placed back into position and shoppers return to the tracks, which serve as a path through the market. That's fucking crazy. And now for some sad news...

Powers Boothe 
June 1st, 1948 — May 14th, 2017
The powers that be... are no more.

Ha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Alright, as you probably know by now with a narrow success in the House, Trumpcare has risen from the dead and is off to the Senate in its long, morally questionable journey to exchange healthcare for the needy for a tax cut to the rich, the ultimate Reverse Robin Hood. With a suspenseful vote that came out to 217-213 and the stakes that are literally life and death, I thought I would invite someone on the Phile to kinda explain what is all about and get someone in the know opinion about it. So, please welcome to the Phile, co-host Co-Host of Pod Save America and former Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama... Jon Favreau.

Me: Hello, Jon, welcome to the Phile. So, you're calling Trumpcare Wealthcare, am I right?

Jon: Yeah, that's right. Wealthcare. I'm still trying to make it work. But seriously...

Me: Hahaha. So, what do make of it being voted in by a few votes?

Jon: What the House of Representatives did was revolting.

Me: Even though the bill was voted in, it seems no one wants it. Why would the House vote
something in that no one wants?

Jon: It didn't matter that the bill they passed was overwhelmingly opposed by America's doctors, nurses, and hospitals.

Me: Surely some people wanted it though... what do you think the percentage of people outside the House wanted this bill to be passed?

Jon: Seventeen percent, but it does't matter to them?

Me: So, none of this matters?

Jon: No. It didn't matter that they had no idea how much it would cost, or what kind of impact it would have on the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Me: I am not even gonna go onto this pre-existing condition thing, Jon. I am very lucky to have good insurance through Disney, but if I didn't I would be screwed. I have too many health problems. Anyway, why would they vote this bill in? Something had to matter to them.

Jon: All that mattered to those House members was that they got a political win. And that their millionaire and billionaire friends got another big tax cut.

Me: Man, you seem more pissed about this than I thought you would be. In one word what you you say what they did passing it?

Jon: What they did was pathetic.

Me: Hmmmm. That's a good word. Haha. So, what do we do now?

Jon: We have to do everything we can to make sure their garbage bill never becomes law.

Me: Okay, you worked with Obama and I know he worked very hard on Obamacare, Jon, so I can imagine what you are thinking. Obamacare is a big part of his legacy. Did you have fun when you worked for the White House?

Jon: Yes, I'm proud that I worked in a White House that wanted to help people.

Me: How long did you guys work on Obamacare?

Jon: We spent 18 long months on it.

Me: It seems like the Republicans didn't listen to anyone, the doctors, nurses and hospitals, like you said. Who did you guys listen to?

Jon: We listened to experts: health care providers, the AARP, the American Cancer Society. President Obama even debated the law with House Republicans on live television. Most importantly, we listened to the people whose lives it would affect.

Me: A lot of people did complain about Obamacare though, not everyone liked it, Jon.

Jon: We certainly didn't get it perfect, but we did everything we could... and we helped a lot of people in the process. 

Me: Okay, so, what's the worst case scenario about what you call Wealthcare? J

Jon: The bill will destroy that progress.

Me: Playing devil's advocate, how? It might be better than Obamacare, even though I doubt it.

Jon: Jason, it will deny medical care to millions of Americans who desperately need it. People will go bankrupt. People will die.

Me: Ugh. Okay, that's pretty bad.

Jon: I wonder if anyone who voted for this heinous bill gave a minute's thought to how a medical emergency could financially destroy the average family... especially when insurance companies are once again allowed to charge people more just for being sick or older.

Me: Like I said, I'd be screwed. So, what do we do to stop this, Jon?

Jon: We have to start making phone calls. We have to show up at their town halls. And if they won't hold town halls, we have to show up at their offices.

Me: Ugh. Okay, that seems like a lot of work. Anything else?

Jon: We need to protest. We need to march. We need to harness all of our energy and our outrage into a movement that they cannot ignore.

Me: "Trumpcare does't scare me." Said no foster kid, ever. Haha. Okay, I hope that all works. Great to have you here, Jon, good luck with everything. It'll be interesting how things will play out. Jon Favreau, everyone.

Jon: Thanks.

A story on Politico about how President Donald Trump "gets his fake news" is currently having a moment on Twitter, an impressive feat for a long, journalistic piece on complicated White House intrigue. But it's easy to see why. Here's how it opens: the deputy national security advisor, K.T. McFarland, gave Trump two "Time" magazine covers. One was from the 1970s, and it warned of a looming ice age. The next was from 2008, and it detailed the impending terrors of climate change. From Politico, "Trump quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy. But there was a problem. The 1970s cover was fake, part of an Internet hoax that’s circulated for years. Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it." If Donald Trump used the Internet, he could have Googled the fake news story about the ice age. Here, I did it for him...

But as Politico reports, Trump "rarely browses the Internet on his own." So it's up to his staff to hand him the conspiracy theories that fit each of their agendas, and "they do so to gain an edge in the seemingly endless 'Game of Thrones' inside the West Wing." Trump will definitely call this story about fake news fake news. But after Politico published it, many, including "New York Times" reporter Maggie Haberman, lauded its findings.

