Monday, August 31, 2020

Pheaturing Robert Plant


Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? A Texas school district reversed its decision to place a teacher on administrative leave over Black Lives Matter, a pro-LGBTQ poster, and feminist posters displayed on the wall of her virtual classroom. Taylor Lifka, who’s an English teacher at the Roma High School in Roma, a Border Town of around 10,000 people, was placed on leave after parents complained about her posters. Speaking with NBC News, the 25-year-old said the experience of having national attention about her classroom has been overwhelming. She stated, “Our nation is in a really divisive state right now, and so when something like this comes out that a teacher is being placed on administrative leave because of parents’ concerns over teaching tolerance in the classroom, that’s a bigger question.” Roma Independent School District superintendent Carlos Guzman did release a statement, saying that the district “regrets that this matter has become a point of controversy.” He then said it was never the intention of the district to indicate the lack of support for the concepts of student safety and equality. Prior to her reinstatement, the Texas teacher stated this wasn’t the first time a parent was upset and it wasn’t the first time that a parent asked for their child not to be in a specific classroom. She added, “I’ve already told the administration that I do not envy their position. Your job sometimes might seem like a job where you need to please, and while this might be challenging, I think that sometimes we need to do the right thing even though it’s going to upset some people.” An online petition was started last week asking the Roma ISD to reverse its decision and reinstate the teacher. The petition asked people to sign a petition and let the school district know that inclusivity and acceptance “are not taboo ideas that deserve censorship.” It also noted that several high school students should be allowed to discuss the realities, such as concepts of equality, of the world instead of just being sheltered inside “a sanitized bubble.” It noted that the 25-year-old was trying to create a safe space for students and how the school was not being neutral and was taking a stance that is antithetical to justice. The petition was started by community members of a local LGBTQ rights group, South Texas Equality Project, and has had over 30,000 signatures the day after the district reversed course. Ms. Lifka didn’t note that it was not clear whether the petition played a role in getting her job back, but she was inspired by those who signed on and gave her full support. In her online profile for the Roma Independent School District, the teacher wrote that she fell in love with the border culture and the tight-knit community of the Rio Grande Valley back in 2017 when she worked there as a Teach for America member. The Texas teacher said she was told about her Administration leave being reversed through Zoom by school officials, noting, “They say I haven’t been punished, and that’s fine, but at the same time I’m a human being and this has been challenging. To think about re-entering the classroom tomorrow gives me a lot of pause, because I need a moment to collect myself. I need support from the administration, knowing I can re-enter the classroom, that we are all on the same page knowing what I can and cannot say to my students.”

A group of Coast Guard members enjoying a swim while out in the middle of the ocean after “completing operations” had their afternoon go from fun to frightening when an 8-foot shark crashed the party. Fortunately for the Coast Guard members who were out swimming in the ocean they are, you know, in the Coast Guard, which meant there were people who know a lot about open water safety and were armed to the teeth nearby to handle their hungry party crasher. And fortunately for us they filmed it and posted it to social media. Here's a screen shot...

This is certainly a pretty surreal sight for anyone to see, even if you’re used to working out on the open sea, but it seems reasonable to assume that these Coast Guard members weren’t exactly that rankled by all of this. You couldn’t possibly be safer from a shark unless you were literally on land. The nearby boat loaded with big huge guns helps. Plus everyone out there was probably a pretty good swimmer. They aren’t going to give Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky a run for their money but they can probably swim back to their boat faster than the average American floating around in the ocean, nine White Claws deep and halfway to a sunstroke. RIP to that unicorn float though.

With everything that’s been going on recently, communities coming together to support those within who are needing it, is more important now more than ever. And this neighborhood in Tustin, California, a community about 30 miles outside of Los Angeles, is making sure that they do care for those who make a significant impact on their residents. Ice cream man Jose Ortega drives his ice cream truck around for his close-knit Tustin neighbors. Everyone’s families get so excited with their money in hand, ready to satisfy their summer cravings with some cool and icy sweet treats. The community has a Friday afternoon tradition where the kids come out when Ortega comes through with his ice cream truck. The adults enjoy a happy hour while their kids are buying ice cream, and the whole event is followed by a barbecue that the neighbors take turns hosting. However, as Ortega was making his usual route around the Tustin cul-de-sac one day, the community noticed that he wasn’t making his usual rock-star entrance, since he was in the passenger seat of his ice cream truck this time with his son driving instead. Two weeks prior, the 44-year-old beloved ice cream man had suffered a heart attack, but had immediately returned to work because he, “didn’t want to disappoint the kids,” according to resident Michael Hatcher, who organized the fundraiser. When the Southern California neighborhood found out about his heart attack, they decided that it was their turn to help Ortega the way he has helped their community. They started a GoFundMe page to cover his medical bills. And within four days, 185 donors gave $10,474. And on Friday, August 21st, 2020, the community presented his with the check. In tears, Ortega replied, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” But it didn’t end there. Tustin Councilwoman Letitia Clark presented Ortega with a letter of commendation on behalf of the city saying, “You have made such an impact on people’s lives.” And she wasn’t wrong with how the community talked about their neighborhood ice cream man. According to the Orange County Register, “Parents credit Ortega with playing a big role in their bond.” Rob Johnson said, “Jose is a community builder. We all come out to our front yards whenever he appears. Our kids can hear him from a mile away.”

Well, this must be nice. It looks like Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, is breaking records left and right. Yes, the world’s richest man has crossed a new milestone that will make us all jealous. The Amazon CEO became the first person to top $200 billion in net worth, according to Forbes’ real-time data on billionaires. Oh, to be on that list. We can dream, right? The 66-year-old owns 11 percent of Amazon stocks, which has skyrocketed amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people are at home, and demand for e-commerce and online shopping has soared, especially with Amazon Prime. In April 2020, his net worth was a mere $113 billion, according to Forbes. Amazon stock was up over 95 points, 2.85 percent, on Wednesday. Bezos’s net income comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the United States economy and highlights the diverging experience in the pandemic. As far as the second richest person, Bill Gates, he still lags billions of dollars behind Bezos. The Microsoft co-founder was worth $116.2 billion on Wednesday according to Forbes. Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994, has broken several records with his wealth. Back in 2017 who became the richest person on the planet. And in case you were wondering, others notorious billionaires have also been getting wealthier during the coronavirus pandemic, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who is dubbed a “centibillionaire” after his wealth surpassed $100 billion. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is also on the list with a net worth of $96 billion. Although Amazon is Bezos’ biggest asset, it is not the only brand he oversees. Outside of the company, he also owns Blue Origin which is an aerospace company he founded in 2002, and the Washington Post newspaper in which he acquired in 2013. Surprisingly enough, Bezos’ fortune would actually be higher if had he not gone through one of the most expensive divorce settlements in history last year. When he split from his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott, he agreed to give her 25 percent of Amazon shares, which is now worth $63 billion. Even after giving away $1.7 billion in charitable gifts earlier this year, Scott is currently the world’s 14 richest person and the second richest woman behind L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers.

The world is still reeling from the unexpected passing of Chadwick Boseman but there is hope from all the positive messages about the Black Panther star. Interestingly, even former U.S. president Barack Obama had an amazing story to tell about his encounter with Boseman. Obama took to his official Twitter account to share one of Boseman's old tweets that showed their meeting at the White House several years ago. The former president then shared a heartwarming tribute to the late actor. 

