Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. How are you? Man, Lady Gaga splits from fiancé and the Bradley Cooper romance rumors are born. Roughly four months after announcing their engagement, Lady Gaga and her ex-fiancé Christian Carino have officially ended their relationship. In a statement to People, Gaga's rep shared, "It just didn’t work out. Relationships sometimes end,” before adding that the pair technically split “a bit ago.” “There’s no long dramatic story," they said. While the rep didn't explicitly say when Carino and Gaga went their separate ways, fans started speculating about the split following the Grammys on February 10th, because the singer was no longer wearing her engagement ring. These breakup speculations only grew when Gaga posted a tattoo inspired by A Star is Born on Valentines Day, rather than a picture with Carino. Naturally, given their electric chemistry in A Star is Born, and the widely known friendship between Gaga and Bradley Cooper, a lot of fans are hoping the two are secretly dating. In fact, now that the news of her breakup has hit the Internet, people are barreling down on their theories that Cooper and Gaga are a full-fledged item. Of course, at the time of writing this, neither Cooper nor Gaga have said anything indicating they're a couple. It's all speculation at this point, coupled with their undeniable chemistry both on and off screen. While the rest of us wait to see how this plays out, and whether Cooper and Gaga will end up living the real life version of their on-screen love, I can't imagine any of this is easy for Carino. Hopefully, regardless of what is going on with Gaga and Cooper, Carino is able to grieve the relationship in relative peace.
While "First Daughter" Ivanka Trump™ is gallivanting around the world getting trademarks for her big fashion comeback in China, cool Harvard student Malia Obama has been spotted being cool during a vacation. The Daily Mail "reported" that not only was the 20-year-old Obama spotted with a $20 bottle of rosé, she also expressed disdain for a certain current president who spent years spreading racist, xenophobic bullshit about her father and whose only consistent policy position is to undo everything he did. Poor Malia is surrounded by snitches ready to sell her out at any moment. Obama's friends are like the Meghan Markle's dad of friends. I, for one, feel compelled to go easy on Malia Obama. It couldn't have been easy growing up the way she did... with such hot parents.
Roger Stone, the Trump advisor who's always just one pair of dice away from starring in a regional theater production of Guys and Dolls, was indicted in the Mueller investigation. Nicely-Nicely Johnson pleaded not guilty to lying about his efforts to conceal communications with WikiLeaks, and is enjoying his freedom right now because he was able to afford bail. Ever the Trumpist, Stone couldn't help but use Instagram to threaten the judge presiding over his case, posting a picture of Judge Amy Berman Jackson next to a crosshairs with a blurb about how he insists that she's compromised. Threatening a federal judge might seem illegal, but only because it is. Stone (or his lawyers) might have had some inkling that inciting violence against the judge was wrong, because he (or his lawyers) formally apologized on Instagram and in a letter to the court. Roger Stone’s attorneys have just submitted a court filing. Well, the apology's not accepted, according to Judge Berman Jackson. The judge ordered Stone to appear in court today and explain why he shouldn't be subjected to pretrial detention. It's going to be fun when Don Jr. is indicted... there's no way he doesn't meme himself into solitary confinement.
Joke's on you, libs! An actor claimed to have been victim of a hate crime... and you had the audacity to CARE ABOUT IT? Two Nigerian brothers and unnamed sources are claiming that the racist and homophobic attack on the "Empire" actor was a big, fat hoax. There's a special place in hell for somebody who'd empower Donald Trump for attention. Smollett told Chicago Police that on January 29th, two men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs, and the latest theory is that he paid acquaintances to stage the entire thing. In the midst of the controversy, TMZ is reporting that the case isn't going to any regular old jury but a GRAND jury to determine the credibility of the claims. Smollett is also already (allegedly) facing consequences at work, with his scenes on the "Empire" episode currently filming have been cut down and his musical number completely scrapped. One thing is certain: you know it's dire when you've lost Cardi B. Cardi said she was "disappointed," and that if fake, Smollett "fucked up Black History Month." Cardi, however, is still giving Smollett the benefit of the doubt. "Until he says out of his mouth that it was fake and this shit was staged, I don’t want to completely blame him because, you know... police in Chicago are racist so they might probably try to frame him and make him look like he’s a liar," she said. Until then, be very, very careful on Twitter.
