Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Pheaturing Alanis Morissette


Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. This is the last entry for 2020... can you believe it? Wot a fucking crazy year it has been. It looks like President Donald Trump and former First Lady Michelle Obama are the most admired man and woman of 2020, according to the new Gallup Poll that was released this morning. It’s the first time that President Donald Trump has topped the list by himself, ending a 12-year run by Barack Obama, with whom he tied for most admired last year. For Michelle Obama, this is her third straight year as a most admired woman in the United States. For Trump, the title reflects and part of his enduring popularity among several Republicans, even after a year in which he was impeached, was highly criticized for his administration handling the COVID-19 pandemic and racial tensions, as well as a lost re-election. Gallup noted that several Republicans named anyone else besides the president, who holds a 39 percent overall approval rating, while Democrats split their votes. Former President Barack Obama came in second among men in the U.S., at 15 percent. President-elect Joe Biden came in third with 6 percent, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the nation’s top infectious disease expert, came in fourth with 3 percent. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Pope Francis, Dwight Eisenhower, and Bill Gates were also among the most admired men on the list. According to Gallup, among party lines, 48 percent of Republicans chose President Trump while Barack Obama was a top choice among the Democrats with 32 percent, receiving 13 percent among Democrats. Obama and Trump were split among Independents with 11 percent. As far as the most admired woman, Michelle Obama received 10 percent of the votes. Vice president-elect Kamala Harris followed behind Michelle Obama, with 6 percent, and current first lady Melania Trump came in third place with 4 percent. Melania Trump came in second to Michelle Obama in 2019, and has been among the top 10 most admired women for the past four years, but never placed first. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Hillary Clinton, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Queen Elizabeth II, Greta Thunberg, Oprah Winfrey, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were also among the most admired women. The poll was conducted by telephone from December 1st to the 17th among a random sample of 1,018 American adults. Gallup stated it does have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Authorities have identified Anthony Quinn Warner as the Nashville bomber after experts matched his DNA to remains found at the sight of the Nashville explosion on Christmas morning. According to U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennesee Don Cochran, “We’ve come to the conclusion that an individual named Anthony Warner is the bomber. He was present when the bomb went off and then he perished.” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch stated the DNA that was taken from the scene was matched to Warner by forensic analysts. The 63-year old from Antioch, Tennessee, had already been identified by authorities as a person of interest in the explosion of a recreational vehicle in downtown Nashville on December 25th. The explosion was captured in a Nashville police surveillance video that was posted to social media on Sunday night. The blast managed to damage dozens of buildings and injured three people knocking out AT&T Wireless services around Nashville. There is no indication that anybody else besides Warner was involved, and there’s been no motive determined as of now. FBI special agent in charge of the Memphis field office, Douglas Korneski, refused to comment on whether the blast would be considered domestic terrorism after the question arose. According to CNN, Forensic analysis at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation matched DNA taken from the explosion scene to the suspect. A vehicle ID number from the RV also matched Warner. Authorities are asking anyone who may have known Warner or encountered him should immediately contact the FBI so that investigators can establish a motive. Through a news conference, authorities did note that Warner was not previously on law enforcement’s radar. Investigators were able to match the DNA samples to Warner rather quickly because they were able to collect DNA from his family members. Law enforcement officials had earlier stated that they believed Warner’s human remains were found at the blast site. The FBI gathered DNA from Warner’s home and began searching around his area for any clues of the motive. Police were initially called at the location of the explosion after a resident called 911 at 5:30 a.m. on Christmas day. When officers responded to the scene, they found a white RV parked in front of an AT&T building that was reportedly broadcasting a warning that an explosion would occur. A computerized voice warned residents to evacuate the area. The explosion occurred at 6:30 a.m.

Well, this is a first. Looks like the clap has decided to clap back. LOL. See what I did there? Okay, okay, bad joke I’ll stop. But, this is pretty funny if you ask me. This year and this coronavirus pandemic just keeps throwing rocks our way. Apparently, a new strain of gonorrhea is infecting patients all around the world, according to the World Health Organization. The organization reported that the overuse of antibiotics to treat the coronavirus has caused the sexually transmitted infection to find a new way to, uh, let’s call it thrive. They are now sending a warning that this mutant “super gonorrhea” is unfortunately not treatable by any current means. Around 78 million people catch gonorrhea every year, but “the new “antibiotic-resistant strain developed through a mistreatment of gonorrhea bacteria left in the throat after oral sex.” In case you’re wondering, gonorrhea in the throat looks like strep throat, which is why doctors prescribe standard antibiotics, which then mixed with bacteria create antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea. Both of the antibiotics used to treat the bacterial infection, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, are now becoming increasingly ineffective against the new strain. Azithromycin has seen a heavy increase in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. A WHO spokesperson told The Sun, “Such a situation can fuel the emergence of resistance in gonorrhea including gonorrhea superbug (super gonorrhea) or gonorrhea with high-level resistance to current antibiotics recommended to treat it.” This so-called super gonorrhea infection doesn’t respond to the normal first-line treatment, which makes it particularly dangerous and uncomfortable for those who are affected. One of the reasons why the new strain is now exploding is because people aren’t going to hospitals unless they get infected with the coronavirus and actually have symptoms. Instead, they are self-medicating themselves which is why the doctors aren’t catching the disease in time. To make matters worse, apparently, super gonorrhea is extremely resistant to any antibiotic. Health experts have had some success against gonorrhea by using the two antibiotics mentioned above, but it is still unclear how long such a regimen will then deter super gonorrhea. The sexually transmitted infection, which can affect the throat, the rectum, and the genitals, is the second most common STD in the United States, reported by 820,000 patients each year. But, since gonorrhea often exhibits no symptoms or major side-effects, several people are unaware that they have become infected. If left untreated, it can cause burning during urination, inflammation, fertility problems in women, and inflammation. It can also increase the risk of HIV. The STI is usually spread through sexual contact, but can also spread from a mother to a child during birth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, cases of gonorrhea, which is caused by bacteria neisseria gonorrhoeae, have increased up to 63 percent since 2014.