Although Boseman had shared the photo in 2016, it was actually taken a lot earlier. Obama noted that they were photographed when Boseman was still best known for his portrayal of baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film 42. Needless to say, Obama's tribute to Boseman is truly heartwarming. Boseman was diagnosed by Stage III colon cancer in 2016, which is around the same time he first portrayed T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War. Sadly, he kept fighting for his life while working on more movies until his passing on August 28th. He was only 43-years-old.
Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this record...

It might be a good record actually. Well, it's that time of year again where you can get pumpkin flavored everything. Even this...

I hate the taste of pumpkin stuff. In many places, masks are mandatory, so you as well make it your own. There's a mask for every fashion and fandom, and there can also be a mask for every face. People order custom-made masks with photos of their face on them to try and achieve a realistic look. Try being the most important word.  

Here's another creative sign telling people to wear face masks...

Ever see those panhandlers with their cardboard signs. Some of them are very creative...

Hahahaha. So, did you see Melania's dress she wore at the RNC? Check it out...

Crazy, right? Hahaha. Did you know some birds have arms? No? Well, look at this pic of the penguin...

That's so stupid. That's just as stupid as...

By the way, today Robert Plant is on the Phile and on this date Led Zeppelin played in Orlando. Here's a poster for that show...

I want to say it was '71 or '73. Six bucks for a two hour show though. That's crazy. I know Foghat played at the Orlando Sports Stadium. I wonder where that was. I'm sure one of my readers will let me know. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...

Top Phive Things Said By Married People 
5. I accidentally used my husband's deodorant and now I can't stop saying helpful thins like "you're overreacting" and "calm down."
4. Marriage. Because you didn't know that you wanted to get rid of you your favorite recliner.
3. With everything canceled, it's a great time to bond with your husband, talk to him, laugh with hum, remind him of that ting he said five years ago.
2. Are you happily married or did your husband just take out twelve dishes to heat up a can of soup?
And the number one thing said by a married person was...
1. To err is human. To never let you forget that is spouse. 

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, let's take a live look at Port Jefferson, shall we?

It's early so not a lot going on there. Okay, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, crazy stuff happens in this state. So, once again here is...

A Florida man is lucky to have any part of his arm at all after the hunter apparently became the hunted during an alligator hunt at Lake Jesup in Seminole County, Florida. The hunter in question, Carsten Kieffer, was part of a group that was attempting to bring a 12-foot gator close to their boat with harpoons after catching it on a snatch line. As the group attempted to pull the gator up into the boat the monstrous predator launched itself upward, bit down on Kieffer’s right arm, and started to roll. The man’s partners began attacking the gator after it grabbed hold of Kieffer’s arm and were able to eventually free their friend so they could get him back to shore. One of the other alligator hunters who accompanied Kieffer on the lake informed authorities that Kieffer had suffered a partial amputation below the right elbow. The alligator escaped after biting Kieffer. Yeah, I assume that’s what happens sometimes when you’re hunting gators. That’s a risk that’s cooked into hunting an apex predator dinosaur. Sometimes you might lose a finger or hand or arm. Or two. I’m no gator hunting expert... obviously. I am, in fact, the opposite of an alligator hunting expert. But wouldn’t it be wise to further incapacitate or perhaps even kill the alligator prior to pulling it up into your boat? I guess they harpooned it twice but these monsters are tough bastards. Like, the toughest bastards. Do they even feel pain? They just kill and bang and will take a pretty substantial beating to accomplish either. I’m not saying these guys did this but this is a great PSA for not drinking a couple camo tallboys before hitting the waters on a gator filled lake. That might work for duck and deer season but if the prey can kill you back maybe have coffee instead. Regardless of all my dumb conjecture, here’s hoping Mr. Kieffer has a speedy and full recovery. 

Cowboy trumpet

Okay, this is cool... the 135th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Yes. My novel. I'm not going to interview myself so I thought it'll be a great idea if my good friend Jeff Trelewicz, who you know I had on the Phile many of times talking about his own books and talking football with the pheature Phootball Talk, could interview me. Jeff will be back on the Phile in a  few weeks to interview me about my book. That's cool, right? I think so. By the way, you can purchase this great novel at

Little Zachary was doing very badly in math. His parents had tried everything... tutors, mentors, flash cards, special learning centers. In short, everything they could think of to help his math. Finally, in a last ditch effort, they took Zachary down and enrolled him In the local Catholic school. After the first day, little Zachary came home with a very serious look on his face. He didn't even kiss his mother hello. Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying. Books and papers were spread out all over the room and little Zachary was hard at work. His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner. To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back hitting the books as hard as before. This went on for some time, day after day, while the mother tried to understand what made all the difference. Finally, little Zachary brought home his report card. He quietly laid it on the table, went up to his room and hit the books. With great trepidation, his mom looked at it and to her great surprise, Zachary got an 'A' in math. She could no longer hold her curiosity... She went to his room and said, "Son, what was it? Was it the nuns?" Zachary looked at her and shook his head, no. "Well, then," she replied, "Was it the books, the discipline, the structure, the uniforms? WHAT WAS IT?" Zachary looked at her and said, "Well, on the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around."

Today's guest is an English singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. His latest album "Carry Fire" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify and his newest album "Digging Deep: Subterranea" comes out later this year. Please welcome to the Phile rock legend great... Robert Plant!

Me: Hey, Robert, it's so cool to have you here on the Phile. How are you? 

Robert: I'm terrific, Jason. Thank you. 

Me: I love your latest album "Carry Fire." It seems to have a lot of different influences on it. Is there a theme to the album? 

Robert: Not at all. There's no theme. It's just a personality we possess as a group of musicians who all come through to be together from different areas of music, different threads, different arteries of music really. Yeah, there's a lot of things going on there but it's all part of everything we do. More or less everything we play, even if we go back and visit the glorious past, whatever it is, we just mess with it and turn it into our inherent "now." In the last 40 years since John passed away I've done a hundred different things with a thousand different people and every time I've gone on these little adventures I've tried to make it as sparkly as possible so that everybody is really transfixed on what we're trying to do. The thing about this combination of people is there's a joy about it. So when you hear that there we talk about all those things that it is, but basically it's just getting it out and it's jaunty. And the lyric is precocious and it's great because it's an audacity to say lay down to sweet surrender. Really I should be talking about something else altogether now. But I like the idea of it because it relates to me as a guy and the music and the whole thread and the weaving between us all is very, very natural. It is we worked together in West Africa, we've been all over the planet and we brought loads of stuff to the table. Once upon a time about ten years ago when I was pre-working with Alison Krauss it was considered that we were very, very tough world music. Which is crazy. 

Me: Don't you think that's a weird name for music? 

Robert: Yeah, well, it's no worse than "folk." I mean really, what the hell has folk turned into? There's misrery everywhere. The thing is to have a good time, not keep going on how it doesn't work. 

Me: Didn't you go to Morocco when you were very young? How old were you? 

Robert: Young enough to be changed over night for life. 

