Hey, kids, afternoon, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? If you are having a bad Monday... think again. Conservative pundit Tomi Lahren may have ended her own brief career as the face of young furious Republicans, and it's all because she made the grave mistake of having one different opinion. During a March 17th appearance on "The View," Lahren said she is pro-choice, explaining, "I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well." While her supporters had no problem with her saying that Iran is a "terror training ground," or that the DNC paid for violent protests at Trump rallies, this time they decided she'd gone too far. Her bosses at TheBlaze, the conservative outlet started by Glenn Beck where she had been employed, suspended her indefinitely. And if you thought that was just a slap on the wrist to get her to toe the party line, you don't know Beck. Over the weekend, sources confirmed that Lahren has now been permanently banned from TheBlaze. One insider told Page Six, "Glenn is reminding the world of his conservative principles by sidelining Tomi after she insulted conservatives by calling them hypocrites… He just couldn’t sit by and watch as Tomi Lahren said there’s no way for conservatives to justify anything other than being pro-choice." Some feel that this is part of Glenn Beck's attempt to win back fans who feel that he himself has gone soft on his conservative credentials. Readership of TheBlaze is way down since he appeared on "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee." So if you thought this story was a sign of the conservative movement doing some serious soul-searching, don't worry. It's just pundits selling each other out to survive.
United Airlines decided to enforce a nonexistent dress code and refused to allow two girls onto their flight yesterday morning because they were wearing leggings. "The Washington Post" reports that a third girl, who was approximately 10-years-old, was also wearing leggings and was asked to change before she could board her flight from Denver to Minneapolis. She ended up putting a dress on over her leggings. Shannon Watts, a political activist who is well-known for founding the gun safety campaign Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was at the gate, saw the whole thing go down, and tweeted about the event to her 32.7K followers, bringing the incident to a wider audience. United made a statement in response to her tweet and the ensuing outrage, saying "United shall have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage." The airline clarified that "this is left to the discretion of the agents," but made no mention of what constitutes being "properly clothed." Watts then tweeted a series of thoughts and salient observations about the obvious sexism of the incident. After Watts took them to task and the ridiculous story started to pick up steam, others, including celebrities Patricia Arquette and Chrissy Teigan, joined in to discuss how outrageous it was that United was trying to police these girls' bodies. In a statement to the "New York Daily News," Watts said "I'd like (United) to understand that leggings are part of a woman's attire in modern day America. It is not inappropriate or sexual." United, please hear us when we tell you it is not sexual, it's just comfortable.
A group of Americans on spring break in Cancun, Mexico brought stupid to a whole new level when they began chanting "build that wall!"... while on the wrong side of the wall. According to Mexican newspaper "The Yucatan Times," the American tourists attended a pirate-themed show on a boat off the port of Puerto Juárez. As the show ended, the Americans started chanting "build that wall!" to the shock and disgust of other passengers. What school are these kids on spring break from, and why don't they teach geography or manners there? Although some Mexican passengers complained to the crew, the tourists persisted with the chant. "The Yucatan Times" noted that this is hardly an isolated incident, and ever since Donald Trump was elected, American tourists have gotten more "offensive, rude and haughty" toward Mexicans... in their own country. On second thought, if the wall bordering Mexico has to be built, the best time to do it is probably when a bunch of drunk, annoying Americans are out of the country.
Hey, how have you been sleeping lately? Good? Cool, well not anymore, because this mugshot of some dude in full Joker makeup will probably keep you up at night.
According to Winchester Police Department spokesperson Commissioner Gordon... I mean Jennifer Hall, several concerned citizens called 911 and reported seeing a man dressed like the Joker carrying a sword. Thirty-one-year-old Jeremy Putman was later arrested and charged with wearing a mask in public, a felony that could result in up to a year in jail. Yeah, that is a thing you can actually be arrested for! Putman is being held on a $2,000 secured bond. Better fire up the bat symbol. You know, just in case.