"Full House" actress Lori Loughlin has now been released after serving a two-month sentence in federal prison for a college admissions scandal that she participated in with her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, the mastermind behind the scam, Rick Singer, and 50 other parents who were participated to get their children into the University of Southern California. The scheme was a college admissions bribery scandal that had Giannulli emailing pictures of his daughters posing on indoor rowing machines to Singer, for him to create fake athletic profiles for the two girls as recruits for USC’s rower crew team. The famous “Aunt Becky” actress and her fashion designer husband had paid $500,000 to Singer to help ease their girls into getting into the hyper-competitive elite university. Among the other parents was actress Felicity Huffman, who paid Singer $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT scores, resulting in her spending 11 days in prison last October. Loughlin had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy chargeback in May and began her prison sentence on October 30th at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California (FCI Dublin). She will serve two more years of supervised release, perform 100 hours of community service, and also pay a $150,000 fine. Giannulli also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge as part of a plea deal and started a five-month prison term on November 19 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Lompoc, California. Upon his release, he will serve a two year supervised release, perform 250 hours of community service, and pay a $250,000 fine. The couple’s youngest daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, is a social media influencer, and commented earlier this month about the scandal on the series, “Red Table Talk.” She said, “We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like, ‘I recognize I messed up.’ And for so long I wasn’t able to talk about this because of the legalities behind it,” explaining how she doesn’t want or deserve pity, according to the Associated Press.

DC is ramping up its movies after DC Films President Walter Hamada revealed that they are planning something bigger for the future of the franchise. Wonder Woman 1984 received some promising box office returns despite the ongoing pandemic. Aside from the confirmation on a Wonder Woman 3 film, the Warner Bros. division has additional plans. Hamada talked with The New York Times where he mentioned that DC Films are planning to release up to four superhero films annually in theaters starting in 2022, and another two feature films every year on HBO Max. The plan is to put the most expensive films in theaters while the less costly titles will be placed on HBO Max. This announcement suggests that the company will not fully delve into its 2021 strategy of releasing films in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. Wonder Woman 1984 is the first major movie to receive the hybrid strategy when it debuted on Christmas day. The numbers are not available on how well the sequel performed on HBO Max but the film grossed $85 million during the opening weekend at the box office. Most of its returns came overseas. Despite having a different tune for the 2022 plans, HBO Max will still remain a major consideration for the film. Hamada stated, “With every movie that we're looking at now, we are thinking, What's the potential Max spin-off?” Basically, the plan is that if a certain project from a movie on the big screen looks promising, they may try making a spin-off for it on the streaming service. In fact, TV spin-offs based on the upcoming films titled The Batman and The Suicide Squad are already in pre-production status. The plan also sets the company’s intention to possibly employ a storytelling multiverse to be able to generate a huge volume of diverse content. The Flash with Ezra Miller will introduce the multiverse premise. This multiverse factor will patch up any loophole that will allow various actors to play the same character at the same time, without violating or discarding the canon. An example is both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck reprising their roles as Batman for certain DC projects. 

This NFL season a lot of teams have changed their logo, like this one...

Hahahaha. Did you see the latest Durex ad? If not, I have it right here...

It made me laugh. I was thinking of getting a new tattoo but someone had the same idea I had...

Hahahahaha. So, if I had a TARDIS I would go to London and try to meet a knocker-upper.

Before alarm clocks there were knocker-uppers. They earned sixpence a week shooting dried peas at sleeping workers windows. My grandmother Nanny Rose was a knocker-upper. No, that's not a pic of her. The holiday season can bring out the best, and worst, in people. Sometimes that worst comes from family. For a Phile reader this season’s gifts brought out some conflict so they turned to the me for moral judgement. 

"Am I wrong for giving away my grandparents’ gift intended for my fiancée? Every year, my grandparents give $300 to their single grandchildren and $500 to their married grandchildren, along with a note that says ‘to share with your spouse.' When opening up our gifts this year, I noticed my cousin, who had recently married his gay boyfriend, only received $300 while my fiancée and I received $500. I handed two hundreds from my envelope to my cousin in front of everyone, which caused quite the scene. My family is very religious and refuse to accept gay marriage as legitimate. They refuse to acknowledge his husband as a member of our family and tell him he is going to hell unless he changes his lifestyle. I defended my decision by saying, ‘we’re not married yet, and they are. I think there’s been a mistake.' Conversations quickly devolved, resulting in both my cousin and I leaving shortly after. My family insights it was not my money to give and my actions disrespected both my grandparents and my fiancée. My fiancée feels my family was welcoming her, and I rejected her in front of everyone. Am I wrong? PS:  I feels it was OUR gift but I made a decision like it was MY gift. I also don't like to make waves and would have preferred to thank my grandparents while handling the situation with my cousin in private.” What you did was extremely thoughtful and it’s actually great to read that it came to your mind in that moment. Your fiancée should also be understanding and supportive especially as your cousin was being purposefully ostracized, the money is a gift and you can share your $300 with you. Your silence and acceptance of the money would have been complicit in your grandparent’s homophobia. Good for you. If your fiancée was upset about being ‘rejected in front of everyone’ because of a couple of hundred dollars, tell her to think about how your cousin’s husband must feel about every interaction with his married family. You did the right thing by everyone, including your fiancée. By making that decision individually and publicly, you’ve shielded her from any family blowback about this. I know that technically it was given to you as a couple, but really, it’s from your family and it’s to do with your family politics, so until she’s actually your spouse I would say it’s fair enough for that to have been your decision. Homophobia and bigotry in any form is unacceptable. How much more hurtful when it comes from family? Luckily you had your cousin’s back. And I definitely have yours. 

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

Top Phive Things Said About Staying Home For New Years's Eve
5. At least there will be no "what are you doing on New Years's Eve" questions this year.
4. Does anyone ever have New Year's Eve plans this year or are we all gonna be sat playing "Animal Crossing"?
3. Please dress up and celebrate yourself on New Year's Eve. This year was brutal and you survived. That alone deserves celebration. 
2. New Year's Eve inside alone or with exactly one other person has always been the best way to duo that particular holiday and many of you are about to learn this glorious truth.
And the number one thing said about staying home for NYE is...
1. "Invitation: Zoom New Year's Eve Party" saddest six word sentence in the English language. 

Poo ghosts

The 143rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Matthew will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks. Okay, let's take a live look at Port Jefferson, shall we? I wonder if the snow melted there.

Yep. All gone. What a beautiful evening there though. 

Phact 1. It is now tried by researchers to make two gorillas who know sign language mate with each other, in order to test if they can teach this skill to their offspring. 

Phact 2. All humans have the ability to see ultraviolet light, but it is passively filtered out by the eye’s lens. Patients who undergo surgery to remove the lens can detect ultraviolet light. 

