Monday, April 30, 2018

Pheaturing Frank Oz

Hey, kids, good afternoon, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? So, do you know who Dr. Ronny Jackson is? Dr. Ronny became famous when he announced on national TV that President Trump's brain does indeed work. Back in January, he said that there is "no reason whatsoever to think that the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought process." He also gushed over Trump's superior genes, and threatened that he might live to be 200 years old. Likely because of that gushing performance, Trump hastily nominated Dr. Jackson to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, without being fully vetted or experience running a big-ass federal bureaucracy. Jackson withdrew his own nomination when a report alleged that he gave out painkillers like candy and once drunkenly crashed a government car. People allegedly called him "candy man," and not because he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. According to Politico, Jackson won't have his new job, and he also won't have his old job as well and is officially out as White House doctor. Hopefully Trump and Jackson can patch things up by the time Trump turns 200.
Nazi Richard Spencer, who preaches such Nazi ideals as the virtues of a white ethno-state, is facing a federal lawsuit for his role in last year's deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Spencer, of being punched in the face fame, is begging for $25,000 to help him mount his legal defense, and had a real hard time finding a lawyer who wants to defend white supremacy. "Hi, everyone, this is Richard Spencer. I am under attack and I need your help. Some of the biggest and baddest law firms in the United States are suing me, along with some other prominent figures, in civil court," he said in a video called... wait for it... "I Need Your Help." Nazi Richard Spencer has been banned from Facebook and twenty-six European countries for spreading hate, which no longer pays the bills. It ain't easy being a Nazi.
Holy moly, this is completely brutal. A clip tweeted by writer and comedian Chelsea Lockwood features footage of a guy getting so very severely rejected by a woman he clearly likes just as they're introduced on the game show, "Let's Make a Deal." Yes, in front of a whole huge audience watching, plus everyone at home. Host Wayne Brady asked the pair, Mike and Jessie, how long they'd been together. It was an assumption on his part, but then again, this was the prom episode so not really an unreasonable one. But while Mike answered, "about six months," Jessie clearly didn't agree. She broke out in laughter and said, “We’re friends, but he wants it…” At this point Steve broke in to ask, "Can we talk about this… not in front of everyone." And like in the episode of the ill-fated romance between Lisa and Ralph Wiggum on "The Simpsons," if you slow it down and watch closely enough, you can actually see Mike's heart breaking. But as if that wasn't bad enough, Jessie added, “I’m single. I’m single, guys. I’m single," turning the game show into her irl Tinder profile. As hard as it is to watch, the pair (but not couple! Don't make that mistake!) went on to win a trip to Mexico. That should be a fun and not at all complicated event in their relationship... I mean friendship.
In case you missed it, this week has been a wild Twitter ride for Kanye West. A few days ago Kanye expressed his love for Trump, only to later admit he didn't Google "Conservative" before claiming it as a label. The rollercoaster eventually led to Kanye's BFF John Legend texting him trying to talk him off the Trumpian ledge (spoiler: it didn't work). Luckily though, we haven't completely lost Kanye to the abyss. Despite his recently professed love of Trump, he still has good taste when it comes to his other heroes. In a recent tweet, Kanye professed admiration for the Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez, dubbing her his hero. A few hours later, she named her personal hero.

For those unfamiliar, James Shaw Jr. is the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter, last week. Since surviving the shooting, he has raised over $200,000 for victims of the shooting. While hero worship can be a dangerous habit in most cases, both Shaw Jr. and Gonzalez are certainly worthy of props and admiration for the ways they're seeking out justice for other survivors of gun violence.
If you’re one of those people who loses your mind when your order comes out wrong in a restaurant, you’re probably not going to want to drop by The Restaurant of Order Mistakes in Tokyo’s Toyosu district. There, you can’t even get mad at the waiters and waitresses... because they all have dementia.  According to the writeup by Yahoo News Japan, the owners of the popup restaurant hope that being waited on by people with the illness will help change perceptions... and that a little understanding goes a long way. Of course, you have to go into this particular restaurant with the right attitude, and like food blogger Mizuho Kudo, you might also end up with an unexpected... though still delicious... dinner. She ordered a hamburger but happily tucked into the gyoza dumplings she received instead. The owners are planning another popup for September to acknowledge World Alzheimer’s Day.
I was thinking... instead of doing this blog thing maybe I should be relaxing and listening to this record...

No, never mind. I think its a story for kids. Okay, so, If I had a TARDIS I go back to see Jim Henson and today's guest, Frank Oz, film an episode of "Sesame Street."

Here's another sign from March for Our Lives weeks ago.

So, these three idiots Snapchatted this...

I think it is the real guys. Hahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

Man, so, if you think Infinity War was a big cross-over film you ain't seen anything until you see this...

Hahaha. Parents, if your kid did this at work what would you think?

Kid loves Chuck. Sometimes people have to explain really stupid things to adults. Like this...

Hahahahahaha. Hey, this just in, there's a new Trump TV show in the works..,

Here's another creative way a Parkland student is trolling their new "safety" backpacks...

Forget about the price tag. Y'know, I've always been told I can see some odd sights at Walmart, but I never believed it... then I saw this...

Oh. Boy. Speaking of seeing things, when I saw this pic it reminded me of something...

Then it hit me...

See? Haha. Okay, so, I said this before the best thing, or one of the best things about the Internet is you can look at porn free and easily. What is bad is someone might go look at porn and not read a certain blog, like this one. So, I thought if I showed a porn pic here people might stay and keep reading. Then I thought what if you got in trouble at work, school, home or anywhere else. So, I came up with a solution.

You are welcome. Okay, before I continue I have to plug something that I was a part of... 
There's a new book called "Work of Hearts Magazine- Season." It's available now for purchase at as a book or PDF option. In the book I interviewed Stephanie Bowman from One Heart for Women and Children. Chapter 50 is my article.