For now, Trumpcare is dead. The Obama-era health law it was supposed to replace is still the law of the land. Republicans, despite control of the White House and both sides of Congress, and with President Trump acting as party whip, couldn't even pull themselves together to vote on their garbage bill. So if you were watching some college basketball a few nights ago and saw a commercial thanking your Republican representatives for repealing Obamacare, you probably did a double take. Because didn't that... not happen? Several ads tailored to specific markets and representatives, aired courtesy of the conservative American Action Network PAC, which is either wasting its money or really doubling down on the whole "fake news"/"alternative facts" angle. Because the sad thing is, you know at least some people who watched these commercials totally believed them. Even more amazingly, these phony videos have been on American Action Network since March 14th, well before any scheduled vote on Trumpcare. They were just too excited and confident about stripping away insurance for millions! But hey, guys, really... don't worry about keeping your promises. Plenty of people get reelected for decades without doing that.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is many things: a former California governor, a perpetual annoyance to President Trump, and one of the most accomplished movie stars alive. But perhaps above all, he is a big, buff dude who lives for pure sport and athleticism... which is why he's a fan of the Special Olympics. A few days ago, Schwarzenegger was on hand for the Special Olympics World Games 2017, being held in his home country, Austria. He posted a brief video to Snapchat and Facebook with some of the winners, saying that they inspired him. The post garnered many positive comments. But one guy wasn't having it. "The Special Olympics makes no sense," he complained. "The Olympics are for the best athletes in the entire world to compete against each other to determine who is the best. Having retards competing is doing the opposite!" Well, RIP that jerk, whose life was ended by Schwarzenegger's devastating reply.
So, the new trailer for Justice League was released and there was one scene I was confused about...
I didn't know Bane was gonna be in the movie. Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, is known once in awhile to change the look of its characters. There's one change I am not so sure about...
That's Meg from Hercules I think. I should know, I only worked for Disney for over 29 years. Hey, did you see what happened to Trump? It was a prank this whole fucking time.
Andy Kauffman lives! Hahaha. That's so stupid. That's almost as stupid as...
Hahahahahahaha. That's funny! So, it's Spring Break for some schools, and some kids are just acting plain stupid. Like this reindeer who got too buck-wild...
Let's hope no one tells Santa about this. Hey, did you see what President Trump was driving the other day?
He looks so mad. Alright, I saw this pic today and it reminded me of something...
I couldn't figure out what and then it hit me.
Hahaha. Uncanny, right? And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Things What To Expect When The Raiders Move To Vegas
5. Players will be worried less about concussions and more about heat stroke.
4. Game outcomes will be a source of mystery, due to local "What Happens in Vegas" laws.
3. Suspiciously, the new stadium's concession stands will sell what appear to be casino-buffet leftovers.
2. It could really open the door for people to start betting on professional sporting events.
And the number one thing to what to expect when the Raiders move to Vegas is...
1. Two words: Elvis Refs.
Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, you know I live in Florida... well, there's a lot of strange things that happen in Florida that happens no where else in the Universe. That's why I have a pheature called...
A young man in Lakeland, Florida is facing his day in court after the local police saw photos of him sitting shirtless in the middle of an intersection, eating pancakes off a small TV tray. Baffled police officers posted the story on Facebook as a deterrent against anyone else who might be thinking about committing this very specific crime. After a concerned citizen shared a video of the suspect and his flapjacks on the Lakeland PD Facebook page, some of his friends immediately outed him as 21-year-old Kiaron Thomas, who lives 100 yards from that very intersection. Police interviewed him, and he admitted he pulled the stunt as a prank (ON WHO?). Thomas was charged with Placing an Obstruction in the Roadway and Disrupting the Free Flow of Traffic. His court date has been set for April 25th. Some Facebook commenters complained, stating that eating pancakes is a victimless crime. The police responded with another photo to prove them wrong.
When will people learn that eating pancakes is a privilege, not a right?
August 4th, 1934 — March 22nd, 2017
More of a greenish-black, actually.