The conclusion of the article is this, "A news story tucked into Trump’s hands at the right moment can torpedo an appointment or redirect the president’s entire agenda." Read the full story at But finish the Phile first. Okay, wanna laugh?

A proud and confident professor makes a bet with an under-performing student. The professor says, "Every question I ask you that you don't know the answer, you have to give me five dollars. And if you ask me a question and I can't answer yours, I will give you $5,000." The student agrees and the professor asks, "How many continents are there in the world?" The student doesn't know and hands over the five dollars. The student says, "Now my turn, what animal stands with two legs but sleeps with three?" The professor thinks very hard for the answer, but his face falls as he gives up and hands over the $5000. He says, "Wow, I lost. I must know, what was the answer to your question?" Smiling, the student hands over five dollars.

J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is the current leading author of Harry Potter fan fiction.

Today's pheatured guest is the author of "The Crazy Guy's Guide to Bacon," the 59th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. It's available for Kindle. Please welcome to the Phile... Jack Crosby.

Me: Hey, Jack, welcome to the Phile. How are you, sir?

Jack: Not too bad, Jason. Thanks for having me.

Me: I love your name... it sounds like something out of a 70s or 80s TV show... "Jack Crosby, Private Investigator" or something. Anyway, where are you from, Jack?

Jack: I’m from New Jersey. I’m not proud of that fact, but my parents won’t let me change it on my birth certificate.

Me: Is that where you live now?

Jack: Nope, I hit the road and moved to Chicago. I’ve always been a fan of the Windy City.

Me: Okay, so, you have written a shit load of books... and I think all have a hot half-naked woman on the cover but for some reason I am pheaturing your book "The Crazy Guy's Guide to Bacon" in the Phile's Book Club. Are you a crazy guy, Jack?

Jack: I wouldn’t say I’m normal. And for the record, I tried to get a half naked woman on the cover of the bacon book, too. But alas, it felt a bit like overkill.

Me: So, primarily you're a fantasy writer, am I right?

Jack: Basically. I like dabbling in the whole angels and demons mythos and putting my own unique spin on the tales.

Me: How long have you been writing, Jack?

Jack: A few years now, published that is. I have a bunch of half baked fan fic stories up on various websites that are straight up nuts. I don’t point anyone to those because it would legit have readers question what the hell is wrong with me.

Me: Okay, so, I read that you had all your books pulled and have rewrote them, and gave them different names and everything. Is that true?

Jack: Yep. I wasn’t happy with the products that were out there so I did the only rational thing. I took them out back and put them out of their misery. From the ashes of those messes are going to be books that are a hell of a lot better.

Me: Why and what made you do this, Jack?

Jack: If you don’t take pride in your work, what’s the point, you know? Sure the stories were fun, but they were grammatical messes. I want fun stories that are also easy to read and not full of errors.

Me: Apart from the book about bacon which we will get into in a minute you wrote a book with Phile Alum Jeremy Croston called "Demons in D.C." I have to show it here...

Me: First of, how did you meet Jeremy?

Jack: "Demons in D.C." is the first of the revamped books, formally known as "Death Among Us." I met Jeremy on Facebook through an author group we belong to. He’d been at the point I was not too long before and lent me some good advice. I still tell people he named his kid after me, even though we both know that’s a crock of shit. Haha!

Me: Haha. Was it fun to write with Jeremy, Jack?

Jack: The bones of the story were in place, as I had previously written "Death Among Us." Jeremy tends to write battle scenes better than I do, so getting his added influence and expanding upon those crucial parts are the book were awesome. When I read the final product, I couldn’t have been happier.

Me: Do you prefer to write by yourself or with somebody else?

Jack: Either or. I’m a pretty easy guy and I just go with what makes the most sense.

Me: Why did you chose D.C. as the place for demons to be? Is this anything to do with the current president?

Jack: Hahaha. Ironically, I wrote the story back in 2014, but if you look at it now, you’d think it was a political statement. It’s not but it is damn funny how it all worked out. Could Donald Trump truly be a Greed demon placed in office by the Arch Demon Beelzebub?!?! Someone hit the mystery music!

Me: So, what is the book about?

Jack: We follow the horseman Death around as he womanizes his way through life. Unfortunately, a Lust demon named Roxanne shows up at his house and pretty much seduces him into helping her. From there, shenanigans!

Me: This is the first volume, will there be a second volume?

Jack: There will be four total volumes in the re-release of the series. 

Me: The cover art is pretty eye-catching... who did the art work?

Jack: The same guy who did "The Negative Man" series, I think his name is Galuh Abudabi or something. I loved how Jeremy’s covers looked and he hooked me up with the guy. He was really excited to do as he put it, “a sexy book cover.” 

Me: Do all your books take place in the same universe?

Jack: Yes they do. A fictionalized version of present day ‘Merica.

Me: So, do you have a favorite author?

