Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. How are you? On Monday, the man responsible for the Marvel Universe... Stan Lee, passed away at the age of 95. Lee's wide-spanning cultural influence all started in 1961, when he and Jack Kirby birthed Marvel with the Fantastic Four. Following that initial success, Lee went on to create Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man and the Avengers, all of which have become freshly relevant following the recent movie adaptations. In the wake of his passing, comic book fans, movie lovers, celebrities and collaborators alike have been posting tributes to Lee's legacy. From 1965 up until 2001 Lee wrote a monthly column called Stan's Soapbox in Marvel Comics. In 1968 he penned an essay about the evils of racism, one that sadly still resounds. That essay has resurfaced and gone viral in the wake of his death. The essay points out the ways racism and bigotry strip everyone of their humanity, and stop us from reaching our human potential. Here it is...
People have been pointing out just how relevant Lee's words remain to our current political climate. RIP, Stan Lee, you were a man with true vision.
Upon hearing the news of Stan Lee's passing, countless fans and celebrities took to social media to share their memories of Lee and their condolences. However, actor Armie Hammer took issue with the way that some celebrities were grieving, and called them out in a very strange way, He tweeted, "So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee... no better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself." Armie, who hurt you? Are you just salty you don't have your own photo to tweet? Sharing a happy memory with a friend or an idol who has passed isn't making their death about you... it's showing gratitude for how they influenced your life. Is Armie's entire Twitter feed clogged with celebrities posting lingerie-clad thirst trap selfies and then writing "RIP Stan Lee?" Because maybe in that case, it would be selfish and disrespectful. Better luck next time, Armie. Growth is a journey.
Fox News loves a good boogeywoman, whether it's Hillary Clinton ("But her emails!"), Nancy Pelosi ("Why can't the woman just be quiet?"), and now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ("Her youth and vitality remind us of our own mortality and why isn't she rich and out-of-touch like the rest of Congress!!!!"). In trying to get their viewers to be terrified of Congresswoman-elect Ocasio-Cortez, the president's favorite "news" network keeps cutting solid commercials for her. Back in June, moldy potato Sean Hannity tried to spook his catheter-bound audience by presenting her platform, which featured such terrifying initiatives as "women's rights" and "support seniors." Now that Democrats have officially taken back the House of Representatives in a slow-but-sure blue wave, Fox News wants you to be afraid (very afraid) of the people of color joining the old boy's club. In a segment on her show called "The Freshman Insurrection," blow-dried bigot Laura Ingraham ranted about recently elected progressive women of color: Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. The women of color are coming! Like a sorority president terrified of being outshined by new pledges, Ingraham called the lawmakers "radical," blasting this terrifying graphic on your grandparents' screens. Here it is...
Did Fox News make this or did the Democratic Socialists? Is that... bad? Progressives on Twitter dragged Fox News for trying to make things like caring about the environment, getting rid of the Gestapo, and universal health care seem dangerous. Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez chimed in, mocking the network for uncovering the "vast conspiracy" to promote things like education, healthcare, immigration justice, and environmental justice. Sacre bleu! Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Eric Trump, son of Donald Trump and I assume (based on his face) Count von Count, is hawking Trump-branded Christmas ornaments for people with $60 to spend on a golden mini golf bag.
The featured ornaments each have a special meaning in the Trump presidency. There's the Trump helicopter, which won't fly to honor World War I veterans in the rain; Manhattan's Trump Tower, where taxpayers spent $100,000 to protect Melania before she moved to DC; and a golden golf bag in honor of the president's passion. If golf bags aren't your thing, there are other ways to keep the first family in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.'Tis the season to be jolly! MAGAlalalala la la la la.