Phact 3. California has a larger population than all of Canada. 

Phact 4. There are sea wolves that live on the coast of British Columbia. They comb the beach for barnacles, herring roe, and beached whales, and some will even eat salmon. Most of these wolves have never even seen a deer. 

Phact 5. Don Lapre, the man that became famous with his 1990s infomercials about placing tiny classified ads in newspapers and getting rich, was charged in 2011 with 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering and committed suicide in custody. 

Today's guest, and the last for 2020 is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. In 1995, she released "Jagged Little Pill," a more rock-oriented album which sold more than 33 million copies globally and is her most critically acclaimed work to date. This was made into a rock musical of the same name in 2017, which earned 15 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. Her latest album "Such Pretty Forks in the Road" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Alanis Morissette.

Me: Hey, Alanis, welcome to the Phile for the last entry of this fucked up year. How are you? 

Alanis: Oh, man, answering that question I can either answer with magical laughter or any emojis I've been answering. It's a rollercoaster time, it depends when we all catch each other. But in this moment I feel really great to be talking to you. 

Me: Cool. How have you been with all this pandemic stuff? 

Alanis: Oh my gosh. I find a panacea or a little cell for me is when I serve. It sort of gets me out of the oh my gosh, what's happening with the world politically, spiritually, emotionally, socially, all these personality disorders are so normalized in culture now that all we know is this combative odd chapter that we're in. So, yeah, depends when you catch me. I'm postpartum activity, moody, empowered, lost, depressed, panic attacked happy lady. LOL. 

Me: I'm sure. What do you mean by serve when you serve? 

Alanis: Um, it could be any form of serving. Writing songs or making art is a form of moving energy. And if we share it publicly I believe all artists are social activist and then it could be anything. It could be volunteering, it could be donating, it could be supporting people in voting in America. There's a million ways, it could be kicking the right t-shirt that makes someones day. It could be micro or macro or anything in between. 

Me: Cool. So, you have a new album, your first one in eight years. And "Jagged Little Pill" came out 25 years ago this year. When you look back at your life then and your life now what is one difference you can pinpoint? 

Alanis: I think when the one dimensionilizing tendency was in full throttle for me in terms for calling me the angry white female. I mean accurate, one dimsensionilzing though and kind of reductive. I would say my anger has always been an energy that I love and I think anger gets such a bad rep because we often equate it with destructive anger acting guns and fighting and murder and war. But anger itself is such a powerful beautiful emotion that can move worlds, it can set boundaries, it can help us show up, it can help us vote, it can help us not tolerate certain circumstances anymore. So anger itself gets a bad rep but I love to so much. And the difference between then and now is that I know there was this desire maybe from patriarchy or otherwise to reduce what I was doing to one or two things and I think it's natural human tendency sometimes to want to define someone and move on. But the truth is we're complex creatures with multiple parts to us, different perspectives even within our one system here so I think now I'm just using anger whenever I need to fuel a boundary being said or serving. Showing up to some degree, if anyone is an activist so much what we're fueled by is anger at what i and wanting to shift it. 

Me: So, is this year making you even more angry? 

Alanis: Yes, any of them frankly and so much of that is the epicenter of how we operate with unschooling with our family and our kids and our small bubble we have. Any feeling is welcomed and my main job as a mom is to hold space for all these millions of feelings that pass through three very highly sensitive children. We just hold space for the understandable feelings that are going through their minds and the age appropriate amount of information we give them and trying to gauge what's just enough information to empower but not so much information that it floods them or overwhelms them. So we're constantly brainstorming how to present what's going on in the world. 

Me: So, when you first got famous what went through your head, Alanis? 

Alanis: Well, as a Canadian I've always enjoyed people watching so I was the woman sitting on benches and just watching people and that was the most entertainment I could even conjure. Then all of the sudden it turned to the point where I was the watched one. All the eyeballs turned towards me and while I am a ham and lover performing there's a whole level highly sensitive empathic slightly fragile part of me that almost has attention shame. So my foot is always on the pedal and the break at the same time like yes, but no, but yes, but no, look away, but come here. So very Gemini dualism. 

Me: Your song "Pedestal" on the new album is about that, right? Being famous? 

Alanis: "Pedestal" is about understanding exploitation and understanding as best as I could people's agendas or motivations around wanting to hang out with me or wanting to take advantage of certain things. It's a natural thing. 

Me: What was the turning point for when when you suddenly got really famous? 

Alanis: I think the turning point for me really happened after the video for "You Oughta Know" came out and it was blurry so I could still walk around in the streets and no one would think twice or look twice. But as soon as the video for "Hand in my Pocket" came out there was a little bit more of a clear image of my face and I remember walking down a New York street and all of a sudden all these people were following me. I had a version sort of a model version for lack of a better term in Canada so I understood the mechanism, I understood the wow, they're recognizing me this is sort of putting big pause button on a normal human interaction brown haired girl meeting brown haired woman. It's like all the normal interactions kind of went the way of all things and all of a sudden there were things to consider and to protect and to question and trust, lack of trust, discernment. I had to be like a very advanced discerning person to figure out what relationship was based on real connection. Who was coming in with the agenda that I spoke about? Even to this day there are times where I'm like oh, I missed that one. LOL. But I had to write "Pedestal" to explain like even though there are times where I might have white knuckled though circumstances I knew what was ultimately going on and whether I did something about it at the time or not really at 46-years-old now I look back where I think there were some people that were so sociopathic and so really, really, really great at presenting compassionately or faking empathy that I was snowed once in a while and I'm forgiving myself for that every day. 

Me: So you're saying some people weren't as genuine or nice as they should be but faked it? 

Alanis: Yeah, I was a little too infatuated or maybe I was distracted or maybe I saw what I wanted to see. Sometimes I could call it, I could say oh, yeah, I know this person is very sort of opportunistic around me and maybe I'll tolerate that for a minute. But the end of the day, I mean I could talk about fame with you for hours. The pros and the cons and for me the reason I said service earlier is because service is a way to make this fame to be a means to an end I think. Over the last two years fame became this end as opposed to the 60s and 70s people became famous as a means to sort of push their agenda for political awareness or social commentary then all of a sudden it just turned into fame was the goal. Really my experience of it it's slightly hollow and also has a lot of great boons to it. If I'm fighting on behalf of LGBTQ, if I'm fighting on behalf of BLM, if I'm fighting on behalf of anything and fighting might not be the right word, but being in the public eye is a really incredible way to serve I think. And I'm taking advantage of that. 