Me: I don't like going to the Morocco pavilion in Epcot let alone the real Morocco, even though I'm sure there's some nice places over there. What was it like when you got there? 

Robert: Bear in mind I'm from the west side of European landmass so there's a lot of movement between peoples all the time so by the time I was 22 I played in France a lot, Holland, Belgium, I've seen North African culture in another place but I've never seen it in its own place. That was the thing, it was just spectacular to see. The whole deal about going into different cultures, even if you went from Orlando to Richmond, Virginia or New Orleans or... 

Me: Port Jefferson, Long Island where I grew up... 

Robert: Yeah. So the shifts are the shifts so when I get to the country like Morocco who has always been struggling within itself as far as the rest of the Arab world goes because it's maintaining by design, it's kind of dependent from all that other stuff. I just melted into the streets. I melted into every doorway that played another piece of dramatic music. From the music of Cairo, the orchestrated stuff, it sounded like a bunch of Tuareg building a shed in the back of somewhere, and that was stuff from the High Atlas. By the time we got to Led Zeppelin's "Presence," I was writing lyrics to things like "Achilles Last Stand," praying to get back to that, to get away from this extreme sort of culture that we were all in. "The mighty arms of Atlas, hold the heavens from the earth..." I wanted to go back to that because there's peace in the middle of the marketplace believe it or not that I'm not going to find any place. 

Me: You had since then, right? 

Robert: All the time. Constantly. 

Me: And you stayed out of the penthouses of the world. 

Robert: I don't know what they were built for, maybe they were built for somebody who's running a weird show just north of here. Goodness knows, everybody has to take on some personality which they're not originally born to. If you go into that other zone. 

Me: So, I have to ask you about "The Luquidator" from Harry J. All Stars. That's the unofficial theme song from your beloved football team, right? 

Robert: Yeah, and that song is outlawed by the West Midlands police force. 

Me: Huh? Why is that? 

Robert: Because of its profanity's. 

Me: What's the name of the team, Robert? 

Robert: The Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Me: Why is the song outlawed? 

Robert: Because there are a couple of profanity's that we sing along relating to the team who live eight miles away where there is blood and snot. 

Me: Who is the rival team and what is the profanity? 

Robert: West Brom and they should fuck off. 

Me: Ha. Why should they fuck off? 

Robert: Because they are known as the shite because they are too close to us. We can't breathe, it's that thing, the never-ending great tribal thing if we get rid of it we'd probably have a better world. 

Me: Do you play yourself? 

Robert: On a Wednesday if I'm lucky, yeah. 

Me: Who do you play with? 

Robert: With all my mates in a school gym in the village. 

Me: With your old buddies? 

Robert: They're not that old. 

Me: I mean your friends from back in the day? 

Robert: Friends of days of now. We don't do "walking" football, we've still got to move a bit. But I unfortunately could get tagged when I start to get a little bit antiquarian. 

Me: They don't go easy on you because you're Robert Plant? 

Robert: No, they know me. So whoever that other guy is, the guy that is talking to you, perhaps I might be that other guy now. Or I could be the guy "back there." 

Me: That's nice, don't you think? 

Robert: Whatever it is it's working for me. Almost. 

Me: You have song on the album called "Carving Up the World Again... A Wall and Not a Fence" which is something Donald Trump said in one of his speeches. Is the song about what Trump said or him? 

Robert: It's about a lot more than that, I kind of go through history about all the many times that we as humanity walled ourselves in instead of bridging. 

Me: Hmmmm. What made you write a song about this? 

Robert: Well, it's evident everywhere, but you know take the Narragansett's, the Indians in New England and stuff, when they brought out the turkey and the corn for the puritans who were escaping religious persecution from England. It didn't take long before this great amalgam of human kind became avaricious. The first things that the Europeans did was they started putting picket fences up and building houses. And of course native culture in this sub-continent was absolutely bemused by the idea of actually anything being solid and lasting. So its always been a way of saying this is ours, it's just culture and what it does to other cultures. So what happened to the Greeks? What happened to the Egyptians? What happened to the Romans when the Visigoths became bigger and stronger and more powerful? What happened? It's always about crunching people. It's a timeless, sad underbelly of a human kind. 

Me: Where do you live now, Robert? 

Robert: I was living in Austin for a while. Austin is different than a lot of Texas, it wears leather shorts. I'm back in the U.K. now dealing with the after effects of Brexit. 

Me: So, are these things you were talking about on your mind? 

Robert: Sure, yeah. I don't hardly have an opinion on Brexit because it's all "puffy." Everything's puffy. I don't think it was in anyway to anyone's advantage not to give the populace the real idea that's really going on. Nobody would really know what the upside and downside of this child be. There's all these things going on in England, and there's misinformation and there's the personality complexes with various people in the government. But how we go through that is anybody's guess, I have no idea. 

Me: So, what was it like when Led Zeppelin was starting out? 

Robert: In the late 1960s Nixon was in power, there was the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam war. It was another time of great social upheaval. 

Me: Does it feel like that now to you? 

Robert: Well, I'm an antiquarian now. I'm an old guy. I'm waiting to be an octogenarian and I hope it doesn't smell like wee-wee when I get there. But it might be. Right now I'm flexing my triceps if I can find them. I think really in the late 60s all over France and everywhere there was a riot going on and the youth culture and the sub culture was making itself heard in very direct terms. There was a huge movement everywhere, just like there was in San Francisco, to change the corruption and the whole dominance of Right wing fascists control of socialites. I don't know how that pans out now. I don't know whether or not because of the way contemporary communications have changed that the great world of isolation now in their own little world base. 

Me: I see what you're saying. Back then there was no Facebook, and social media, so what did you guys do? 

Robert: There was an alternative culture which was alive and well and operating together, On the move together, people willow on about it but I've had great fortunate in the way I've chosen to do what I do. So I've spent a good time around people outside of the "rock thing." All the time. So I could say that, I did the Lampedusa tour a few years ago with Emmylou, Steve Earle, the Milk Carton Kids, and Joan Baez came and played with us. It could be like a bunch of old folkies and beatniks with the Milk Carton Kids. The thing is we could annunciate, we could put words together and people would take it or leave it. There was great things with the beginnings of FM radio. FM radio came alive because it had an audience. The audience wanted some reaction, wants something to be part of the way the weave in people's different towns and cities. It was a clarion really. There was no concern about it being sponsored by the U.S. Army or something. That was different, but we were all on the same bus unless someone was listening to Bobby Goldsboro. 

Me: I love the song "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" you did with the Pretenders, Robert, on the record. That's a cover of the Ritchie Valens song. Are you a fan of that era of music from the 50s? 

Robert: Well, it's sultry, listen to Chrissie Hynde on that song, she's doing it. Matter of fact thinking about it, that would've been one song that if it would have gotten any play on the radio, it might've been the song that people could have sung along with at festivals. It's all about simplistic melody there, that's what it is. In the middle of all the kind of grime and grunge and extended diagonals that I like to play with I like to put in it some kind of sweet melody. 

Me: Do you still listen to it at home, that old music? 