Ordering the book in April or May through will help raise money for One Heart. So do it!

Alright, so, there's soooo many different blogs on the Internet. Not all have 1,100 entries... 1,101 if you count this one and not all have an interview with the great Frank Oz, but there's some good ones. So, once again I will show you another blog in a pheature called...

Today's blog is... This is what it looks like...

August 5th, 2013 was the last time it was updated? Man, oh, man. Anyway, visit that blog, comment that I sent you and see what happens. But as always, finish this entry of the Phile first. 

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know, kids. Okay, one again here is...

The Crab 
I would also like to refer this to the Lazy Dog because it really just is the laziest version of doggy style ever and since we all know we love our doggy style, this is one is perfect for the lazy in all of us.

Okay, let's see how smart you kids really are. You can't be too smart, you're wasting time reading the Phile. Ha! Kidding! Okay, here's the riddle. Are you ready? Mario is on a business trip in an exotic country. At the hotel, he asks the receptionist to send a telegram that should arrive exactly on February 23rd. But the receptionist tells him that he can only use these words to write: fiasco, nephew, carrot, rabbit, sonata, spring, tailor, bureau, corona, legacy, soften, travel, object, happen, bikini. Then Mario sends the following telegram: Carrot Fiasco Nephew Spring Rabbit Sonata Tailor Bureau Legacy Corona Travel Bikini Object Happen Soften. What does the message say? Hint: The message is for Mario's son. 

We can't all be winners all the time. The road to self-actualization is filled with embarrassment and shade, and sometimes we have to bask in our own failure. Since the Internet can sometimes feel like a parade of other people's achievements, some people have a more embarrassing week than the rest of us. It's important to remember that we're all just little bumbling flesh bags struggling to get there (whatever that means).

Hahaha. Okay, so, did you guys saw Avengers: Infinity War? I did and thought it was pretty good. I wondered what a friend of the Phile thought about it so I invited him here to give us his review. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is.

Good afternoon, humans. Laird’s movie review: Avengers: Infinity War... I’ll keep it simple and a tad vague (so there are no spoilers) for those who have yet to see it. Plenty of holy shit moments... Peter Dinklage as a giant fucking midget... Oh no, not Idris! Who did Doctor Strange blow to get in this film? The Hulk (what the fuck?!?)... Spent the whole movie thinking Ron Perlman voiced Thanos... Hey look, there’s Stan Lee... Scrotum chin... There goes that Starbucks in Wakanda... The fuck is with that ending?... Star-Lord is a DICK... I waited 'til the end of the credits for THAT? No WAY that’s how it plays out... I hope the next one picks up exactly where this one left off... Two hours and forty three minutes of WOW... then it slams into the brick wall of no fuckin’ way! Eight out of a possible ten. 

Over the past three decades, President Trump has been embroiled in 4,095 lawsuits, and as of today, make that 4,096. Stormy Daniels is joining Trump accuser Summer Zervos in filing a defamation suit against the president, citing his tweets. Specifically, this tweet...

As a result of Trump's tweeting out Stormy slams to the entire world from his presidential pedestal, she has "been exposed to death threats and other threats of physical violence, causing her both emotional and economic damages." According to the lawsuit, Stormy has suffered damages that have exceeded $75,000. Buckle up!

Okay, this is the last day I'm campaigning. I still want Shania on the Phile, but I'm not gonna post this campaign pic any more. So, you kids wanna play a game? A lot of you like this game called...

Which is it? Amy or a potato? I doubt Amy will ever be on the Phile. Now for some cameo appearances...

Phact 1. Wolverine was supposed to have a cameo in Spider-Man (2002). Hugh Jackman even flew to New York, but the scene had to be scrapped because his costume was nowhere to be found. 

Phact 2. George Lucas allowed the band members of ‘N SYNC to make a cameo appearance in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in order to appease his daughters. The footage was then cut out of the final version of the film. 

Phact 3. Vin Diesel made a cameo appearance in Fast and Furious F: Tokyo Drift in exchange for the rights to the “Riddick” franchise. 

Phact 4. There’s a Cartoon Network special crossover episode called "The Grim Adventures of the Kids Next Door," that also features Ed Edd n’ Eddy, with cameos from the Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Lab among other shows. 

Phact 5. Samuel L. Jackson wanted a cameo appearance on "Breaking Bad" in which he would walk on to the set of Los Pollos Hermanos, dressed as Nick Fury, completely unannounced as if he were a customer buying chicken from the restaurant. 

This is so freaking cool... today's pheatured guest is a puppeteer, filmmaker and actor. His career began as a puppeteer, where he performed the Muppet characters of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle in "The Muppet Show," and Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover in "Sesame Street." He has a new documentary out called Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show. Please welcome to the Phile the one and only... Frank Oz! 

Me: Hello, sir, welcome to the Phile. This is such a HUGE honor to have you here. How are you? 

Frank: Thank you. I'm good, Jason. And you? 

Me: Alive. Haha. Okay, I love the idea of the new documentary Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show. We'll talk about that in a minute. You don't do any Muppet stuff anymore, right? Why is that? 

Frank: Well, it's not because I don't want to. No, I'm not working those characters only because I became a director. Even though I'd love to go and do a weekly show of the Muppets I'm not being asked by Disney or "Sesame Street." 

Me: They don't ask you? Why don't they ask you, sir? 

Frank: No, they don't ask me anymore, I think it's because I'm probably a little bit more expensive. I understand that. 

Me: Does it bother you are not playing these characters anymore? 

Frank: It's hurtful that I'm not doing my characters, and I really want to do them again, but it's of my own doing, I have four kids and we'll go away on a movie and I really didn't think it was fair to say, "You can't use my characters when I'm gone for a year." It's not right. I just didn't feel right about that. I relinquished them and I'm in conflict. On the one hand, it hurts me because I love my characters. On the other hand, I'm grateful because they're being used and I wouldn't have the time to do them all anyway. So I live in that conflict. 

Me: One of my favorite bands is Barenaked Ladies and when Steven Page left that band and the others continued performing his songs he said, "It's like watching your ex-girlfriend out on a date." Is that how it feels for you? 

Frank: Well, it feels deeper than that. Each character is created by the writers and guidance from Jim and the director, whoever we work with, but ultimately the person who does the character has the soul of that character. So, I really feel like someone is playing with my soul. It's hard but I'm also grateful at the same time. 

Me: In the documentary film you say that when you go and play a character there's something called "the lock." What is that? 

Frank: Well, there's a key for the lock. Just at that time when I was trying to create the character I couldn't get into it immediately like now because now it's in my heart. I have to create something to get me into it a little. With Bert I usually had to shout for Ernie and that got me into Bert. With Grover I just cleared my throat, that's all I did to get into it. All of those things are the locks, but when I know them so much I'm just into it, I'm just there. 

Me: I want to talk about some other characters. I love the story on what happened when Miss Piggy first gave Kermit the karate chop. Can you tell that story? 

Frank: What happened in rehearsal was there was a script in which Piggy was supposed to slap Kermit, and this is very early on, probably in the third or fourth show. For some reason I karate chopped him. It just happened. What that did to me it crystallized who she was. She's kind of a truck driver underneath, she's a pig, but she's trying to be what people perceive as a lady, or what society will allow her to be which is a lady. But on the other hand if you push her to far she's going to break your knees. It's that duality of what women used to be, and still to a degree only allowed to be a certain way. Piggy doesn't care. 

Me: To me she isn't written as a funny character but she is. Am i right? 

Frank: She knows she's a pig in this society, she knows that she's not that attractive. She knows the one magnificent obsession, which is Kermit, rejects her. She knows all that and it causes her pain. But in order to keep pushing forward she pushes all that pain down and just, with great bravado, continues life. And that's where the funny is, when she covers the pain. 

Me: I have to talk about Animal... which is one of my favorite characters... well, I love the whole Electric Mayhem band. Floyd is my real favorite because I played him in a play version of The Muppet Movie in school. Anyway, how does it feel when you're playing Animal? You must have a lot of energy, right? And do a lot of yelling. 

Frank: Oh, it's great because Animal is crazed. He's not controllable. That's a wonderful opportunity for me having no boundaries. I could do whatever the hell I want and he totally crazed. Who is allowed to do that in our world? So for me it's a great joy to do him. 

Me: You mentioned Bert, so I will. Haha. Jim Henson played Ernie so was Bert and Ernie's relationship the same as yours and Jim's? 

Frank: Bert and Ernie were created when I was still trying to have a formed personality. I, like anybody, who was younger, in my 20s, I was still trying to form a personality, questioning life and all that stuff. So I was bit neurotic at that time, and a bit rigid, and Jim was the reverse. Jim was, if you used the analogy of a river, Jim always flowed down the river, just went with it, and me... I always fought up the river. And that's kind of how Bert and Ernie are. Bert is rigid and uptight, he just wants to be left alone, and Ernie just has so much fun in life and accepts it. Bert is just trying to figure it out.  

Me: I grew up with the Muppets like almost everyone, sir. I have to tell you this story, which I told before on the Phile I think. When you guys were filming "Muppets Go to Walt Disney World" I was working in custodial at Epcot, and I was walking by the old Wonders of Life pavilion and you guys were filming a scene with Gonzo atop the hill. Jim came down the hill, walked over to me and asked me if they can use the trash can and if I can put it on top of the hill. I said, sure, and took out the liner, then dragged the heavy can atop the hill. The scene with Gonzo and Camilla was filmed and about three or four takes were shot, and then Jim said to me, "You can put it back now." I couldn't believe Jim spoke to me. He seemed very serious, but I know he wasn't that serious in real life. What is something you can tell us about Jim that not many people know? What was it like working with him?  

Frank: That's a great story, Jason, I remember you. Haha. Jim wanted us to work all night long until something was finished or the way he wanted it to be finished. If we prepped for a show and we had to work longer than we think, if we had to work til four in the morning so be it. We did what was necessary and we had fun working that hard. 

Me: Was it ever really hard work? 

Frank: Yeah, we worked like dogs, but we didn't have to be "andy pandy elfs," annoying to each other. We were with each all the time. People often think the beauty or the sweetness. 

Me: Did you guys think the Muppets were cute, sir? 

Frank: As a matter of fact Jim hated us being called cute. He couldn't stand thinking the Muppets were cute. That labels them as only one thing which is very, very limited. Cuteness doesn't affect one emotionally and it doesn't affect one philosophically. So, being cute is very limited. He created Bean Bunny so everyone would think HE'S cute so the owness of cute would be off us. 

Me: A lot of times you were cramped in small places, or in a tank underwater, or in really uncomfortable positions. Do you think people don't understand that side of the work? 

Frank: They don't have to. They don't understand how hard you work, they think you just get on the computer and type, they don't know what's behind it. They don't know how much a plumber works, we all work very hard if we are doing the right thing. In order for people to accept it as organic, so I think it's not peculiar to the Muppets, it's everybody who cares about their work, who cares to do quality work, that's all. The people don't know it, they don't understand that whenever you see a Muppet there's ALWAYS a human being connected to it. 

Me: So, how do you feel about what Disney is doing with the Muppets? Personally I feel that they don't know how to market them. 

Frank: Well, I liken Disney to a Formula One race car driving fan. The fan knows this race car, he follows this race car and driver around the world. He knows everything about the engine, knows everything about the wheels and the pounds of air it has to be. Knows everything, so he thinks he can drive it. But when he get into the drivers seat it's totally different. As much as they love the Muppets I want to make the Muppets good, and they normally do, they don't get it. They don't understand the purity and the affection and what happens to us as human beings. They can't just write without understanding what happens to us as human beings underneath. So, they don't get it, even though they love to, they just don't get it. 

Me: There was a new Muppet show that got bad reviews, they rebooted it, and hit still didn't do good, so they canceled it. When projects like that don't do well do you worry it takes something away from what you guys achieved with the Muppets? I think of Jim was alive and you were working with them the show would still be on the air. 

Frank: Absolutely. That program sadly I watched 15 minutes of it and couldn't watch anymore. These are my brothers and sisters working there, I love them. It was the writers, and whoever was the show runner just didn't get it. They thought I think in order to be hip and adult they had to do double entendres and had to change the characters, but that's not where the characters live. They live in their own purity, they live in their own very believable world and that has nothing to do that's adult. Half of the two and half million people that saw this every week were adults. I think they're missing he boat, they don't understand that it comes from the performers underneath, comes from how we care about each other, how we egg each other on, it's not just layering on top of something. It comes from underneath. 

Me: They marketed the show for adults. You say in the documentary and you said in the past you guys never marketed the Muppets for just children. How did you guys market the Muppets back then? 

Frank: We never marketed for children or adults. We just did it for ourselves. The idea it's for adults now, what the hell does that mean? That's the trouble. They acquainted the Muppets with sexual references. I'm happy with sexual references, but not in that show. With betraying the characters purity. By the way, when I say this about Disney, I'm not knocking Disney, because they really LOVE the Muppets, they bought it, they really want to do the best for it, they really, really do. 

Me: Do you think Jim would of regretted selling the Muppets to Disney? 

Frank: Jim wanted Disney to have the Muppets, the only difference was when Jim sold the Muppets or tried to sell it the first time, people don't understand, he wasn't just selling the Muppets, what he wanted as part of the deal, he wanted to be the creator there at Disney and help them because they really weren't creators at that point and creators of very good things, or things that were of a certain quality. Jim always wanted to be a part of that. For the characters to live any place, he wanted it to be Disney. But the trouble is even though they love them they get into that Formula One car but they really don't know how to drive it. 

Me: I agree. Okay, before I let you go I have to talk about Star Wars. You returned to Yoda in The Last Jedi. What was it like being Yoda again, sir? 

Frank: It was challenge and joy. It was a challenge because Yoda is extremely difficult, it takes four people to make him come alive. It's deeply sensitive and delicate work. If I have a line of dialogue I have to work it out with my guys and it'll take about three days to work out that line of dialogue because of the motions of the character four of us have to do in a way that it looks like it's one. So that challenge is always there and it's exciting. The joy is I revisited the character I love and to work hard, I love working hard. 

Me: If you could never be Grover or Miss Piggy again how would you feel? 

Frank: Sadly that might be the case. Jason, I'm hurt by that thought. Again Disney owns them, I don't have the right to do them. That may very well may happen and it hurts. 

Me: Is it easy? I guess not. 

Frank: It's not. These characters, as funny as they are, they all come from a deeply serious place otherwise they wouldn't be funny and they wouldn't have depth. Each of us has a serious place for each of our characters and we give part of ourselves. Grover and Piggy and Fozzie and Animal and Cookie Monster and Ernie and all these characters I won't do again. Not that I don't want to but they belong to a company and that company feels it's better to do it the way they want. Again they truly believe they know what they're doing and they actually don't with the Muppets. It's kind of sad to me. There's so much they could do with them, the characters are so rare if they just stayed pure with them. It saddens me very much that I won't be doing those again. 

Me: Let's look on the bright side of things, where would you like to see them go? 

Frank: I'm too depressed now, I can't answer. Haha. Just kidding. With your question, that's the thing... I don't know. The joy would be discovering when I perform them. I didn't think ahead of time, we didn't think ahead of time. We don't intellectualize how the characters change or grow, we grow by the interchange and the improvisation between us for a long time. So if I knew it wouldn't be fun. The idea is to discover it in a love spontaneous situation, keep those things that seem to be good and throw away the others. 

Me: Man, I can ask you sooo many more questions. Thanks for being on the Phile. Please come back soon, sir. Mention where my readers can see the film and I hope this was fun for you. 

Frank: My pleasure, thank you.

Me: Not to be confused with Muppet Guy Stalking. Haha. Thanks, sir. All the best.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Frank Oz. The Phile will be back in two weeks, on May 12th, with legendary songwriter Bernie Taupin. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. See ya in a few weeks. 

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Pheaturing Naughty Boy

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? So, ICYMI Bill Cosby was convicted on Thursday of drugging and raping Andrea Constand in 2004. The convicted rapist formerly known as America's Dad was found guilty on all counts, and faces up to ten years in prison for each one. Last year, a jury was unable to reach a verdict, but today, the more than 60 women who have accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting them over four decades, and this is the first time the 80-year-old comedian/rapist has experienced consequences. In a very moving moment, three of his accusers hugged and cried outside of the courtroom after the verdict was read aloud. Bill Cosby is going to Jail-O.
It was a banner week for Donald Trump's relationship with the black community, and by "black community," we mean exclusively Kanye West. Kanye concerned a lot of people last week when he tweeted that he was radicalized as full MAGA, tweeting out a selfie in the notorious hat (featuring a dude giving a white supremacist hand sign), and calling Trump his "brother." The lovefest became mutual when Trump thanked Kanye, adding how exciting this is for all the blacks. Kanye faced a fierce backlash for appearing to pledge allegiance to a movement based on white resentment that believes some neo-Nazis and KKK members are "very fine people." Now after praising Trump, Kanye is insisting that he can't be a conservative, because he doesn't really know what it means. People in the comments are offering him an education. Conservatives are pitching their movement as super fun and chill. Liberals and leftists are fact-checking the conservatives' pitches and telling Kanye to Google before pledging your support before millions of people. Like it or not, it's too late for Kanye not to become a tool of the MAGA movement. Next time you wear a hat, read a book first, Kanye.
At some point in Kanye's manic tweet storm that included a proclamation of love for President Trump, Chance the Rapper felt he had to step in and defend him (Kanye, not Trump). On April 25th, Chance tweeted...

He followed that by tweeting...

Of course, Trump & Co. took Chance's tweet as an endorsement because of course they did. Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr, also quote-tweeted Chance, adding "It's always incredible to watch a cultural shift happen in real time. I respect those willing to take the lead breaking with convention. That takes guts... though there's a better word for it," and included a set of basketballs. Get it? Balls. It takes balls. Thanks, Jr! But this is not what Chance intended. On Friday Chance quote-tweeted Trump, and included the words, "Nah that aint it yo." Chance decided to explain what he really meant and he did so in a tweet consisting of a long note. "Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about my city and my loved ones. Kanye West is not just a mentor or big homie to me. He's my family. No matter how much I may disagree with him, it's hard for me to watch people talk about someone I love... even if they were justified in doing so. I didn't speak up because I agree with what Kanye had to say or cause I fuck with Trump, I did it because I wanted to help my friend and cause I felt like I was being used to attack him. Unfortunately, my attempt to support Kanye is being used to discredit my brothers and sisters in the movement and I can't sit by and let that happen either." He went on to clarify his feelings about Trump, "I'd never support anyone who has made a career out of hatred, racism and discrimination. I'd never support someone who'd talk about Chicago as if it's hell on Earth and then take steps to make life harder here for the most disenfranchised among us. I understand why people are disappointed with my words, but I was raised to believe actions speak louder than words. So let my apology be seen in my future works, and let me make up for my poorly timed comments with immediate action and advocacy for those who need it most. My statement about black folk not having to be Democrats (though true) was a deflection from the real conversation and stemmed from a personal issue with the fact that Chicago has had generations of democratic officials with no investment or regard for black schools, neighborhood or black lives. But again, said that shit at the wrongest time. We have to talk honestly about what is happening and has been happening in this country and we have to challenge those who are responsible, as well as those who are giving them a pass. If that happens to include someone I love, someone who is my brother-in-Christ and someone who I believe does really want to do what is right, it's not my job to defend or protect him. It's my job pick up the phone and talk to him about it." So there you have it. Chance the Rapper doesn't "fuck with Trump," straight from the horse's mouth.
While you were sleeping Thursday night, the (supreme) leaders of North Korea and South Korea met for a historic summit, the most important thing to happen in the Korean War since the finale of "M*A*S*H." As your cool high school history teacher probably told you, despite hostilities ending on the Korean peninsula in 1953 (that's 65 years ago!!!), the Korean War was never officially over, because South Korea wasn't a signatory to the armistice. Well, Friday, North and South Korea has vowed to end the beef. The summit was nothing short of historic. North Korea's Kim Jong Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in met at the demilitarized zone between the two countries, crossing back and forth over the border in a beautiful Public Display of Diplomacy. President Moon hosted Chairman Kim and the summit venue, the Peace House, and Kim signed the yearbook guest book, and wrote out his commitment to peace. "A new history starts now," he wrote. "An age of peace, from the starting point of history." The summit itself also yielded some important results. North and South Korea agreed on the goal of "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." Other highlights include: Establishing a hotline so Kim and Moon can connect efficiently North Korea ceasing propaganda activities against South Korea Moon to visit Pyongyang in the fall. All in all, it was a successful meeting and an actually good day for the world.
We finally know what Prince George and Princess Charlotte will call their little brother! Kate Middleton and Prince Will, a.k.a. the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their third child last Monday, but waited until Friday to announce the baby's name. According to Kensington Palace, the new royal baby is named Louis Arthur Charles. Yes, very British, and very royal! By all accounts, all three names are very traditional. Personally, I had my money on Louis Harry Niall Liam of Cambridge, so I wasn't too far off.
Okay, so, if I had a TARDIS I would like to go to Las Vegas in the 50s but instead I'd probably end up looking at this mannequin from an atomic bomb test site in Nevada...

That's scary as fuck. I don't know how your luck is but I hope it's better than the person who this car belongs to...

Or belonged. Ha. Here's another sign from the March for Our Lives march that took place weeks ago...

I have no idea what that says. Hahaha. Hey, parents, are your kids in school this creative?

That looks like a mess to me actually. Here's another creative way a creative ways Parkland student is trolling their new "safety" backpacks...

Hahahaha. Shots fired. Do you guys know what "manscaping" means? I did't until I saw this guy...

What the hell? My cat would be a very small strawberry blonde cat. Hahahahahaha. So, sometimes apparently people have to really explain stupid things to adults...

Ha. Okay, so, I said this before one of the best things about the Internet is you can look at porn easily and free. The problem though is that someone might chose to look at porn instead of say, reading the Phile. So, I thought if I showed a porn pic here every can be happy. But then I realized what about if you're at work, school, in front of your kids, or anywhere else you can't look at porn. Then I came up with a solution...

You're welcome, everybody. Once again, here is...

The Spider Web 
For this one, you just have to scissor your legs with your partner's while facing each other and viola! You just created your own little web of love. FYI: Instead of thrusting your life away, this one works better in circular grinding motions.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, every have weird thoughts when you're taking a shower? I do.

As a kid I thought "stop, drop and roll" was going to be a much more important part of my adult life than it turned out to be.

I do not get that one bit. So, there's this inventor who says he's world's the greatest, even though so far I pretty much doubt that. He told me he's working on a few new inventions and wanted to come on the Phile and announce it. I thought sure, why not. So, once again, please welcome to the Phile...

Me: Hello, Mak, welcome back. So, what have you been working on?

Mak: Hello, Jason. I have worked on some really good helpful stuff. How about habanero tabasco flavored toilet paper?

Me: Ummm... that is the worst idea I ever heard of in my life, Mak.

Mak: Hmmm, yeah, I guess that might burn. Okay, how about 2D glasses?

Me: Ummm... I don't think that's a great idea either. Anything else?