Billy Ray Cyrus got an earful from critics after he tweeted a photo of his wife next to what appears to be a shit ton of marijuana. Casual.
People weren't upset about the content of the photo, but rather the context. Seeing as Cyrus is a white, wealthy, famous man, he is able to post this photo without consequence. People were quick to point out the double standard here, and how people of color are serving time in jail for marijuana possession at this very moment. The argument here is that Billy Ray Cryus is only able to flaunt this pic on the Internet because he has white privilege. Or, to put it in laymen's terms: Yo, Billy Ray... your white privilege is showing, bro. Like, we get it Billy, you're chill as hell and not like the other dads. You're a cool dad.
Recently I stayed at a hotel and sure glad I didn't see this...
If you can't see it that hotel that tricks you into drinking $4 water. If I had a TARDIS I would go and try to meet Jennie Macgregor but knowing my luck she'd be arrested by Minneapolis police for dispensing alcoholic beverages from life-preserver flasks.
I wouldn't even get to see her face. If you go to the beac this year you might see some new warning signs, such as this one...
They tell me at Walmart I could see some weird sites. I didn't believe it until I saw this...
I'm just jealous I can't so that. Hahaha. At the State of the Union address a few weeks ago some Democrats sure gave some shady looks. Like Senator Kamala Harris for example...
Do you guys like Steve Carell? Have you seen his new look? If not check it out...
Hahahahahaha. Alright, it's Thursday. You know what that means, right?
That's not that bad of one. That's not a real baby by the way. So, a magician friend of the Phile just did a show this past weekend and I was curious to how it went. So please welcome back to the Phile...
Me: Hey, David, how are you doing?
David: I am okay, Jason, how are you?
Me: Not too bad. So, how was your past show? Anything "crazy" happen?
David: Well... I had a volunteer, and when I asked he to pick an even number she picked 11.
Me: Hahaha. So, what did you do?
David: In complete seriousness I asked her if she wanted to change. I said, "You can think of another EVEN number if you want," but she was adamant with number 11. I just looked at the audience and smiled the smile you put on when you know you're screwed.
Me: Hahahaha. That's not good.
Me: Sorry, David. David Coppafeel, the world's worst magician. Even though that time it wasn't his fault I don't think.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. This one os quite stupid. So, do you ever wonder what Socialism is? I do sometimes. A friend of the Phile knows exactly what it is so I thought I'll have him here to explain it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...
Good morning, phuckerz. The reason Socialism is appealing: People are led to believe that everything they desire and/or require will be provided for them, by their government... free of charge... without having to work for it. The reason Socialism hasn’t worked, nor will it ever: People are no longer motivated to work hard... or even work, at all. Production, commerce and resources dwindle. People are forced to wait in lines for substandard supplies and services. Infrastructures crumble due to poorly paid and unmotivated workers. The economic gap between the haves and the have-nots widens. Governments and politicians become even more corrupt than before Socialism was introduced. They become more powerful as their constituents become further subjugated and have less and less of a say in what goes on in their own communities. All of this takes place nearly unnoticed by the people. Almost like a lobster being placed in a pot of room temperature water... as the water warms, the lobster doesn’t notice the change until it’s too late and he is served up with butter and a glass of wine. Don’t believe me? Take a look at any country throughout history that has embraced Socialism as a way of life... the numbers don’t lie. #ThinkForYourselves.
We all know that some farts are silent but deadly, but have you ever wondered why sometimes your farts make no noise while other times they’re loud enough to wake the dead? Well, it depends on how much gas you’ve got bottled in, the force with which it comes flying out and how tight the sphincter is. Huh, huh. I said sphincter.
Okay, so, ever get into a fight for no reason or at all or some crazy reason? Well, there's this guy that always ends up getting into fights and he demanded he come on and say something. I didn't wanna say no so for the first time ever on the Phile here is...
Me: Hey there, sir. How are you?
Porkchop Eddie: I am fine considering I just got into fight.
Me: You did? With you and why?