Robert: I listen really to everything. Some of the early "Holly in the Hills" stuff with Bob Montgomery is great. It's strange really because I demanded from our agent that we can play in Lubbock, Texas because it's Buddy Holly's birth place and I can go straight across to New Mexico to Clovis where he cut the records. If we take away all the stuff we know, the glitter of his stuff, because we could hear something to often, but if we go and dig in,we'd never believe what a wildcat he was. I know some stories about him I got from Little Richard once. It was great stuff, great songs, great playing. 

Me: Can you tell me a Buddy Holly story you were told? 

Robert: Nope, I'm going to use them in my book. 

Me: Ha! Okay. So, one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs is "Hot Dog." That was on the last Zeppelin album. When punk became a thing how did you guys feel and what did you think? 

Robert: The thing with "In Through the Outdoor" we were definitely dumbfounded by the idea of British punk having some kind of revelatory gift that put us into the shadows because we had been raised on stuff that was far wilder than "Never Mind the Bollocks." There was so much wild rock and roll that we were raised on. Not glitzy stuff, far away from Neil Sedaka. So that's why we did things like "Wearing and Tearing" and "Ozone Baby," on that record, because we knew how to make that shit up, but we were so busy trying to write eight-minute epics about crossing the Atlas Mountains that we forgot all about the Phantom on Doc Records in 1959 singing "Love Me" for the best part of one minute and forty-three seconds. 

Me: Did you run into people like Chrissy Hynde who were making punk rock records in London back then? 

Robert: No, no, it didn't work like that. We were over really. Jimmy and I went to a couple of punk clubs to see the Damned because when Nick Lowe produced that album, "Fan Club" and "New Rose," that was brilliant stuff because it had substance and it also had melody It had so much drive about it, that's where it needed to go. So we used to go see them and Lydon would lie on the floor before sort of faking this admiration so it was difficult to not raise my foot and think he was the ball in Wolverhampton football club. But anyway it all goes around and around and around. He asked me for the lyrics to "Kashmire" when he was in PiL, it's all what it is. 

Me: Some Zeppelin songs you wailed and screamed and others you sang really "normal," and nice. What one was harder to do? 

Robert: Singing subtly is somewhat harder. 

Me: Why is that? 

Robert: I got to get down where emotions take me. It'd be a pretty dumb move to try and make everything have a big impact riff and that kind of puffy chest job, Take the "Rain Song" in Zepp. If you think about it, I was 23, I suppose Jimmy was 50. He was 27, or whatever it was, and we were working in all sorts of areas and I cut my cloth accordingly. All the way through Zepp there's been that sort of dynamics. I hear shot in restaurants, I hear people do "Fly Me to the Moon" or something and there's great, great singers, people who got amazing chops from Mel Torme to Sarah Vaughn, amazing singers and they can only do so much with a song if it's stuck in that place. As a singer if I have to get stuck in that place because that's where its at for my audience it's a safety zone that's unacceptable. 

Me: So, when you see other people perform "Stairway to Heaven" what do you think? 

Robert: How much has been lost. How much has this great glorification so far away from the intentional intention of the song. What happened to the song? It's beautiful, but did I like to for the last 20 years? No. What the hell has happened to everything? I've gone so far away from he whole idea of bow ties and evening dress and celebrating Led Zepp like that. We were the guys that weren't allowed into bars because they didn't like the look of us and we were given the keys to the city of Memphis, Tennessee by the mayor at 7:00 p.m. onstage and under house arrest at 10:00 p.m. 

Me: So, what's your relation with the song "Stairway to Heaven" now? 

Robert: I don't know. It's like a relative of mine somewhere, but he's by the sea somewhere and he's got his head lying back in the sand going "love me." 

Me: So, what do you think of kids trying to imitate John Bonham's drumming, Robert? 

Robert: Lets's face it, John's right foot is just the most spectacular right foot in the history of popular music in the last 60 years I think. 

Me: Okay, so, I have to ask you about the upcoming album "Digging Deep: Subterranea," Robert. What can you say about it?

Robert: It's a journey through my solo recordings, from "Pictures At Eleven" in 1982 through to three previously unreleased, exclusive tracks. 

Me: Robert, thanks for being on the Phile. I hope it was fun and I hope you'll come back again soon to talk about the new album. 

Robert: Thank you, Jason. Perhaps I will. 

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Robert Plant for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with the kids from the county band Lady A. Spread the word, not the turd or virus. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain. 

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, August 28, 2020

Pheaturing Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon

Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. How are you?  Not to alarm anybody... but Mad Max took place in 2021! More than three dozen children are now safe after being rescued during a sex trafficking bust that involved state and federal agents. The bust dubbed “Operation Not Forgotten” span in 20 counties around Metro Atlanta. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional fugitive task force, and other Georgia state agents and local agencies looked around North and Middle Georgia to find missing and exploited children during the two-week operation. In total, 26 endangered children were recovered and another 13 endangered missing children were found. U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington stated that the authorities feared the children were all already of potential victims of child sex trafficking. According to authorities, “These missing children were considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions. Other children were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their wellbeing.” Investigators filed 26 arrest warrants and additional charges for allegations including parental kidnapping, sex trafficking, registered sex offender violation, custodial interference, and drugs, weapons violation, and weapons possession. The operation spanned across 20 Georgia counties. Several sources say that the children were found in Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett, and Forsyth counting. A total of nine suspects were arrested. The suspects are now behind bars and state prosecutors are handling the cases and medical and social workers are focusing on helping the kids who are in a safe location. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr state authorities will measure their success on how many lives that they saved and “that will have a new and fresh start.” Authorities did state that other major cities across the United States have similar operations currently underway but most of them have yet to be completed. Through a statement on Twitter, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp thanked law enforcement officers for their work. In 2019, USMS helped locate a total of 295 missing children after requesters for assistance from several law enforcement agencies and helped recover 75 percent of cases received. Of the missing children recovered, 66 percent were recovered within seven days of USMS helping with the case.   