Mak: Yeah, Jason, I have one more. Night-vision sunglasses.

Me: Hmmmm.... ummmm... I don't think so, Mak. I say you get back in the lab and keep working.

Mak: Oh, okay. Wait... I have one more... man's nipples.

Me: Huh? What?

Mak: Ha. Kidding. I just wanted to say man's nipples. I'll go back to my lab.

Me: Great. Keep working. Mak Asterborus, the world's greatest inventor, everyone. And now for a brand new pheature...

We can't all be winners all the time. The road to self-actualization is filled with embarrassment and shade, and sometimes we have to bask in our own failure. Since the Internet can sometimes feel like a parade of other people's achievements, some people have a more embarrassing week than the rest of us. It's important to remember that we're all just little bumbling flesh bags struggling to get there (whatever that means).

Some people just don't pay attention, right?

On Friday, Trump welcomed a group of Team U.S.A. Olympians and Paralympians to the White House. Rather than congratulating them on their athletic feats and keeping it classy, Trump managed to make some very on-brand (untactful) assertions aimed at the Paralympian athletes. "What happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me. And I watched... it's a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could," Trump said. Needless to say, Trump's baffling remark did not go unnoticed by those present, as well as pretty much all of the world. A few people gave Trump the benefit of the doubt, and mused that his statement could have referred to how time consuming it is to watch the Olympics. Even if that was Trump's intention, most people were baffled at his statement. What do you think? Do you think Trump was referring to time constraints, or that he was making a jab at athletes with disabilities?

Tomorrow is the last day I will try and get Shania to be on the Phile. Shania, are you out there? Hahaha. Now for some...

Phact 1. Crows are one of the smartest non-primate animals on Earth, with the intelligence of a 7-year-old human. They use and manipulate tools, they have a long-term memory including facial recognition, and they understand the analogy.

Phact 2. Three border collies have been trained to run around a Chilean forest devastated by wildfire while wearing special backpacks that release native plant seeds.

Phact 3. In 1973, the Who’s drummer Keith Moon passed out mid-show. The band continued without him for several songs before Townshend asked, “Can anyone play the drums? I mean somebody good?” Nineteen-year-old Scot Halpin, who had bought scalped tickets came up and played the rest of the show.

Phact 4. Former NFL player James Brooks was found to be illiterate when he was unable to read court documents after admitting to not paying over $100k in child support. When the judge asked how he graduated from Auburn without being able to read, he said, “Didn’t have to go to class.”

Phact 5. The U.K. military recruiter mistook “cryptogamist” (algae expert) for “cryptogramist” and sent Geoffrey Tandy to join the code breakers; he wasn’t so useful until captured German papers arrived water-logged; with his expertise, they salvaged them, cracked the code, and hastened the victory.

Today's guest an English DJ, record producer, songwriter, musician and rapper. His very successful album "Hotel Cabana" and his latest singles "One Chance To Dance" featuring Joe Jonas and "All or Nothing" with Ray BLK and Wyclef Jean are available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Naughty Boy.

Me: Hey, man, welcome to the Phile, how are you? 

Naughty Boy: I'm good, thanks for having me.

Me: So, I don't know where to start so I guess maybe I'll start with the song "One Chance To Dance," which is a song you did with Joe Jonas. I actually like that song. Did you and Joe write it?

Naughty Boy: No, actually it was co-written by Emili Sandé.

Me: Where did the idea of the song come from? It doesn't sound like your other music I don't think.

Naughty Boy: It was just an idea we had and we had it on our phones. It sounds so different with her singing. I worked on it more with Sam Romans, a good friend of mine, and we finished the song. It's not conventionally a Naughty Boy sound, I don't think anything is. I have that comfort of no walls. I'm like a frog. You know what I mean? I would say it's pop music because its popular, but I don't think it's pop genre. This I think is a kinda song that's not on the radio at the moment. It was written like four years ago, but I don't think it was written for that time, I think it was written for now because everything is timing. On the radio there is so much that sounds the same and this is just a fantastic pop songs that stands out. Historically it's how great songs are made and I feel that it's a good time to change it up on the radio as well.

Me: I actually laughed at the Michael Jackson reference in the song. Is the song about him? It's not right?

Naughty Boy: Yeah, you can't ever forget Michael. It's just as about him as me, Joe, Emeli, it's a real bow down. And the video was done in Vietnam.

Me: Nice. So, how did Joe Jonas come to do the vocals?

Naughty Boy: I met him when my manager and his manager introduced me to him and we spoke about working together. They heard this song and they loved it. This songs needs the artist name. It's about a one man's journey.

Me: Is selecting the right person to sing the songs important to you, sir? The new single has Wyclef Jean which is a big name and Ray BLK, which I never heard of before. That's not saying much though. Haha.

Naughty Boy: It is very important. What I hope you noticed is I don't like to revisit. I feel like it's like a constant progression. Not everyone has to be as famous as Beyoncé, but I have to introduce new talent as well, so I'm comfortable with doing that. And then working with big named as well, I haven't come to that where there is to have every record with a big artist now. Where it could easily be it changed a lot in terms just U.K. producers, U.K. artists, where Americans weren't used because I wanted just a U.K. sound.

Me: When you're making an album like "Hotel Cabana" are you writing the songs for certain singers or do you pick which singers who wanna use after?

Naughty Boy: Hm. "Hotel Cabana" I had to literally sit with the artist and explain what this is conceptually. It's like a maze but I could work out the maze. I had to have a plan so I couldn't just say I got these songs. From everyone from Bastile to Tinie, I had to explain what this journey of this hotel is and what it means to us. Really it's a hotel but it's a metaphor for fame... it was never really an actual hotel in my mind. It's a good metaphor for fame because you check in and check out. The last song I did for the album was with Ed Sheeran, "Top Floor." He wrote it there. It was when he was staying on sofa's. He knew what the song was and he is such a good word smith and I think that was the best way to end it, with an incredible songwriter. "Top Floor" is also one of my favourite songs on the album. It's quite deep. I always wanted to do a video for it and put an old Hollywood actor in it. I just never came around to it.