In 1966, America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a landmark study that said a gun in the home does not make everyone safer. This study contradicted one of the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) major talking points, so it successfully lobbied to ban the CDC from researching the public health effects of gun violence. The ban is still in effect to this day. On October 30th, Annals of Internal Medicine released a report by members of the American College of Physicians that stated, “Firearm violence continues to be a public health crisis in the United States that requires the nation’s immediate attention.” The NRA responded to the report with a tweet that pushed back against the 154,000-member strong doctors’ group, telling them to “stay in their lane.” Healthcare workers responded with countless tweets of bloody ER rooms and gunshot wounds under #stayinmylane and #thisismylane proving they’re not only qualified to talk about gun violence, but they’re on the front lines of the epidemic. In the next few weeks I'll be showing some of the pics here on the Phile. Here's the first...
Do you like Channing Tatum? Well, he made another one of those "Jump Street" movies. Here's the poster...
Can't believe they are up to 28. You know sometimes people get their assses saved by a total stranger. Not all humans are the worst. Like this baby singing on a plane, and gaining a fan.
Awe. I love dogs but some dogs could be such jerks... like this one for example...
"Oh, heyyyyy." Haha. If I had a TARDIS I would like to go back to 1884 and see the construction of the Statue of Liberty...
But it's in Paris. Hahaha. So, maybe not. Looks cool though, right? So, I mentioned Fox News is getting dragged for accidentally making the "Radical Democrat Agenda" sound amazing. Well, look what they did...
Hahahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...
Hahahaha. That made me laugh. It's Thursday... you know what that means, right?
Fuck! I think I'm gonna be sick and throw up the Panda Express I had for dinner. Moving on... it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.
Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Jeff: Hey, Jason. Always good to be back here on the Phile. Before we get started, I just want to say I'm bummed about the passing of Stan Lee. I have comic books as old (if not older) than I am. And they have are all because of Stan Lee. For a man who didn't want to get into comic books, he had a huge impact not only in the world of comic books but in the world in general. He lived a great life and he will be missed.
Me: I concur. Well said. So, there's a rumor that Jordy Nelson may retire from NFL after suffering through nine games with the Raiders. Do you think it'll happen?
Jeff: I hadn't heard that but I wouldn't be surprised if he did retire. Nelson has had a good career. He got to play with one of the best QBs of our time, Aaron Rodgers. I don't think he wanted to leave Green Bay, but I know he didn't want to play for a team as bad as the Raiders are right now. He deserves to go out on top.
Me: Did you see or hear about this...
Me: Ezekiel Elliott hurdled clear over the Eagles defender during a huge run. That's fucking crazy, right?
Jeff: Every once in a while you see a guy with serious jumps like that! That's impressive.
Me: What NFL news do you have?
Jeff: The biggest news is the Saints did sign WR Dez Bryant. Two days later he injured himself for the season. And thanks to the great week of Matt Barkley, the fans of the Bills got their wish. The team released QB Nathan Peterman. Yet he still threw four interceptions today alone!
Me: Usually about this time of the season I ask you who has good chance to make it to the Super Bowl. So, who do you think?
Jeff: It's hard to pick against the Chiefs making it out of the AFC. The Saints are destroying everyone in the NFC. But the Rams are just as powerful, so honestly it most likely is one of those two NFC teams.
Me: That is fair to say. Britain has taken over another team, Jeff...
Me: What do you think? I love the name... hahahaha.
Jeff: The Steelers made them look like Posh... nevermind.
Me: Ha! Okay, so, how did we do last week? Am I in the lead again? Please say yes.
Jeff: We both went 1-1 last week. The Steelers won. And I'll be damned, the Giants won. So I maintain my 2 point lead over you!
Me: Shit. Okay, let's pick this weeks teams... I say Redskins by 5 and Falcons by 4. What do you say?
Jeff: My picks for the week are Panthers by 6 and Chargers 4.
Me: Okay, so, next Thursday is Thanksgiving so there's gonna be no Phile that day but next Friday is my birthday and a birthday entry for my 50th so I will see you here then. Have a great Thanksgiving. See you hear next Friday.
Jeff: See you for your birthday celebration!
Let's... sigh... talk about it... A Legends Passing. Legends never die. Legends stand the test of time regardless of what happens in the present and most importantly a LEGEND is defined by what they left behind and that will shape plus alter the course of history. Stan Lee was that VERY individual that was a man of imagination that compared to likes Walt himself. A lot of Stan Lee's work will go down as not just a work of art but a separate universe that we all know and love 'til this day and his idea of what a superhero was that's so pure that it stay's with me to this very day. For example, Peter Parker was just a average guy like me or you that suddenly had his life change once he was bit by the radioactive spider and yet... he still lived his life with just as many real world problems like the rest of us but with superhero powers included. He was the very embodiment of who we all wanted to be as a child. Or how about the X-Men and how the story was all meant about race and segregation that TO THIS VERY DAY still exist. Or Fantastic Four that taught us the meaning of family. This and so many of his work has inspired me and it's still to this very day hits me in my very core that he's out doing another adventure. He lived a long life and though I never knew him I can at least say this one thing that is true to me. Stan gave me a childhood I was proud of and for that I'm grateful for just being able to be surround by his amazing work he left behind. So one last time... Rest easy, sir! Excelsior!
You don't have to be British to laugh at this meme but it'll help...
Hahahahahahahahahaha. Now for some sad news...
April 15th, 1933 — November 15th, 2018
The options are apparently "take me as I am"or "let me go." Looks like option B.
January 12th, 1925 — November 13th, 2018
She skipped the series finale of "Little House on the Prairie" to go on a pilgrimage to India. That's probably why you don't remember her.
December 28th, 1922 — November 12th, 2018
From the guys who brought you "Leaving Jews out of Holocaust Remembrance Day" and "Iftar without Muslims" it's... Diwali without Hindus! The nation's best and brightest serving the country at the White House managed to screw up the official tweets about the president's Diwali celebration. It's an impressive feat, considering the fact that even MICHAEL SCOTT knows what Diwali is. Trump left out Hindus from his Diwali tweet, which is like describing "The Office" without Steve Carell (which yes, was really bad). People noticed. Trump is also a week late with his celebrations, as Diwali was celebrated on November 7th. He was also likely pissed to learn that Diwali isn't about de wall or Wall-E. While Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains do celebrate Diwali, it is primarily known as a Hindu holiday. Almost two billion Hindus around the world celebrate the holiday, and according to Pew, more than two million of them are in the United States. The president deleted the tweet... only to make the same mistake again. Alas, on his third try, the president finally acknowledged Hindus' role in the Hindu Festival of Lights. I know it's a lot to ask, but maybe the next president can get the $100 "Jeopardy" question correctly? Happy (belated) Diwali to all the Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, and yes... Hindus!
Haha. I couldn't resist. The last entry I had a lawyer come on the Phile from a local law firm. Well, one of his partners wanted to come on to the Phile today and say something. So, please welcome to the Phile...
Me: Hello, Sid, how are you doing?
Sid: Not bad, Jay, you?
Me: Not bad. So, what do you have to say?
Sid: I have to let something off my chest... A friend of mine in high school worked at a pizza place. One of the delivery drivers was just ridiculously smart when I talked to him. Later I found out that he use to be a nuclear physicist. His wife was also a nuclear physicist, but left him for me
Me: Oh, man. What happened to the guy?
Sid: Well, he got screwed out of his kids, most of the assets, and had to pay a lot towards alimony/child support. He did the math, and figured out the tips he didn't get taxed on plus his minimum wage delivering pizza was more than keeping his job as a nuclear physicist. Plus he got a little satisfaction not having to pay her as much. The guy was really nice. I always felt bad for him.
Me: Well, that's nice of you, Sid.
Sid: Yeah, but when I order pizza I never tip the poor bastard. Have a good night, Jay.
Me: You too. I'm confused about that story. Haha. Sid Suetha from the law firm Suetha, Buggerz & Wynn, kids.
The 90th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Yoo-hoo! The great William Shatner will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks. Really. Now for some...
Phact 1. There was a second Fukushima nuclear power plant, 10km to the south, that suffered the same crippling tsunami damage, but was saved from meltdown by a capable leader and heroic staff.
Phact 2. There is a cathedral in Poland with “dragon bones” hanging outside.
Phact 3. There are about two million saunas in Finland, enough for the entire Finnish population to take a sauna at the same time.
Phact 4. The island of Vakkaru in the Maldives consists almost entirely of fish poo.
Phact 5. In 2011, Norway went through a nationwide butter shortage, where smugglers would often get caught smuggling butter and online auctions for one packet of butter reached as high as seventy-seven dollars.
Today's pheatured guest is an English musician, singer, and songwriter. His latest album "Hearts That Strain" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Jake Bugg.
Me: Hey there, Jake, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Jake: Cheers, man, thank you.
Me: So, you're from England, what part?
Jake: Nottingham, I grew up on a council estate.
Me: You seem so young, Jake, how old are you?
Jake: I was born in 1984, so I'm not that young.
Me: Okay, let's talk about your new CD "Hearts That Stain." I really like this CD. I love the song "How Soon the Dawn" which opened the album. That's a great song to open the album with, don't you agree?
Jake: There's a few dark moments on the album compared to it but it's still got the same sound in terms of production and music in playing and stuff, so yeah, it's a good way in opening the album I think.
Me: You have been compared to James Taylor and the Laurel Canyon vibe, Jake, what do you think of that comparison?
Jake: Yeah, a lot of people have said that. I take that as a compliment. I'll take that all day long for sure.
Me: When you were writing the album were you thinking about the comparisons?
Jake: Not really, no. I don't think about what I'm gonna write, I just tend to pick up the guitar and go for it really and see what comes out.
Me: You wrote that song with Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys, am I right?
Jake: Yeah, and Matt Sweeney as well. It's cool because I already met Dan before, we toured with him in America and few years ago so it was pretty easy to go into the studio with someone I already met.
Me: Who are your influences, Jake?
Jake: Glen Campbell... rest his soul. He's probably one of my favourite wrier and singers.
Me: That's cool. "Southern Rain" sounds like a song that Glen could have sang, that's a very countryish song. Was that one of the first songs you wrote for this album?
Jake: That song was the very last song we wrote for the album. We had ten tracks and I thought if we get another one in the same vein then we are there. I just wrote that one in my flat in London and Matt Sweeney kept telling me, "We need another song, we need another song." I was like, "Shut up, I got this one that I wrote the other day." He said, "Why didn't you tell me?" We recorded it the next day and it's one of my favourite songs on the record.
Me: Did you write most of the songs before you went to Nashville?
Jake: Most of them. I would write them home in my flat, go record in Nashville for a week, go back home, do it again. It was quite a nice way of working really. I wasn't trapped in the same place and far away from everyone.
Me: Was it hard to write in a flat? I'm sure you had other people around listening.
Jake: I couldn't be too loud because I'll keep the neighbours up. A lot of the songs are written in the lower range for me which is more comfortable to sing and its nice to have a lazy vibe.
Me: I think this is pretty cool, Jake, the Memphis Boys play on the album. What the fuck? Haha. Tell the readers who these people are.
Jake: Yeah, like Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood who played with Aretha Franklin and Elvis and Dusty Springfield. It's not bad, is it? It's pretty amazing being in the studio with that caliber of musicians. I feel like for me it's an amazing experience because I was learning about something I really love which is pretty cool.
Me: Is it true about Nashville musicians they just clock in and clock out?
Jake: Yeah, and it is nine to five. I like that though. It's not like that for me but it's a good balance I think.
Me: You do a duet on "Waiting" with someone named Noah Cyrus. How did that happen?
Jake: Well, we already recorded the song and then when I went back home to write some more the producer, David Ferguson, played it to Billy Ray Cyrus because he's a friend of his and he got Noah to sing on it. I didn't hear it until I got back and when I heard the result I thought it was pretty cool. I was like, "Can you not sing the whole song?" I think it was really nice of me as a writer to write something for somebody with more of a pop background to sing and for it to sound not too far out of place. I was really happy with that.
