Hey, good news, everybody... according to Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, lies are now "alternative facts." Welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you doing?
On yesterday's "Meet the Press," Conway told Chuck Todd that Sean Spicer's assertion that more people watched Trump's inauguration than any other was just an "alternative fact." Just off the top of your head, what would you think the term "alternative facts" means? If you said, "lies" or "things that are not facts," you are correct! Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave a press conference in which he yelled that it was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, a lie. Since then, Twitter has been destroying him over these blatant false claims. And like I said, yesterday, Kellyanne Conway is claiming that was Spicer did was not lie, NBC reports. In fact, he presented what Conway is calling "alternative facts." I've never heard of this term before, but maybe that's just a hip new slang word all the fascists are using? To me, what that word means is "lies," because if something is a fact, then it is accepted as true, and if something is not a fact, it is unable to be proven. For example, an opinion like "'SNL' is a bigly bad show, horribly overrated, yet I keep watching it every week," is an opinion; it can not be proven true or false. But the statement "1.8 million is a bigger number than 160,000," is a fact. (That's the difference between the crowd number at Obama's inauguration in 2009 and Trump's on Friday, as determined by crowd experts who spoke with the "New York Times.") "I don't think you can prove those numbers one way or another. There's no way to quantify crowd numbers," Conway went on to say. Conway is correct in that there is no way to pin down the exact number of attendees at inauguration events; however, there are methods for estimating crowd size that allow experts to create a ballpark number that is typically accepted. An MSNBC article which was published in 2009 leading up to Obama's first inauguration explains how experts draw grids and use density to make estimations. But the point here isn't that crowd estimation is difficult but possible using a scientific method. The point is that Kellyanne Conway said the phrase "alternative facts" without a hint of sarcasm and that's insane.
Richard Spencer, the Nazi goon who has tried and failed to rebrand white supremacy as "the alt-right," was giving an on-the-street interview to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation after President Donald Trump's inauguration speech on Friday when an unidentified person clocked him right in his Nazi face. It was perhaps the only good thing that happened that afternoon. He was in the middle of trying to explain Pepe the Frog, a decade-old meme that has been repurposed by anti-Semites and/or Trump supporters and declared a hate symbol by the Southern Poverty Law Center, when the haymaker landed. While many conservatives and even few moderate leftists condemned this outburst of violence in the midst of otherwise peaceful protest, most saw the humor in decking an unapologetic fascist who thinks he can spout his toxic rhetoric without consequence. Spencer hasn't earned much sympathy. Anyway, until that day when someone successfully punches Trump, we can enjoy watching his racist, Hitler-loving lackeys catch hands... or, in the case of Martin Shkreli, a handful of dog poop. Activism comes in many forms.
If you watched Donald Trump's inaugural address on Friday with a nagging desire to check the sky for the bat signal, there's a good reason. One of the most memorable lines from Trump's speech would fit perfectly in Bane's address to the city of Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises. Remember Bane? The back-breaking Batman villain who nobody could stop impersonating for approximately 30 years after the movie came out? Via Jezebel's The Slot, here's some more context for the words of each NYC-based politician. Trump after becoming president, "Today’s ceremony, however has very special meaning. Because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another. But we are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you... the people. For too long a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born the cost." Bane after taking over Gotham, "We take Gotham from the corrupt! The rich! The oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity, and we give it back to you... the people. Gotham is yours. None shall interfere. Do as you please. Start by storming Blackgate, and freeing the oppressed!" This is not the first... and won't be the last... time that Trump gets compared to a supervillain, specifically those terrorizing Gotham City. So who's Batman?
As the new president channeled Bane during his inaugural address, cameras caught the nation's last Republican leader, George W. Bush, acting like a lovable buffoon. A lack of power will do that to you, transform you from a hated buffoon to a lovable one. Anyway, he got all tangled up in a poncho. Imagine a time, 17 years from now, when Twitter can collectively laugh and say "legend" at former President Trump's goofy antics in the crowd. Too unfathomable? Okay, stick with W.
