Monday, April 16, 2018

Pheaturing Jacob Cade

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. It's April 16th, and today would of been my dad's birthday. So, happy birthday, dad. Today also is the last day to do your taxes I think. I have to remind you still have plenty of time to do your taxes at the last minute. I wish complaining about taxes was tax-deductible. Alright, what is going on in the news?
Since the dawn of time, people across the world have known our plastic femme commander in chief as Barbie. There's no middle name, no last name, and most importantly, none of the baggage of patriarchal name lineages attached to her. She is just Barbie. Well, prepare to have your whole Mattel-based world blown to smithereens, because apparently the plastic queen has been hiding her last name from us all along. To the shock and awe of many of us, Barbie has had a full name all along: Barbara Millicent Roberts. When it comes to this knowledge, the Internet is fully split. Some people have a deep and abiding knowledge of Barbie's full name, her rotating siblings, and even the intricacies of her turbulent romance with Ken. Others are completely shook by the realization that she's got a longer name than "Barbie." After all, what does this mean about the complexities of Barbie's identity as a whole? In how many ways have we been underestimating her this whole time? The Internet also had some questions and reasonable confusion about who Barbie's sisters are. Over the years, it feels like she's had countless sisters, and yet some of them mysteriously disappear?!
After President Trump canceled his planned trip to Peru and Colombia so he could decide whether or not to strike Syria, the White House dispatched Secretary of State Ivanka Trump to the Summit of the Americas in Peru. Just kidding... Ivanka isn't Secretary of State! She's a purse designer without security clearance who just so happens to be the president's daughter! Despite having no diplomatic experience, Ivanka is doing her best to seem qualified, she even learned two Spanish words for the occasion, as seen on her Instagram story: buenos dias! While Ivanka live-tweets her way through Lima, people wished they had someone more qualified representing them... or qualified at all. People aren't so keen on footing the bill for the heiress's travels, flooding her mentions with some queries. The fact that Ivanka is tweeting in Spanish as her administration pursues devastating policies for Latinos in America and all around the world is not lost on anyone. Ay dios mio.
Okay, this is a good one. A woman named Amanda Burnett posted something on Twitter hoping it would go viral, and it is so goddamned funny that it has started doing just that. Burnett posted an invoice for dinner she received in the mail from a guy who she went on a date with and never texted back. Now, ghosting someone is never polite, but dating is a rough sport, and people do get hurt. But that doesn't mean that just because their date didn't turn out like this guy expected, she's going to pay him back for it.

I don't know if you could see but he clearly remembered what she had... a cocktail, a beer, and some pulled pork tacos. He also clearly remembered the price of each item (yikes?), and added in a $1.99 processing fee to boot. Please note that the invoice number is, of course, 69. So at least dude's got a sense of humor. Maybe? Maybe this whole thing was just a joke, but he does come across as desperate. Sorry, mister guy I don't know, but it's true. But that wasn't the end of it. OH MY GOD YOU GUYS.THE PLOT THICKENS The guy actually had the nerve to text her, letting her know that if she didn't pay the invoice, it would be given to a collection agency. Okay, now we know he's kidding (because COME ON), but still... a little too extra. Burnett simply texted him back, "Hahahaha fuck off." Right to the point, she's not playing around. She didn't ask him why he didn't include her portion of the tip in the bill, or how exactly sending it to a collection agency would work, and what would happen if she declared bankruptcy. People on Twitter loved it, and her tweet has already garnered nearly 16,000 likes. And a few people suggested that Burnett bill the guy back, for the time she spent with him on the date. Interestingly (predictably), some guys didn't see why it annoyed her.
Gather around, a new political tell-all is about to hit the shelves, this time penned by none other than former FBI director James Comey himself. If the leaked portions serve as an accurate preview, Comey's upcoming release, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership" is slated to spill gallons of hot tea all over the Internet. For starters, a passage acquired by the "New York Post" alludes to the infamous Russian pee tape in a way that makes the tape seem very, very real. According to the book, Trump brought up the pee-tape during a private dinner on Jan. 27th, 2017. This was merely days after FBI's dossier, aka the pee-tape dossier was leaked to the public. The dossier in question contained claims that the Kremlin had a tape of Trump receiving golden showers while laying on a bed formerly occupied by president Obama. "He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true," Comey wrote in his book. Comey then goes on to describe Trump's fixation on the pee-related allegations. "He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn’t possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. I said it was up to him," Comey wrote. While we may just have to wait until the book comes out to get more of this sweet, sweet pee-related juice, Trump's admission that Melania might believe he's culpable speaks volumes no matter what.
A senior at the University of Tennessee made waves on the web after her graduation photo went viral for a very controversial reason. For her senior photo, 22-year-old Brenna Spencer opted to pose in front of the Hunter Museum of Art donning a "Women for Trump" shirt and a handgun in her pants. Check it out...

