Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. How are you? Without a star of Kobe’s magnitude dying so unexpectedly and so young, the sports world is at a loss for how to properly memorialize the hero of millions. Even the MBA was unsure whether or not to cancel games Sunday on the night of his passing, but ultimately decided to let them carry on which gave us some fantastic moments to honor his memory. A statue will surely be erected outside Staples Center in Los Angeles, with some fans even saying the arena should be renamed after one of the biggest stars to ever grace the mecca of stars. The death, and life, of Bryant has been so impactful that fans are even clamoring for the NBA to change their logo from Jerry West to Kobe to permanently honor the legacy he left to the game. For some fans, when they think of basketball or the NBA, they think of Kobe. One of those fans created a change.org petition Sunday asking for just that, and it was racked up over a million signatures in just over 24 hours.
The petition reads, "With the untimely and unexpected passing of the great Kobe Bryant please sign this petition in an attempt to immortalize him forever as the new NBA Logo." ICYMI, news of sports legend Kobe Bryant shook the world Sunday afternoon when it was announced that he, his daughter, and others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA. Along with his daughter, her teammate and her family, Bryant was en route to a youth basketball game at the Mamba Academy, a training facility founded by Kobe with youth and adult programs for basketball, volleyball, and more, just one of the ways he helps give back to the community. Personal stories about how Bryant showed love fans, charities and communities began to be told in the wake of his death, and another has emerged that may provide the best insight to the true Kobe Bryant. A few weeks prior to his passing, Bryant was filmed by a bystander exiting his vehicle to help victims of a serious car accident in Newport Beach, California. Bryant reportedly stayed to comfort those involved and helped redirect traffic until help arrived. The scene is eerie and foggy, which may have led to the accident. Unfortunately, that same morning fog was likely the cause of the helicopter crashing, killing Bryant.
Just look at this mugshot, does this look like a man who regrets what he did?
Nope. He knew he was going to jail, so why not just milk it a little bit more. According to authorities, 20-year-old Spencer Boston was arrested after police said he literally smoked a joint in a Wilson County Courtroom in front of a judge. The nerve on this man. Geesh. Boston was called to the podium in front of General Sessions Judge Haywood Barry on a drug possession charge. According to Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan, Boston was simply “expressing a viewpoint” that marijuana should be legal. While talking, he allegedly reached inside his pocket and pulled out a rolled marijuana cigarette, lit it up, and smoked it. He then apparently tried to be cool and turned around to speak to those sitting in the courtroom, but officers immediately took him back into custody. Because well, this dude was smoking weed in front of a judge who was probably just going to make him pay a fine for his crime in the first place. Not this time though, I bet this judge was beyond levels of angry for being disrespected like that. Still, authorities did note that the marijuana didn’t have a strong odor, so that was appreciated. As expected, according to Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Moore, the courtroom burst out laughing and cheering. Sheriff Bryan stated it was “one of the craziest things” he has seen, especially since he was being led out of the courtroom through a small cloud of smoke. Which is what I would do it I was there, not going to lie. But honestly, in what mentality does this kid think it’s okay to light up a marijuana cigarette during his court appearance? Boston is being charged with disorderly conduct, simple possession, and received ten days for contempt of court. Jail records state his bond is set at $3,000. This is so dumb, but then again, what do you expect from a 20-year-old who got arrested for the same thing the first time. What a dummy.
The police saw the writing on the wall, and arrested him for it. A man who has been writing "Penis Man" on surfaces all over Arizona was arrested by "25 heavily armed SWAT officers," The Phoenix New Times reports. Dustin Shomer has been tagging both public and private buildings with his nom de plume since late November, and became a local hero. "Dustin was booked into the Tempe City Jail on sixteen counts of aggravated criminal damage, eight counts of criminal damage and one count of criminal trespassing in the first degree," the Tempe police said in a statement. Shomer, a student at Arizona State University, spread his seed as a form of protest against the "corrupt local government." He dedicated his genitalia term for the greater good, spraying the tag to fight for lower rent, higher wages, and non-binary rights. After the arrest, Shomer criticized the police's conduct in a Facebook post. "Anyone with any doubt who the bad guys are here... be certain it is the City of Tempe, City of Phoenix, and police forces valleywide. There is no excuse for pointing an AR-15 in the face of a non-violent offender," he posted. Fans of the artiste have started a GoFundMe to help get him off.