Look at Dick Cheney! Now don't tell me Cheney has relegated to the role of lovable Bush's "haha" sidekick. That's too much. Then again, he's wearing a fun hat... No. It's too much. There's only so many architects of the Iraq War you can LOL at. For now, it's enough to find some humor in 43 finding his nemesis in a raincoat. You'd get a beer with this guy, right?
Madonna has undergone so many transformations in her career, from material girl to Evita to glamor goth to... domestic terrorist? At Saturday's gigantic Women's March in Washington, D.C., the pop diva performed a couple of suitable songs... "Express Yourself" and "Human Nature"... but got more headlines for an incendiary speech in which she swore a fair amount. Multiple networks broadcast her F-bombs live, which is enough to get some people in trouble with the FCC, but Madonna may be in hot water with the Secret Service for what sounded (vaguely) like a threat. "I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet W. H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War Two, 'We must love one another or die.' I choose love. Are you with me?" Gateway Pundit has since reported that a Service source confirmed their "investigation" into this remark, but said that the choice to prosecute it belongs to the U.S. Attorney's Office. While it is technically, definitely, and seriously illegal to directly threaten the life of the president, there is plenty of disagreement about how and when the law can be applied. Anyway, Madonna on Sunday posted a message on Instagram, emphasizing that she is "not a violent person" and does not "promote violence." Madonna may have to answer a few questions, but it's unlikely she'll be charged with a felony for saying what we're all thinking.
So, Saturday at the Women's March not every protester was protesting about Trump... some were protesting about other things...
And then there was this one...
Hmmm. I dunno what to say. I will say those women sure left a mess.
So, with this "alternate fact" business, I guess it's not a new thing. This kid's book has been out for awhile I guess...
So, when Trump was sworn in on Friday did you notice something?
Lincoln's bible was on top of the first brick for the wall. It's Monday, Trump took the weekend off and now he's starting to work...
On the wall. Hahaha. So, that Kellyann Conway sure has a weird fashion sense.
No comment. So, I was watching the Patriots vs Steelers game yesterday and when I saw Tom Brady looking like this...
It reminded me of something. And then it hit me...
See? Alright, so I have been telling you for the last few weeks there is a lot of Trump doppelgängers out there. Like a menstrual pad...
In other words, a bloody mess. Oh, by the way, I thought this was funny...
Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, and X-Men's Magneto) gets a little help from best pal Patrick Stewart at the Women's March in Washington D.C. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is...
Top Phive Other "Alternative Phacts" Said By KerryAnn Conway
5. So many people attended the inauguration wearing empty bleachers costumes.
4. It is not Monday. It is still the weekend. Period.
2. Rape being referred to as "alternative sex."
3. Icebergs are disappearing because polar bears are eating them.
And the number one "alternative fact" said by Conway is...
1. Congratulations, Green Bay Packers.
That's a simple one. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Alright, so, on yesterday's entry I posted a drawing I did at the very bottom of the page as I do when I have an interview with an Alum or artist here on the Phile as a guest. Well, some keen eyes were quick to point out I made my own Mindphuck. I'll post it here so you can see...
That's the original drawing without the "Peverett Phile' text over it. Do you spot t? I do have to say I originally did this drawing back in 2012 when I was on Oxycontin after breaking my humerus. I did not notice the mistake until it was pointed out to me yesterday. You're welcome, world. Okay, let's talk about something important... football with my good friend Jeff.
Me: Jeff, welcome back to the Phile, How are you?
Jeff: Hey, Jason. You know the drill. Things could be better, but then again things could always be worse!
Me: So, I'm sorry the Steelers are not going to the Super Bowl... they did make it further than the Giants though.
Jeff: Yeah, thanks. They played well in the first half but it all fell apart in the second half. My brother would always say, "It doesn't matter if you make the playoffs or not if you don't win the whole damn thing."