Me: It's unusual for a producer led album I think. Do you think an album like that make the songs stick out a bit more?

Naughty Boy: I think they're supposed to. I think people, especially producer's should take time making albums. Not in ten years, but a time in need. Sometimes I feel like when they have a big single they rush out an album straight away and it feels like the album was pieced together after the single was massive. I don't like to work like that. I have a plan for my albums and it has to feel right even after the sessions. I just wish people took more time, that's all. That would show the quality of the music as well and the quality of the writing. You need inspiration of you're gonna make an album with the songs. You're gonna have to explain who you are, if or not you are the producer, you need some patience. 

Me: Your first single or record was "Wonder," with Emeli singing, am I right?

Naughty Boy: Yeah. It came out six years ago this coming October. I found out there's a school in Stevenage at a primary school every morning they sing "Wonder." You ever sing "Kumbaya"? Well, they sing "Wonder," which is not very religious song, but I think that's just an amazing song for the kids to start the day with. Me and Emeli are gonna both go down there when we are both in the same place and see them. I was gobsmacked. I thought whose idea was that.

Me: Does that song mean a lot to you, sir?

Naughty Boy: Yeah. When she did "Wonder" at the 02 last October, she just went off. It's the positivity. It makes you feel good. The wonder. Those lyrics something like that only Emeli could say. It's a special track for me and Emeli. We were like we had a hit now, the world is our oyster.

Me: It's a very uplifting song. With the songs you and Emeli did like "Heaven" and my favorite "Clown," you guys seem like you have been working together for a long time. What was it like working on those sings with her?

Naughty Boy: We did "Clown" with just a piano there. We did "Mountains" because we slept on the floor, we didn't have our own studio. The songs come from a real pure honest place. I'm gonna miss that place a little bit. Sometimes I try to recreate that place but it didn't work. I don't know. There's something about not knowing if the song will ever be heard. Some songs are really powerful like that. It's like now I'm gonna do a big tune, I got a feeling it's gonna be heard. That sense of anticipation that it might not but does. I kinda miss that.

Me: Emeli talked highly of you when she was on the Phile. What can you say about working with her and recording with her?

Naughty Boy: When Emeli and I were making that whole album "Heaven" wasn't out yet. There was no success. We had "Never Be Your Woman" with Wiley but making the songs like "Daddy," and not knowing how the disc was gonna be perceived, that's special because it doesn't really happen again. 

Me: When you release a song do you think this is gonna be a hit or are you surprised?

Naughty Boy: I never know or assume if a song is gonna be a hit, but at the same time Emeli was important for me as my first artist album I worked on, because so many people told her she's not a star. She doesn't look like a star. Gary Barlow said something, oh yeah, she performed for him and his label and he said that. I think obviously she has a great voice and is a star. When she did her rounds to get signed, that's why I respect Virgin for taking a chance and not giving a shit what anyone thinks or says and what anyone's opinion. To see her fly like that in 2012, to see her at the Olympics, she's wonderful that Emeli.

Me: I have to ask about "Diamond Rings." Emeli mentioned that song when I interviewed her. Do you remember the story behind that song?

Naughty Boy: She was in Glasgow, I was in London, I sent her the beat. I don't know why I made it like a ska beat. That's why I think we're aliens because we do what we do and don't really put up any restrictions. I found these samples and found this one loop. I thought ahh, Emeli and I just met, I thought I'd try something out of the box with her and see. I sent it to her when she was in Glasgow and she wrote the hook when she heard the beat when she was hoovering. I knew Chipmunk, I was in one of his videos and I thought he had a diamond ring on, so I thought let me connect the dots here ad said to him there's two diamond rings. I sent it to him and he loved it. Then it just began.

Me: So, you started out in something called "the grime scene." I have no idea what that is. Can you explain what that is and how you started out in it?

Naughty Boy: Yeah, I started out in the grime scene. It was the grime artists I was excited by, I was never excited about the grime music. I find it a bit too dark for me. So when I started working with Bashy who is a grime artist, I doing something like "Black Boys," I was making songs like with beats, melodies and chords. They were letting them do what they wanted. It was like taking them out of their comfort zone and I love doing that. I guess as urban as I am I'm probably not.

Me: So, you have your own production house, right? Kinda like your own Brill Building?

Naughty Boy: Yeah, it didn't start that way but I think that's why it became that. It's become the place that people speak about. Just people working together. Basically I got a publishing company with Sony. My thing is like this is really a success and it breaths success. So, I need to be part of something for the future. Some of them are old friends from Watford as well. I knew they were into making beats but giving them space where they can do that. It's definitely working and everyone is busy. You should interview them all for this blog. It'll be sick. There's so many stories here. Best part is to be part of their journey but nice to observe.

Me: You worked with Leona Lewis on her song "Trouble." What was it like working with her on that song?

Naughty Boy: You know what, "Trouble" was a bit of trouble. Me and Emeli wrote the song and didn't have Leona in mind when we wrote it. It was a lot darker, then Fraser ended up producing her whole album and I was working with Leona for two other songs for her album. Then "Trouble" was the song she loved, it is a special song, but obviously Fraser was doing the whole project and it made sense for him to do the songs like it was a whole continuity. It was a top 5 record but it's such a special song for what we were for at that time. Temptation and starting to see money and things. I know the meaning of the song, but it hurts me when it's not as remembered because I remember the reason I wrote it. It's very dark, but I love it. That's me and Emeli at our best.

Me: Where do you start making your music, sir? I'm guessing the computer?