The actions of the British press over the past two years... and especially the past two weeks... likely lead one to believe that the worst thing a modern Royal has done is move to Canada. Since Harry and Meghan peaced out of the Royal Family with their young son Archie, the media has worked overtime to make the Queen the victim of the drama, and praise her son Andrew for being her "tower of strength." Meanwhile, Prince Andrew is "standing strong" against the FBI, who announced today that they want to interview him about his friendship with the deceased convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. A U.S. prosecutor announced today in Manhattan that Andrew has offered "zero cooperation" with their investigation of the notorious sex trafficker and rapist, which would certainly be helpful, as Andrew has also been accused of raping one of Epstein's trafficked teens. Despite his close relationship with a known pedophile and his refusal to participation in the criminal investigation of said pedophile, do not call Andrew a creep. He's His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Disgusting Creep.
When it comes to spiders, I like to stay as far away from them as I can. I’m terrified of those hairy creepy crawlers that have no business being close to any human being. I can’t even begin to tell you how loud I get whenever I see one. It’s bad... like really, really bad. So, honestly, I understand this woman and her loud shrieking! Virginia Sanders, from Summerville South Carolina, never saw it coming. What could have been a great day, ended in a hilarious but terrifying viral video that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. Why? Let’s just say Sanders developed a rather hilarious case of arachnophobia, as she saw a HUGE spider crawling through her dashboard. Here's a screenshot...
Sanders goes into full panic mode, yelling for her life as she sees the spider going back and forward into the vents and the steering wheel, playing hide and seek. I am pretty impressed with her ability to film the situation, drive, and simultaneously drop all the curse words she could possibly think. The spider, who I really think was taunting her at some point, was later identified as a brown recluse, which is known to be venomous, though not usually lethal if bitten by one. The brown recluse is one of the spiders with medically significant venom, followed by the black widow spider and Loxosceles Laeta. As you can see in the pic, these spiders are huge, ranging between 6 and 20 millimeters. I understand the creepy crawler wanted to take a ride and maybe listen to some music, but NOPE. Not today. I give the woman props for staying in the car that long, I would have left everything in there and jumped out in a heartbeat. Luckily for Sanders, a friend came to the rescue and took the spider out of the car.
I've been telling you how the press has been covering Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton differently. Well, I have another example, kids.
Kate and Meghan dressed their kids in sweaters from the exact same clothing brand, but one was reported as British and the other American. When I saw this Sunday night I thought it looked familiar.
Then it hit me...
Hahaha. Ever go to a museum and see yourself in a painting? It happened to this guy...
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I crack myself up sometimes. Sometimes you might know journalists make mistakes which just makes some really bad editorials sometimes.
Top Phive Things That Movies Pass Off As Normal, But Are Totally Unrealistic In Real Life
5. When people talk perfectly, without any pauses mid sentence or making any "uhh" or "hmm" sounds.
4. Regaining consciousness after receiving CPR.
3. A bright eyed 22-year-old moving into "the Big Apple" and getting a one bedroom apartment, while hunting for their dream job, while eating at pizza places and drinking lattes.
2. Huge lapses in time or long distances traveled but the characters are still at the same spot in conversation.
And the number one thing that movies pass off as normal, but are totally unrealistic in real life is...
1. Women orgasming after 30 seconds of sex.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, there's this comedian who likes to come on to the Phile once in a while and tell us some jokes. The problem is the jokes are not at all funny. Well, he said he's been working on some new material and I thought why not give him another chance. So, please welcome to the Phile once again...
Me: Hey, Ollie, welcome back to the Phile.
Ollie: Hello, Jason. I have some really food jokes to cheer everyone up.
Me: That's good. We all need a good laugh. So, what have you got?
Ollie: Why was the boy sad?
Me: Ummm... I don't know. Why?
Ollie: because he had a frog stapled to his face.
Me: Okay, that would make him sad but that's not funny.
Ollie: Okay. How about a knock knock joke?
Me: Sure. Those are always good.
Ollie: Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
Ollie: The police, your entire family died in a car accident.
Me: UGH! That's REALLY not funny, dude. Especially this week.
Ollie: Why? Kobe died in a helicopter crash, not car accident.