Me: So, who do think Bill Belichick pulled the fire alarm at the hotel the Steelers were staying at? Did you hear that story?
Jeff: It wasn't Belichek that did it. They arrested a 25-year-old for that. And it seems like Ol Bill has been coaching for 25 years, So it wasn't him. I'm sure if I was a bitter man I could say something like, "The team cheats, so it makes sense that the fans do too." But I'm not. Bitter. Nope. Not me. .
Me: Ha. I loved that Falcons game. They shredded the Packers... see what I did there?
Jeff: Shredded like the bunch of cheese heads they were!
Me: Did you see or hear the Falcons fans running around knocking off Green Bay fans' cheese hats?
Jeff: I didn't hear about them knocking the hats off Packer fans. I'd be careful with that. Some fans I'm sure didn't appreciate it and with the way the Packers played, I'm sure their fans were as rancid as week old gouda.
Me: So, this just in... the Falcons just traded Matt Ryan for Eli Manning... Just in time for the Super Bowl. Here's proof...
Jeff: And even though the game hasn't started yet, Eli just threw an interception for a touchdown!
Me: Did you see Tom Brady's huge coat? It was HUGE!
Jeff: Well, they do have to protect their golden boy. Tommy is so precious. We also don't know if there are people hiding under the coat possibly deflating footballs. Nope. Not bitter.
Me: So, what do you think about the Raiders moving to Vegas? Do you think it'll happen?
Jeff: The move to Vegas had been rumored for years. Paperwork has been filed already but they have two 1 year leases in Oakland, so they couldn't move any earlier than 2019.
Me: They have a new logo already...
Jeff: Hmmm, I've seen a logo similar to that before? Coincidence?
Me: Other breaking news... Cowboys fans are signing a 1-day contract with the Falcons. I'm not surprised. Hahaha.
Jeff: They might sign some Cowboys that aren't suspended or in jail at least. It would be the closest Dallas will get to the Super Bowl.
Me: Okay, Jeff, what is the latest NFL news?
Jeff: The 49ers are still without a head coach but they have someone in mind. He is currently the offensive coordinator of the Falcons though so he can't accept the job until after the Falcons play their last game. Which will be in two week for the Super Bowl. Last night was also the last game in the history of the Georgia Dome. The Falcons will move into a new stadium for next season, even though that stadium is relatively new. It's only 25 years old. It's so young even Donald Trump would consider dating it. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson doubted at one point he would be back with the team. One of the teams he was considering playing for was the Giants. So that should give you extra reason to hate Minnesota now.
Me: Yeah, I don't want him on the Giants. Alright, so, how did we do with the last picks for yesterdays games?
Jeff: We both went 1-1 in the conference finals. You picked New England and I picked the Falcons. So my lead remains at 10 with 1 game to go. And since each game is only worth a maximum of 2 points... HAHAHAHAHHA.
Me: Ugh. Okay, so, let's do the last picks of the season... the Super Bowl picks. I say Falcons by 12. What do you say?
Jeff: Since you're picking the Falcons, it would be boring if I did too. So I will New England with a sour puss expression on my face by eight points.
Me: Alright, I will see you back here after the Super Bowl. Talk soon.
Jeff: See you after Super Bowl LI.
Those crazy Japanese. Hahaha.
The 35th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Thom Solo and this is one of his pieces...
Thom will be the guest on the Phile next Sunday.
The 56th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
The author and the guy who put it together and Phile Alum Gary Gerani will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.
This is so cool... today's pheatured guest is a comedian who has an on-line talk show called "Running Late With Scott Rogowsky." Please welcome to the Phile... Scott Rogowsky.
Me: Hey, Scott, welcome to the Phile. How are you doing?
Me: Okay, so, I interviewed two guys in the past I think you are friends with... Dave Hill and Jason Torchinsky. Am I right?
Me: How did you get to know these gentlemen, Scott?
Scott: Jason and I were both contributors to the Onion News Network circa 2008-2011. Dave I've known and admired for many years as a hilarious comic and talk show host in his own right.