Me: If you could go back in time and speak to the pre-famous Alanis what would you tell her? 

Alanis: I would say your innate self is beautiful and I as best as possible let's surround you with people who could take care of that really tender heart. 

Me: What have you learnt from all your experiences? 

Alanis: Well, I relaxt love trauma recovery work. LOL. All the people who have either been mentors or colleagues or friends or teachers often all of the above, going to therapy and really being able to process philosophically what was going on is a lifesaver for me. I just bounced between micro and macro all day long. This conflict that I'm resolving or repairing with my husband, how does that speak to politics? How does this leak to how people are in our families and how does it affect schooling and education? So for me its just a big system in a web where everything is inextricably affecting each other so being a philosopher and an artist and a writer its just incredible to be able to carve out some moments so I can write songs about this and sing about it. And then allow interviews like this to continue the conversation. 

Me: So, your song "Hands Clean" was about sexual abuse, Alanis. When that song first came out how did it go over? 

Alanis: Well, depends who was listening. Record company people were very excited to turn this video like they had ideas like let's bring these young people in, we'll do karaoke, and I just turned to them and I said, "Have you heard the song? Do you know what the song is about?" So for me it was important for me to tell the story in the video and then the rest was joyful. However I thought it would kickstart a pretty robust conversation about recovery from sexual abuse... sexual abuse in general. But I think it just kinda slipped pass. This was pre MeToo, I was willing to talk about it, I would talk about it to the degree that it might support people or stop future horrifying moments. 

Me: How can they not know what the song is about, right? 

Alanis: It was a dialogue, the verses are this person speaking to me and then me speaking back and then just saying the silence. A big pet peeve of mine is when I hear people say why did this woman wait 30 years? I'm like first of all she didn't wait. She was saying things all along, no one was listening. A lot of times trauma gate stuck in the body on a very somatic level and we don't know. There are certain things that we can check out of or disassociate from and completely erase from our memory and it sits in our body until we're ready, until the circumstance makes sense for us to start speaking about something. And the context of patriarchy making space for the MeToo movement. I mean is just the beginning, its the beginning of the feminine being respected in everybody, every gender. 

Me: Do you think it's different now because of the MeToo movement? 

Alanis: Yes, just the consciousness raising in general. Snail's pace, evolution consciousness wise has always been such a snails pace and I guess quantum leaps are not sustainable. We haver this big turning point, change we think is going to concretize this new way of living and I've just come to notice that our evolution as a species it gets locked in at a slower pace. So it takes time for life to change for consciousness to raise and there's so many different varying versions of consciousness all around us and in us quite frankly. So all I can do is attempt to not fight what's going on. Fight as in passion and activism but not fight within like if there's fear or sadness or regret or guilt or shame, as best as I possibly can to turn my lens inward and have some kind of dialogue with that part so its not suffering. Because there's this chronic suffering happens when things are left undone. I think the post MeToo movement there's so much more talking about it and I wrote a song called "Sandbox Love " about what does sexuality look like if its healthy, what is a woman or a man or a non-gender identifying creature do after sexual abuse? Like there's not a ton of literature, there's not of support, there's still so much stigma, there's a lot of victim shaming, so for me its about letting people know that if a woman waits or a man waits for gun years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty ears to share the truth of their experience in their childhood or otherwise that's fast, the fact that they remember it at all is a great gift and the fact that they listened and honored, I mean we're still in patriarchy, its still pretty molasses in here but we're moving. 

Me: Okay, let's talk about "You Oughta Know." Why do you think that song is still popular? 

Alanis: For me it's the devastation and the rage is the combination. So many times we're taught, especially the core masculine patriarchal side is that anything we feel fitter through anger, right. Every other emotion is dangerous especially for me when I was younger, sadness, anger, fear. Also was one that was that welcomed. So that song was just me being afraid, sad, devastated, raging out of my zen seat. So basically when I perform it I just feel like it just gives people permission to be that permission to be devastated and to feel that entirely. 

Me: So, there's now a show called Jagged Little Pill, Alanis. When you are in the audience and not singing it but you're watching it do you understand the power of it differently? 

Alanis: Yes, because its the first time I have objectivity receiving the song. 

Me: What do you notice? 

Alanis: I feel like I'm in the audience being given permission to feel. It's also been taken into a story where there's different gender's and different perspectives, singing these lyrics and infusing them and imbuing them with a whole other meaning for young men, let's say or a husband. "Many Jane" is sung through a male voice. So during rehearsals and workshops I was sobbing and weeping, I just could not stop crying listening to these songs being performed and the musical director Tom Kitt would come up behind me and push my shoulders down because I'd be shaking. I think the objectively certainly but also just really feeling and hearing these songs for what felt like the first time, I wasn't me monologizing them, it was me receiving them, it's pretty amazing. 

Me: What did the performers think of you crying? Hahaha. 

Alanis: Diablo Cody and I, she wrote the book, anytime we see each other or talk with each other we're crying, we're holding each other and sobbing basically. I think I got a glimpse of objectivity and really for me its so scared, everything that's gone on Jagged Little Pill and before and after but it's not precious, because songwriting is like a quick snapshot. Then when I perform any of these songs on stage or now when I'm receiving them it's dialogue of energy of just we can feel, we can feel this one, we can feel this one, we can feel these three at the same time. 

Me: What do you think of kids listening to the songs that weren't even born when he record came out? 

Alanis: I have a hard time wrapping my head around a lot of it. But I do know as an empath when I write these songs they are for myself certainly then as soon as I share them publicly they are not mine anymore, they're theirs so use them, use them anytime they want, any time, day or night, in the car, middle of conflict, after repair, before conflict, whatever you want. 

Me: Okay, I have to mention my favorite song of yours and that is "Ironic." Do people ever comment the grammar of it? Hahaha. 

Alanis: Being in the public eye constant projections of light projections of really dark, so I hold a lot of people's perceptions and some of them feel really accurate and some of them are my blindspots, I'll figure it out later in therapy thank you very much. Those are super dark, super light, so I think the malapropism and "Ironic" was the perfect thing for so many people to just kick my ass with. They're like "I'm having a hard time kicking her ass, how can I do it? Oh, yeah, grammar problems." When I was writing that song with Glenn we literally couldn't care less about making sure that it was accurate, I think in a way that might be obvious. But when it came out, I didn't even want that song on the record at one point, I just thought I started much more autobiographically after but people liked it so I just said "what do I know?" Let's put it on. I'm so happy we did, and how Diablo Cody addressed it in the musical is so sweet and everyone's laughing because its the shadow laugh of oh, her big malaprop is a mistake where she's raked over the coals for 25 years. The real irony for me is I've always been the grammar police so for me to have my butt kicked was just very humbling and beautiful in that way. Then in other ways I'm like, okay, I know a lot of songs of many, many artists over the years that the poetic license was there for them but apparently wasn't there for "Ironic." LOL. 