June 3rd, 1929 — March 21st, 2017
He joins Gene Gene The Dancing Machine in that great green room in the sky.
June 12th, 1915 — March 20th, 2017
A shining example that you can have all the money in the world and you're still going to end up on this shitty blog.
Three old maids die and arrive in heaven at the same time. When they get there, St. Peter says, "We only have one rule here in heaven: don't step on the ducks!" So they enter heaven, and sure enough, there are ducks all over the place. It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one. Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw. St. Peter chains them together and says, "Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!" The next day, the second woman accidentally steps on a duck and along comes St. Peter, who doesn't miss a thing. With him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same admonishment as for the first woman. The third woman has observed all this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps. She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks, then one day St. Peter comes up to her with the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on... very tall, dark hair, and muscular. St. Peter chains them together without saying a word and walks away. The happy woman says, "I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?" The guy says, "I don't know about you, but I stepped on a duck!"
Alright, today's guest is a Phile Alum and author of "Hat Trick: A Ragnarok on Ice Story (Volume 4)," the 58th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome back to the Phile... Jeremy Croston.
Me: Jeremy! Hey, there, welcome back to the Phile. Hi, Jak? How have you been, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Not too bad, Mr. Peverett. How the hell are you?
Me: Not bad. First of, congratulations, you are now a father. I never thought I'd see Jeremy Croston as a dad... but then again people said the same thing about me when I became a dad 18 years ago. How old us your son now, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Thanks, man, and trust me, there was a time in my life I didn’t think I’d be a dad. But here we are. Jak is 7-months-old. Holy crap, it’s been 7 months already.
Me: Did you forget the "c" on purpose? Who came up with his name, you or your wife?
Jeremy: I did. Steph wanted to go with Jaxon but I wasn’t a giant fan of the "x." So I said how about Jakson with no "c" and she said we can do that.
Me: My sons name is Logan and being a geek I was coming up with names like Anakin, and Han and Luke, and other Star Wars names. My wife said, "ye who carries baby gets to name baby" and she didn't want a geeky name. So, it was down to Liam and Logan. I thought Liam was cool, as Qui-Gon would never work. Then she named him Logan. Ha! Wolverine's name. And now there's a movie with that name. So, he got a geek name. Anyway, looking at you both in your Turtles hats I am surprised he's not named Leonardo. Haha. You're a big Turtles fan, right?
Jeremy: LOL... I’ll let you all in on a secret. I was tempted to name him Atari but that was quickly vetoed. As were all four of the Ninja Turtle names. I was angling for Jakson Raphael Oroku Saki Croston.
Me: Which Turtle is your favorite?
Jeremy: It’s always been a toss-up between Mikey and Raph but I’ll go with Mikey today. Non turtles... Casey Jones is the man. Stephen Amell did an amazing job playing him in the 2nd movie.
Me: So, what's your favorite thing about being a dad?
Jeremy: Seeing Jak’s face light up when he sees stuff for the first time. One of the things about being a geek is that I love stupid stuff. Sometimes we forget the wonderment and excitement that comes with seeing something so cool for the very first time. As a dad and seeing Jak laugh and clap his hands when he sees something cool, you remember that’s what it was all about.
Me: Okay, you didn't come here to talk about fatherhood... you came here to talk about your book "Hat Trick: A Ragnarok on Ice Story (Volume 4)." Holy shit, that's a long ass title, man. Couldn't you come up with a shorter title?
Jeremy: Probably but as Steph would tell you, I’m a wordy kinda guy. Also, the more words you use, the better your chances of Amazon picking up the title when someone does a search. That’s what we in the biz call playing the system, LOL.
Me: Good idea. Hey, so, what do you think about the new Thor movie being called Ragnarok? They stole the idea from you. Hahaha.
Jeremy: Funny thing about that movie is it looks more "Planet Hulk" storyline than Ragnarok storyline. I guess that’s a good thing if we get to see more of Ruffalo as the Hulk/Banner. To be fair, we both stole the ideas from the vikings. Of course, those guys were badass, so can you blame anyone for stealing their ideas?