Me: Where are you from, sir?
Scott: Born in Manhattan... atop Mt. Sinai (hospital)... raised 40 minutes north in suburban Harrison, New York.
Me: Have you lived there all your life?
Scott: Yes, save the four years in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University.
Me: I first found out about you when the first fake book covers on a subway video came out and wanted to interview you then, so I am glad you are here. We'll talk about those videos in a minute. You are so lucky, you have your own talk show called "Running Late." How long have you been doing that show, Scott?
Scott: Since October 2011.
Me: How did you start doing the talk show?
Scott: I asked the artistic director of the Peoples Improv Theater (Jeff Lepine at the time) if I could start a new talk show there... I had been hosting a sports-themed show called "12 Angry Mascots" since 2008. He said yes!
Me: Who are your talk show influences? I said it before on the Phile, Conan is my idol and I kinda base this blog on a talk show, with his show being an inspiration.
Scott: Conan is my #1! I'm too young to have seen Carson/Letterman's "Late Night." I grew up with John Stewart on "The Daily Show" and Conan on "Late Night." I also remember watching Tom Snyder on "The Tomorrow Show" and thinking he seemed pretty chill.
Me: Do you currently follow any talk shows? I have to say I never missed one single Conan talk show episode.
Scott: I don't watch any one show religiously. Like most people these days I mostly catch whatever clips from whatever shows are being shared the next day. If I'm home and awake and sitting in front go the TV, I'm watching "Conan"/Colbert/Kimmel/Meyers. But my biggest contemporary talk show influences is "The Best Show With Tom Scharpling"... an Internet radio show/podcast hosted every Tuesday night from 9-12. He brings it every week for three hours of mirth, music and mayhem and there's no one doing it better.
Me: Okay, so, I have been doing interviews on this blog for the last nine years even though the Phile is 11 years old. One of the hardest things about doing it is finding people to interview, and contacting them. Luckily I work with some PR firms but most of the guests is me reaching out... like I did to you. How do you get guests?
Scott: Email. Email. Email. Phone call, email, Twitetr, Facebook, Instagram, email. Sometimes of I'm truly desperate I'll hound someone down at his kids rec league basketball game.
Me: Have you had anybody turn you down?
Scott: More and more everyday!
Me: Is there a favorite guest of yours that you had on?
Scott: Too many. Having David Cross and Amber Tamblyn was the first "holy shit" moment. I ate, slept, and breathed R.L. Stine as a kid... have had him on twice and he's the nicest guy. Chris Elliott blew me away... and having his supremely talented daughters together with him (for the first time ever I believe) was a special treat. Jon Hamm and H. Jon Benjamin on the couch at the same time was a "pinch me" moment. Jerry Springer and Kevin Nealon together was magic. Steve Buscemi gave me 45 historical minutes, Amy Sedaris, Regis Philbin, Dick Cavett... all absolutely incredible. Richard Kind is becoming the Orosn Bean to my Johnny Carson... expecting to have him back for a record third time this season. And I'm saving out the other 300 guests I've had. All great!
Me: Is there someone you wish you could interview but haven't?
Scott: Mel. Woody. Weird Al. Conan. Letterman. Paul Rudd! Joan Rivers would have been a ball. Curious to know what she would have thunk of my suit/time combo.
Me: So, where do you do the show, Scott? Different places, right?
Scott: Have done it all over Manhattan/Brooklyn, Boston once, taking it to L.A. in February for first time. Found a nice home for now at Union Hall in Brooklyn. Trying to build a reliable following there so that the show eventually sells out on its own strength rather than relying on star power of the guests.
Me: Alright, so, let's talk about your fake book covers on a subway videos. You first did that last year, am I right?
Scott: Yes... first in April for "Playboy" and then again in May on my own "Running Late channel.
Me: I have a pic of you with one of the books I have to show. This made me laugh...
Me: How did you come up with the idea for it?