Me: So, people commented on it back then? 

Alanis: There was a couple of websites erected to figure to how to kill me. There were a lot of things that were happening, I was like this is not humane, I'm gonna do my best not to take it personally. So I stopped reading comments. And right now because what wound up happening is throwing the baby out with the bath water, I wouldn't receive anybody's comments and what we do is around once a month I'll ask a couple of people who I work really closely with to send me messages from people that are just straight up communication and not derisive and not crawl, no buying. 

Me: Why is that? 

Alanis: Because I want to hear peoples stories and I want to hear what's going on, I don't want to be insulted and isolated. 

Me: You were on Fallon and performed a song holding Onyx, your 4-year-old daughter, that must have been fun and crazy, right? 

Alanis: Yeah, all this fame is just an energy. There are so many words that people use relevant, fame, fame is just what people know what I'm doing. My family is more important to me than anything so if I'm in the middle of shooting something "important" and they need to come in they're coming in. We've been on schooling since our first son ever was born so it's kind of a way of life for us is that everything is linked together. There are times where they will let me do an interview they won't bother me but sometimes if music is involved we have tons of instruments it's hard for them to stay out. I have so much fun with my children, I live for them. 

Me: That's great. Thanks so much for being on the Phile, wrapping up this year. Take care, Alanis. 

Alanis: Thank you, Jason, have a good year.

That about does it for this entry and this year on the Phile. Thanks to Alanis for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Friday, January 1st kicking off the 15th and last year of the Phile with the great 
Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian. Spread the word, not the turd. 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

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A Peverett Phile Christmas 12 Pheaturing Midge Ure


Hey, kids, welcome to A Peverett Phile Christmas, the 12th and last one. How are you? Kids today are so coddled... Elf on the Shelf, Toy Story. In my day, if dolls magically came to life, they murdered you and everyone you loved. Okay, so, did you know there's a murder scene in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"? In hindsight, I have come to realize how actually messed up "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is. For a Christmas special to traditionally air for decades (it came out in 1964!), you would think that someone, ANYONE, would realize why the evidently obvious themes and motifs throughout the entire movie are actually pretty awful. So how in the world did people not realize that there’s actually a whole murder scene in this supposedly family-friendly movie?! Before we dive into the murder scene, if you’re still confused as to why this Christmas classic is actually not as innocent as it portrays itself to be, let me explain. Firstly, bullying is so prominent in this movie. Rudolph is bullied by Comet and the rest of his peers for being different (his bright red nose) and is even shunned from helping guide Santa’s sleigh. Only when Santa Claus himself decides he actually needs Rudolph’s nose to help guide the way around the world from the North Pole is when Rudolph was actually celebrated as an individual. “Oh actually Rudolph, I could really use you. I guess we can accept you into our little family now because you’re finally useful for something,” is basically what Santa is saying. The stop-motion animation holiday classic celebrated getting others’ approval in order to find self-worth, especially at a young age. Even Rudolph’s father, Donner, tried hiding his nose so that maybe Rudolph would fit in. Nevertheless, moving on to the murder scene that was so subtle, you may not even remember it. It’s actually a scene near the end of the movie, right as the credits roll in. Focusing on the misfit toys, which again, emphasizes the concept of finding societal acceptance by doing what is “supposed to be done” as opposed to celebrating who you are, one of Santa’s elves is seen dropping these toys with sad stories of rejection off with umbrellas to help them fly. The last misfit toy to get dropped off is a bird that is supposed to be able to fly, but can actually only swim. This evil, sociopathic-like elf pulls out an umbrella to give this flightless bird so that it can land safely. But as the bird prepares to take off, the elf withholds the umbrella, sending the bird down to its death below. Of course, we don’t see the big splat, but you can only imagine after putting the two and two together. Maybe we need to do a deep dive of all the classic holiday TV specials to re-evaluate what we were really consuming as children. Apparently, there’s more truth to be told about the likes of Charlie Brown, Sam the Snowman, Frosty, and more iconically famous holiday characters. So much for an actual holly jolly Christmas as Burl Ives had once mentioned, am I right?

It looks like the holidays just got a little bit better thanks to Tic Tac! ‘Tis the season to decorate your beard, with freshly minted Tic Tac candy cane mints. Yes, because Christmas decorations on your door are so last year and peppermint is pretty much the best thing on earth. The company got into the festive spirit this holiday season by introducing the ultimate version of Santa’s beard. Because we all know that everyone likes to decorate their beards for Christmas. Yes, men are putting Christmas ornaments and DIY lights on their beards. Think of it as a new fresh and sweet accessory. 

According to the company, the new creation builds on the holiday beard trend bringing Tic Tacs fun-loving personality to the holiday experience. The freshly mint custom look takes inspiration from Saint Nick himself and puts a fun twist to Santa’s iconic white facial hair. The Tic Tac wearable is made with more than 300 Tic Tac candy cane mints and also features a Tic Tac holster hidden deep within Santa’s beard to ensure that he’s ready to go for the holidays. Because let’s face it, Santa Claus is probably downing cups of coffee in the North Pole because of stress, so he has to make sure his breath always smells fresh. 