Me: I was surprised with the sax solo in the song, Jake. Was that your idea?
Jake: It wasn't my idea, it was my producer's idea. It was a big show. It was risky, there were a few looks around the room but it worked. I felt all the parts were the right ones, and a little tasteful. It's nice to drag those elements that I wouldn't normally enter in music. As long as it's not in every song and has taken over the tune I think it's alright.
Me: I love the song "In the Event of My Demise." I think I want that song to be played at my funeral. What is that song about, Jake?
Jake: That was written with Dan and Matt again, and that's a song with a dark thing about it. There's some guy on his death bed and these people around him want what's coming to them after he's gone. When we were writing it it was the line "the darker the line the louder the laugh" really was a pretty wonderful line to write.
Me: Do you write on guitar or piano, Jake?
Jake: I wrote "The Man On Stage" on the piano. I only know about four chords, but lucky they are in the same key. I didn't play piano on the record because I had Bobby Wood, so obviously I let him. He would ask, "Is it something like this?" "Yeah, that's it." Hahaha.
Me: When I write a song I start off with a title or a cool phrase. How do you start?
Jake: With "Waiting" that was with the lyric, I started singing the song, hunting around for the melody. Sometimes I will find a word and base it around that or sometimes I might have the melody but the words I'm singing inside the melody is too cliche. It'll be a task to find the thing that is different but hooky at the same time.
Me: I love the guitars you play. What are they?
Jake: A Martin from the 40s and a Robert Johnson signature which is not the best guitar in the world but it's really small and its got that bluesy sound. On the recording I bought a 1930s Martin in Nashville and I used that for all the recording on this record.
Me: You worked with Rick Rubin. My dad and was supposed to work with him but it never happened. What was that like?
Jake: He's like a song guru. I came up with a song and he's like, "You need to finish that tonight." That was it, that's all I get so I had to make sure its finished now or he's not gonna want to record any more. Rick was really cool, I had an amazing time working with him. I've been very lucky to work with the people I have done and I feel I learnt a bit because of it as well.
Me: What is your best Rick Rubin story?
Jake: He locked me in his house once. I went to play him some songs on the guitar and he just turned around and said, "Alright, I'm off for dinner." He closed the door behind him and turned his Spotify off as well. I think he somehow forced me to write a song in house because I had no other choice, I wasn't going to be picked up for a few hours. He gone out for dinner and I thought this is not weird at all. I was with my guitar and I think he did it on purpose, I think he knew what he was doing. I wasn't even doing that recored with him, that's what I didn't get. Haha.
Me: Has your songwriting changed since your first album a few years ago to this new album?
Jake: Yeah, it something that is gonna happen naturally because I'm not experiencing the same things I was when writing that first record. It's always gonna be difficult to relate to that life and I know that probably a lot of people probably want that still. If I did that now I'd be lying to them, to myself so I have to write about what is happening. Sometimes I write about stories as well, things that are relevance to myself because that's something exciting about music, is it takes you on a bit of a journey where its a form of escapism definitely for me. I like to use my imagination when writing as well.
Me: How old were you when you started playing guitar, Jake?
Jake: Twelve-years-old. It was all football before then really. That all went out the window when I picked up the guitar. My uncle brought it around for me and I just fell in love with it straight away. I couldn't put it down to be honest.
Me: How old were you when you started writing?
Jake: About fourteen, all the music I loved by then was by all these guys who were doing it for a living writing songs so I realised that what I had to do. Then I started gigging right after that.
Me: Back to the album before you go, why did "Hearts That Strain" get to be the album title?
Jake: To be honest I couldn't think of anything else. I was being lazy and it's always the hardest thing to do. I needed to find the title that is going to be the definition of every song on the album really.
Me: That's cool. Jake, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Continued success and please come back soon.
Jake: Thanks, Jason, thanks very much.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz, Cadence Hall and of course Jake Bugg. The Phile will be back Sunday from Clermont Comic Con once again. The guest will be legendary actor Ed Asner. 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