Everyone knows the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover,” and in stories like this one, the truth of that statement has helped changed a man’s life after almost 20 years. In Los Angeles, California, 33-year-old Randi Emmans was walking her dog outside of her apartment when she heard a man talking to himself. Pedro Reid was talking into the abyss of nothing, saying things like, “Everyone just stares at me. I’m an educated man, but all they see is a person who doesn’t have a home and doesn’t have anyone to call,” inferring that he was homeless. With her curiosity peaked, Emmans went and got her boyfriend, 34-year-old John Suazo. The couple struck up a conversation with Reid, who was more than happy to talk with them since no one had ever really asked before. They were impressed with the way he talked and the conversations they were having with him, leading them to learn more about his story and how he ended up on the streets. Back in 1999, Reid had move to Los Angeles from Charleston, South Carolina to go live with his aunt. However, after a year of getting caught up with drug and alcohol addictions, he ended up homeless. Soon, almost 20 years went by, and Reid was really losing hope that his life would ever change. He didn’t want to stay in shelters because “they were worse than the streets,” but while being in and out of jail, he would use that as opportunities to call home and send letters to his grandmother’s house. But his family had a difficult time trying to find him, since he didn’t have an ID and would use the name Franklin Mitchell after one altercation with police officers. Without an ID, he couldn’t get a job and the cycle of getting arrested for petty crimes such as theft to support himself was difficult to break. However, whenever he would get a newspaper, he would make an effort to read it, “I read the newspaper every day if I could get my hands on it,” he had said, “Being an avid reader has enabled me to speak articulately.” Getting to know Reid moved the couple to want to help him find his family. Reid gave them the only information he knew: a few names and his grandmother’s address, hoping she was still there and alive. The couple searched relentlessly for Reid’s family members, calling many wrong numbers until they reached Reid’s uncle’s ex-wife. Reid’s uncle, 59-year-old Pierre Grant, called back after receiving a call from his ex-wife. Grant told the Washington Post, “John started telling me about what took place between them and Pedro, and I knew immediately he was talking about my nephew. For over 20 years, we had been praying and believing that one day we would find him, and the day finally came. This is a miracle.” After testing negative for COVID-19, Grant flew from Charleston to Los Angeles. Before Emmans and Suazo had found Reid’s family, they had helped him clean up, giving him a backpack full of food, water, and other essentials that Emmans had brought from the charity, Project Backpacks, that she started to help provide for the homeless during the holidays. She also reached out to others in a public Facebook post, asking for donations, which led to the couple raising $6,500 to put him in a hotel for a week, get him a cellphone, and buy some new clothes. ​The funds also covered Grant’s travel expenses, as well as Reid’s cousin, Mia Green’s, travel from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Thankfully, they all tested negative for the coronavirus. Soon enough, on August 7th, they were all reunited. Reid was in tears as he and his cousin and uncle embraced each other for the first time in more almost two decades. They spent the night in Hollywood and had dinner with Emmans and Suazo, before returning back to Charleston where Reid will now live with in the family home. Unfortunately, he was devastated to learn that his grandmother died last year. Reid has also made contact with his mother, 69-year-old Deborah Reid, who lives in Converse, Texas. She will be in Charleston soon, when things are safer for a bigger family reunion. “I prayed for him every night,” she said, “For years I was thinking he died, and no one knew.” Reid is ready to start a new chapter. At 54-years-old, he hopes to use his story to bring awareness to the realities of the life of a homeless person. He wants to further his education, which ended just after high school, and find a job.

Authorities have announced that someone painted a ‘Baby Lives Matter’ mural at a Planned Parenthood location in Charlotte. According to WBTV, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department stated that CMPD officers went to South Warren Street in reference to a call for vandalism. The painting was reportedly done by anti-abortion activists in Charlottesville in front of the facility in the city’s historic Cherry neighborhood. The words are painted in baby blue and pink representing the gender of a baby. The incident is now under investigation and the Charlotte Department of Transportation has been notified. This isn’t the first time the phrase has been painted outside of a Planned Parenthood facility. Just last month, several activists also painted the same phrase in front of a clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to Fox News, it was removed less than a day after it was completed. These acts appear to be inspired by ‘Black Lives Matter’ murals on streets across the country after protests began after the killing of George Floyd. Mayor Muriel Bowser, from Washington D.C. ordered the phrase be painted across two blocks of 16th ST NW in the Nationals Capitol leading up to the White House. According to a local newspaper, Queen City Nerve, a similar message was also painted at a Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive in east Charlotte. As far as the creator of the sign, anti-abortion activists Tayler Hansen took credit for the mural and began posting about it on social media. Through a tweet, he stated, “close the doors to your murder mills forever and we can finish this!” The ‘Baby Lives Matter’ mural was quickly vandalized by counter-protesters to read “your body, your choice” and BLM. A GoFund me in favor of the mural was created, stating that the page was created “to protect life” and all donated funds will be used to paint ‘Baby Lives Matter’ murals in front of other Planned Parenthood buildings. According to the description, “the goal of the mural was “to draw attention to the tens of millions of innocent lives that have been ended by Planned Parenthood. This was a pure passion project for Tayler. He completed the mural by himself and spent a considerable portion of his life savings buying the material to get the job done.” The pro-life activist is said to be traveling across the country, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, to pro-abortion organizations and Planned Parenthood clinics, and paint the words in front of the building. Its goal is to fund 10 street murals each costing around $7,000 including travel, supplies, logistics, lodging, and potential legal fees. The ‘Baby Lives Mural’ comes as the Trump administration asked the Supreme Cout to reinstate a rule which requires abortion seekers to visit health care providers in person to acquire pills for medication abortions. This after lower courts blocked the rule during the pandemic. It also comes as the Republican National Convention is taking place, in which several Republicans are showcasing President Trump’s anti-abortion achievements, speaking about the horrors of the procedure. Abby Johnson, who quit her job running a Planned Parenthood clinic, became an anti-abortion activist and used her time to warn that Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would be “radical, anti-life activists.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he won’t skip debates with President Donald Trump this fall, vowing he’ll use the opportunity to confront his rival and be a “fact checker on the floor.” Biden said yesterday there’s no question the debates will take place, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters earlier in the day that she didn’t think Biden should debate the president at all. Pelosi said she knows she disagrees with Biden on this, but she doesn’t think he should “legitimize a conversation” with Trump. The Democratic nominee has repeatedly said he is eager to take on the president. “Here’s the deal with bullies, I understand how they work,” Biden said on CNN. “And I’m going to play by the rules of the debate commission and we’re going to have a debate.” In a separate interview on MSNBC, Biden said he’s going to be a “fact checker on the floor” during the debates and he thinks the media will fact-check Trump as well. Biden said later Tuesday that he would be hitting the campaign trail... in person... after Labor Day. He said during a fundraiser that he’ll start doing in-person events “a way that is totally consistent with being responsible.” Biden named Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Arizona as some of the states that are under consideration by his campaign for in-person events. Biden said he’ll “meet people where it matters... not at irresponsible rallies, or staged for TV to boost egos. but real people’s communities, in real local businesses, in their lives.” He said he’ll hold events “consistent with the state rules” about crowd sizes and other regulations. Biden has largely campaigned virtually from his Wilmington, Delaware, home, only venturing out for small, socially-distanced campaign events in Delaware or Pennsylvania counties just a few hours away. While Biden and his aides say he’s trying to comply with recommendations from public health experts in dealing with the coronavirus, Trump and his allies have ridiculed Biden for “campaigning from his basement.” Biden knocked Trump for delivering his own remarks to the Republican National Convention later last night on the South Lawn of the White House, calling him “totally irresponsible” for arranging an in-person audience for the event. Regarding the debates, Pelosi said she believes Trump will “probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency” and “belittle what the debates are supposed to be about.” She said a 2016 debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was “disgraceful” as Trump stood close behind Clinton as she spoke, moving into her camera angle. Pelosi says Trump was “stalking” Clinton and should have been told to move away. Instead, Pelosi suggests the two candidates have individual events where they take questions. “Let that be a conversation with the American people,” she said. “Not an exercise in skullduggery.” The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates recently rejected a request from the Trump campaign either to add a fourth debate or move up the three already scheduled. Trump’s campaign said 16 states will have started voting by the time of the first debate on September 29th. 

A 17-year-old was arrested after two people were shot to death while protesting in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, was 15 miles from Kenosha County and was taken into custody on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide in the attack that occurred on Tuesday night. The incident was all captured on cellphone video. Authorities stated the shooting left a third person wounded. According to the police chief Phillip L. Perlini, Rittenhouse was a former Public Safety Cadet. The program has been described online as offering youth the opportunity to explore careers in law enforcement. Because of the suspect’s age and state law, the chief stated that the police department could not comment any further on the situation. The teenager was arrested and charged after turning himself in at the Antioch Police headquarters. Rittenhouse is currently in the custody of the Lake County judicial system awaiting extradition to Wisconsin. The video shows the gunman, who was carrying a semi-automatic rifle, can be heard saying “I just killed someone” as he walks towards police vehicles. He’s seen in the video running down the street following the crowd, holding a long gun to his chest. The victims in the shooting on Wednesday night have been identified by friends and family, with one member of a being part of the Black Lives Matter faction called People’s Revolution. The man who died after being shot in the head during the confrontation has been identified as 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum. According to several Facebook posts, the man had only moved to Wisconsin a year ago and is now leaving behind a fiancee and their young daughter. Friends are trying to raise $25,000 to pay for the funeral costs and hold the memorial for the dad down two friends and family as Jo Jo. The man shot in the chest identified as 26-year-old Anthony Huber. Huber tried to disarm the suspect shooter with a skateboard. The only shooting victim to survive has been identified as 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz. The man was blasted in the right arm and was seen on camera yelling in agony while still holding a handgun in his hand. He was a volunteer medic for Black Lives Matter protest in Milwaukee over the summer. In the wake of the disturbing killings and night of unrest, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized the deployment of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha and doubled the number of troops in the city of 100,000 midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. The governor’s office stated they are working with other states to bring in more National Guard members and law enforcement officers. The state also announced a 7 p.m. curfew, despite protesters ignoring it. Several protesters marched past the intersection where the people were shot, stopping to gather around and pray and lay flowers. Evers, who is a Democrat, issued a lengthy statement asking those who want to “exercise their First Amendment rights” to do so safely and peacefully, urging others to “please stay home and let local first responders, law enforcement and members of the Wisconsin National Guard do their jobs.” In Washington, the Justice Department stated it is sending more than 200 federal agents from the U.S. Marshal Service, FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The White House announced up to 2,000 National Guards troops would be made available. Several users found that the man highly supports guns, the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ movement, and President Donald Trump. A video posted on the app Snapchat they sent at the scene of the protests showing a few seconds of a point of view of someone carrying a long rifle as police announcements can be heard on the speakers. Rittenhouse also posted a short video from a Trump rally earlier this year in Des Moines, Iowa, on one of his TikTok accounts. In a post on December 22nd, 2018, the suspect said that for his birthday he wanted he was asking for donations for a non-profit called “Humanizing the Badge,” Along with the post saying the group sought to “forge stronger relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”

In many places, masks are mandatory, so you as well make it your own. There's a mask for every fashion and fandom, and there can also be a mask for every face. People order custom-made masks with photos of their face on them to try and achieve a realistic look. Try being the most important word.

Here's another creative sign telling people to wear face masks....

Did you see that new ad for My Pillow? I will show it here...

Hahahaha. Did you see this poster from the RNC? 

So, do your kids like Barbie? Have you seen the new one?

Go to the store and buy it now. Did you know some birds have arms? No? I'll prove it...

Told you! Okay, let's take a live look at Port Jefferson, shall we?

Once again it looks like a nice evening there. So, a friend of the Phile has something to say about 17-year-old arrested after killing two during the Kenosha protests. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

In regards to the shootings Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kyle Rittenhouse is shown on video shooting a rioter (who earlier was yelling at people to “shoot me nigga!”) as he was charging towards Kyle, about to attack as part of the violently unruly mob. Then while fleeing the mob, others attacked Kyle, knocking him to the ground, one with skateboard and another man approaching him, armed with a pistol. The local prosecutors charged Kyle with first degree murder to appease the Black Lives Matter mob. However, the photos and videos are clear. 

It was self defense in both situations. If the jury system works, he will be acquitted. None of this would have happened if the local and state government would have put an end to out the violent uprising in the streets as soon as it began. #LegallySelfDefense. 

Oh, boy. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Said By People Who Are Unemployed
5. I'm just going to sign up for unemployment at 3 in the morning when it's less busy and so they know how unemployed I am.
4. Being recently unemployed and asking your recently unemployed roommate “aren’t you late for work?” first thing every morning and laughing like doomed goblins.
3. Only took me two hours of being unemployed for my dad to suggest coding classes again.
2. Now that I'm unemployed and living at my mom's house, I don't want a relationship anymore. Suddenly I can empathize with all the guys I've ever dated.
And the number one thing said by someone who is unemployed is...
1. Balding, unemployed, living with my parents; corona has completed my Costanza transformation.

When I was a younger person I had to use the Oxford dictionary to understand adult words and now that I’m an adult I have to use urban dictionary to understand younger people words. 

While hiking in the woods, Nate and Sam found this huge rock which had an old iron lever attached to it. Etched into the rock was the following inscription: "If this lever is pulled, the world will come to an end!" Nate wanted to pull the lever and see what would happen, but Sam, being a paranoid pessimist, greatly feared this. He said to Nate that if he tried to pull the lever, he'd shoot him! In a daring attempt, Nate lunged for the lever, and sure enough, Sam shot him. What is the moral of this story? Better Nate than lever. 

This is sooooooo cool! Today's guest is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, producer, author, and artist. His first novel his first novel Memoirs and Misinformation which was co-authored by my other guest is the 134th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile... Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon!

Me: Hey, guys, welcome to the Phile. I cannot believe you are on the Phile, Jim. How are you? 

Jim: It's happening! Good to be here on the Peverett Phile! 

Me: Yes. It Is. Your novel Memoirs and Misinformation is the 134th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. You wrote the novel, right, Jim? 

Jim: Yes, with this guy Dana Vachon. 

Me: Jim, you had a very unique path up to this point, right? 

Jim: Yes, sir. I started out in Canadian comedy clubs to going to things like Dumb and Dumber to really profound films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Me: So, what is the book about, Jim? 

Jim: Similarly is a mix of real moments, absurd moments, serious moments of my life tangled up with a lot of imaginary ones. None of this is real and all of it is true. 

Me: Dana, what was it like when you first met Jim? 

Dana: My earliest encounter of Jim was watching him on "In Living Color" then as a kid seeing him years later on Man on the Moon and marveling at the artistic transformation. What I saw was another beginning of another amazing transformation like that. I could sense it. So, we chatted and some time went by, we both realized we were both insomniacs who would download loads of early human history and Aprocrypha on streaming services at 3 a.m. and that sort of led us to the first chapter of the book and this wonderful long conversation. 

Jim: It really began in an art studio in New York and he walked in and saw me amongst the vestiges of my life. The torrential pieces, deconstructed me of every version known to man. So immediately we connected. 

Dana: There were images that I had to take resonate. There was a painting of Malibu in flames, there was a self portrait that was slashed. I thought this was someone who was diving deep. 

Me: What the hell, Jim? 

Jim: I was looking for the pieces that lies beyond personality. 

Me: What made you decide to write this novel? 

Jim: What do you mean? 

Me: You could have written a traditional novel, or a work of fiction, you could have written a memoir. 

Dana: This is something that is sort of in-between. It is obviously a work of fiction, there are moments where you could recognize Jim's actual life in there. 

Me: But why did you write this kinda book? 