Me: So, is Norse mythology something you have been into your whole life?
Jeremy: Yeah. I’m not sure who, but when I was young, a relative of mine gave me a Nordic myth book along with a simplified version of "Beowulf." I read those things so many times the pages began to fall out. There was always something so mystical about the tales, featured in this wintery-like climate with these larger than life figures. Plus, all the connections to the stories (including "Beowulf") to early Christian teachings. Unless you know to look for it, you’d never see how the two were connected.
Me: I don't know too much about Norse stories, except Thor is an alien and an Avenger. Ha. I was more into Greek mythology. Anyway, one of the books that was pheatured in the Phile's Book Club was "Power Play: Ragnarok on Ice." Is this book a prequel or sequel to that book?
Jeremy: A sequel. This book takes place twenty or so years after the main story. Plus it also follows the kids of the main characters from the first go around, so new faces, similar places. "Hat Trick" is probably my favorite book that I’ve written.
Me: How many in this series, Jeremy?
Jeremy: This is numero 4. "Power Play," "Penalty Kill," and "Game Over" make up the original trilogy and "Hat Trick" starts a new part to the series.
Me: So, what is the book about? Does it have the same characters?
Jeremy: So yeah, the kids of the main characters take over this time. Their parents have been kidnapped by a pretty powerful historical figure (teaser, it’s someone I’ve mentioned previously) and they go on this journey to save them. There is way more Norse mythology weaved in, plus some pretty awesome cameos, and, as one critic put it, some of the best action scenes that she’s read in this genre. I take pride in my ability to write some unique scenarios for my action scenes.
Me: How long did it take to write this book?
Jeremy: From first word to final edit... 6 months. I’ve streamlined my process and it makes it a lot easier on me, Steph, and our editor, Becki.
Me: It seems you're coming out with some kinda book all the time... is your mind always creating and thinking of stories?
Jeremy: I’ve been a storyteller my whole life. As a kid, a teacher once told me that my wild imagination would lead to my downfall if I didn’t get it under control. Now look at me, my wild imagination has created so many interesting worlds for people to explore. I should send him a signed copy of one of my books with “asshole” secretly written on a hidden page.
Me: Another series of your is the "Negative Man" series. How many in this series now?
Jeremy: Two main books and a short story. Plus I got a crap ton of companion material on my blog and such. "The Negative Man" world has turned pretty expansive.
Me: So, do you write one Ragnarok book and then one Negative Man book?
Jeremy: Pretty much. I take a few months of to recharge, but when the bug hits to get the next one written, it’s off to the races.
Me: Which series do you prefer?
Jeremy: My favorite is the "Ragnarok on Ice" world but I’d be a fool not to realize that "The Negative Man" series isn’t by far more successful. There’s something special about the characters that people can really relate to.
Me: Are they set in the same universe?
Jeremy: Nope, one is set in real places and the other is all fictional settings.
Me: Okay, so, I have to tell you a story... I was at Clermont Comic Con (I did an entry of the Phile there) and I was walking around and on one table for sale I saw your books on sale. I thought you were gonna be there but you weren't. Did you go to the Con?
Jeremy: I was supposed to be there but at the last minute I got called out of town for my real job, Camping World. It made me quite sad not to be there since I was invited.
Me: Do you ever go to cons?
Jeremy: Yes. I’ve been at the Osceola Library Comic Con two years in a row and this year, I’ll be at the Trinity Prep Book Show.
Me: Did you know your books was being sold there? I wish I knew who was selling them.
Jeremy: I do. I have a deal with a local comic shop, Krum’s World, to be the exclusive "Negative Man" dealer in Orlando. They are right off 50 in Winter Garden, beside the Publix.
Me: You recently did a book signing, am I right?
Jeremy: Yes I did. I love doing those.
Me: Where was that and did a lot of people show up?