Unsurprisingly, the photo drew a lot of criticism from both gun lovers and haters alike. Brandishing a firearm for a photo shoot or showing it off to try and look cool is just stupid. They are tools. Why brag about carrying a gun? Some people pointed out the innate privilege of Spencer's post. Black people are regularly shot but the police for carrying objects that could be construed as a gun, while a young white woman can brag about carrying one on social media and be lauded as a patriot. Still, many others lauded her picture. Many even incited female empowerment. I know someone who would really, really like her.
If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time to see Abraham Lincoln right before he was shot. But knowing my luck I'd be too late and instead meet Lincoln assassination co-conspirator Lewis Payne being held in federal custody prior to his execution in 1865. As Lincoln was being killed at the Ford Theater, Payne, an Alabama native and Confederate veteran, entered the bedroom of Secretary of State William H. Seward and began to attack him with a large knife.

Great. I was thinking of getting a new tattoo but this woman took my idea. Damn it.

Hahahaha. I apologize, my friends. Moving on... I don't hate a lot of people, but I hate Bill Nye. This is reason number 72...

Some people just have some bad luck... I would be sooo upset is this happened to my computer.

You know what is one of the best things about the Internet is? You can look at porn so easily, and free. But having a blog and trying to keep people entertained is hard, I don't want you to get bored and go look at porn. But I thought what if I showed a porn pic here so you don't have to leave? But then I thought what about if you were reading the Phile at work, or school, or somewhere else where you could get in trouble. Then I came up with a solution. Check it out...

You're welcome, fellas. Here's another sign from March for Our Lives...

Here's another creative way Parkland students are trolling their new 'safety' backpacks...

Real. So, you know Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, right? Well, he's changed his name apparently. It's now Dwayne "The Paper" Johnson.

Hahahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

Hahahahahahahahaha. I can't stop laughing. I crack myself up sometimes. Ever see those tip jars at places? Sometimes they are very funny...

Ever see people's photos that get taken on roller coasters? Some people are very clever sometimes...

I wonder if she said yes. Alright, so, I have been told that some strange people go to Walmart. I didn't believe it until I saw...

Yup. And now for...

The Dangle
This one could potentially be hazardous but if you do it right then welcome to paradise. Just squirm yourself to the edge of the bed letting yourself literally dangle over whenever you're about to hit the jackpot and voila instantly just upgraded missionary to like 10 times better thanks to the blood rush that will hit your head. Just be careful not to pass out. Yes, It can happen.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, a "friend" of the Phile tweeted a pic of President Trump getting briefed on Syria but there was a problem with it. I thought I would invite her her to explain herself. So, once again, here is...

Sarah: Oh, my darling, oh, my darling, oh, my darling Clementine... Hello, Jason.

Me: Hello, Sarah. Saturday you tweeted this photo of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at a briefing on Syria...

Sarah: Yeah, so? It's a nice photo, right? Don't you wish you had a TARDIS so you could be there?

Me: Sure, Sarah, there is just one, teeny-tiny little problem... Vice President was in Peru at the time.

Sarah: Ummm... maybe he was simultaneously in Peru and Washington. If this new capability doesn’t scare our enemies, nothing will.

Me: Sarah, Pence was in Peru, not D.C. As usual you're lying.

Sarah: In any other administration this would be a major controversy. Not this one.

Me: So what's the deal? Did Pence learn how to teleport? Is that his very convincing body-double? Or did you purposely mislead the American people with the picture? Hmmmm.

Sarah: Wellll, Jason, I did explain in a separate tweet that the picture was actually from Thursday. Pence arrived in Peru on Friday. Here is the other tweet...

Sarah: My original tweet was not misleading at all.

Me: Yeah. Yeah it was.

Sarah: Fine. Can I go now?

Me: Yup. Sarah Huckleberry Hound, kids. And speaking of Pence...

Donald Trump and Mike Pence discussing foreign policy.

That's really stupid. He commented 'hey" to her six times. Hahaha.

Art Bell 
June 17th, 1945 — April 13th, 2018 
If you are a fan of complete WHACKJOBS, this is a huge loss.

MiloŇ° Forman 
February 18th, 1932 — April 13th, 2018
The Man on the Moon was WAY better than One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Disagree with me. I WILL FIGHT YOU.

The 79th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Abby will be the guest on the Phile a week from today... next Monday.

Come on, Shania, you can do it. And now for some...

Phact 1. At the founding of the first McDonalds, Ray Krok and a Coca-Cola executive named Waddy Pratt entered into a gentleman’s handshake agreement that all McDonalds would offer Coca-Cola exclusively. Both companies continue to honor this agreement.

Phact 2. A woman has won the lottery four times since 1993. She was outed as a Ph.D. of Statistics from Standford University and had figured out the pseudo-number generator for the distribution of the winning tickets. She won a total of $17 million and has since moved to Las Vegas.