Dale: I was always interested in the engineering of a medieval cathedral. It's not a natural space, right, it's a constructed space but it's constructed in the service of the truth because of these vaulted spaces where they could put early cinema, stained glass windows where they could tell the stories of the passion. I thought of the "fiction" being the construction but constructed of the service and illuminating these beautiful visions of a true past, much of which was in Canada. I thought that the line had already been blurred and we got tougher and realized not only had it been blurred but it had been it fouled, because most celebrity memoirs were messing with the truth anyway either through a mission or distortion. 

Jim: Reordering of things to make it look glowing. I've always believed that persona is a fiction to begin with. Most of us are walking around as a fiction. We have our religion, that's an idea. We have our nationality and that's an idea. But when grilled down to it what's left? Everything. There's just everything left. 

Dana: Jim had to do that because in this case to be an artist that is so well known to contend with fictions of Jim that is in a billion minds. So we are dealing with fiction if we are someone at his profile whether we like it or not. 

Me: Okay, so, am I thinking too deep, but every role you do is pretty cool, but is definitely you. No one can do it? 

Jim: There has to be truth. There's only one well to draw from. I could dress it up however I want to but if that core of truth isn't there the water doesn't quench my thirst. Even the biographical truth is a construct. So I wanted to get past that. What's beyond the invention and disguise? What's beyond the red "S" we have on our chest that makes the bullets bounce off? This book does that, it looks how persona becomes sarcophagical and at a certain point if you build a string enough one you have to claw your way out to get to the real you. 

Me: What is it about the tension between the real and unreal you find so exhilarating? 

Jim: I think real is an illusion. I really think it's as simple as that. I adhere to the yield of the Advaita Vedanta which means the knowledge there are no two things. That's the best thing Buddha has ever said. 

Me: Okay, what's the "Advaita Vedanta"? 

Jim: Advaita Vedanta is tree basic tenants of it is that there is the absolute and there is the relative. The relative is you and me relating to each other as separate things. All kinds of craziness could happen because the ego keeps reminding us that we're separate things and there's something that stake and there's something I could lose. The absolute is the knowledge that there isn't nothing that isn't you. So there is nothing to lose and no where to go. If you get a sense of that, of you get a real understanding of that you get glimpses. That was one of our main goals in this is to go through this absurd journey of definition and the madness of Hollywood. The burning down of old structures to get to a moment, at least a taste, of that infinite nothingness. Or eveythingness. 

Me: Dana, this is a crazy path to go down. How did you even start on this book? 

Dana: I think we both had similar references which is probably why the conversation was so rich starting out. We do see things differently but there were like key cardinal words Malick, like The Thin Red Line where we both could sit there and watch that and see the exact basically the same thing so we were able to come together and I learned a lot how Jim sees the world and Jim is the subject of the book so that was my job so there was no problem for me. 

Jim: We both have out expertise as well. He's a much more educated fella than me so he knows in a classical sense how to come at these things and I have been a seeker my whole life. So I have done my own research so it was a wonderful combination. 

Dana: And also I learned how to go into the unknown from him. Jim's a truly great artist and there's a fearlessness that comes with that and a capacity for discovery that was always exciting for me. It was an incredible thing to get to be around. 

Me: So, what about the Jim Carrey who goes to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee or the Jim Carrey that goes to the store to buy a head of lettuce what's the difference between that...? 

Jim: Is an infinite being that needs caffeine! 

Me: What's the difference between the Jim Carrey at Starbucks and the Jim Carrey in this book? 

Jim: Well, ultimately none. There's no difference. They are both ideas. And abstract constructions. I believe, and this is not an arrogant thing, I'm not being supercilious when I say we all have this. You are the space in which you're in which is all of this happening and if you really feel that for a second. I started out trying to understand the text and really being inspired by it and going okay. I sat back one day and I went "what of that coffee table was my foot?" and I tried to expand my consciousness that way. Actually just physically, the coffee table is my foot, now try to feel that as a part of my body. I actually try to experience it like I could experience my hands. You know you could feel a feeling inside your hands when you concentrate on them. So I started that and it started to expand itself until I become the walls around you. I come you and the air we breathe and we have everything in common, there's nothing we don't have in common, we are one thing. Try to breathe without the trees and you'll find out quickly. 

Me: Isn't it a bit scary to let go of that sense of just yourself, of who you've been told you are and who you feel you are? 

Jim: It's the most terrifying thing in the world. 

Me: Why is that? 

Jim: Because I'm being asked to die. This thing I've been protecting my whole life. But here's the great part, I don't have to stay there. And in fact I can't. There are moments where I've gotten to that place of understanding and tangible feeling of it and gone "My, God, I'm never going back. I feel so free, there's no me, I feel the ocean, the bottom of the of the ocean and the rings of Saturn and whatever else is one thing." It's an incredible feeling and then the illusion of our lives becomes so compelling that I get dragged back into the program. 

Me: You must come back and get a cup of tea or something, right? 

Jim: Another body in the brain, yeah. And I got to feed it with friendship and I got to feed it with love and this vessel, this thing requires a lot of love and care. And with some sort of relevance. 

Me: Your life has been so examined so many times, Jim. Dana, what did you learn about Jim that we didn't know or that you didn't know? 

Dana: Quite a lot. When I went into this one of my first projects was to "download" enough of his memories into my head so I could achieve some kind of virtuosity with another person's experience. So, that was a task I didn't know I was undertaking that was probably two years of talking on the phone at that point. I don't know think we were Skyping, that was in 2012. I was living on the 404 and I'd go walking. So the biography, the first books I read growing up were biographies... William Manchester, my father would have these books and I would crack them open. So I took that very seriously, the work of the biographer had to be done before I could begin to the experimental literary project of an auto fiction or an anti memoir. 

Jim: And he had to download, I was downloading to him all the time and he would come out with these extraordinary ideas and I would say that's wonderful and here's actually something even more insane and it really happened. 

Dana: There was magic, there was a moment where we were talking and he was in New York so we met and he'd read a chapter and Jim goes, well it was the Kelsey Grammar chapter, the seance, the cult, look this is great but what's missing here is nice and clearly I can see it, Kelsey wants to be the Guru and I thought, oh, that's Jim Carrey. He goes, "Ego hasn't entered the room yet." 

Jim: Because I've had those gathering with actual spiritual teachers come over to dinner and friends who come and we're dying to ask these people who are very wise and discerning our most heartfelt questions and one guy won't shut up. He's going, "I think what it is," and they'll do this oration and look at the Guru and say, "Am I right?" 

Me: You mention Kelsey Grammar in the book by name? 

Jim: Yeah, these people are named! Kelsey Grammar, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Nick Cage, who is obsessed with fighting aliens and possessing Excalibur. 

Me: Ha! Have you heard anything from them or their lawyers or anything? 

Jim: Hahahahaha! I heard from my lawyers so I think I'm okay. No, it's very innocuous. It's not like we go for anybody's jugular. It's slightly less penetrating or upsetting than a Ricky Gervais Golden Globe speech. I poked fun at everybody, I poked fun at my family, I poked fun at my friends, and I think no human being should be above that. So I think it's all good and they've been renting spaces in our heads, right? For a very long time. 

Me: Nick Cage liked it? 

Jim: Nick Cage loves it. He's out if his mind over it, he's really happy and I gave him all the best lines. 

Me: When you were on "Conan" back in February you talked about Rodney Dangerfield, we're you guys close? 

Jim: Jason, he gave me one of my first big breaks in show business. He took me as an opening act. 

Me: Is he in the book? 

Jim: Yeah, as a form of a talking rhinoceros. It's one of my favorite parts of the book. 

Me: Cool. Can you tell me something about you and Rodney Dangerfield? 

Jim: Well, we go back and I was living in Canada when he hired me the first time and he saw me do my Amazing Kreskin impression and he literally fell on there ground laughing. He wasn't just laughing because it was one of the funniest I did he was laughing also because he knew that really people in America didn't know Kreskin. He goes, "That's the biggest thing you do and nobody knows it." He thought it was kind of absurd." 

Me: Was he a nice guy? 

Jim: Yeah, he was an incredible human being and a tremendous support. If he loved you, man, it was like under the wing and telling you what you needed to know, and you needed to make the tanks so strong that no bonehead could stop it. All of those things and supported me when I was experimenting and would stand backstage laughing and going, "Man, those people are looking at you like you're from another fuckin' planet, man." But supported me, kept hiring me and he was just lovely to me. First time he saw me he said, "Hey, kid, ever been in love?" I was so green coming from Canada. We had beautiful times together and Joan Dangerfield has gotten in touch with me since she read the book. She read it in two days, she said she couldn't put it down. Many of the phrases were stuck in her head, especially the chicken fucker. She's just over the moon about it as well. She's very happy about it, so I look forward to everybody coming forward. It wasn't an opportunity for me to tell the world that to me there was a very special divine spark that was handed between us. He loved my father, Percy Carrey, who was the funniest man I've ever known in the world. 

Me: You told a story about when your dad first met Rodney when you were on "Conan" which was funny. Can you tell that story you told? 

Jim: The first time dad ever came down to Vegas he came backstage to me and Rodney and Rodney was smoking a joint and he looked up at my father and I said, "Rodney, this is my dad." He looked up from the joint at me and I said, "This is my dad Percy." And he said, "Oh, sorry, Percy, I have to have this stuff, man. It makes me creative. I'm a fucking pothead, man. You want to hit this, Percy?" He offered my dad a joint and my dad without thinking, without a moment's pause said, "Oh, no, if I start that I'll be up to two packs a day in no time." Rodney went, "Who the hell is this guy?" Then from then on they were best friends, they were fast friends, man. My dad and I would spar with Rodney and when I ran out stuff to say I would tap him and he'd tap in and come in with his stuff. And it was just so much fun. He loved him so much, I wanted to put that stuff across, I wanted people to know. 

Me: So, I have to ask you about the cover of the book, Jim. Can you explain what it is? 

Jim: My assistant, Linda, FaceTimed me, interrupted Dan and I are on a Skype own we were working already, it was 8 in the morning or something like that. She was crying and she said there are missiles coming and I I only have ten minutes and I said what do you mean and she said, "There are missiles coming, and they're going to land in 10 minutes. This is real." The alarms were going off and stuff and as she told me she was strenuously clutching her iPhone, she accidentally took a screenshot of my face. So the book's cover is an actual shot of my face after being told that I have 10 minutes to live. 

Me: Fuck. So, what goes through your head when you honestly believe you have only ten minutes to live?  

Jim: Well, if you look at that cover you'll see a man who is not freaking out. Not hysterical, more of a wave of calm coming over me and a sense of "Oh, that's strange. Huh, what a funny way for this all to end." And that's the feeling I got. Then there was the situation of so I hide under the stairs? Do I get in the car? What do I do? I don't want to die in my car. I tried to get off the island on the phone to my daughter and I couldn't get through and finally I just said, "You know what? I've had a wonderful life. And I decided to sit there and watch the ocean and go through all the ways in my head that I could be grateful for what I had and I started this list of gratitudes that could have gone on forever. I mean just how lucky I've been. 

Me: If anybody doesn't remember or know what happened in January 2018 can you remind us? 

Jim: Yeah, an alert, which warned of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii, sent the islands into a panic, with people abandoning cars on a highway and preparing to flee their homes. 

Me: Are you forever changed by that? 

Jim: Yeah, that's a part of me. It's a part of this book. When all is lost then all is found. 

Me: What happened when you found out it was a false alarm? 

Jim: There was just two minutes left when Dana called back and said it was a false alarm. The mainland knew before we did. 

Dana: It's also is that we know is a tribute to the power the blurring of the line between fact and fiction. This is a man who believes he's got two minutes to live because of a piece of misinformation. 

Jim: The cover itself is a perfect example of misinformation. I had to go through my own death for eight minutes. 

Me: Dana, are there moments that took you aback when you peered inside the bubble of fame? Does that make sense? 

Dana: We were separated by a continent so that was probably a good thing. I always knew Jim as a conversation partner for many years before we really were in the same room a lot woking. So by that point I had a little niece who poked her head into one of our Skype and said, "Are you the Grinch?" 

Jim: And I said, "Some say I am." 

Dana: I was able to see through her eyes that she's seen Jim through this amazing perennial favorite. But the conversation with Tallulah says conversation is life and I think that is through conversation I was able to understand Jim as a very special human being. And I had probably do that in order to do my job so the fame thing was something I didn't know, we had to get past that in order to do our work together. 

Me: So, I read somewhere that this pandemic is getting rid of "celebrity." What do you think, Jim? 

Jim: It's humanizing everybody. And it's just going to do that. I think there always will be people with special talents and even if it's like my brother John who can tear a car apart and put it back together in 20 below zero with bare hands. There's always going to be that but as far as exceptionalism where there's a star or whatever it is I think that that jig is up. 

Me: When I first started to interview people for this blog in 2008 I interviewed smaller unknown people, in indie bands and such, and now and then someone more known. All these years later the names have been getting bigger and bigger. I mean, in the last few years I interviewed both living members of the Beatles for fucking out loud. I used to get nervous interviewing bigger celebrities but not so much anymore. So, this is cool that you were on the Phile. I have to say my dad was Lonesome Dave in Foghat and loved it when you were on the MTV Awards, dressed as a bearded hippy and said, "Would it kill you guys to play some Foghat?" I wanted to tell you that. 

Jim: Foghat was a cool band, I'm sorry about your loss. I lost both of my parents but they are not gone. I don't think as my father is gone, I don't think my mother is gone. They never go. 

Me: Where are they? 

Jim: They're in me. Your dad is in you. 

Me: That's sweet. My mom passed away in 2000 as well as my dad, so I guess she's in me too, right? 

Jim: Yeah. Foghat was a great band. By the way, have you interviewed Gordon Lightfoot? 

Me: No, not yet. 

Jim: He must be getting up there, right? You know you need to interview him, man. 

Me: Yeah, he's 143. Hahaha. Jim and Dana, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again sometime, this was a huge thrill. 

Dana: Thank you. 

Jim: Great talking to you, Jason. Now take a slow ride and take it easy, man.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jim and Dana for a deep but great interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with music legend Robert Planet. Spread the word, not the turd... or virus. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain. 

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