Jeremy: At Krum’s World, again. And we had a lot of people show up. It was a lot more than I even anticipated. We were selling books, t-shirts, and even bookmarks. It was a great day.
Me: I have to congratulate you on something... didn't one of your books win an award of some sort?
Jeremy: "The Negative Man: City of Chaos" won the Summer Independent Authors’ Book Award for Science Fiction. Yeah, talk about something that completely blew my mind. To be a published author is one thing. To be an award winning author, yeah, that’s next level kinda stuff. Months later, even thinking about it, I’m at a loss.
Me: What was the award, and who gave to you?
Jeremy: Basically it was given to me by the Independent Authors Committee (ie, authors not with the big six publishing house like Random, Scholastic, etc…). The award symbolizes excellence in writing and storytelling.
Me: How did you find out you won?
Jeremy: A congratulations email from the head of the committee and a very sweet prize package that included doing some interviews and getting "City of Chaos" featured in a few publications.
Me: You must be thrilled your book carer is taken off, Jeremy. Your books could be the next Harry Potter or "Twilight" series if you keep going down this route.
Jeremy: Thrilled doesn’t begin to describe it. To think what just started off with me writing some crazy ass story down has turned into something like this, yeah. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.
Me: Do you have a favorite author who you wish you could be?
Jeremy: I love Rick Riordan’s stuff, "Percy Jackson" and "Magnus Chase." He’s another author who does justice when it comes to writing modern stories based on the old mythological tales. He’d be the guy I’d want to sit down with and pique his brain.
Me: So, I am thinking of writing a book... if I ever get time around to it. Any advice you can give me?
Jeremy: If you have a story to tell, tell it. Writing the story is the easy part. Once that is done, that’s when the real work kicks in (marketing, editing, picking the right cover). Stay true to your vision and run with it. A second piece of advice is to not be afraid to fail, but then change what didn’t work. "Power Play" when it first came out was an epic bomb. I had a poor editor, a terrible cover, the whole nine yards. But, as I kept going and learning, I went back and made the necessary changes. Part of failing is learning what didn’t work and changing that. Too many authors out there are stuck in their ways and fail over and over again without ever changing.
Me: How did you first start to write, Jeremy? Were you hesitant at first?
Jeremy: I started in college and just kinda gave up on it. Steph found my stuff and encouraged me to pick it back up. I was quite hesitant at first, but something felt right about it all. And here we are today, on the cusp of this becoming something a lot larger than I think anyone imagined.
Me: How many hours a day do you write?
Jeremy: With a child, it becomes harder, but I try to do a few hours a day when possible.
Me: Alright, so, what's next for you? Another "Negative Man" book?
Jeremy: Yep. In a Phile exclusive, I’m going to plug the release date a week early before anyone else will know. "Legends Can Die," book 3 of the series, will be released on Independence Day, 2017. Happy Fourth of July everyone! Preorders will be hitting Amazon soon and, like always, during that stage, the book will be at the cheap price of 99 cents before jumping to $3.99 at release.
Me: Cool! Is there a website you'd like to plug or anything?
Jeremy: Sure... my blog is ragnarokonice.wordpress.com and my publisher’s page is boltbookspub.wix.com/home. You can also find me on Amazon at amazon.com/author/jeremycroston.
Me: Any more book signings lined up?
Jeremy: Friday, April 7th, I’ll be at Trinity Prep for their author showcase. In late April, my publisher is thinking about doing a reader appreciation pizza party, so I can keep you posted about that. And finally, at Krum’s World on June 24th, I’ll be releasing limited edition copies of "Legends Can Die" a week early. Come on by to any event and say hi.
Me: Jeremy, thanks so much foe being back on the Phile. Please come back again soon and congrats on being a dad once again. All the best, take care.
Jeremy: A pleasure as always, Jason. I can’t wait to see what crazy book you come up with!
Me: Ha. Don't hold your breath.
That about does it for another entry of the Phile. The Phile will be back next Monday with musician Nozart. 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