Porkchop Eddie: I was lounging on the couch watching TV, minding my own fuckin' business. My brother puts a bagel in the toaster, takes it out, and places both scorching hot bagel halves on my nipples.
Me: Damn. Ouch. So, what dd you do?
Porkchop Eddie: I fought him of course. My nipples still hurt.
Me: Well, go put ice on them and chill.
Porkchop Eddie: I will. Damn fuckin' bagels.
Me: By the way, what show were you watching?
Porkchop Eddie: "The Bachelor."
Me: Hahahaha. Porkchop Eddie, kids.
A hunter was rushed into the emergency room with a bear trap clamped onto his testicles. As the horrified doctor was examining him, he said "Man, how did this happen?" The hunter explains that he was out in the woods and felt the call of nature. Bending down by a tree, the bear trap was triggered and snapped shut on his testicles. "Oh," exclaims the doctor, "The pain must have been excruciating!" "It was," said the hunter. "The second worst pain in my life." "Second worst? What could have been worse than that?" "Coming to the end of the chain." said the hunter.
Today's pheatured guest is a Canadian singer-songwriter and author of "Feeding My Mother: Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen as My Mom Lives with Memory Loss," the 93rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Her recent CD "These Are the Days" is available on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Jann Arden.
Me: Hi, Jann, welcome to the Phile. How are you doing?
Jann: I'm good, thanks for letting me have my book "Feeding my Mother..." in your book club.
Me: No worries, Jann. I'm a big fan. I wanna talk to you about your new CD but have to talk about the book first. How long have you been feeding your mom?
Jann: Gosh, it has to be going back 8 or 9 years at least. When she was 73 she just started forgetting things and I just chalked it up as "garden variety" stuff, but then I saw my parents kind of struggling. My dad was still alive I'd be like what we're having for dinner and she'd say, "I'll open a can of soup and I'll make some toast." Then the next night I'll ask him and she'd say, "I'll open a can of soup and I'll make some toast." Then the next night I'll ask what are we having and "I'll open a can of soup..." I'd say, "You guys had soup quite a bit this week." Finally the bells went off and I started to have them over once a week for dinner or lunch or something. It turned into seven days a week and I started feeding them and bringing them lunches. I would make a big pot of soup and bring that over to them.
Me: Was there an other clues your mom had Alzheimer's?
Jann: Yeah, they started lying about stuff they couldn't remember. There's so much shame with memory loss that the brain knows it can't show it's weakness so it tries to cover it up. So we watched that for quite awhile but I just had to learn to be a better cook.
Me: Was it stressful then? I'm sure it was.
Jann: It was fun, we had a blast. We'd always watch a movie too. We'd sit in lazy boy chairs downstairs and throw a film in. My parents loved that because what happens with memory loss diseases they both lost their licenses. They couldn't drive anyway. I live in the country and we'd just make it work out there and watch movies and talked and they walked home.
Me: Did they live close to you?
Jann: They lived a 100 yards from me. On my property they built a granny cottage. The house is still sitting there but it's empty, so that's a little depressing. Do you need a house because I could move it to where you live.
Me: No, thanks, that's okay. I lost both of my parents from cancer back in 2000, and I am glad they both didn't get Alzheimer's as I wouldn't know how to handle that. When they were both sick we lived with them for a while to take care of them, and it was like a role reversal with us taking care of the parents, when it was always the other way round. What was it like with you?
Jann: It's so gradual. What's that adage about putting a frog in boiling water and he'll jump out? But put a frog in cold water and slowly heat it up you'll kill the frog. I feel like the frog. It is so gradual, things are changing and getting complicated and I just refused to accept it. I really protected my mum, especially after my dad past away. She's forgetful but she's okay. My mother had full-blown Alzheimer's.
Me: Does your mom still live with you?
Jann: Nope. She passed in December last year. Before that she lived in a memorable care centre. I had full time care at the house for the last three years and once she started asking me where she lived I realized she didn't even know she was in her house. I was like, "Oh, you and dad built a house." "Oh, I'd like to go back there some time." So my little brother and I decided we needed to do something and make some changes.
Me: I'm so sorry. Was that a hard decision?
