Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? It's March and also Women's History Month, and so on the first of the month, Ivanka Trump sent out a tweet celebrating women's achievements.
That tweet is pretty funny considering how little (if anything) Ivanka Trump has done for women's rights and how little she focused on women's issues, despite it having been her pet platform while her father was campaigning for president. People couldn't help noticing that her words rang a little hollow, and they didn't hold back from sharing their feelings. In short... your words mean nothing, 'Vanka,
Speaking of... President Donald Trump has reportedly asked his chief of staff John Kelly to help him pull his daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, from their current roles as "advisors" at the White House, per the "New York Times." The "Times" article says that the White House is currently functioning under Trump's management style, which they refer to as "chaos theory." But this style is not working well for everyone (or anyone, really), as the "Times" alleges that White House aides have "expressed frustration" about Kushner and Ivanka Trump being advisors (nepotism much?). This part is a little confusing, which is not very surprising given that we're talking about Trump. White House aides have said that Trump has told Ivanka and Kushner that they should stay on in their roles, at the same time saying "they never should have come" and "should leave." So now Trump needs Kelly's help in ousting them. Kushner's security clearance had already been downgraded earlier this week, and Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, announced that she'll be resigning in the upcoming weeks. Chaos, indeed.
First Lady Melania Trump aptly noted that March 1st is the first day of March, and that March is Women's History Month. You'd think that the Trump administration would rename it to Let's Make Women History Month, but no, the First Lady sent out a nice tweet about women and how they exist.
Melania also acknowledged the Red Cross, whom she must have met on her stiletto-heeled tours of disaster zones. Like with every Trump-affiliated tweet, people raged in the comments, finding the vague platitudes ironic coming from a White House that shielded domestic abusers and is pushing policies that are hurtful to womankind. Donald Trump appreciates women, just not in the ways you hope a president would. People are calling Melania a hypocrite, saying that she doesn't put her actions where her tweets are. Melania does have some fans, though, who she'll definitely get to keep in the divorce. An enthusiastic round of applause for all the ladies out there.
On Wednesday, the White House communications director Hope Hicks announced she'll be resigning in coming weeks. News of the resignation came just one day after the 29-year-old former model testified in front of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election. During her testimony, Hicks admitted her position as Trump's aide sometimes required her to tell white lies. However, Hicks reportedly emphasized said she didn't lie about anything related to the investigation. It feels glaringly obvious to point out how short lived much of Trump's staff is, but the point stands nonetheless. Again, the timing of her resignation in conjunction with the Russia investigation feels too suspicious to ignore. According to the "New York Times," Hicks said she had "no words" to express her gratitude. In response, Trump released a statement about her tenure in the White House. “Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person. I will miss having her by my side, but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future," Trump said.
There is an idiotic new diet challenge sweeping the Internet, and according to experts, it could be extremely dangerous. Cinderella weight challenge is the newest viral diet trend that is trying to kill you. The Cinderella weight challenge, which started in Japan, is encouraging people to match their proportions to the supposed proportions of the animated Disney princess of the same name. Cinderella weight aims for a body mass index of 18, which is underweight according to the BMI scale. In order to determine your Cinderella weight, you have to square your height in meters and then multiply that number by 18. Ironically, Lily James, who played Cinderella in the live-action version of the classic film, does not even meet the ridiculous standard. According to the "New York Post," James stands at 5'7" and weighs 121 pounds. That gives her a BMI of 19, which is considered normal. Some people recognizes the harm of the challenge, and people have not been shy when it comes to calling it out as dangerous. Of course, bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and some people will already meet the criteria of the Cinderella weight challenge without ever having to diet, but those who are actively trying to lose weight to match a fictional character's fictional proportions could be putting themselves at risk for an eating disorder if they turn to unhealthy methods to drop the pounds. Many experts claim that being underweight can be just as detrimental to your overall health as being overweight. So yeah, that doesn't sound like a fairytale to me. Besides, Cinderella was probably only that thin because her stepmother wasn't feeding her enough! I am sure that once she moved in with the Prince, she was eating a much more balanced diet.
Last weekend I told you about the dog with the man's face... remember? If you don't, here he is...
Well, I asked you to send me some pics of other dogs with human like faces and I received some. Here's one of them...
Awe. I love dogs. So, I was supposed to Google the other day "The Last Supper," and I guess I had dogs on my mind and Googled "The Last Pupper." Haha.
So, how's your day going so far? I hope it's better than the person that this happened to..
Just brush it off. Do you like Office Depot? I saw this new rewards card and I might use it today...
If I had a TARDIS I would like to go to the moon, but if I did I might stumble on this...
In 1972, as part of the Apollo 16 mission to the moon, astronaut Charles Duke embarked on a mission to the explore the moon's surface in a lunar roving vehicle. While there, he left a picture of a photo of himself, his wife, and his two sons which was enclosed in plastic on the moon's surface, where it remains to this day. So, here's what another teacher wants to be armed with...