Me: Shut up. You have one more chance.
Ollie: What do you get when you stick a pair scissors in a 4-year-old?
Me: Okay, we're done here... Ollie Tabooger, the guy who doesn't know how to tell a joke.
Ollie: An erection.
Me: Ollie, man, we are done.
Ollie: Okay. Have fun week, everybody! Bye!
Okay, you guys need a real joke... A guy shouts frantically into the phone, "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!" "Is this her first child?" asks the doctor. "No," shouts the guy, "this is her husband!"
The 113th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Anthony Daniels will be on the Phile in a few weeks. I can't wait. Okay, so, you know I love on Florida, right? Well, there's stuff that happens in Florida that happen nowhere else in the Universe. So, once again here is...
Today's pheatured guest is a Scottish-born American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, artist, actor, writer, music theorist, and filmmaker who is a founding member and the principal songwriter, lead singer and guitarist of the American new wave band Talking Heads. His Broadway show American Utopia is playing on Broadway in New York City though February. Please welcome to the Phile... David Byrne.
Me: Hello, David, welcome to the Phile. How are you, sir?
David: I'm doing fantastic, Jason. Thank you.
Me: So, you're now a Broadway star. I bet you never thought Broadway would figure in your life, right?
David: I did not.
Me: So, was this one of your ambitions?
David: No, it was not a big ambition of mine but we started touring the concert version of this show and a Broadway producer saw it and said, "This is perfect. This should come to Broadway."
Me: So, give me a brief description of the show.
David: The Broadway show features my 11-piece band wearing gray suits and performing entirely on foot with no wires, amps or stands... not even shoes... visible on stage. As a result, the performers are free to dance, form sections, change positions and interact.
Me: The show is called American Utopia. So, David, what is your definition of "utopia"?
David: Oooh, to be honest I haven't thought about it. It's more about the idea that we have this longing to improve things, this idea that we can better ourselves and better our situation collectively. So utopia is something I think that one never reaches, but the idea that one keeps striving to improve things, incorrect things that are wrong. It's like one of those mathematical curves, we're approaching it but we're never going to get to it.
Me: That could make some discouraged or cynical, but it can make someone do the opposite, right?
David: Yes. It's part of the new world idea that things can be reimagined and rethought. In certain ways we lost some of that but my hope is some of that can be regained.
Me: You had an album called "American Utopia" that came out a couple of years ago. With the state of the world do you think that's ironic?
David: I would say it's not ironic. It's not meant to imply that we and I actually live in that utopia, or that we're going to get to one really soon. It's nothing about that. Its more about representing this kind of longing to improve ourselves, to get closer to make changes that will take us somewhere better. We are trying to imagine what a different world, what a different situation, different system, we are trying to imagine what that could be. I felt that we're a place where we fall into a cynical view of things. At the same time a lot of people are imagining how things could be different.
Me: Were these questions of how things could be different on your mind when you sat down to write the record?
David: A little bit. They were on my mind... period. It was probably reflected in the record yes, but it was just there... it was in the air. I think some of it comes across on the record. Parts of it are quite dark but it's mixed with a sense of joy and humor as well. I hope there's a kind of balance there.
Me: NME said that your show might be the best live show of all time. That's saying a lot, right? What do you think of that?
David: There's a quote. That will sell a few tickets.
Me: Did you have any idea that this stage show would lend itself so well to the stage?
David: I wasn't sure, it seemed like a bit of a risk. To really work in the Broadway context the story or the narrative arc or whatever thread that goes through it has to be a little more apparent than it is in a concert. I think it was there in the concert, but kind of implicit. Some friends noticed it and I thought okay, we need to bring this out more somehow so people know it's not just a selection of songs played at random, but it's actually taking them somewhere, they're actually going on a journey and there's a destination.
Me: What is the destination?
David: Well, not to spoil it too much, but the song "Here" starts the show and it's me at a table holding a brain. So it's a person who's very much within themselves and thinking about things and trying to figure things out, very kind of inward. Throughout the show and the songs and the little bit of talking that I do this person slowly comes out of himself and connects with other people, the 11-piece band. By the end of the show, this person... that's me... and the band become more socially engaged as well. So we become engaged in the much wider world beyond our little community.
Me: Looking at the video of the show it looks like the stage is pretty small and you're a lot closer to the audience. How do you like that?
David: Oh, I love it. Unless something really distracting goes on. Like someone unwrapping their gum. There's like some odd little things, someone brought their child and the child fells asleep right in front of me. I was like "oh, shit, there's not much I could do about that." Other than that it's really great and I think the audience gives me the opportunity to talk to the audience and relate to them as people, as individuals. They can see me and I can see them to some extent. And it's a very different feeling than dealing with larger venues where the audience becomes a mass. In this case I'm really addressing them, and I can sort of engage how they are receiving things, what they're feeling and can sort of respond to that.
Me: In the show you do a cover of Janelle Monae's 2015 protest song "Hell You Talmbout," which has the band and crowd repeating the names of black Americans who have died in police encounters or racial violence. What made you choose this song to do?
David: I felt that in the times that we live in, we're kind of compelled to address all these issues. I would often do a cover song at the end of a show and it would be a kind of a party and a dance for fun, and this time I realized no, in this times that we are living I have to say something. We have to address the times that we live in and what's going on. So that was the decision and I heard the song that she did and thought this is incredible, it doesn't really point figures, it's more like a record of people whose lives have been insensibly taken. It's asking remember them, remember these people.
Me: Did you ever talk to Janelle about it?
David: We just corresponded by email. Before we started doing it I wrote to her asking her what does she think of a white guy of my age doing this song. She loved the idea and I thought okay, I have her blessing. We can do this.
Me: So, where do you find your optimism at a time like this, David?
David: Well I get the optimism by being with those people, in my case with the band and performing. This music has this kind of "life-force" so that when the band and I are performing it there's a sense of joy and the audience picks that up. It's a counterweight to the other things we're talking about.
Me: You have an online magazine called "Reasons To Be Cheerful." How did that come about and what is it?
David: A lot of people out there read the papers online in the morning and often it would leave me kind of disgusted, cynical and angry and sad and I thought this is no way to begin my day. Not that I want to only hear happy news about a cat who was rescued from a tree or whatever but I thought I have to find some sort of self therapy to counter this so I don't fall into despair. I started saving into a folder on my computer articles about things that seemed fairly hopeful. Different initiatives in different parts of the world, things that people are doing that's been successful and could be an inspiration for other people.
Me: When you perform such songs as "Road to Nowhere" and "Once in a Lifetime" do you ever think after all these years these songs mean so much to the people?
David: Yeah, it'd a really lovely things that the songs have no dated that much. It's more exciting for me in a way that I can mix old songs and new songs and to a large extent the audience isn't heading to the toilets and the bar during the new songs, and then just waiting for an old favorite.
Me: My dad once said, "I can tell when it's new song because they start clapping about fifteen seconds before its over."
David: Hahahaha. I think we have surmounted that problem in someway. Part of it might be the material but its also I think the staging and the dancing and all the stuff that is going on visually. People want to see what is happening and the fact that it's integrated with song and the song is kind of connect the dots, this kid of thread journey that they're going on in the show, they realize that every song is there for a reason. It's not just a cavalcade of hits, but its taking them somewhere so there's lots of a difference of reaction between new songs and old songs.
Me: With "Road to Nowhere" did you always know that's how you wanted to close the show?
David: No. No. No. We experimented. We had a little more than a month in Boston and we tried different endings, different middles different beginnings, and then we realized this is good. This, after the punch in the gut from "Hell You Talmbout," without being just empty happiness this sends them out in a sort of positive note.
Me: So, if someone asks you what American Utopia is about what do you say?
David: You know what, their are solutions maybe to these problems but at least we can admit we have a problem and we can try to come together and fix them together even though I don't necessary have answers. The tough things for me is telling the people what it's about. I want them to feel it as they go because I don't articulate all of that. It's scenting that the audience feels and I feel sometimes I do these little talking interludes and sometimes I talk about stuff that's a little bit funny or there's a question or whatever. To me the song provides the answer. The song provides the lift or the reaction the joy that encounters something that I might say... often not in a super literal way. It's a feeling that comes across so sometimes that's a little bit harder to put into words but I sense that it's working.
Me: Okay, that's cool. David, this has been such a cool interview. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon.
David: Thank you.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guest David Byrne for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with musician J.P. Soars. 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