Jann: Oh, it was so awful. I felt so guilty. I felt ashamed somehow, I know that's a weird... I don't know what the word is. I don't what English word fits my grief. I felt ashamed I couldn't look after her.
Me: So, what made you decide to write the book and did that help you at all?
Jann: The book was such a triumph for me because it resonated with so many people. I really didn't expect to sell 50 copies and it was such a resounding success for me and I talk to people more about that than I do music now.
Me: When you were going through all this, taking care of your parents were you still writing music?
Jann: Yeah. I think writing music saved me. I think as a creative person I know I was dealing with low-grade depression all the time and I was dealing with an enormous anxiety. The thing that is important to know about that is I had a reason why. So with a lot of people who are depressed and have anxiety, when they identify the source of it it's very frustrating, at least I had that. I knew why and I thought I had to help myself from getting really down. I wrote a lot, I wrote it down.
Me: Did you notice the songwriting was changing?
Jann: Yeah, I noticed my mum was sneaking in there a lot. I was like, oh, there she is again! "A Long Goodbye" is one of the songs on the record, she's in that, that song is completely about her. "Leave the Light On" is all about my mother. I think even songs like "Come Down the River With Me," my mother sneaks in songs like that. It's a metaphor song about a river being liken to a human being. It's a lonely thing being a human being, it's isolating. Having said that there's a lot of strength being a river. You can take a lot of people with you, voluntarily or involuntarily you can drown entire towns, you can take people down with you. I like idea of it. I found my mother sneaking in that line of thinking. She's very tenacious, she's very intrepid.
Me: How have you changed do you think?
Jann: I think I'm a much better version of myself. I think it makes me very humble. I think I actually have to bow down to the idea of knowing everything and feeling like I could control things to succumb to Alzheimer's, because it's going to win every single time. I'm a very competitive person, I'm not used to losing. I'm used to getting my way. I've been in a business that is very self serving, which is about me all the time. Like I said, I think it's been very humbling. My mother has taught me so much about patience and the virtual of tolerance and understanding and forgiveness. I think I'm a lot better daughter. I just let go of so many things, I think I finally understand the idea of living in the moment. I think for years with my job it's not that I did, it's what I will do. That is my job, so I can never rest on anything. I can no more rest on "Good Mother," or "Insensitive," or "Could I Be Your Girl," or any successes I had, any award, cannot rest on that because that's not the way the arts work. I could be only constantly pushing forward. It can be exhausting, I don't know who said it but "if you're not appearing you'e disappearing." As an artist it's a freighting thought.
Me: What was your mom's name?
Jann: Joan. Joan Mary, but we called her Joanie.
Me: How long have you been a musician, Jann?
Jann: I've been doing this a long time. I've been writing music for 40 plus years. I've been with my record label, Universal, for 26. I think this is my 14th or 15th record that I've released.
Me: So, is working different for you now?
Jann: I love my work, I love my job, and I love the people I work with, but I approach it in a very different way. I think I say "no" much more than than I say "yes." I'm just way better about being who I am, enjoying my friends. I've kind of been there "anti-Christ" of pop music anyway, I don't really have much to do with it. I do a record every couple of years but I'm not in any kind of scene, I live in rural Alberta.
Me: Do you think you bucked the system? Haha.
Jann: I don't know if I bucked it, I circumvented it.
Me: Okay. So, one of your big hits is "Good Mother," like you said. Are you still able to sing that song on stage?
Jann: Yeah. When my mom was really sick I did some Christmas shows, I was on the road for three months just before Christmas and I sang it every night. I had to really think about not crying. The thing about my mom to, is I don't worry about crying anymore. I cry about my mum quite a bit and I've never been a cryer. My mum said it was a very frustrating thing as a child, she'd say, "I would spank you because that's what you did back in the day. Now parents would be arrested for that. And you would not break." "What do you mean 'break'?" "Well, you wouldn't cry. It's frustrating. I could only paddle a kid's butt for so long before I just started to feel terrible about it."
Me: Have you ever cried on stage? Probably not, right?
Jann: I haven't yet. I could get a little bit upset, but I always feel the show must go on kind of attitude and I just sort of motor through it. It's very hard for me to look out at the audience because I could see 200 people crying because it's upsetting for them. But I think also they're attaching their own memories and own experiences to the songs.