So, I was watching "The X-Files," the other day and it reminded me of something... there are real conspiracies out there... that turned out to be true. So, again here is...
The most commonly held version of events is that actor John Wilkes Booth acted alone when he assassinated President Lincoln inside Ford’s Theater. But it turns out Booth collaborated with no less than nine other co-conspirators, including Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the U.S. government. First, there was David Herold, who helped Booth escape after leaving Ford’s Theater. Then, there was George Azterodt, who unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson. Even though Azterodt never actually attempted the act, he was, nonetheless, executed for plotting against the president. Meanwhile, coconspirator Lewis Powell did attempt to assassinate Secretary of State William Seward, severely injuring him.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Hey, wanna play a game?
Which one is it? A potato or Amy Schumer? Haha.
And now for some sad news...
March 23rd, 1929 — March 3rd, 2018
It took considerably longer than four minutes to think of this obituary.
On Friday, president Trump and Melania made their way to North Carolina for the funeral of the late Reverend Billy Graham. The 99-year-old Evangelical figurehead passed away last week of natural causes in his home at Montreat. A large service of 2,000 guests was held at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, and despite Graham's huge cultural influence in America, Trump was the only living POTUS in attendance. While Trump didn't give a dedication at the service itself, he did post a tweet in remembrance of the late Reverend.
At first glance, the tweet is fairly benign. How do you go wrong by saying "Rest in Peace?!" But upon further inspection, people noticed some puzzling factors. First off, why is Trump posting exclamation marks and all caps for his condolences?! Perhaps it should be noted that Graham was a Democrat, although I doubt it's that deep of a move on Trump's part. Others were baffled by the way in which Trump and Melania are smiling like they're at a carnival while surrounded by somber mourners. The Internet noticed something puzzling about Trump's tweet at Billy Graham's funeral. Online critics feel this wasn't quite the proper mood for this event. Then there's the tasteless photo op Trump took with Graham's casket, which many find disturbing. Who does this?! While this isn't technically a funeral selfie, it definitely lives in the same neighborhood of behavior. To be fair, while bewildering in ways, the tone of Trump's funeral tweet stayed completely on brand.
The 76th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Howard will be the guest on the Phile next Sunday. And now as the Oscars are tonight here are some Oscars...
Phact 1. The person who holds the record for most number Oscars won is Walt Disney. He won 22 of them.
Phact 2. Actor George C. Scott refused to accept the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1971, and described the Oscar ceremony as “a two-hour meat parade."
Phact 3. In 2005, Kate Winslet joked that acting in a Holocaust movie guarantees an Oscar. Four years later, she won her first and only Oscar for her role in The Reader.
Phact 4. When “Lose Yourself” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, not only was Eminem not there to accept the award, he was asleep during the ceremony because he believed he would not win.
Phact 5. TRON (1982) was disqualified from receiving an Academy Award nomination for special effects, because the Academy felt using computers was “cheating."
Today's guest is the lead guitarist for the Hollywood, California glam-rock band Pretty Boy Floyd. They are most famous for their 1989 debut album "Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz" and the two singles from it... "Rock and Roll (Is Gonna Set the Night on Fire)" and "I Wanna Be with You." Their latest CD "Public Enemies" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Kristy Majors.
Me: Hey there, Kristy, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Kristy: Good to be here, Jason. I'm doing great. How are you doing?
Me: I'm okay. So, when I found out I was gonna interview you I thought you were a woman. Haha. I apologize. You gus just came out with a new CD called "Public Enemies" So, I have to ask, why a new album now, Kristy?
Kristy: Why now? I first started working on this record in 2012 with Steve Summers. We had you can say a kinda brotherly love, kinda break and during that time Frontiers had contacted our agency as they were signing some other bands so we closed the deal and a year later we finished the record. We thought it was a great opportunity, Frontiers is a great label so we said, yeah, let's do it.
Me: This is 2018 and the first album "Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz" came out in 1989, and this album, no respect, sounds just the same as the first album. Was this done on purpose?
Kristy: Well, we worked really hard on making this album sound like it came from 1988. If you were in your car and closed your eyes you would feel like you were in a time-warp or something. That's what we set out to do. We tried to catch that whole vibe and everything. It's hard, obviously, as it's so many years later, but I hope the fans feel like we did.
Me: The album starts with a song called "S.A.T.A." What does that stand for? Did it go over my head?
Kristy: You know what, I guess it's a secret between Steve and me right now. It's just one of those things.
Me: So, how did you get such a smilier guitar sound that you had in the 80s?
Kristy: Well, my first guitar tone was by accident and kinda a disaster guitar tone that Howard Benson produced. I can't take full responsibility for it. This new record obviously we recored it with Protools so obviously it took more time getting sounds and making sounds great. I think the guitar sounds a little more rounded on this album. It's hard to get those big drum sounds like on the "Leather Boyz" record. We tried to duplicate those sounds with what we had and what we dealt with and the budget we were working on. We worked on that and Cameron Webb did an amazing job mixing the record and trying to catch that job as well too.
Me: What was in your eyes the biggest difference in recording "Leather Boyz" and "Public Enemies"?
Kristy: With "Leather Boyz" I think we had a $250,000 recording budget which is absurd when I think about it now. Shit, that was kinda ridiculous spending that kinda money back then. This one let's say it was less than 10% of that.
Me: What's the biggest difference in the music business now than it was back when you guys started?
Kristy: Obviously in today's world with the digital age we're in we don't sell as many records as we used to back in the day. If we had to recoup that money nowadays it'll be impossible. The you put something out now it's on dot something for free.
Me: Has anybody contacted you guys to reissue your records on CD or vinyl, Kristy? Which label were you on?
Kristy: MCA. Actually this year... I have my attorney helping me getting the rights back. Because you know obviously importunity does not exist... its not a law. If you notify a company that you intend to seek the rights back and they're no longer manufacturing, pressing or promoting it you know you can get those rights back.
Me: Do you think a lot of bands know they can do this, Kristy, go and get their rights back?
Kristy: I don't think most bands do. The record labels are not gonna fight them unless you're like U2, or a million dollar record seller every single year. You just have to get the lead under the fire.
Me: You worked with Keri Kellie, who has worked with Alice Cooper and Slash, etc. How did you two meet?
Kristy: Keri has been a been a friend that we have known for ever. Actually he was playing for Pretty Boy Floyd awhile back in '97 for a couple of years. He played on the "Porn Stars" record, and we were doing some duel guitar stuff. He wasn't playing full time in the band and I wasn't playing, so it wasn't Keri himself playing. Then he went on and started to get other gigs with Warrant, L.A. Guns and Alice Cooper, Night Ranger and all that other stuff. Keri's got these super killer studio in his house and it's a great place to go and do the drums so we went there to do the drums and basic tracks.
Me: So, this new album is the first release with new music in a long time. Did you get nervous when you put this album out? A lot of people are not making music like this anymore.
Kristy: No, actually, not with this one, no. We felt that we had captured the right thing obviously. We weren't looking for anybody's seal of approval and Pretty Boy Floyd has always been the underdog as a band anyway. We knew we were doing something right by doing something wrong.
Me: Well said. Do you plan on doing some touring this year, Kristy?
Kristy: We were waiting for this album to come out to see how it was received and see how Frontiers was going to help promote it as well before we were gonna make some touring plans. Right now we have some festival dates lined up for this year and hopefully we are gonna do some record release parties in a few other states. We want to try and get over to Mexico and South America. Australia and Europe so hopefully we can accomplish that.
Me: Were their countries the band caught on more than the U.S.?
Kristy: I don't know how the band was promoted internationally because we spent the majority of our time here in the states but at the time I know we had some big champions in the U.K. like "Kerrang" magazine, "Metal Hammer," and couple of other mags that really gave rave reviews to our first record. We got some radio play over in the U.K. and I think out song was charting there and everything. We didn't find the extent of it til we actually went over there a few times and we were like this is pretty cool.
Me: Well, honestly, I don't remember you guys back then as in 1988 we just moved to Florida from England. I knew Bon Jovi, and was into Poison but with you guys... you flew under my radar. Which country were you the biggest, Kristy?
Kristy: Big in Belgium like in the movie Singles. Haha. We didn't have any of those places where we had a platinum record or anything so I cannot say we were big anywhere. What we did have we had a smaller grass-roots following like the niche market that has always existed.
Me: So, what has the feedback been for this new album?
Kristy: I was reading on social media the comments with people saying we haven't skipped a beat since "Leather Boyz," and we are sticking to our roots and we are still putting out the sound we are known for.
Me: The album cover is very retro as well. Who came up with it? It's cool.
Kristy: Thank you. We tried to make a cool album cover. We wanted to make it like a gangster but we also wanted to make it like a comic book kinda thing. I miss the days of going into a record store, picking up an album and thinking it was a cool album cover and buying an album by Iron Maiden who I never heard of them before. And when I bought a KISS album who I hadn't heard of before either. These are all bands that never got played on the radio and we just used to go into the record store and just shop around, get lost in there and go home. I miss those days but oh well.
Me: I concur, Kristy. So, was that show you discovered music and decided that's what you wanted to do?
Kristy: When I was a kid I remember riding my bike down to the store. I get my allowance money or something and I'll grab my favorite magazines, I'll pick up one album, and I'll go grab a slice of pizza and I'll sit and read about all these new bands. That was the way we pretty much discovered music back then because none of those bands were getting played on the radio. Rock and roll was not popular on the radio. I remember grabbing some weed, putting an album on and going this is awesome!
Me: Kristy, thanks for being on the Phile, man. I hope this was fun. Maybe I'll see you guys on the road.
Kristy: Thank you, Jason.
Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Kristy for a cool interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Sir Devon Nooner from the Molly Ringwalds. 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