Scott: I was inspired by reading Baratunde Thurston's "How to be Black" on the train and thinking it might be an odd sight for fellow straphangers considering I'm overwhelmingly white.
Me: Was it easy to put together?
Scott: Not at first. Took me a year between ideation and execution because the idea of designing the covers seemed too daunting. I didn't have the photoshop skills.
Me: The book titles and covers are very clever... do you come up with them yourself?
Scott: I came up with 90% of the first two, had some help from comedy pals. Dan Wilbur of "Better Book Titles" was helpful in some of the initial designs and title concepts. "Gone Girl 2" is a Dan Wilbur original! For the most recent Trump edition, I had more collaboration from even more talented friends who donated their services to the ACLU/Planned Parenthood.
Me: Who does the art work for the books?
Scott: I've done 90% of the art myself... finally learned the software! Ryan Hunter and Arthur Hickman were responsible for "The Groping Tree." and "Eat, Pray, Grab Pussy" designs.
Me: Have you ever had anybody remark to you about them on the subway? Or ask you a question like where you got the book?
Scott: Not too much, surprisingly, lot of muffled laughter, sly photo-taking. Most New Yorkers keep to themselves. I did have one Trump supporter start frothing at there mouth during this latest round. He was foreign (Russian?) so couldn't fully understand him but he was apoplectic. Pretty sure he snuck in a veiled anti-Semitic remark.
Me: What do you say when they ask you?
Me: The first time you did it obviously people didn't recognize you... but now as your videos have become more popular do you get recognized doing it?
Scott: This last round I had some fans who told me how much they love the videos. Also had a couple of sourpusses who thought the gimmick is played out. Not my fault that half your friends posted the video to their feeds!
Me: What are some of your favorite book titles you had, Scott?
Scott: Like my guests, too many to name. If I took the time to design/print them, you better believe I liked them.
Me: Are you planning on coming up with any more videos like these?
Scott: Don't you think it's a little played out?
Me: Nope. Were you surprised when the videos went viral?
Scott: Absolutely. Never experienced anything like this. I've traveled quite a bit last year around the world and people have seen it in Noreay, Belgium, Spain, the U.K.... it truly is a world wide web.
Me: So, both Dave Hill and Jason Torchinsky wrote books, Scott. Have you ever thought about writing a book?
Scott: And spend 6 months... 2 years writing the damn thing? No thanks! It's much easier to come up with a title.
Me: You are gonna be doing a new show called "Start Talkin' With Scott Rogowsky." Is this another talk show?
Scott: Yes, it's an ambush show with the purpose of helping people make decisions. I wish I could explain it better than that. Eight episodes were produced for Complex Networks/Seriously.TV this past fall. Look for it to air sometime this year!
Me: You'll be doing these shows from California, right? Why there?
Scott: Because the say if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
Me: You had a show called "NFL Writers Room," what was this show on?
Scott: This was a webs series made for ESPN.com in 2009 with my "12Angry Mascots" partner Neil Janowitz. It was my first foray into digital content and we worked 30 hour weeks for what broke down to about $12 each. Thanksfully I've managed to improve that ratio slightly.
Me: Are you a football fan, Scott? I am a big Giants fan... I'm guessing being from New York you are as well
Scott: I'm a baseball/Mets fan first and foremost. Jets would be my football team. I mainly watch for the traumatic brain injury.
Me: Okay, so, what's next for you, Scott? Any big stuff happening in 2017?
Scott: It all remains to be seen. I'm excited about taking my "Running Late" shows to L.A. for the first time. My sidekick/dad Marty is making the trip with me, and I have some terrific guests lined up like Reggie Watts, Kevin Nealon, Dana Gould, and the Sklar Brothers.
Me: I am so glad I finally got to interview you. I hope you'll come back on the Phile again soon. Go ahead and mention your websites and everything.
Me: Thanks again, and please come back soon. Continued success.
That was great! That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Scott Rogowsky. The Phile will be back next Sunday with artist Thom Solo. 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