Jack: I don’t know if many people had heard of him, but E. William Brown is a terrific author.

Me: Did you used to write stories when you were a kid, Jack? I used to most of my life til my late twenties and then I just stopped. I never ever tried to get anything published.

Jack: I did not. As a kid I used to pull apart my dad’s electronics and try to put them back together. I think he’d rather I wrote nonsense than what I did do.

Me: When was your first book published and what was it called?

Jack: "Death Among Us" (now known as "Demons in D.C.") was my first published work back in 2015.

Me: You have so many books out you must be writing every single day. How much writing do you do a day, Jack?

Jack: Actually not that much. I learned that it is better to write less but make it more quality over the few years I’ve been doing this. So now, maybe I’ll write a chapter or two a week when I have a book to write.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your bacon book... so, I love bacon myself but don't think I would ever write about bacon. What made you write a cook book about bacon?

Jack: To stick it to annoying vegans that have slowly infested Facebook.

Me: Do you cook or have any cooking experience?

Jack: I do cook here and there and as the disclaimer says I have no professional experience, LOL.

Me: Ever had chocolate covered bacon or bacon beer?

Jack: Yes and yes. Those two things are straight up legit. If anyone says otherwise, they aren’t your friend.

Me: So, this book is only 30 pages... that's a real short book. Haha. Did it take you long to write?

Jack: I wrote it in a day believe it or not.

Me: What's your favorite recipe in the book, Jack?

Jack: That’s like asking a guy to pick what car model is his favorite. I guess if I am being forced to pick a favorite, it’s my award winning apple pie recipe.

Me: There's also poems and jokes in this book... did you write them all?

Jack: The poems are all original Jack works, but the jokes I poached from various people over the years.

Me: Okay, let me hear a bacon joke... I am sure the readers would love to hear one.

Jack: What do you get when you cross a centipede and a pig?

Me: I don't know. What?

Jack: Bacon and legs… womp womp.

Me: Ha! That's terrible, but better than the joke I told about the professor and the student a few minutes ago. So, is this book aimed at mostly guys or anybody?

Jack: This book is aimed at the great people of any land who enjoy the fine food known as bacon.

Me: When was the first time you ever tried bacon, do you remember?

Jack: I’m pretty sure I’ve been stealing bacon off my mom’s table since I had teeth. I eat a few slices almost every day as part of a terrible, heart unhealthy diet.

Me: There's a store in Florida and maybe other states called Rocket Fizz that sells all kinds of stuff, and your book would fit right in. They have a bacon section. Is your book sold other places part from Amazon?

Jack: Not yet, but I do need to get this thing into paperback, don’t I?

Me: Yeah. So, do you think you'll write a follow up to this bacon book?

Jack: You’re not the first person to ask me that. If the response is good enough, I’ll write a second cook book for the world to be mortified at.

Me: Where did the title come from, Jack?

Jack: Honestly, it just popped into my head when I was talking to a friend. We both laughed and a book was born.

Me: Have you ever had bad bacon?

Jack: Unfortunately, yes. Nothing is worse than over frying the bacon and basically eating pig flavored cardboard. The texture people, think about the texture and the people you are going to be serving!

Me: I know people that have made their own bacon... which I don't understand. It's meat from a pigs ass so how do you make bacon? Anyway, have you ever made your own bacon?

Jack: I just did the other day. For a first attempt, I don’t think it went bad but it was a hell of a lot of work. You have to get the pork butt and slice it thin, and blah blah blah, hours later you have bacon. Next time, I’m just buying the sliced shit my butcher has fresh in his cabinet. 

Me: How did it turn out?

Jack: Like I said not too bad. I didn’t season it was well as my butcher does to the stuff he makes, so I wasn’t happy with it. But that’s nothing maple syrup couldn’t fix! Read the bacon book to get the reference.

Me: Alright, so, what is your next book gonna be?

Jack: I submitted a book to a publisher who accepted it! It’s about a dude who gets sucked into a video game and ends up having to fight and have lots of sex to get back into the real world. This one is for sure going to end up in the Library of Congress one day!

Me: Will you come back on the Phile when it comes out?

Jack: Oh, you’re damn right I will. I have no shame in my shallow and sex fueled writing. I’d be happy to entertain this very space yet again.

Me: I see you have your own bloodspot... what is it called? Where did that name come from?

Jack: the name comes from the main character of my angels and demons series, Derrick Grimm (aka Death).

Me: What do you talk about in your blog?

Jack: My books, how much the world is a cold cruel place, my limited knowledge of sports, beer, so yep, pretty much a whole lot of nothing. But I encourage everyone to stop on by. You might lose a brain cell or two!

Me: Thanks so much for being here on the Phile, Jack. Keep writing and please come back on the Phile soon. All the best.

Jack: Thanks for having me, Jason. This was a shit ton of fun!

Me: Good. I'm glad. Haha.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jon Favreau and of course Jack Crosby. Now I'm hungry talking about bacon. Anyway, the Phile will be back next Sunday with singer Joseph Eid. 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