Well, it looks like Santa is a Trump supporter and customers are not happy about it one bit. A Georgia Santa Claus who sparked controversy after posting a photo on social media of himself wearing a MAGA hat supporting President Donald Trump at a mall is now receiving hate comments from users. Frank Skinner has played Santa Claus every Christmas for nearly 50 years, including the past 14 years at the Waycross Shopping Center in Georgia. As the mall was closing, and there were no children around, he decided to nonchalantly switch his hats and pose with the red hat for fun. Skinner said he did so very innocently, not thinking twice about the situation. He believes someone saw the photo on his Facebook page and sent it to the Georgia mall management, and was quickly told not to come back to work. Feeling like his constitutional rights were taken away, he stated he didn’t necessarily intend to “create a firestorm by doing that but simply intended to post the photo on my page for a little humor, as I have many friends and family who, like me, support our president.” The fake Santa stated the photo made its way to mall management with a request to remove the hat, which he believes was made out of context since he wears the hat all the time. Since that day, he is unsure what actions the mall will take next after he was replaced while management investigates. Despite what the outcome might be, Skinner said he had no intention of offending anyone and has learned “a serious lesson.” He wrote, “I in no way meant to cause anyone discomfort,” Skinner said. “At the time I thought it was harmless fun. Now I realize in this day and age that I should not have posted it. Obviously, it did offend some folks. I can assure everyone that was not my intent. I have learned a lot from this. Going forward I will keep this in mind.” I have said it once, and I’ll keep saying it until these types of stories go away. Regardless if you are a President Donald Trump supporter, or not, just get rid of those damn, obnoxious Make America Great Again Trump hats. They are only causing unnecessary problems. 

As if we needed more to worry about. It looks like Santa might be taking the naughty list a little too far this year after an app reportedly repeated “Santa” was going to kill children. Yes, Kersty Elizabeth Taylor described how she was “left absolutely fuming” after hearing the disturbing message on her 3-year-old son’s Finlee’s Kindle. The toddler had downloaded the app from the Amazon Children’s Store. The mom posted a video on her Facebook, showing how the app worked, titled “Santa Call New 2018." When one pressed the call button, an incoming call from Santa pops up. Before one can say hello, an automatic voice comes on saying, “Hello there. Can you hear me, children? In five nights, if you’re free, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” The whole idea behind the app is that it allows children to “speak” with Santa himself, as he repeats the same cheerful messages to the children. But clearly, someone has tampered the app to deliver the chilling message instead. Several parents are outraged by the app, since many children might not know the danger behind it, and might end up traumatized. The mother is urging other parents to exercise caution when using any app or allow their children to have access to download at their free will. She successfully reported the app and is urging parents to check their children’s phones and tablets to avoid potential scares like these. Unfortunately, although reported, the app won’t automatically uninstall from anyone who has downloaded it on the phone, but Amazon is reportedly investigating the incident and is contacting the app’s publisher to demand an explanation. How that child isn’t scared for life is beyond me. I guess the creators were Liam Nelson fans?

Ticket-holders attending a Christmas-themed event for kids at a mall in South Australia were left fuming after being disappointed over its “tacky” offerings. The Santa’s Winter Village installation was scheduled to take place at the Colonnades shopping center in Adelaide from December 12th–23rd. It has now shut down due to a barrage of complaints from angry parents who called the event “cheap” and a “scam.” Admission was not cheap. Early bird prices for a single ticket started at $29.70 plus an additional $2.70 goods and services fee. Attendees expected to find a variety of experiences under one roof... including a giant candy lane game, a Christmas ice show, and a meet and greet with Santa Claus in an “enchanted forest.” What paying visitors got instead was a warehouse experience with a sparse Christmas landscape made of cardboard cutouts and seemingly repurposed DIY decorations from a different amateur-hour event. Buzzfeed News said the shopping mall’s spokesperson met with the relevant team to address the backlash and concluded the event fell below expectations. The closing notice posted on the shopping center’s Facebook page read, in full...

I have to see a picture of this thing...

Hahahaha. That looks like a Fyre Festival for kids. 

If you're still looking for a Christmas tree ornament this year, how about this one?

That about says it all, right? Speaking of ornaments, when I saw this one I thought it was a severed toe at first...

Okay, you heard of Elf on the Shelf, right? Well, get ready for...

Gingerbread men are looking a little different this year...

Hahahaha. So, did you know that if you turned Florida upside down it would look like the Grinch? You didn't? Let me show you...

Crazy, right? I love that. So, you know the movie Elf? Did you know I was originally supposed to be Buddy? You didn't? Well, let me show you...

Hahahahahahahahaha. Told you. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...

Top Phive Things Said About The Holiday Season Of All Time
5. Three months ago I was crying every single day when I drove home from work because I was so unhappy with my life. I'm still doing that but now I get to listen to Christmas music simultaneously.
4. Here's the thing, if Santa knows when your kids are naughty or nice then he knew Rudolph was being bullied.
3. Hope I get Serotonin for Christmas.
2. A Christmas Carol is a heartwarming tale of how rich people must be supernaturally terrorized into sharing. 
And the number one thing said about the holiday season of all time is...
1. To the people who put antlers and a nose on their car for Christmas you can't trick me, I know its a car. 

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

The snow is starting to melt I think. Man, oh man, I wish I was there. Okay, a friend of the Phile has made an appearance on pretty much every Phile Christmas entry. This year he wants to say something about the saying "Merry Christmas." He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man... you know what time it is...

Once upon a time... there was a world where people didn’t get all triggered and offended, simply because I wished them a Merry Christmas. A world where people understood that it’s not just force of habit because I was raised around people who said Merry Christmas... but more because I am indeed that rude prick who doesn’t give a flying fuck what religion you are or what holiday you celebrate. You’d be thankful if I wished you a pleasant day or a nice evening, right? Just think of it the same way... and be thankful that I’m even speaking to you at ALL... you whiney little twats. Merry Christmas. 

Gift Receipt
A gift receipt is how you're going to turn all those shitty gifts into sweet, sweet booze. 

The 143rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Matthew McConaughey will be on the Phile in a few weeks. Alright, alright, alright. Okay, here's a story from this crazy ass state I live in...