Me: So, this is a depressing question, but when your dad passed how did you and your mum take it?
Jann: Ha. He died on my mother's birthday. He had pneumonia. He almost lived to be 80-years-old. We were sitting in the comfort room and he was heaving and he'd stop breathing for ten seconds and he'd start again. She looked at me and said, "Would it kill them to give him a lozenge?" When he passed away I said he's gone. She said, "He's dead?" I said, "Oh, yeah, he's dead, mom." She said, "Oh, well, he ruined my birthday." I said we'd celebrate it later on. Alzheimer's takes the sentimentality away. Thank God, she would of been crying!
Me: In the book you talk about your dad's struggles with alcoholism. Was that hard to write about him after he passed like that?
Jann: I don't know. I'm still dealing with my dad, we had a very contentious relationship. Good things come out of bad things, I would never have been a songwriter if it had not been for my dad's alcoholism. We needed to steer clear of him. My mum would say, "Don't bring kids home from after school, because I don't know how your dad is going to be." We never did. The worst part of alcoholism is it makes people unpredictable, we didn't know if we were going to have good cheery drunk dad or volatile violent dad. I just went in the basement, played records, the guitar was down there, the turntable, all the Columbia House Club records, and I learned how to play songs. I spent thousands of hours learning how to play songs. My dad was a hard working guy, he taught me a lot. I'm a lot like him, very stubborn.
Me: Is there one story that sticks out about him that is good or bad?
Jann: I remember by mum bought me a pair of pants at the Co-op, I was 12-years-old. I bought them home and they didn't fit right and so I had to take them back. Of course it was an errand she asked my dad. I didn't have the bill or anything so my dad waited in the car on the curb and I ran in with the pants and the lady basically said, "No, I need the bill or I can't refund you. I'm sorry." My heart was already pounding, because I knew he'd be mad. I came out with the pants and he saw me and his face just went blue. He grabbed my arm and he kind of wrestled me in the car and he grabbed these pants and he marched into the place. He came out with the money. So that tells you something about my dad. There's no way this woman was going to be able to say, "Sorry, sir, you need the bill." He probably threatened her with an inch of her life. We just drove home in complete silence. Those are little snippets I remember of my dad but I never had a conversation with the man. Maybe in the last few years of his life but he always yelled.
Me: Man, oh, man. I'm so sorry. What did he think of your music or career?
Jann: He told me he was proud of me quite a number of years ago.
Me: Let's talk about your new album... by the way, I love the cover. I'll show it here...
Me: I like the whole album, actually. You must be proud of it, am I right?
Jann: I think this is the best record I've done in twenty years.
Me: Did you write all the songs on it?
Jann: I wrote with Bob Rock. I'm not used to co-writing but Bob only does grooves and chord work. Riffs... we wrote them very quickly. We wrote five songs in four hours. He would leave and I was like I don't know what we just did.
Me: What was the first song you guys wrote?
Jann: "The Long Goodbye." It set the bar very high for me to where we were going. We surprised each other a lot.
Me: Did you get very personal with him, Jann? Your songs on this album are very personal, right?
Jann: Yeah, but this is our 4th record that we worked on together. The second original record that we worked on together but we didn't know it would work but he was great.
Me: What is he like to work with? He has worked with some great acts and great albums.
Jann: He's a wonderful eccentric human being and super talented. He works lightning fast which I liked.
Me: Okay, so, I have to ask you a question I ask all my Canadian musician guests... one of my all-time favorite bands is from Canada... Barenaked Ladies. Do you like them?
Jann: Of course! They're good friends and they got indicted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, which is well deserved. I just saw them last year at the Junos.
Me: Cool. So, what's this you are gonna have a TV show?
Jann: Yeah, I will play a "fictionalized version of myself" in the 2019 CTV series "Jann," which follows a newly single singer-songwriter looking to revive my career while grappling with my mother's early stages of dementia.
Me: Cool. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun and I hope you will come back again soon.
Jann: Thanks, Jason, this was exhausting, but fun. I will come back.
That about doers it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Jann Arden. The Phile will be back on Monday with musician Jeffrey Gaines. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon