Monday, June 29, 2020

Pheaturing Deadmau5

Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? So in retrospect, in 2015, not a single person got the answer right to "Where do you see yourself in five years from now?" A New York nursing student named Emily Patysiak was fired by Southside Hospital after her bosses caught wind of a series of racist messages disparaging her patients. Her message claims her hospital patients are "all gang members that are Spanish and black," goes on to complain about her taxes supporting "Spanish people who have 9 babies and don't work," and finishes by proudly stating she is glad "Trump is trying to fix it." The messages were uploaded by the Instagram user _boomz13 on Thursday, alongside an indicting caption about racism in healthcare. In the caption they wrote about how Paysiak's attitude is emblematic of some of the racism in the health care industry. "This right here is why I feel my cousin didn't get the proper treatment after he was shot in March. These are the kind of people that work in hospitals, these are the kind of people who take jobs to help people...@_emilka_p_ you're despicable and you deserve to be fired. The messages show the user of the account allegedly belonging to Patysiak making racist comments." While Patysiak was quick to delete her Instagram account, it didn't take long for her racist admissions to make the rounds, with people tagging Southside Hospital to demand they take action. The hospital quickly responded, ensuring people they were investigating the matter. People were quick to demand the hospital fire her, not merely investigate her views, since it's clear where she stands on many of her patients. After receiving Internet backlash on Twitter and Instagram, Northwell Health told NBC New York they fired Patysiak from Southside Hospital. "Understandably, the comments caused hurt, pain and anger among those who saw them. Northwell condemns and does not tolerate any form of hate, racism, discrimination and harassment," the hospital said.
Imagine having the audacity to get into an argument with a law professor, whose job is to teach people how to argue. When Whittier Law School professor Patricia Leary wore a Black Lives Matter to class, and a few of her students were outraged. Not because a t-shirt presumably goes against the school's unofficial dress code, but because they took personal offense to their teacher expressing support for black people's rights not to be murdered. "The statement you represented and endorsed is... highly offensive and extremely inflammatory," the anonymous group identifying as Concerned Students wrote. "We are here to learn the law. We do not spend three years of our lives and tens of thousands of dollars to be subjected to indoctrination to the personal opinions of our professors." The group went as far as saying, "ALL lives matter," in ALL-CAPS and in bold, telling the professor that she should be ashamed of herself. Professor Leary responded to her students with a two-part legal memo, opening it by calling them cowards for remaining anonymous. "I am accepting the invitation in your memo, and the opportunity created by its content, to teach you. I would prefer to do it through a conversation, or especially through a series of conversations. Because I don’t know who you are. This isn’t possible," she wrote. Part I of Professor Leary's memo "addresses the substantive and analytical lessons that can be learned from the memo," and Part II roasts their writing skills. "Premise: You are not paying for my opinion. Critique: You are not paying me to pretend I don’t have one. Premise: There is something called 'Law' that is objective, fixed, and detached from and unaffected by the society in which it functions. Critique: Law has no meaning or relevance outside of society. It both shapes and is shaped by the society in which it functions. Law is made by humans. It protects, controls, burdens, and liberates humans, non-human animals, nature, and inanimate physical objects. Like the humans who make it, Law is biased, noble, aspirational, short-sighted, flawed, messy, unclear, brilliant, and constantly changing. If you think that Law is merely a set of rules to be taught and learned, you are missing the beauty of Law and the point of law school. Premise: You know more about legal education than I do. Critique: You don’t." Professor Leary also challenges the Concerned Students on their assumption that Black Lives Matter means that non-black lives don't. "Premise: There is an invisible 'only' in front of the words 'Black Lives Matter.' Critique: There is a difference between focus and exclusion. If something matters, this does not imply that nothing else does. If l say 'Law Students Matter' it does not imply that my colleagues, friends, and family do not. Here is something else that matters: context. The Black Lives Matter movement arose in a context of evidence that they don’t. When people are receiving messages from the culture in which they live that their lives are less important than other lives, it is a cruel distortion of reality to scold them for not being inclusive enough." She also explains that she wore the shirt on campus that day because that day in her Criminal Procedure class, they were discussing police violence on the black community. "Unless you speak for the Black Lives Matter movement you have no authority to say what those words mean to the people in it," Leary explains. "You certainly have no authority to say (and apparently not even any knowledge of) what it means to me. Your interpretation of something and your reaction to it based on that interpretation are not the some as what something actually means. Things in the world have meanings that exist outside of you." To put it in less professorial terms, the prof called the butt hurt students ignorant citizens and terrible writers, and the Internet loved it.
People have raised mor than $35,000 in tips for a Starbucks employee after an entitled customer attempted to shame him on Facebook. A woman named Amber Lynn Gilles, who has also been dubbed "San Diego Karen" angrily posted a photo of a Starbucks employee Lenin in an attempt to shame him. In her short but to the point post, Gilles threatened to get the police involved the next time Lenin refuses to serve her for not wearing a mask. "Meet Lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption." It wasn't long before her post blew up, drawing backlash from commenters who encouraged her to take her business elsewhere, and pointed out the selfishness of not wearing a mask during a pandemic. People were also quick to point out the fact that most medical issues don't provide an exemption for a cloth mask, and if Gilles truly had one... she would already have the doctor's note on hand. It wasn't long before people started pulling receipts of other posts by Gilles, including a few that go travel down anti-vaxxer conspiracy theory rabbitholes. Luckily, Gilles' sheer entitlement completely backfired, and people started a GoFundMe to tip the employee, who was identified as Lenin Gutierrez. The man who started the GoFundMe, Matt Cowan, wrote, "Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild." After the GoFundMe reached $10,000, Lenin made a thank you video for all of the people who supported him both financially and emotionally online. If Gilles has learned anything from her massive backfire on Facebook, it's that the strangers of the Internet stand with Lenin, and the scientifically proven reasons we should all be wearing masks.
First daughter Ivanka Trump continues to tweet despite the fact that it often results in her being mocked and/or becoming a meme. Love her or hate her, you have to respect that she does not let continuous public roasting prevent her from putting herself out there again and again. And again. Most recently, Ivanka tweeted an article about how Donald Trump is now looking to hire people in federal positions based on their "skills."

In the article announcing Trump's plan for the government's new skill-based hiring process, his daughter Ivanka, who is the co-chair of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, is quoted as saying, "We are modernizing federal hiring to find candidates with the relevant competencies and knowledge, rather than simply recruiting based on degree requirements. We encourage employers everywhere to take a look at their hiring practices and think critically about how initiatives like these can help diversify and strengthen their workforce." Ivanka Trump, Presidential advisor, was famously not hired for her qualifications nor for her "skills" in the realm of politics. Neither was her husband Jared Kushner. People were quick to point this out. Better luck next time, Ivanka! Don't give up.
There’s no doubt that if we actually stood behind criminals, we would maybe stand behind this “criminal,” if you can even call him that. Thirty-five-year-old Anthony Helinski, who probably should’ve been awarded “Dopest Dad Ever,” from Lawrence, Massachusetts, had been arrested at the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, New Hampshire, after helping his toddler steal prizes from one of the mall’s claw game machine. Via Salem Police Department Previously a middle school teacher at Doherty Middle School in the city of Andover, Helinski turned himself into Salem Police Department with his attorney Christopher Coughlin in September 2018, after finding out there was a warrant for his arrest. I mean, come on, this guy is practically a saint! Luckily, because he pleaded guilty to lesser charges of criminal trespass, the Massachusetts teacher’s sentence only included a $1,000 fine with the possibility of a half-suspension pending good behavior, 90 days in the House of Corrections with the possibility of complete suspension for two years pending good behavior, $100 restitution, a two-year ban from the Salem mall, and counseling before March 2019. Within the next six months, Helinski would be required to appear in front of Judge Robert Stephen to assure he completed his counseling and prove that he’s completed 50 hours of community service. He also was allowed his freedom on personal recognizance. Phew! If it was any worse, I don’t think I could’ve gotten any angrier. According to his Facebook, it looks like he’s back teaching at Doherty Middle School.
Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...

Ummm... maybe not. So, yesterday was my first day back to work. I had a ling day in class about all the new park policies of what is going to be different when the parks reopen mid-July. The first thing I had to do when I got there was wait on line for 45 minutes to get my temperature checked. Then my temperature was checked by this guy...

Kidding! Hahaha. So, most of you know my "outfit" of choice is a t-shirt, shorts and Converse or flip-flops, right? Well, this summer I am thinking go changing my look to something like this...

What do you think? Hahahaha. The Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd has brought forth a wave of activism, both substantive and performative. These celebrities likely freaked out their publicists with their poorly-received posts. Like one of my favorite directors
Taika Waititi was called tone-deaf for his take on looters (and also Urban Outfitters).

As the Black Lives Matter movement inspires actions around the world, many churches and other institutions with prime sign real estate are using their platform to voice their support.
Like this Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, Manitoba, Canada...

Hope you’re right, United Church sign-making person. People are standing up for the safety and dignity of black people whether or not its popular in their town. Anti-racist demonstrators are hosting their own protests in small towns and cities. While they may be the only people standing, they're not standing alone. Like this guy in Pell City, Alabama...

If you go to the beach this summer you might see this new beach sign...

I went to the beach over the weekend and got a little sunburnt but not as bad as this guy...

Yikes. If I had a TARDIS I would go to to try and meet Frank Sinatra in the 60s, but knowing my luck he'd be stepping out of a helicopter with a drink in his hand.

I want that pic on a t-shirt. Haha. Yup Brenner by the way took that photo. Most weddings these days, while Instagram-ready, are incredibly expensive and require meticulous planning... With all the stress of finding the right venue, dress, bachelor and bachelorette parties, bridal showers, flowers, dinner, and multi-tiered cake while at the same time handling all family and friend interactions, sometimes people forget the whole reason they're choosing to get married in the first place. While ideally a wedding is a beautiful day to celebrate two people who are in love, things can escalate rapidly when guests try to intervene with the "rules" the couple has set in place. People who disrespect the RSVP cards, family members who insist on bringing their children to an "adults only" wedding, panicked mother-of-the-brides... it's a lot even for Pinterest-planners. Luckily, I'm readily available to solve all of life's moral dilemmas and dramatic wedding situations. So, when a bride was concerned about how she should handle her friend's seeing-eye dog, she emailed me to set the verdict on whether or not she is a good person, or indeed, an "asshole."

"Am I an asshole for not allowing my friend to bring her service animal (guide dog) to my wedding?"  At first glance, it's hard not to judge this bride right away. What kind of selfish monster doesn't let their blind friend bring a guide dog to a wedding? However, let's hear her out... "I will be getting married in September. I have a blind friend who mostly relies on her guide dog. The dog obviously has access rights to all places. Now I am in a sticky situation and I can sense that I will be TA. I have three chronic illnesses that I take 23 pills a day for, severe asthma and you guessed it, an extremely severe dog allergy. Usually when I meet with my friend we meet in the open and I take two allergy pills. However, because of all the other medication I take these pills make me extremely drowsy to the point where I am officially not allowed to drive and I usually crash as soon as I get home from our get togethers. Our wedding will be very intimate, i.e. we will be in relatively small rooms. I feel horrible about this but I don’t think I can let my friend bring her dog. It just wouldn’t work. I talked about it with my fiancĂ© and some friends. Finally, I talked to my friend about it, explained the situation and said I would love her to come but she can’t bring her dog. I said that four of our mutual friends had offered to “be on a roster” and assist her should she need it. Alternatively, if she is not comfortable with this she could bring a person of her choosing to the wedding or I’d pay for a professional aid for the day. I think it is important to note that her dog is not for any additional issues like seizures or anything like that. Unfortunately, she was less than happy with my suggestions. She accused me of being ableist and thinking her disability can be switched off for the day. I understand what I asked was a lot and it is a difficult topic. I told her to tell me if she changes her mind and I’d be happy to make arrangements. But I won’t budge. This is definitely quite the predicament." I was so ready to label you an asshole after reading the email, but I think you have extenuating circumstances for not wanting a service dog (or any dog) at your wedding. I can also understand why your friend would be upset. This probably isn’t the first time someone has tried to stop her from bringing her service dog somewhere. I think this is just a misunderstanding. Your chronic illnesses and allergy are a disability too. I can understand why your friend would be opposed to going out without the guide she is used to and I also get that you wouldn’t want to be asleep/severely drowsy on your wedding day. I would talk to your friend more and see if any of the solutions you mentioned could work or see if either of you could come up with more options. So, there you have it! While under normal circumstances, it would be 100%, grade A "bridezilla" behavior to not allow your friend to bring her guide dog to your wedding, the allergy and drowsiness caused by medication present some challenges. Especially since this bride is offering to come up with solutions and alternatives, hopefully they'll both be able to settle on a compromise so that they can all happily celebrate. Good luck, everyone!

This is a simple one... of you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Oh, this is exciting... someone wanted to stop by and say hello. He's out of business now and I guess has nothing better to do. Please welcome to the Phile...

Me: Ummm... hello, Chuck. How are you?

Chuck: Hiya, Jason. I'm doing okay, I guess. Miss seeing all the kiddies in my restaurant though.

Me: I bet. So, what do you miss about the restaurant?

Chuck: The salty, greasy taste of spice-less chalk and cheese pizza served in those pans that had those little black bumps at the bottom.

Me: Ahhh. So, any exciting stories about your old restaurant you can tell us now that it's closed?

Chuck: Well, it was Jasper T. Jowls' night off and he was waiting for me to get off my shift. I came in for my shift tripping on acid. It was okay for a little while until I started throwing candy at an entire party. That was probably the craziest.

Me: Oh. I was thinking of something more interesting. Thanks for stopping by, Chuck. Please come back again.

Chuck: I sure will, Jason. Bye for now!

Me: Chuck E. Cheese, kids. That wasn't as planned out and as funny as I thought it'll be. Moving on...

Harsh but hilarious. You know I live in Florida, right? Well, here's a story from this crazy state...

What do you do when you find a 17-foot long, 140-pound python with over 70 eggs inside it, ready to hatch, in the wild? My first instinct would be light a running wood chipper on fire and then toss it into that. And then take whatever comes out the other end and run it through again, just to be safe. It’s unclear if this is how officials at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida handle the invasive monsters but it should be, especially in light of their most recent find. A python that is literally big enough to kill a person. A smarter person may want to kill the python but keep it in order to study the beast. I’m more of an incinerate first, ask questions never kind of guy though. Just look at this thing.

Fortunately for the state of Florida and humanity at large, the Big Cypress National Preserve... along with every other agency even remotely related to animals in the state... is fighting hard against the python invasion. They make it their mission to remove as many of these things from the park as they can, before the killing machines eat every single type of wildlife native to Florida, from swamp rabbits to Hooters regulars. At this point there are so many pythons, and the slithery bastards are so hard to find, that it might just be a better solution to Noah’s Ark all the native Florida species, nuke the rest of the state, then move back in. What else do you do here? Genetically engineer Pit Bull-sized mongooses and release them into the Florida wild? Actually… maybe. And until the state is able to either genetically engineer said mongooses or pass a law that allows it to force incarcerated violent felons to hunt pythons we’re going to see more stories like this.

Let's see what is going on live in Port Jefferson, shall we?

Are those pink flower plants new? I think so. Looks like a nice day there.

Since smart watches can now read your pulse, there should be a feature that erases your browser history if your heart stops beating.

The 130rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Robert De Niro, Jr. will be on the Phile on Friday to talk about his dad and the book. Yes! That Robert De Niro.

A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer. Suddenly the sky clouded above his head and in a booming voice the Lord said, "Because you have TRIED to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish." The man said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want." The Lord said, "Your request is very materialistic. Think of the enormous bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that would honor and glorify me." The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, "Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says "nothing's wrong"and how I can make a woman truly happy." The Lord replied, "You want two lanes or four lanes on that bridge?"

Today's guest is a Canadian electronic music producer, DJ, and musician, who has received six Grammy Award nominations for his work. His latest single "Pomegranate" with the Neptunes is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Deadmau5.

Me: Hello, Deadmau5, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Deadmau5: I am good. Thank you.

Me: So, what is it like at the Deadmau5 house since the pandemic?

Deadmau5: I feel like I've even working harder from home. Not to say I've never worked from home before. I've been the social distancing champion since 2004. It's not like this is so strange and different. It's like you've been home all day on the computer, how do you feel?

Me: Are you still making music during this at all?

Deadmau5: Yes, for sure. I'm working towards an album release. It'll be out tentatively October or November. Somewhere in there. But I've been mostly working on the music, I've been elaborating with a lot of artists. Most recently the Neptunes on that "Pomegranate" track. A few other ones too that are in the pot too that we haven't released out the wilds so I'm just hoarding all this stuff.

Me: So, what made you want to work with the Neptunes on that song?

Deadmau5: I think it was just one of those serendipitous moments. I kinda had this piece of music laying around.

Me: Who are the Neptunes anyway?

Deadmau5: Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.

Me: Ahhh... I know who Pharrell is. So, did you know those guys before?

Deadmau5: I'm not sure how the connection was made again. I did meet up with Pharrell a long time ago in Toronto at the Soho House. It was at one of his events at some clothing thing. I stumbled into him at the Soho House and said, "Hey, I do this thing called Coffee Run. Do you want to get in the car and get some coffee?" He was like, "Sure, man." He was a really cool dude and I just kept him on the burner until I had something that I felt would be up his alley. When it came around to getting something done it was just oh, yeah, Pharrell, let's get him.

Me: Did you learn something new from him? Both of your music styles are so different.

Deadmau5: I tend to say in my lane and I think he does too. I don't want to overstep on a collaboration. The whole thing behind a collaboration to me is taken A and B and putting them together but not necessarily blending them in a big blender. I guess would be a weird way to put it but I put cheese, ground beef, and a little bit of sour cream on a taco shell and I was it. I don't take all that stuff and throw it into a blender, put it on stun and drink it. That was the all time weirdest analogy. 

Me: That's cool. I think I get it. I'm surprised this collaboration was done in person and not online. Does that makes sense?

Deadmau5: A lot of it was but I still prefer the human connection. I love it when working with other artists.

Me: Is it crazy that I'm surprised by that?

Deadmau5: No. This is on a different level. This isn't like some social... this is small talk stuff. It's not schmoozing. It's work. I can get in and participate with people when it comes to getting things done.

Me: Do you like working with other people?

Deadmau5: When working with collaborators, for example, "where's the drop?" which is a symphony that me and Gregory Reveret composed was played by an orchestra. The moral of the story is being able to sit down and be in the room and hear those players, like their were 70 sting players, it was a full orchestra. I'm sitting there in the middle of it listening to it and experiencing that first hand is mind melting. It would have been less impactful for them to do that just send me the ProTools session so I can listen to it on my speakers. In the same way it's like watching Pharrell get up there and do his thing like in front of me in the sound booth and nodding his head and seeing where he's at mentally with the track was rewarding.

Me: So, I read that you have Master Classes. How do you like teaching?

Deadmau5: I feel like I'm a bad teacher but I don't at the same time.

Me: Why is that?

Deadmau5: I really tend to not sugar coat much.

Me: Why not? Sugar coat what?

Deadmau5: I don't know. I watched a few other Master Classes and stuff like that, I'm not going to throw anyone under the bus, but I tend to think this guy might be hamming it a bit. Giving them the "you can do it." No, no they can't. They have to work at it and it takes them ten years, ten thousand hours to master a thing. It's not like gold medals for everyone.

Me: I think that's better advice, man. Not everybody is a winner, am I right?

Deadmau5: Yeah, be prepared to waste a lot of hours.

Me: Who taught you or did you learn that on your own?

Deadmau5: I think it's just something that I endured to be honest. I don't think it was something that I was following a practice like trying to learn something and knowing it would take a long time. It's more an endurance thing. Dedication, the strive to want to get to a point, not knowing how long it was going to take me to get there.

Me: You went online recently and talked to you fans about the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. What made you decide to speak out?

Deadmau5: I'm behind the movement. I donated to the cause. We are doing a lot stuff. Like a lot of my business is structured in the United States. I'm not being ignorant or dismissive of all problems, but it's horrible, it's just what's happening to my friends and fans in America, they need change and I'm 100% behind it.

Me: On the Phile I mentioned some celebrities are tone-deaf about posting and saying stuff about the protests online, do you agree?

Deadmau5: I know, I know, I understand where you're coming from but it's a situation that's happening that requires a lot of reflection and obviously we are going to see a lot of these kinda knee jerk, "oh my God, I better get into my safe place position on this issue before they come for me." Reactions? Some of them are more identifiable than others. Not to say this is a game. This is happening so we better position ourselves. No, it's a really issue that I think a lot of electronic music producers should take very seriously.

Me: Why do you say that?

Deadmau5: If you think about it, my scene was built off of black Americans. It really was and to see them be discredited by a couple of asshole cops is absolutely an atrocity.

Me: I think artists and even bloggers are all trying to figure out what to do right now. Should we even do anything?

Deadmau5: Well, there's plenty we could do but we don't need to be virtual signaling right now. We need to be donating. I donated to Black Lives Matter and the Color of Change, those are the two forerunners right now for this kinda episodes that are happening.

Me: That makes sense, man. Why do you think you have a good head on your shoulders about this, and I don't mean a huge mouse head. Hahahahaha.

Deadmau5: I'm not by far the most insanely, intuitive, imaginative, philanthropist on matters at hand. I just do what I can.

Me: When do you think people will start going to concerts again? How are you preparing for that? 

Deadmau5: I'm not, to be honest. I'm evolving my business on a weekly basis in a sense. There was a big wake up call with COVID-19 in the sense that nobody was prepared for it. So now we are evolving our businesses to be prepared for things like that. People are prepared to be modular in the sense that okay, I can't play shows but I can sit here and cry myself to sleep how my world is going to come crashing down because no one is paying me to go up on a stage and hit a space bar. I could very well shut down and pray I have enough liquid to carry me through however long it's going to be. Or I can just go back and reassemble and rethink how I kinda want to do things. Now there's two scenarios, one is we're stuck home for a year, two years, ten years, who knows. Or they're going to open up the gates again in six months, or two months, or whatever they're doing. I'm not a pandemicologist, or whatever they call them. So what I'm thinking about and what I'm working on in the day time is a way to interact though a PC platform or Xbox or whatever. Like a video game, kinda like in the vein what "Fortnight" was doing but much more immersive that we are not going to be trapped in their community, their game. I think we are going to star seeing an uprise of these kind of virtual shows, not video streams because that's like watching TV.

Me: It's not the same though, right? I've been watching quite a few concerts online but I miss going to the shows. But then again I'm old and lazy and I don't like going to shows as much as I used to. 

Deadmau5: Yeah, it's not like "I drove three hours to go see REO Speedwagon."

Me: Hahaha. True. Deadmau5, thanks for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun and I hope you will come back soon.

Deadmau5: No problem.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile, kids. Thanks to Deadmau5 for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with comedian Larry Charles. Spread the word, not the turd... or virus. Don't let snakes or 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

Friday, June 26, 2020

Pheaturing Mike Flanagan

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. How are you? Honestly worst purchase of 2020 was a 2020 planner. Haha. At this point it seems pretty clear that our new “coronavirus normal” isn’t going anywhere for a while. As the pandemic numbers continue to ebb and flow and the CDC asks us to continue social distancing and remain vigilant it looks like we’re going to need to make the temporary measures we all adopted to stop the spread of COVID-19 a little more permanent. With that in mind, you might as well upgrade your face mask from the random layers of fabric you had laying around the house to something a little more utility and durability than the cotton masks and cheap surgical face masks most people are wearing. The disposable surgical masks and DIY cloth face coverings (i.e. an old bandana you wore to a music festival seven years ago that you now tie around your face every time you go to the grocery store) were fine for the temporary, but the cloth masks and coffee filter-esque disposables are not a long-term solution to our face mask needs. Not to mention they’re uncomfortable and inconvenient. Enter sippyMASK, the only mask that was created with the understanding that people sort of hate having to wear these things, even though the mask use is necessary. As the creators of the sippyMASK explain on their site, “We talked about how we missed going to restaurants and bars and how difficult it would be to eat and drink while wearing masks when they reopened. Were we really going to have to take our masks off between every bite of food or sip of our drink? We looked online for a mask that would allow us to eat and drink without having to remove it, and while we found some with small slits for straws and others with mouth covers that were extremely difficult to remove, no mask worked in real life or looked like something we would want to wear. So we decided to make our own.” So, sippyMASK fabric masks are washable, reusable masks with a flap on them so that you can eat and drink while you’re out and about without the hassle of having to lift up, lower, or take off your face mask. Made from neoprene with a cotton fabric liner, the “mouth hatch” on the sippyMASK is held closed and tight with a magnet when you don’t have a beer to sip or some mozzarella sticks to snack on. No sneezes or coughs are going to blow that bad boy open. Here's a pic...

The sippyMASK comes in four colors... black, pink, blue, and grey... and has black ear loops and trim. It should be noted that while sippyMASK is the perfect coronavirus safety accessory for the average person, it is not a medical-grade mask for healthcare workers. The sippyMASK is not a medical-grade PPE. It’s great for civilian use. If you’re one of the medical professionals, frontline workers, or first responders on the front lines of the fight against the bat germs currently ravaging our world, you’ll need to wear face masks that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deems suitable for health care professionals and other health workers. ALSO, keep the flap closed when you’re not taking a sip or having a nibble. Otherwise the whole thing is kind of pointless. But assuming you’re not out there attempting to save all of humanity from the fallout of the world’s worst run butcher shop and are instead just trying to enjoy coffee and a muffin on a cafĂ© patio, sippyMASK is your go-to option. So ditch the homemade mask that’s really just a t-shirt sleeve you tore off and slide over your head every time you leave the house. Forget the questionable handmade Etsy reusable face masks. Don’t overpay on some fashion brand’s weird, pleated medical mask trying to make the wearer look pandemic chic. And quit filling landfills with the single-use disposables. Get your own face mask that’s useful, reusable, and convenient. Whether you’re in New York, Texas, or the middle of nowhere there’s just not a mask that’s going to let you dominate coronavirus life like the sippyMASK. Also remember that while wearing a face mask is a great way to curb the spread of COVID-19, it’s not the only precaution that must be taken. Practice social distancing, wash your hands, and self-isolate if you’ve come into contact with someone who has or had the coronavirus. Man, those sippyMASK fellas need to pay me for this ad.
Tensions have been high across the United States following the protests over police brutality and racism, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis highlighted the struggle to establish trust between law enforcement officers and their respective communities. However, for Daylan McLee, the situation he found himself in had less to do with decisions and more to do with saving a life. On a Sunday evening in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, a city 45 miles outside of Pittsburgh, 31-year-old Daylan McLee thought he felt a small earthquake, when a relative told him otherwise. A police cruiser outside his apartment had been involved in a car crash that set the patrol car in flames. McLee didn’t even think twice before he ran outside and pulled the Officer Jay Hanley from his burning car, right before the flames reached the police officer. Officer Hanley underwent surgery in a hospital in West Virginia for a serious leg injury from the crash and is already recovering, and his colleagues and family have credited McLee with saving the officer’s life. Uniontown Police Lt. Thomas Kolencik told TVstation WTAE-Pittsburgh, “Daylan actually said, ‘I’m not going to let him die.’ There’s just no words to describe, you know,” thankful for McLee’s immediate actions. McLee commented, “I don’t know what came across me, but I ripped the door open and just pulled him to safety across the street.” He said that Officer Hanley’s sister also called him to personally express her gratitude and that it never crossed his mind to hesitate help save another human being’s life, despite his previous interactions with law enforcement. “No. There is value in every human life. We are all children of God and I can’t imagine just watching anyone burn. No matter what other people have done to me, or other officers, I thought, ‘this guy deserves to make it home safely to his family.'” Back in 2018, McLee filed a lawsuit for wrongful arrest against four Pennsylvania State Police Troopers, after spending a year in jail in March 2016. In Dunbar, Pennsylvania, McLee had responded to his sister’s urgent call for a ride home from an American Legion bar, after a fight broke out. However, when McLee arrived to pick up his sister, a man in the parking lot had a gun. McLee disarmed the man and immediately threw the gun aside. However, when the state troopers arrived on the scene, one trooper fired shots, causing McLee to flee. The trooper claimed that McLee had pointed a gun at him twice, but security footage showed otherwise. The video showed McLee disarming the man and discarding the gun by tossing aside, eventually fleeing after when shots were beginning to fire. After wrongfully losing a year of his in jail, he was finally released when a jury acquitted him after seeing the security footage. But that wasn’t the last time McLee would have a run-in with law enforcement. A few months ago, McLee was at a porch gathering when officers in plain clothes and vests pulled up with guns out. Not knowing they were initially police, he started running, but stopped to put his hands behind his head when they revealed they were officers. Nevertheless, he was charged with feeling and resisting arrest, and said one of the officers kicked his face, resulting in splitting his lip. Luckily, it was caught on a security camera, which will help his plans to fight the charges. Out of everything, McLee wanted to stress forgiveness. Setting an example for his 13-year-old son, Avian, he wants to emphasize not judging people by generalizations such as the color of the skin or the career they hold, but rather holding each individual to who he or she is. He refuses to blame every police officer for all the bad interactions he’s already encountered. “We need to work on our humanity… that’s the main problem of this world. We’re stuck on how to get up or to get even, and that is not how I was raised to be. You learn, you live, you move on and I was always taught to forgive big. You can’t base every day of your life off of one interaction you have with one individual.” McLee realized that he recognized Officer Hanley three weeks prior to the crash. “I realized after, that I’d seen him. He speaks to people; he says hello; he isn’t an officer that harasses anybody. He commented to me about the heat was coming for us,” he said. McLee’s lawyer Alec Wright commented, unsurprised by his client’s eagerness, “Over the course of his life, Daylan McLee has had multiple, unjustified encounters with police officers just because of the color of his skin. Those encounters make him the perfect candidate to hate and resent the police. But, that is not Daylan… The answer is not to disregard human life; the answer is to accept it for all that it is. That is Daylan.” McLee added, “I don’t want to be called a hero. I just want to be known as an individual who is an upstanding man. No matter… what or where, just an upstanding person. And I hope [the trooper] sees this and knows he’s forgiven.” As Pennsylvania State Police are still investigating the crash, Uniontown Police have not commented on the situation.
Disney, the greatest company to work for in the world, is doing their part to make sure we all stay united equal as one. Disney has decided to change the Splash Mountain ride at its Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida, so it’s no longer based on a movie that the company now acknowledges is offensive. The ride, which is famous for its 5-story drop in a long boat that drenches park Guests, was inspired by the animated sequences in the 1946 movie Song of the South. The film famously won an Oscar for its song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." The movie follows a young boy visiting his grandmothers’ plantation after the Civil War. Several people have criticized its deception of black people and its romanticized view of the era. The company stated several designers have been working since last year to “re-theme” the park ride as a bayou-inspired tribute to the loving 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog. The Disney film features Tiana, who is Disney’s first black princess. More than 20,000 people had signed an online petition on pleading the company to change the ride’s theme to The Princess and the Frog. The ride is said to include the story after “the final kiss” in the movie, and will join Princess Tiana and her adorable trumpet-playing alligator Louis on a “musical adventure.” It will feature music from the film as they prepare for their Mardi Gras performance. Disneyland Resort public relations director Michael Ramirez released a statement on the company’s website, reading, “With this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, the re-theming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. The new concept is inclusive... one that all of our Guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.” The changes come after their have been several calls from park-goers asking Disney to overhaul the ride amid the Black Lives Matter protest occurring in the U.S. since the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The protests have also spurred conversation and introspection in Hollywood in regard to the depiction of race in popular culture. Films such as Gone With the Wind and TV episodes that include the use of blackface have all been re-evaluated and pulled. Last year, Bob Iger, Disney chair, stated Song of the South would not be streaming on their new streaming service Disney+ nor would it be available for purchase. Iger stated, “I’ve felt as long as I’ve been CEO that Song of the South... even with a disclaimer... was just not appropriate in today’s world. It’s just hard, given the depictions in some of those films, to bring them out today without in some form or another offending people, so we’ve decided not to do that.” Carmen Smith, who is the creative development and inclusive strategies executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, stated she was “incredibly proud” to see the new ride and the makeover at the theme parks, saying it was important for their guests to be able to see themselves in the experiences that Disney creates.
Well, it looks like the IRS has explaining to do. Apparently more than one million dead people received coronavirus stimulus checks this year, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. The independent nonpartisan Congressional agency revealed that the stimulus payments, which were sent to 1.1 million people, totaling up to $1.4 billion. The U.S. Treasury Department officials stated that the late March CARES Act mandated that they distribute the money as quickly as possible. The shocking revelations follow anecdotal reports of people who have passed away getting stimulus checks and comes as Congress is considering new coronavirus package which may include more direct payments. The CARES Act sought to help Americans with the economic devastation of COVID-19 by sending checks of up to $1,200 to taxpayers, with an extra $500 per dependent child. Individuals making up to $75,000 a year received a personal check (or a direct deposit) for $1,200 and couples making up to $150,000 and filing a joint tax return received a combined $2,400. The payment decreased for those who make more than $75,000, with an income cap of $99,000 per individual or $198,000 for couples. The bill also gave a “federal boost” of $600 per week to unemployment insurance. According to a GAO report, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department didn’t decide to cut off the dead until May, after 72 percent of the payments were issued. The report noted, “Treasury and IRS, in consultation with counsel, determined that a person is not entitled to receive a payment if he or she is deceased as of the date the payment is to be paid.” Stimulus checks went to Americans who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns, most of it transferred electronically into bank accounts. The report notes that the IRS had posted on a website that stimulus money sent to dead people should be returned, but that “IRS does not currently plan to take additional steps to notify eligible recipients on how to return payments.” GAO noted is that Congress should consider allowing the Treasury Department to have access to all Social Security death records, just like the IRS has access to death records kept by the Social Security Administration, to make sure the dead don’t receive any more checks. The watchdog agency also said the IRS should highly consider more cost-effective options for notifying eligible recipients on how to return the set of payments, which the IRS agreed to do. This week, President Donald Trump stated in an interview that he supported issuing another round of stimulus checks, as part of a “ very generous bill.” House Democrats also supported the idea of approving a bill in May that would authorize more checks. The IRS provided the following instructions for returning an economic impact payment, also known at EIP, that was sent to a person who is deceased. If the payment was a paper check and it hasn’t been cashed write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location for your state. Do not staple, bend, or paper clip the check. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check. If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location for your state. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write “2020EIP,” and the taxpayer identification number (Social Security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP. If you would like to return a paper check, you can visit IRS.Gov to see what mailing addresses you should use based on the state you live in.
CEC Entertainment, Chuck E. Cheese's parent company, has filed for bankruptcy citing the loss of business due to COVID-19 as the main cause. Unfortunately, Chuck E. Cheese isn't exactly known for its fine dining which makes the solution of to-go orders and delivery difficult. The chain famous for its pizza, games, tokens, and creepy animatronic band sometimes gets a bad reputation for also being something of a germ-infested playground for infection as ball pits, tubes, and arcade games are all touched (and vomited on) by multiple children every night. While closed due to coronavirus, Chuck E. Cheese tried to re-brand as Pasqually's Pizza, assuming that nobody would want the Chuck E. Cheese experience strictly for the pizza and salad bar. However, people were onto them...

Still, nobody wants to see Chuck E. Cheese fail as many people hold fond childhood memories of the pizza palace of tokens and Whac-a-Mole managed by a teenager in an ill-fitting, sweaty rat costume. Good luck, Chuck!
As the Black Lives Matter movement inspires actions around the world, many churches and other insitutions with prime sign real estate are using their platform to voice their support. Like
St. John's Church in D.C.

People are standing up for the safety and dignity of black people whether or not its popular in their town. Anti-racist demonstrators are hosting their own protests in small towns and cities. While they may be the only people standing, they're not standing alone. Like this lady in Enterprise, Alabama...

The Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd has brought forth a wave of activism, both substantive and performative. Some celebrities likely freaked out their publicists with their poorly-received posts. Emma Watson edited the #BlackoutTuesday black square to have a white border, so it wouldn't compromise the aesthetic of her Instagram grid.

If I had a TARDIS I would go see the Hoover Dam. But knowing my luck I'd see the back of it before it was filled with water.

Man, now that Chuck E. Cheese is really closing Chuck sure is having a rough time...

That's so sad. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Reactions About Chuck E. Cheese Filing For Bankruptcy
5. Hi, welcome to Chuck E. Cheese. Everything is visibly dirty and our mascot is a rat, eat some pizza near a sneezing child. Come on down for some rat pizza at our child casino.
4. BREAKING... Trump has confirmed his next rally at the Chuck E. Cheese in Tupelo, Mississippi and hoping he can sell it out.
3. Chuck E. Cheese just went bankrupt, we gonna have nothing left by 2021.
2. I can't believe Chuck E. Cheese is going bankrupt before I even get a chance in the ticket blaster.
And the number one reaction about Chuck E. Cheese filing for bankruptcy is...
1. "I'm going to miss Chuck E. Cheese," said no one on their right mind.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, she odd shit happens in this state...

A Florida man suffered a minor burn on his hand after his girlfriend pulled a pizza out of their oven and threw it at him, the cheesy assault being the culmination of an hours-long fight between the two that left one of them hungry and the other enraged. Thirty-seven-year-old Robert Ybarra and 32-year-old Becky Bartlett had spent hours arguing before Ybarra opted to leave their St. Petersburg, Florida residence to let the situation diffuse. Ybarra came back at around 3 a.m. and decided to cook himself a pizza. Bartlett, who was asleep on the couch, was awakened by the smell of the pizza cooking and, then, somehow not placated and put into a state a bliss by the smell of cooking pizza, she became furious that she was awakened. So she walked over to the over, pulled the cooking pizza out of the oven, and threw it at Ybarra. The pizza hit Ybarra and burned his hand. When police arrived they observed a visible injury on Ybarra’s hand... hot pizza cheese burns are no joke as the roofs of many a mouth can attest... and pizza on his clothes. Bartlett was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and later released on her own recognizance. A judge has, in the meantime, barred her from having any contact with Ybarra. Avoiding the man she burned with molten cheese should not be a problem for Bartlett, however, because Ybarra himself was arrested during the incident. Police decided to run Ybarra’s info when they responded to the domestic battery incident and found out that he had a warrant out for his arrest in Colorado for a felony marijuana distribution charge from 2016. Apparently Ybarra skipped out on a $50,000 bail and eventually ended up in Florida. Now Ybarra is being held in the Pinellas County jail in Clearwater, Florida without bond.

Why do doctors go to medical school when they can just Google stuff? Okay, let's take a love look at Port Jeff, shall we?

Looks like a nice day, some people are walking their dogs.

If you swap the spinach for beer, then any episode of "Popeye" becomes a bitter story of a raging alcoholic, right down to the speech impediment and tendency to fight people who he believes are trying to steal “his girl.”

It looks like there’s some good news ahead of us, Americans. With people losing jobs and coronavirus cases popping up across the country, President Donald Trump stated in an interview that there will allegedly be a second round of stimulus payments to Americans. Speaking with Joe St. George, National Political Editor & Washington Correspondent for Scripps, he stated, “We will be doing another stimulus package. It will be very good. It will be very generous.” Despite the good news, President Trump offered very few details of when the stimulus check (or package) is said to be expected. When asked about how much the payment may be, the president stated, “you’ll find out about it. You’ll find out.” He did note that he thought the relief funds would receive a bipartisan report and could be announced over the next couple of weeks. A White House official allegedly told NBC News that no decision has been made yet, but a second stimulus payment is part of something that the U.S. economic team is studying closely. In late March, President Donald Trump signed a stimulus package into law that included a one-time payment of $1,200 to any eligible American. As the virus has spread very quickly throughout the last month since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act) Act was passed, many Americans were left wondering if a second check or prepaid debit card will arrive as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. One proposal that is currently on the table is the HEROES Act, which is a $3 trillion bill that includes $275 billion for healthcare and testing worker hazard pay, and a trillion dollars for local and state government. The HEROES Act was passed by House Democrats back in May and would offer another around $1,200 check to American children and adults. The Act also expands the number of people who are eligible to receive government aid, by including older teenagers and college students. The payment would be capped at $6,000 per household. The second stimulus check comes after a high number of laid-off workers were seeking unemployment benefits, with the number barley falling last week to 1.5 million due to small businesses reopening. The government stated the number was down from a peak of nearly 7 million back in March, marking an 11th straight weekly drop. But, the number is still more than twice the record high that existed before the virus. The total number of people receiving jobless aid is said to be at 20.5 million.

The 130th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Robert De Niro, Sr. will not be on the Phile as he has passed away... but his son, Robert De Niro will be on the Phile a week from today... next Friday. That's so cool, right?

A henpecked man got tired of his wife constantly picking on him, so he started playing poker on Friday nights with his buddies just to get some relief. After he came home she'd start right in on him again. After several weeks went by, he came home early one Friday night about 9:30. His wife asked him how come he was home early. He told her, "You need to pack your bags and go to Herb's house, I lost you to him in the card game tonight." His wife became furious and started to give him hell. She said, "Just how could you do such a thing!?" He replied, "It was the hardest thing I ever done... I had to fold with four aces."

Today's guest is an an American filmmaker. He is best known for his horror films, all of which he directed, wrote, and edited, including Absentia, Oculus, Hush, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil , Gerald’s Game, and his latest Doctor Sleep which is now available on Blu-ray. Please welcome to the Phile... Mike Flanagan.

Me: Hello, Mike, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Mike: Hi, thanks sp much for having me.

Me: Of course. So, I have tell you I did not see Doctor Sleep, I don't like scary movies. I did see The Shining though but on cable years and years ago. When did you see The Shining for the first time? 

Mike: Well, I was way too young to see The Shining as it turns out. But I could't resist it, Jason. When someone tells you you're too young to see it it'll mess you up I shouldn't see it. But they were right. It messed me up. I was in 5th grade when I saw it, I was at a friends house and I was terrified and petrified of that film. But it stayed with me for my whole life. I revisited that movie over and over and over again because I never seen anything like it. I still haven't.

Me: Okay, for the few that never saw The Shining, can you tell them what the movie is about?

Mike: It's about a family called the Torrance's who are taking care of this secluded hotel in the Rocky Mountains. It's shut down for the winter and their little boy Danny has a social psychic power called the Shining. To cut a long story short, Danny's dad played by Jack Nicholson just loses his mind and tries to kill his entire family. But, plot spoiler here, I hope everyone had seen The Shining, Danny and his mother escape.

Me: The Shining is such a huge popular horror film with cult status, Mike. Why did you want you to make this next "chapter"?

Mike: Well, I think it all had to do with the book that's Stephen King wrote. He waited a really long time, he waited decades to come back to that story. But in 2013 he published a book called Doctor Sleep and as a life long Stephen King fan I ran out and grabbed it. I had no idea what it'll be like but it was amazing. It was this incredible story about little Danny Torrance but now as an adult still dealing with this post traumatic childhood that he had. He's wrestling with alcoholism like his father and has a really violent temper like his dad. What kind of amazed me about it was this new story that he came up with in the way that the Shining was an allegory for his own issues with alcoholism. He has a fear of what it could do to his family. This was him exploring recovery and sobriety. I think what's next about it is in the decades that had passed since he wrote The Shining Stephen King has gotten sober. His kids have grown up and are about the age he was when he was dealing with this. So in a lot of ways it doesn't feel like a sequel to The Shining, but a descendant of The Shining. It was like the other side of the same coin. So I thought it was this beautiful new story, this lovely look back at the demons of his youth. And when those demons inhabit a place it's iconic at the Overlook Hotel. What an incredible playground for a horror fan.

Me: So, when you decided you wanted to direct Doctor Sleep how did you feel?

Mike: I was totally terrified. Every day. That's only just now starting to relax just because there's nothing left for me to do.

Me: Well, you have this interview to plug the Blu-ray and a few more things I am guessing. Haha. 

Mike: Yeah, all I have to do now is explain myself. I could do that.

Me: So, you got to meet Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King... how was that?

Mike: It's been unreal. The whole experience of it. If I was to go back and tell me as a kid that any of this would happen I wouldn't believe it. It's been one of the most crazy kind of fanboy moments my whole entire life.

Me: So, what was the craziest thing about this while process to you?

Mike: I got to watch this movie with Stephen King.

Me: What? What was that like?

Mike: I got to sit next to him and show him the finished movie, which was terrifying because I know how he so famously feels about The Shining. If he had turned around afterward and said, "What did you do? What did you do to my characters and my book?" I don't know if I ever would have recovered from that.

Me: Was that the first time meeting him?

Mike: Prior to that I had to go to him and say to him I want to make this adaptation of his novel. But at the same time I want to honor or bring in influences of Stanley Kubrick... a movie he hated.

Me: So, why would you want to bring those Kubrick influences to the movie?

Mike: I had this bizarre experience when I read the book, I had grown up so much with the Kubrick film. when I read Doctor Sleep all the images were in my head, whether I wanted them at all were all Kubrick's.

Me: So, how did you convince Mr. King?

Mike: That's the point I had to make to him, the Kubrick film, the masterpiece that it is, has infiltrated the imagination of so many people. That when we talk about the Overlook Hotel or we talk about the Torrance family unavoidably that's the language that we're speaking in. He was initially reluctant to go back to that because he has some strong feelings about it. But one of the things I wanted to say was "what if while we celebrate the cinematic legacy of Kubrick, what about if we could also at the same time go back into the original novel of The Shining, what about if we could give you some of the things that he didn't. What if we while we acknowledge and kind of revel in the legacy of Kubrick we also gibe you the elements of The Shining you never got from him."

Me: What were those elements?

Mike: I don't want to spoil them in case some people haven't seen the film yet.

Me: Good point. Is there a lot of things though?

Mike: Yeah, there are a lot of things, especially about the arc of Jack Torrance. And King writing about Jack, what he could do to his family metaphorically. With his alcoholism he had a sympathy for Jack Torrance and Jack's original arc in the book is redemption and sacrifice. Where in the Kubrick film Jack is never looking back, he's crazy. I agree with King, I always felt that Jack was always going to kill his family. From the very beginning he's off balance and the Overlook just kind of lit his fuse but the fire was already there. A lot of that redemptive arc was something that I can pull back in and give to Danny, give to his son. That felt really, really neat.

Me: I am thinking that as The Shining is loved by so many people not only did you have to win Stephen King over but the fans of the film, right?

Mike: That was always this paralyzing fear for me that even if I really did please Stephen King, which I really wanted to do there's also the Kubrick side of it. His fans and the Kubrick estate could have the opposite reaction. They could hate this movie. That was just unbelievably stressful. But at the end of he day I had this amazing experience as a fan, not only did King love the movie but the Kubrick estate loved the movie. At that point I could finally breathe again. Those are the two most important reviews the movie would ever get so I can at least try and get some sleep.

Me: How much did the Kubrick estate and Stephen King say about the film at the beginning of the project? Was there a lot of talks?

Mike: There was a lot on the very beginning just to get everything approved. In particular of the Kubrick estate we were asking for things like access to some of the footage, accessible to his plans and production design elements. Once the train had kind of left the station ire as clear we were making the film and both camps were offering their support. Everybody stayed away, no one wanted to interfere. That's how Stephen King approaches all of his adaptations. He says "the book is the book, I want the movie to be yours." He explained to me later the reason that he does that other than he just doesn't want to influence someone how to make it, either way it goes he wins If the movie's great they'll say of course it's great, it's based on a great book. If the movie's terrible they'd day the book is better. So he wins. So I really didn't have any interference with anybody.

Me: That's great for you, right?

Mike: Well, on one had I don't have this interference but on the other hand I knew Stephen King was going to see the movie right away. And as Kubrick learned if he doesn't like what we did he's not shy about it. That was where that stress was coming from.

Me: So, a lot of people I know love the Netflix series "The Haunting of Hill House." I know my son loved it. Once again I didn't see it, as it's in the horror genre. If I wanted to look at something scary I'd just look in the mirror. Hahahaha. Is there a similarity between the series and Doctor Sleep or even The Shining?

Mike: Yeah, there's children involved.

Me: What are the challenged with working with children? If my kid was in a horror film I don't think I could watch it. One of my best friends is in a horror film called Finger and I can't watch that.

Mike: Well, I got to work with a lot of young actors now and the challenges are mostly about their schedule. I was worried about early in my career how do I get kids to go there from an acting point of view but that has turned out now to not really be an issue because kids are so good at make-believing. Kids can honestly transport themselves in their imaginations in a way that I think we forget how to do when we grow up. The biggest challenge for me is they can only work six hours a day or seven hours a day so we kind have to race through their material. The kids in general have been one of the best parts of my job. In the case of the "Haunting" we had so many of them. We had this huge pile of kids. It turned out the kids weren't the ones to sorry about, they had a great time, they were never afraid of anything going on on the set or anything like that. The grown-ups are the challenge.

Me: What is the deal with us grown-ups and our imaginations and able to play make-believe? Haha. 

Mike: They need a lot more runway to get there.

Me: Hmmm. Does he affect them more as adults in terms of the subject matter? Do they get disturbed? Is their depression on set?

Mike: Yes. Yes there is. I think as grown-ups we let more of that in. I think kids have a natural kind of firewall to a lot of that interference. Whereas as grown-ups we're carrying around all this baggage with us so it really comes to bear.

Me: Where does your love of horror come from?

Mike: I have a theory actually of why we actually do this to ourselves. This is what I think, the first feeling that most of us feel as human beings I think is fear. Like it's something that connects all of us when we are kids. We all know what it's like to be scared of the dark and to be scared of our environment. It's one of the very first emotions we have to process and we don't really know where to put it. But the great thing about a horror movie is it's a place where we as an individuals and as a society can out all of our anxiety and all of our fears and we get to be scared. We get to confront them just a little bit where those lights that they turned off when they left us in there came back on. Its this very therapeutic thing in that we teach ourselves how to be brave in these tiny little increments. Just long enough to make it through this scene or this movie or this book. That way it's exercise in courage for us as people and as a society. But these days in particular there's so much to be afraid of. There's so much anxiety in the world that I think we need the horror genre. I think we always needed it, we need the horror genre because it can give that gift to us. It can make us incrementally a little bit braver.

Me: Not me. I'ma wuss, pussy and wimp. Whatever you think.

Mike: Everyone is different. But give it a try.

Me: That's big NOPE. Mike, thanks for being on the Phile. Please come back when your next film comes out. Stay well.

Mike: Thank you, Jason.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Mike Flanagan for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with DJ and musician Deadmau5. Spread the word, not the turd... or virus. 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