Oh man, this is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. Picture this, imagine waking up at 4 a.m. to a noise in your living room, only to notice that your Christmas tree is moving. You look around and see that your dog is right next to you, so there’s obviously something else inside it. You think, "it’s a cat, let me get a broom" and poke around it so it can leave. But then, upon further inspection, you realize that it’s something else. A dog, a squirrel, Santa, a bird? Nope, a raccoon. This is exactly what happened to Aubrey Iacobelli when she was awoken at 4 a.m. by her dogs barking. She thought a cat had somehow entered her home and climbed inside the Christmas tree. What I love about this whole situation is that she decided to record it, because well why not. She posted the video on social media showing the chaos that went down in her Tallahassee home. The caption reads, “An early surprise waiting for me in the Christmas tree this morning.” And boy was it a messy, messy surprise. The video starts with the Florida woman asking Alexa to turn on the lights realizing the animal is inside of her fully decorated tree. She then states, “there’s a cat inside my tree,” as she unsuccessfully pokes at the branches with a frying pan. A few minutes later she realizes that the cat is in fact not a cat, rather it’s a raccoon hiding in the tree and it’s basically not going anywhere since it’s not moving. She then calmly said, “this is bad,” which is also hilarious because I would be yelling my lungs out if I was her. I have to give her props because she handled this like a champ. Give her a Most Valuable Player award now. So as she keeps on trying to remove the raccoon, the video shows her dog lunging at the unwanted visitor causing the tree to fall down as Iacobelli shrieks and the dog and the raccoon go at it on the floor. The dog is visibly fighting the raccoon and you can hear the cries from both parts. But the raccoon stands its ground, climbing a table and then scrambling up to a chandelier, swinging, while he keeps an eye on the dog that is waiting for him. The woman then grabs a broom to get it down from the light fixture and begins chasing the raccoon around her living room. At this point it’s around 5 a.m. to which she notes, “and that was my Thursday morning,” adding that her pup was indeed okay and unharmed. Eventually, the raccoon escaped through the doggy door that he used in the first place to enter the home. I mean, what a wild ride, huh? I feel for this woman. At least nobody got hurt and at least it wasn’t an alligator. Because at this point, I believe it can happen. Stay safe out there, Florida! 

Phact 1. During the Christmas of 1914 (World War 1), a truce was held between Germany and the U.K. They decorated their shelters, exchanged gifts across no man’s land and played a game of football between themselves. 

Phact 2. About half of Sweden’s population watches Donald Duck cartoons every Christmas Eve since 1960 

Phact 3. In 1867, a Boston industrialist heard Charles Dickens read A Christmas Carol and was so moved he closed his factory on Christmas Day and gave every one of his employees a turkey 

Phact 4. Some zoos take donated Christmas trees and use them to feed their animals. 

Phact 5. Charles Dickens grew up during a Little Ice Age and hence it snowed for each of his first 8 Christmases influencing his writing and hence today’s tradition of a white Christmas.

Today's pheatured guest is a British musician, singer-songwriter and producer from Cambuslang, Scotland. He enjoyed particular success in the 1970s and '80s in bands including Slik, Thin Lizzy, Rich Kids and Visage, and as the frontman of Ultravox. In 1984, he co-wrote and produced the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" which has sold 3.7 million copies in the U.K. The song is the second highest-selling single in U.K. chart history. co-organized Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8 with Bob Geldof. He acts as a trustee for the charity and also serves as an ambassador for Save the Children. Please welcome to the Phile... Midge Ure.

Me: Midge, sir, welcome to the Phile for the last A Peverett Phile Christmas. How are you? 

Midge: Thank you, it's my pleasure. 

Me: So, can you believe Ultravox's album "Vienna" is 40 years old this year? I have to show a pic of that album here...

Midge: Yeah, it's an interesting time I suppose. Who would have thought that forty years later something like "Vienna" would be of relevant to people and still stand up I suppose sonically and technologically after all this time, but here we are. 

Me: I remember my dad liking that album quite a bit. You weren't an original Ultravox member, am I right? 

Midge: No, I just joined the band late '78, early '79. 

Me: What was it like recording that album then? 

Midge: We've been writing and doing some dates with the stuff, so we kind of routined most of the stuff. The instruments were kind of done, we figured out the technology to play that stuff live so all we had to do was to transfer that stuff to making a recording which took about three weeks. 

Me: How did you guys write the songs on that album? 

Midge: Most of it was in a jamming situation in a rehearsal room in North London with very basic equipment that we had. The majority of the music, the chord structures and stuff would have been Billy Currie, because he's brilliant at that stuff. Someone would start something and it would just grow. So we had a wealth of stuff, I think Robin recorded everything else on cassette, I didn't bother. We could hear little elements of songs that are recognizing now popping through. 

Me: When you wrote and recorded the song "Vienna" were you surprised it was a hit? 

Midge: Yes. We weren't trying to write a successful song, we were trying to write a piece of music. Pop sensibilities has kind of gone out the window. It sounds like a stupid thing to say after the success that "Vienna" was but at the time it was so remote and so obscure and such a bizarre thing to even contemplate putting out as single. Who the hell would play it on the radio? But they did. 

Me: Why do you think the song was so popular then, Midge? 

Midge: I think the timing was right, people needed to hear something that was straight after Christmas and when everyone was fed up hearing Wizzard and Slade and later Band Aid and all that. So they were desperate for something new and when it got its chance to be played on the radio it resonated with people. But it certainly wasn't designed to be a commercial success. It was designed to be a piece of music. Hence arguing with the label who said they couldn't put it out because it was four minutes long. We just refused. 

Me: Do you think the song would be a hit nowadays if it came out today? 

Midge: No. It's almost unthinkable that a song like that could be a huge hit today. An average young listener wouldn't allow it. And the spelling of an average young listener. I doubt they'll be able to spell "Vienna." That's a dreadful thing to say but... times have change. We are talking about an era where it was only a couple years prior to "Vienna" we had "Wuthering Heights" or we had "Bohemian Rhapsody" or a few years before that we had "Hey Jude." So it was radio that really designed this three minute single thing. And weirdly labels are still doing that. Radio edit, meaning just give me the chorus, I don't want anything else, I don't want to think about it. I want to hear something and walk away with it in my head instantly. 

Me: Foghat's "Slow Ride" was the same way... an 8 plus minute song, but had a radio edit release. So, what was it like when you made your first solo record after being in Ulltravox and Visage, and Rich Kids before that? 

Midge: Ultravox had been going like hamsters in a wheel since '79 so by the time '84 rolled around it was time to take a breather because all we've ever done was write, record and tour. We toured a lot, and the moment the tour was finished we went back to write, record and tour. The writing process took longer, the recording process took longer, so we just found ourselves like hamsters in a wheel. So we took this time off and the first thing I did was built my first studio was figure out how it works and the best way to figure out how it works is to start writing and recording things. I recorded a bunch of things that didn't really suit Ultravox and that became "The Gift" album. I didn't intend to go out and do solo stuff, I was technologically led I should say. Because I found myself after building a studio sitting in it not knowing how it worked. I've been interested in it for years and I've been doing productions for years but it's a whole other thing to walk in find a bunch of manuals and start to page one, plug it in switch it on, make sure the red lights on. That's it, all the way through the process. That's how I ended up doing the solo stuff. 

Me: Was it a big change for you? 

Midge: A change good and bad. The good bits are a get my own way all the time, the bad bits are I get my own way all the time. 

Me: Why would that be bad? 

Midge: Because there's no one to bounce off. A band that's working really well, if it's an equal partnership, if it gets to a certain level I stay back and somebody else comes in and makes where I stopped something better and it inspires me to do more. That could happen a good chunk of the time. But like any band there is stuff out there that end up on albums I don't think any of us were particularly were happy with. It was record company pressure or whatever. At the time I kind of convinced myself it was okay, it was good enough but in reality it was not very interesting at all. So when it works well it works brilliantly, when it didn't work well it was pretty dire. I think the idea of going off and exploring my own little territories and the ability to work with other people I found that really refreshing. But not instead of Ultravox, just an a side to Ultravox. 

Me: I have to mention my favorite song of yours is "If I Was," I still have the 45 of that record. I didn't Mark King from Level 42 played bass on that song. 

Midge: Neither did he I think. It's the simplest bass part he ever played in his life. I must've gaffer taped all his fingers together. I think he might've done that when he was on tour. I flew out to America with the master tapes and he gave me his one day off and true mid style he said, "Can you play me the vocal line?" I said, "There isn't one yet." He wanted to play around the vocals. I said, "You play what you want and I'll sing around you." So he came up with the part. "If I Was" was incredibly simplistic but it suited the part. 

Me: Like I said I love that song. It was a big hit for you, right? 

Midge: It was. Again none of us expected it to be the big commercial success it was. In a way it was odd because again I was still part of Ultravox. That was what I was looking forward going back to. This was a busman's holiday, this was something I didn't intend to have a big hit single with it but it happened. That was when Band Aid happened, and that took me away from the band even longer. Then Live Aid happened and my solo record had been put on hold, I was still yet to finish it, so by time I was finished with the Live Aid thing and the performance of Live Aid I put the album out and it was a success then I was off to the world. Then instead of a six month leave from Ultravox it turned into a 2 year break. Two years is too long to maintain relationships for any of us. It's a difficult thing to walk back into the door and try to pick up from where we left off because we all changed. We all moved off to different areas, we are all thinking differently. It was avery difficult thing to come back and try to do. When we did that last album, the "U-Vox" album it was a real mishmash, you can hear it. I've got collaborations going on with the Chieftians. I got collaborations going with George Martin and an orchestra. It's kind of all over the shop, it's got brass sections all over it. I don't know what we were. Maybe if we ridden it out a bit longer we'd be more focused as a unit and done something more interesting. It was a weird scenario. 

Me: So, what's this you were in Thin Lizzy? Is that true? 

Midge: Yeah. When Thin Lizzy was looking for a replacement guitarist after Gary Moore was ousted from the band I stepped in for a while. When they were trying other guitar players because I was already a part of Ultravox, I was never going to be a part of Thin Lizzy. 

Me: That's cool. Okay, as this is a Christmas entry... I have to ask about "Do They Know It's Christmas?" How did you get involved writing it with Bob Geldof, who will be on the Phile soon. It's one of the rare songs I know by heart. Haha. I have to show a picture of you from the video of the song...

Midge: Yeah, it started with Dr. Frankenstein. It was a collaboration between two worlds that collided. Bob had been a friend for a few years and he asked me by accident really to get involved. I happened to be sitting with Paula Yates at the time doing "The Tube" in Newcastle. Bob phoned Paula and he said, "I've just seen this thing." She gave the phone to me and he said, "I want to do something. Can we get together?" And we did. He came over with this half-baked song that every time he played it for me it was different like a demented Bob Dylan. It wasn't much of a song. So I took the thing away and put some melody to it. The studio was new, I had finished there manuals, I had a good idea of how this thing worked. So I went into the studio and started to put the backing track together and tried to structure it in some kind of form. It still wasn't much of a song because it had no chorus, so it was the most bizarre construct. It just built and built and built and I layered it, layered it, layered it, and put all the instruments on it. I played everything on the track except eventually Phil Collins' drums. It was weird because he was popping in and out of the studio a lot, just to hear how it was progressing. More to the fact I was toddling his thing into this alien creature, it was all synthesizers. He said, "It sounds like bloody Ultravox." Of course, that's what he was going to get. We both kind of sat there and thought it needs some kind of hook, there's nothing for anybody to sing. We created the "feed the world" part of that but it didn't exist, the whole chorus "feed the world at Christmas time. Do they know its Christmas time again?" So we sat there and created that and glued it on at the very end. Thank God we did, because that was the bit that people could remember. 

Me: Were you thinking of who was going to sing the parts when you wrote it? 

Midge: Absolutely. Not. No. We had no idea who was going to sing which part. There's a moment in the studios on that Sunday on the one day we had with the artists to do all the vocals and Phil's drums, and mix the track, where I'm sitting there with a piece of paper and a pen and drawing lines through the middle and trying to count how many people are there. And trying to decide how to divide the song up, who could sing each line. We didn't have time for everyone to learn the entire song, that would have taken weeks. So there was no going back doing a remix where Boy George opens the song up and Paul Young sings a line in the middle because they don't exist. I got them all what they were all capable of, if it was the right key, or whatever. It was kind of building blocks, it was like a jigsaw, we were putting the pieces in as we went. 

Me: Was it hard juggling all the egos in that room? 
Midge: No, it was incredibly easy. Whether people liked each others music it didn't really matter, they knew why they were there. Even if they didn't like them, they got respect. They might think I'm bit of a twat and they hate my music or whatever but they respected the fact that I do it and was successful. There wasn't a problem with any of it whatsoever. Me: When they got there did they know the song? Midge: No, they walked in cold, Nobody had heard this thing prior to this. It's not like today where I could send an mp3, they all walked in cold. Besides a couple of people who've been to my studio prior to this. Sting had been in, Simon Le Bon had been in, done a couple of vocal bits which we ended up replacing because he ended up viking on the day to just do it again, feeling the atmosphere. So, yeah, it was a bit of a miracle to get their vocals done on a track that nobody heard. Phil Collins was a piece of cake, he did two takes and only did the second take because he thought he over played on the first take. 

Me: Midge, thanks for being on the Phile for the last Christmas entry of the Phile. Have a good year. 

Midge: Thank you, Jason, good luck to you.

That about does it for this Christmas entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Midge Ure. The Phile will be back a week from today, on Tuesday with the last entry of 2020, pheaturing Alanis 
Morissette. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Have a great Christmas. 

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