Naughty Boy: I've always used Reason from the shed days. If it was up to me I would've brought it here brick by brick. This is basically a big arse more glamorous version of the shed. Since I've been there I would do vocals with Logic but I'm still a Reason producer like, because it's easier to compose in Reason. I don't know, I find that drums and everything is easier. I thought about learning ProTools because a lot of Americans use it with the files I get sent. You need ProTools to open the file. I feel a bit amateur that I don't know ProTools. I'm a bit scared about that.

Me: Do you do all the tracks at your studio from start to finish?

Naughty Boy: No. I mean I was recently in another studio because they had this new piano and we did a version of "Running," just a piano version. I don't know, it's just haunting.

Me: How was it working with Beyoncé and Rihanna?

Naughty Boy: Beyoncé had to record in New York at the time and Rihanna... Emeli was there but I couldn't be. I met them both, but to be honest, it's all about timing. When "Running" was happening, and Beyoncé heard the song and how quickly we turned it around it had to happen then. We didn't have a six month window. That's what I love about music, we are following the music, following the song. Sometimes I make a song and after about a year I don't feel the same way. It doesn't mean the song wasn't good but that force, I just got to follow it.

Me: Were you hard on Beyoncé or did you just let her do her thing? Haha.

Naughty Boy: No. We spoke basically about the song, the drum starting the chorus and that was her idea actually because she really wanted to hear the song before it became this upbeat tempo. I probably would of started the drums a bit earlier but Beyoncé obviously knows best.

Me: Was it planned for Beyoncé to sing this song?

Naughty Boy: No, it was gonna be my next single regardless but then the conversation with Beyoncé started. It was mad. Then obviously with Beyoncé we didn't put everything on hold and actually didn't expect it to happen because there's no need for her to do a Naughty Boy feature. But I respect her to record for a new artist. It all goes to show you it's more about the song and the talent, which is all it should be.

Me: You mentioned the shed just now, but I have to ask you about it. You started making music in an actual shed, right?

Naughty Boy: Yeah, where it started. Now it's like a Costco holding place. It's very sad. There should be a blue plaque or something there. I said to my mum we should turn it into like a Graceland shrine or something. There are no plans for that.

Me: Did you like working in the shed?

Naughty Boy: Yeah, I did a lot of production and writing there. Emeli would come from Glasgow which was an easy jet flight from London Luton and I'll pick her up with some new beats on a CD and we would be writing when we drove back from the airport. That's how we wrote "Daddy," just like that. We would make the most of everything because Emeli would go back in two days and try to be a doctor. But she still definitely saved lives. It's music therapy. Emeli got an MBE, and the power of it as a healer. We got a couple of letters when Emeli's album came out and there's a song called "River," someone's relative was in a coma and they were playing this album, and when she came out of the coma she remembered that song "River" especially. She felt like she actually been hurt. She reached out to Emeli as well and I thought wow, we're not just making songs, this is beyond us. If we could effect someone like that with just the song then Emeli's probably an angel.

Me: So, what's this, you were on the U.K. version of "Deal Or No Deal"?

Naughty Boy: It is a but mad, but I was a man with a plan. I needed money to get my parents of my back and I needed to quit my job at Dominoes because wasn't good at it. I had a lot of problems so I thought okay, I'll escape to Bristol.

Me: It's crazy that you invested in yourself, am I right?

Naughty Boy: Yeah, once I won the money I thought, okay, I got two years and then it's gonna be the same again because money doesn't buy you anything but time. That's good to learn that about money early on. My mum used to say to me I was gonna spend it all and have nothing left and I told my mum it's just God preparing me for my next thing. I was just saying I'm gonna put this money to my music and that's what's gonna pay me. Luckily it did. But that's not all not having that worry now. I do want to make the most of my time, it doesn't mean I want to chill and relax. I was just hungry.

Me: Do you play any instruments yourself, sir?

Naughty Boy: I started playing piano when I was about fourteen. The music room I couldn't get in there, I didn't really have piano lessons. I had one piano lesson when I was seventeen or eighteen, and there's a certain kinda musician that could feel. The first thing I learnt was the Titanic theme tune, I loved it, I watched it at the cinema and told my mum I wanna play it. I was like sick playing the piano. I had one lesson once, it was the worse thing I ever did. You shouldn't train people to play like that, the power of the air, when I was getting lessons I thought it was boring quite mechanical. It's not their fault, they're teachers, they have to teach a lot of people. I don't know, that wasn't for me, so I never took lessons and just continued that.

Me: So, who inspired you or who did you listen to growing up?

Naughty Boy: I would never think I was a writer of lyrics. Music, I was always visualise my music in film and TV. It was Emeli who inspired me and made me think. Again I don't have the confidence in some of the words I say she likes. She uses them, that's the songwriter, and that got made thinking beyond just a producer or writer. I need that sometimes, people taking a chance on me as well as me taking chances on people.

Me: Where are your parents from originally, sir?

Naughty Boy: My dad's from Pakistan, if he didn't come here I'll still be there.

Me: True. Okay, I have to ask you about one last song, your number one hit "La La La" with Sam Smith singing. How did that song come about?

Naughty Boy: With the la la la sample. I did that with a guy called Comey who was about sixteen at the time. I think having the beat there before Sam wrote it was important because the beat dictated what the song meant. Actually, when me and Sam started the song it was based around the la la la because I just had an idea for, pretty much straight away, we would say it, covering our ears when we were kids. Then we spoke about that does that mean. Remember that song "Don't Speak" by Gwen Stefani? It was definitely one of our favourite songs, you know when someone's going to break your heart and she says "don't speak," it's like that kinda thing with "La La La." I don't wanna hear it, when your words mean nothing, I go la la la. I think that's what struck a chord with people as well. It's a very upbeat happy sounding song, but "La La La" is actually a sad song.

Me: Cool. Well, I hope your new album when it comes is as a success as the first one. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Tell Emeli hi when you see her again.

Naughty Boy: Thanks, Jason. Cheers.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile, kids. Thanks to Naughty Boy for a cool interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the great creative genius Frank Oz. You know who that is, right? 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