Phact 3. When "Ready Player One" was released, there was an easter egg in the book that leads readers to three challenges, including playing a new Richard Garriott game and setting a world record on a game for the Atari 2600. The winner of the challenges was awarded a vintage DeLorean.

Phact 4. During WWI, French prostitutes with severe cases of syphilis charged higher rates than uninfected prostitutes, because soldiers infected with syphilis were removed from the front line.

Phact 5. A plane carrying 6,000 pounds of pot crashed in Yosemite National Park. Climbers in Yosemite Valley heard news of the crash and sparked a miniature gold rush with up to twenty people searching the frozen crash site. Much of the weed was salvaged, smoked, or sold before park rangers caught on.

Today's guest is a young musician whose album "The Prince of Rock n Roll" and his new single "What's Your Problem?!" are both available on iTunes and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Jacob Cade.

Me: Hey, Jacob, welcome to the Phile How are you doing?

Jacob: I'm doing fantastic, man, thanks so much for having me on your cool blog.

Me: Of course. So, Jacob, where are you from?

Jacob: I was born in El Paso, Texas but now live in Colorado.

Me: You're about the same age as my son and are doing what he should be doing, playing some old school hard rock. What got you into this kind of music, Jacob?

Jacob: Lots of shit actually. I have to thank my dad for being into the music that I am.

Me: Okay, getting into music is one thing, but when did you realize you wanted to me a singer and a guitar player?

Jacob: What got me into it actually was "Guitar Hero," I was playing the game at my friends house, it just came out and was the next big thing. I found myself more interested in the graphics, what was going on behind the actual game where it had the actual guitar player jumping and moving around. It had an actual programmed audience in there and it had the music of course. I was more into the other aspects of it than just the game. As soon as I went home that night I went into the cabinet and picked something that had a guitar on it and I tossed it into the DVD player and it just happened to be "The Song Remains the Same" by Led Zeppelin. That concert video changed my life, man, when I saw it. When Jimmy Page first came out I knew it, I knew I wanted to do that. It was just like a switch thing and that was basically the catalyst to my entire life.

Me: So, when you started to play real guitar did you take lessons, were you self taught? How did you learn to play guitar?

Jacob: Well, my dad had been playing guitar ever since he was younger in high school he played around and knew a few things. I was like dad, I wanna learn, can you show me something? He showed me three chords to get my fingers used to the guitar I guess. From that I basically took it on myself to learn things. I was just enamored by the whole thing. I was obsessed. I didn't want to wait for anyone else to teach me so I went on and did it myself and figured it out. That's very much of my personality I guess. I learn whatever I'm trying to do when I learn it that way I think.

Me: You also play piano as well, am I right? Did you learn that yourself?

Jacob: Yeah, that's a more recent instrument that I've been playing with. It's just one of those things that makes sense to me, being self taught. Somebody are good at math, some people love reading and stuff, some people are good at working on cars, and I'm good at playing music I guess.

Me: Your band is a trio, am I right?

Jacob: Yeah, still will be a trio.

Me: Do you write all the music on your album, Jacob?

Jacob: I'm on the writing credit for all the tunes. Some of them are co-writing credits.

Me: Okay, so, how is the Jacob Cabe Project set up?

Jacob: I do the singing and the lead guitar player, and as far as the rest of the band goes I have a bass player and drummer.

Me: How would you describe the Jacob Cabe Project?

Jacob: A three piece power trio.

Me: Are you gonna stay a trio?

Jacob: I want to build on that actually. I'm very much into the big band with a horn section, background singers kinda thing, but that's all in good time.

Me: You tour a lot, Jacob, do you like that?

Jacob: Yeah, but it's definitely not cheap. I have to have all my ducks in the row I guess, which I'm learning quickly.

Me: Being 18-years-old your audiences are probably a lot older than you. Is that weird? Do you feel like a novelty, kid?

Jacob: Nah, no such much now, it's settling down. When I'm onstage now people don't usually connect the youngness, they see I'm young but it's not so much as a big story as it was when I was 12, 13, 14 playing in the bars or clubs. Now it's more about the music, the show and how fun it is. I'm happy for that because like you said sometimes it could be a bit of a novelty thing. I don't like being known as the young kid that can play the guitar. For me its more about the music and the show and what is going on.

Me: How did you come to work with Brent Fitz?

Jacob: I will give you a backstory before I even met him. My first show I ever saw he was the drummer. It was Slash opening up for Ozzy. He was with Slash, a lot of people know him from there. He also has a huge catalogue of people he played with. He has always been one of my favorite drummers ever and Slash and the Conspirators has always been one of my favorite bands ever. That's kinda where I picked up a lot of my writing style and how I play the guitar and the way Myles Kennedy sings even. I took a lot from their brains, as much as I could, listening to the records and watching the shows and stuff. I was a super fan you could say. One day we were in Nashville and were at this place called The Rock and Roll Residency and everyone from the rock scene in Nashville shows up and it's a wild experience. We were in there and Michael Wagener, who produced the record and is very well known on the scene, was introducing me to a bunch of people, and throughout that event meeting everybody I kinda looked over and I saw Brent walking by me and like anybody person would I stepped in front of him. Maybe I scared him a little bit, I'm not sure, you have to ask him. I said, "Brent. Brent Fitz." He said, "Hey, man, who are you?" He didn't really expect anyone to know who he was. We got to talking, I told him why I was there, and eventually thank God, I didn't have a drummer yet. I asked Michael if we could get Brent to play. Michael was like, yes, of course, let's try it. He asked if he was good and I was like what, are you kidding me right now, he's amazing. Michael says, "Okay, I trust you." He goes up and asks Brent and Brent being the awesome guy he was says yes, of course. He had no idea who I was, he didn't know if I could play a lick of guitar, but he was willing. From then on we exchanged phone numbers, he then came to Colorado and we jammed out, got to know each other a little bit, and we've been friends ever since. That's one of many surreal moments I've had with this ride going on here.

Me: How did you get to work with Michael Wagener? It couldn't of been cheap.

Jacob: Haha. No. That'a a crazy story about that also, This whole thing has been crazy. These stories can only come when you work 24/7. Somehow we got in contact with a guy named Johnny and Johnny became my social media and marketing guy. He's big in the rock scene, he's a rocker, and so he was excited for this whole thing and said, "I think we need a record. Let's see if we can make one, preferably in Nashville." I was like okay. Couple of days go by, he calls back and and said, "I've got Michael Wagner on the phone for you." I was like what? No way. Then Michael and I wailed and both said let's get together and do something. I asked him if he wanted to produce the record and he was like hell yeah. He loves the guitar especially in that genre of music. That's how it really got kicked off and throughout the whole thing. I couldn't thank him enough for what he did. Not only for producing the record but for introducing me to different people and getting me to work with these artists that I thought never in a million years meet, let alone work with them. It was a very cool experience and Michael was was the nicest guy I could ever talk to.

Me: I Googled Michael as I wasn't sure who he was and he worked with Metallica, Megadeath, Alice Cooper... it's like platinum, platinum, platinum, all down the line. You opened for Bobaflex recently on their tour, which is a band I have no idea who they are. Anyway, was it cool to open for them? 

Jacob: Haha. You should have them here. They were super generous. This was our first tour, going out and everything.

Me: Cool. Jacob, go ahead and mention your website and shit. I wish you lots of luck and I think you're gonna be big. Please come back on the Phile soon.

Jacob: Thanks, man, I'll use the best wishes for the best intentions. Thank you very much. My website is...

Me: Cool, take care, jacob.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jacob for a cool interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with bassist Lynn Sorensen from Heaven & Earth. 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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pheaturing Kevin Conroy From "Batman: The Animated Series"

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. How are you? It's been a crazy few days in the news. I don't know where to start. I'll start with Paul Ryan... Another one bites the dust. According to Axios, House Speaker Paul Ryan has told people in his inner circle that he will not seek re-election in November, and will be retiring from congress at the ripe old age 48. The Wisconsin Republican was first elected to the house in 1998, and has been serving as Speaker of the House since 2015. In 2012, he ran an unsuccessful bid for vice president alongside Mitt Romney. Luckily the Trump administration is full of invertebros, so your species will live on. Axios also reports that Ryan has had a noticeably harder time doing his job since President Trump was elected in 2016. This may be the reason he is deciding to stand down. According to the report, Ryan has told his "closest confidantes" or possible plans to retire following the 2018 midterm elections. A series of interviews with three dozen fellow lawmakers, conservative lobbyists, and administration aides revealed that none of Ryan's peers think he'll stay in the House following the midterm.
First Lady Melania Trump is seldom seen or heard, which is why the explicitly pro-Trump media tries to milk every public FLOTUS sighting for all it's worth. The latest installment in the Chronicles of Melania was on Monday when she hosted kids at the White House to talk about their lives, and how she wasn't a total a-hole to a kid who accidentally knocked over "a water." Fox News gave it the corny Internet video treatment, complete with cheesy royalty-free music and captions delivering the play-by-play. People thought it was hilarious. As impressive as not cursing at a kid is, many people thought this wasn't particularly something worth highlighting. Neither of them even try to clean it up.... Just how low is the bar for human decency demonstrated by a Trump these days? It's not like there's anything else going on. You heard it, folks: Melania Trump might not be a robot and Fox News is ON IT.
The omnipotent, omnipresent Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, and it was almost as awkward as Mark Zuckerberg. Asked extensive questions about what the hell he and his company are doing with 2.2 billion peoples' personal information, Zuckerberg apologized profusely for messing up a whole bunch of times during the 2016 election. A whopping 44 senators (that's 44% of the whole Senate!) got a tight five minutes to ask him anything, and here are the most bonkers moments. Zuckerberg's seat needed a little boost. You have to make due when there's no phone book available. Someone attended the hearing dressed up as a Russian troll. Senator Bill Nelson asked if he could get Facebook to stop showing him so many ads for his favorite chocolate. The geezers on the Senate Judiciary Committee didn't even know how to ask questions about the interwebs, and got comprehensively trolled. Zuck confirmed that Mueller's team has reached out to Facebook... and that they're cooperating. The 84-year-old Senator Orrin Hatch learned about ads, and Zuckerberg couldn't help but laugh. Senator Dick Durbin totally lawyered Zuckerberg with a question about his hotel to make a point about privacy. Senator Richard Blumenthal printed out quotes from all the other times Zuckerberg went on an "apology tour." Senator Ted Cruz seriously asked why Facebook took down a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day page, trying to get proof of a vast right-wing conspiracy. A simple Google search revealed that that question made no sense. Senator Brian Schatz asked Zuckerberg to explain the terms and conditions that nobody actually reads. Schatz asked Zuckerberg to explain the issues of privacy that people are worried about, and Zuckerberg played dumb. Zuckerberg kept humbly referring to the origin story of Facebook starting in his humble Harvard dorm room. "It started in my dorm room!" answers everything. Because nothing bad or irresponsible has every happened in a college dorm, eh?
Searched, seized, delivered. The "New York Times" reported... and the dude's lawyer confirmed... that the FBI has conducted a raid on both the office and the home of Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen. You know, Michael Cohen of "paying off Stormy Daniels" fame. The "Times" reports, "Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search 'completely inappropriate and unnecessary.' The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York." Now, the sitting president's lawyer being raided by the FBI may sound like a big deal, but that's only because IT'S A BIG DEAL. According to pundits and lawyers, this deal is big. With the way the law works, the FBI wouldn't have gone in without a search warrants, and a judge wouldn't have approved a search warrant if there wasn't probable cause to assume that a crime was committed. "Vanity Fair" adds that not only was Cohen's office raided, but his home was too. Oh, and that his home is in a hotel. "The paparazzi lingering outside the Loews Regency on Park Avenue, hoping to get a photo of U.F.C. fighter Conor McGregor, appeared not to notice the stream of FBI agents who entered the New York hotel early Monday morning, as they made their way up to the room where the president’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been staying," the magazine reports.  The schadenfreude is real. The jokes just keep on coming. As always, stay tuned for Trump's tweets.
Snoop Dogg appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on Monday to promote his new gospel-inspired album, "Bible of Love," but it didn't take long for the conversation to shift to something a little less holy... weed. "Do you think they have pot in heaven?" asked Kimmel. "I know they do," said Snoop. Snoop Dogg and Kimmel started theorizing who would be on the Mount Rushmore of Weed, besides Snoop himself, of course, and the rapper said he would have to include the one person who has ever out-smoked him. Hint: it ain't Martha Stewart. "Willie Nelson is the only person who’s ever out-smoked Snoop Dogg," the rapper revealed. "I had to hit the timeout button." "Have you ever hit that button before?" asked Kimmel. "Never. Never," answered Snoop Dogg. Dang. Well, that is the least surprising thing I've heard all day.
So, did you see that Michael Cohen changed his LinkedIn profile?  Check it out...

Haha. I mentioned just now Mark Zuckerberg had a booster seat on his chair but there was something he was wearing that made him feel comfortable.

Hahahahaha. Seriously, when I saw this it reminded me of something...

Then it hit me...

Am I right? Okay, so, if you think you have bad luck know it could be worse...

What the hell? Hahahahaha. That picture just made me laugh. Parents, I hope your kids as smart as this kid who did this...

Okay, here's another sign from March for Our Lives...

If I had a TARDIS I would go to Paris, just real briefly, to see Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. But knowing my luck I'll get the too early...

See? So, I'm told that I can see some weird people at Walmart. I never believe it... then...

Toga? Here's another creative way Parkland students are trolling their new "safety" backpacks.

Maybe, just maybe, we're criminalizing the wrong things. Alright, it's Thursday. You know what that means...

Talk about finger food. On December 20th, 2015, Cathleen Martin of Atascadero, California visited her local Applebee's with her family and ordered a Chinese chicken salad. Midway through the meal, Martin saw something in the salad that didn't look like it came from a chicken. It was discovered to be a slice of a finger; the manager confirmed the slice was from an employee who injured himself while making it. In spite of Applebee's apologies and a retraining of its staff, the woman is suing for unspecified damages.

That's dumb. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Overheard At Mark Zuckerberg's Testimony
5. Mr. Zuckerberg, a magazine I recently opened came with a floppy disk offering me 30 free hours of something called America On-Line. Is that the same as Facebook?
4. Now, Mr. Zuckerberg, is the Constitution a "face book"?
3. Ooh, they have the Internet on computers now.
2. Mr. Zuckerberg, how do they cook the food so darn quick in those little cooking videos?
And the number one thing overheard at Zuckerberg's testimony was...
1. Mr. Zuckerberg, if I "like" stepmom porn on 11/23 on Twitter can everyone also see that on Facebook?

I don't get it. Can someone explain? Hahaha. Okay, so, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there are things here in Florida that happen no where else in the universe. This one though is slightly different...

There are seriously people out there committed to cyberbullying the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived a mass shooting, and they're not just hosts on Fox News. The teens, however, are maintaining are maintaining their senses of humor, and are not afraid to call out trolls for trollery. A group of Douglas students, lead by vlogger Alexandra Robb, pulled a Jimmy Kimmel and read out some of the hateful tweets they've received, and they are nasty. You have to laugh, or else you'll cry. The teens impress me more and more every day with their ability not to stay in the fetal position all day. Check out the video here... But finish the rest of the Phile first.

The 79th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Abby will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

I am still trying to get Shania on the Phile. Come on, Shania. And now for some Batman...

Phact 1: The backgrounds of "Batman: The Animated Series" were drawn on black paper instead of white to show a darker tone.

Phact 2. There was a planned sequel to the 1997 Batman & Robin, with radio talk show host Howard Stern considered to play Scarecrow.

Phact 3. Batman creator Bob Kane said in a "Cinescape" interview that of all the actors to have played Batman up to that point (before the series was rebooted in 2005), he felt Val Kilmer had given the best interpretation.

Phact 4. In 2008, the Mayor of Batman, Turkey, wanted to sue Warner Brothers and Nolan for using the city’s name without permission.

Phact 5. In Batman Begins, Christian Bale suffered from crippling headaches and severe claustrophobia due to the original Batsuit. Later, a more flexible Batsuit was constructed from 200 pieces of fiber glass, rubber, and nylon, so Bale could have more mobility.

Mitzi Shore 
July 25th, 1930 — April 11th, 2018
You’d think someone who ran a comedy store could come up with a better name for her daughter than Sandy.

Today's guest is is an actor and voice actor best known for his voice role as the DC Comics character Batman on the 1990s Warner Bros. television series "Batman: The Animated Series." It's so cool to have him here. Please welcome to the Phile... Kevin Conroy.

Me: Hey, Kevin, welcome to the Phile, It's so cool to have you here. How are you?

Kevin: I'm okay, Jason, it's good to talk to you.

Me: Kevin, you have been voicing Batman in the animated shows for twenty-five years, which I think is the longest anyone has ever plated that role. Did you think when you took on the role back then you would be doing it for so long?

Kevin: No. It was a totally unexpected to go on. When you book a job as an actor you never know, you only book that job. When I first booked it it may have only been 12 episodes then they buy 12 more episodes then they might by 20 episodes. It's always bought in increments like that. That was "Batman: The Animated Series" back in '91, when we started recording it. It started recording in '92. So all I was guaranteed was the order it's placed and then it was constantly renewed. Then "Batman: The Animated Series" turned into "Batman and Robin," and that turned into "Batman Beyond," and that turned into "The Justice League," then it turned into the Arkham games, then the direct to video movies. I mean it just snowballed and I think the reason it snowballed was the original production team of Bruce Timm, Bruce Deany, Alan Burnett, Eric Radomski...

Me: I never watched the show when it first aired but I did get the first few box sets and when my son was little we used to watch it together. It was his first foray into the Batman world which he loves so much. The show didn't seem like a kids show, did it? It was much darker than that.

Kevin: You're right. They had such high quality ambitions. They had this vision of animation not as something just for children. They saw it as an art form for everybody. The show was originally on in prime time so it was never done as a kid's show. They never wrote down to the audience. They always wrote to the audience as if they were adults. It was always done as a real art show. A lot of people don't realize they spent twice as much a half hour as previously spent on animation.

Me: The show is as popular today as it was back then... why do you think that is, Kevin?

Kevin: The art work was very lush, it was a full symphony score, they were big casts of eight to ten people, they were really interesting complicated scripts, and it was all hand painted animation. That kind of money isn't spent anymore. You see it when you see the shows now.

Me: You do a lot of comic conventions I think... I think you were at MegaCon here in Orlando last year sometime. Do you like doing those conventions?

Kevin: I love doing comic cons because I get to meet the audience. When you're a voice actor you're in a booth and you never get the interaction with the crowd.

Me: Did you start out doing voice acting, Kevin, or did you do "regular" acting first?

Kevin: I got my acting start on the New York stage. I trained at Julliard and did a lot of Broadway and Off-Broadway so half the reason I became an actor is because of the interaction with the audience. In a voice acting situation I never get that.

Me: When you meet the fans what do they say? I heard people say that you're their favorite Batman, which must be cool for you.

Kevin: The stories I hear from people is having grown-up on the show and now sharing it with their kids, like you did, and having it be just as an experience now 25 years later and get their kids excited about it now it' really so gratifying for me.

Me: Do you ever go back and watch the older episodes and think that the voice has changed over time or is still the same as it was back then?

Kevin: It's interesting, people have asked me that a lot, how it evolved over 25 years. For me the trick has been, and I may be better at it than some of the other actors because my background, the trick has been to be consistent, and keep him consistent. The thing about voice acting is I think you can hear lies much faster than you can see them. You can tell when someone is lying to you in their voice, you can hear it. If I wasn't being completely honest with the character the audience would nail me in a second. It's not the kind of voice you can phone in. I really have to invest myself in it, to breathe in it, you have to live through it. For me the trick has always been to keep him fresh. In the theater I did eight shows a week and every night has to be the first time because every time the audience walks in it's the first time they are seeing it. I did "Deathtrap" for a year on Broadway and even thought it might've been my 300th performance but it's the first performance for the audience. You always have to make each performance fresh and it's a real challenge over time, That's been the challenge with Batman, keeping it grounded to reality. Keeping yet character real.

Me: So, what's the secret or trick on doing that voice, Kevin? I joked before when Ben Affleck was cast as Batman and my son said he does a great Batman, with his voice, and I said anyone can do a Batman voice. Hahaha. All you have to do is just sound gruff.

Kevin: The thing for me is the voice is not just a gruff, husky voice the voice comes out of the tragedy of his childhood, witnessing the death of his parents. That so transformed him that is descended him to this very dark somber place. That's where the voice comes from. You gotta go there, you gotta go there emotionally each time.

Me: So, how did you get the role of Batman in the first place, Kevin? Did you have to audition? 

Kevin: That's where what's ironic. What's really ironic about the situation I am the luckiest man in the world because Batman was the first animated role I ever auditioned for. I have never been in an animation studio before. I did theater, I did television, I did film, I've done voice overs in commercials, but I've never done animation. My commercial voice over agent said, "Go over to Warner Bros., they are putting together a new show about Batman, give it a try." I said, "New show? Batman's been around forever." "No, it's never been an animated show." I didn't know it's never been an animated show, so when I walked in I was a complexly clean slate, I had no apprehensions, I had no nervousness, because I didn't know who Bruce Timm was. I didn't know who Andrea Romano was, I didn't know I was meeting some of the most talented people in the business. I was just meeting a bunch of strangers. They asked me what I knew about Batman and I said I know the Adam West show from the 60s, and I grew up on it. Bruce Timm said, "Nooo! We love Adam but that's not what we're doing. Erase your memory, that's not it at all!" He informed me that this is really a film noir, dark, tragic character. He's lost his parents, he's avenging their deaths, he's living in the shadows, he's a duel character. I was thinking they're telling the Hamlet story, I was putting it into reference what I knew from Hamlet, the Greeks, the Shakespeare characters I played. Bruce said, "No one had made that analogy before, give it a shot." So, we just improvised in the booth. People always ask me how to get into animation and I always say not the way I did. It's just not the way it happened. It was just a flukey situation where I happened to have the kind of theatrical background that was perfect foe the character they were casting. They auditioned over 700 people for the role. It's not like others couldn't do it, they could, it just they hadn't made the right choices in the audition. I just happened to make the right choices that day. So, I'm a very lucky guy.

Me: So, everyone I'm sure knows that the Joker is played by Mark Hamill... what is it like working with him?

Kevin: Isn't he amazing? He's so talented, I wish your readers can see into the booth. Everything you hear, all that insanity, all that bipolar emotional bouncing around he lives it in the booth. It's scary to be in there with him. He devours the microphone, it's so wonderful to watch him and he's such a generous actor. He gives me so much to react to and I love giving it back feeding him. We had such a great rapport working together and mutual respect between us. We just keep saying he makes my Batman and I make his Joker, we sort of define each others characters.

Me: Cool! So, what is it like working in the booth, Kevin?

Kevin: A lot of people don't understand we do the voices first. We are the first stage of the process so we get the scripts raw and we get to act them in a booth together so it's like doing a radio play. We get to react to the other actors, we get to feed each other, and they're wild recording sessions because there's a bunch of actors in a room together behaving like children. Of course a lot of crazy nutty stuff happens but that's good because it feeds us. So, unexpected things would happen. Unexpected line readings and we might burst out laughing in a very tense scene which seems ridiculous, but it's the reason it works. Then they take those recording and send them off to the artists and the artists paint to our voices in the recordings. Then it comes back six months later and there's a process called ADR, when you sync up the visual with the audio, and match the mouths with the recordings.

Me: Do you ever come across people that think it's easy to voice a character for animation?

Kevin: There's a big misconception out there that it's just making funny voices. It's creating an entire character but only being able to use the voice. It's a more delicate line than people think. Because now it's very popular to use TV actors and film actors and all kind of actors for recording, to get stars in there. It's called "stunt casting." You get a film star in there and now you have a name associated with a product and it sells it better. You have people in this bookings now who have never done recording before. I've seen some people really be wonderful at it, and I've seen some people fall on their faces. They just can't get it because it's a delicate line. You don't want to over act because it sounds too cartoony, and you don't want to under act which a lot of what film actors do, they just mumble, and it sounds dead with not a lot going on. So, it's a delicate kind of balance between goosing it enough because all you have is your voice, keeping it real so that it doesn't sound cartoony. The thing is we're creating an entire person, an entire persona, a believable persona, with all those colors to the character. We are not just doing a funny voice, or making a trance sound. I have people come up to me at cons all the time and say, "look at me do you." They're do a very convincing Batman, an imitation of me doing Batman, but they wouldn't be able to do it in Mask of the Phantasm, they wouldn't be able to do it in The Killing Joke.

Me: True. Okay, so, out of all the Batman stuff you have done do you have a favorite scene?

Kevin: Yes, it's in Mask of the Phantasm. Bruce Wayne is at his parents grave because he's finally fallen in love with Andrea Beaumont and he realizes what life has to offer and what life is really about. He has fallen in love and he wants to have a normal life, and in order to do that he has to be released from his vow that he made to his parents to avenge their deaths, to be this vigilante. He has this very emotional scene at their grave alone where he's pleading with them to release him. He breaks down and it's a completely emotional break down and at his most vulnerable, most naked emotionally, a HUGE flock of bats come screeching out of the earth snd he realizes he can't escape his destiny.  It's his destiny crawling him back down into the earth. He knows he can't have a normal life. I love the scene and we recorded it a number of times and Andrew kept pushing me to get more emotions and more raw where it go to the point of all if us being happy the way to came out.

Me: I have never seen Mask of the Phantasm. I kinda want to watch it now. I'm a huge Batman fan, Kevin, from the 60s "Batman" TV show to the Michael Keaton movies and comic books. Why do you think Batman is still a very popular character after all these years?

Kevin: There's a wonderful philosopher and sociologist named Joseph Campbell and he wrote a book called "The Hero With a Thousand Faces," they did a series on him on PBS which was very popular. What he did was he searched all through history from the Greeks to the Romans to the Egyptians to American Indians to the Chinese, and more and he found that they were certain stories that are universal regardless of when and where they happened in time. Each culture tells the same story over and over again. It's like this universal subconscious that each culture taps into so he called it the hero with a thousand faces. What it is is the arc of this hero who's challenged by life, he's burned by fire, he's transformed like a phoenix, rising from the fire as a new figure and he would use this new figure to save his people. It happened over and over again through history. To me it's like Orestes. The Greeks told these great classical stories to teach their young people the difference between right and wrong. That's all what the great myths were, all those mythological characters... they're morality stories. Our morality stories in our culture are Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman... they're our Orestes and Achilles. with Batman, the reason he's so transcendent because he is our version, That hero who is charred by fire, is resurrected out of it as a new figure and avenges evil. He fights evil to help his people. It's a story that's been told over and over again and he's such a great embodiment of it in our culture, the reason he's been so popular so long.

Me: Kevin, we mentioned comic cons before, but what is your favorite thing about doing them? 

Kevin: The thing I love about doing cons actually is doing panel discussions. Each comic con has at least one or two panel discussions and they get anything from 2000 to 3000 people in these rooms and they sell these things out. You get to just talk about the process of creating the character and what the character means to people. The stories I hear from people are so amazing. I'm just the voice of the character, but they invest in me every quality of the character. It's like they say I meant so much to them growing up, I helped them through such a difficult childhood. I'm like wait a minute, Batman helped you through a difficult childhood? I'm just the voice. The stories are what got you through, I always hear these amazing stories of people having challenging lives. Especially a lot of kids have very hard lives and they come from challenging family situations and Batman is a safe place. He's a place that teaches a lot of young people the difference between right and wrong and gives them hope for the future. Someone came up to me at the Chicago Comic Con and said, "Everyone I grew up with on the southside of Chicago is either in jail or dead. I got out because you taught me the difference between right and wrong." I said, "Wait a minute. I'm sure your mother is the one who taught you the difference between night and wrong and Batman was just a good escape for you." She said, "No, your voice. I always wanted to hold you and thank you." She just wanted to be hugged. I thought wow, this woman came out of such a difficult childhood, and this animated character was this life raft for her. That's a very humbling thing to be a part of.

Me: I totally agree. That's crazy! Kevin, thanks for being here on the Phile. I hope this was fun, and I hope you'll come back here again soon. Take care.

Kevin: Thanks, Jason, I wish you a pleasant day.

That about dies it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Kevin for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with young musician Jacob Cade. 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