Monday, May 10, 2021

Pheaturing Dolly Parton


Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Geesh, this woman wanted a way out of her marriage and pronto. So she did what any other woman would do… she stabbed her husband! Kidding, please don’t stab your husband, that’s just pure evil and well, wrong. But by the look at her mugshot, she had no regrets. 

Forty-eight-year-old Shanda Johnson-Williams was arrested and received a murder charge over the death of her husband Jamie Williams. According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, authorities were called after Johnson-Williams reported her husband was dead inside their home in Fort Towson, Oklahoma. Paramedics were called to the residence, but 48-year-old Jamie Williams was already dead by the time they had arrived. The medical examiner determined the cause of death was related to the stab wounds sustained by Williams. The Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the OSBI after his death seemed… quite suspicious. That’s when agents as well as deputies from the sheriff’s office arrested the Oklahoma woman and booked her into Choctaw County Jail. Johnson-Williams’ mugshot was released by authorities, showing her showing a massive grin as the picture was taken. Safe to say that photo will probably only make things worse when she shows up in court. Regrets? Nah, this woman didn’t have any. She did what she needed to do. Now, I really don’t know what the story behind this stabbing is, but I’m gonna blame the husband here. This woman looks ecstatic that he is dead, and by her own cold hands. I mean, either that or she is just plain crazy. Which could be a major possibility. But, I want to believe the first one. Still, it kind of sucks because she was still charged with first-degree murder. Game over. 

Oh my goodness, talk about some bad luck. Looks like this Amazon delivery guy got in quite a pickle, and now deserves a very heavy raise, an ice pack, and the keys to the city. Especially since he took this like a champ. I don’t know what the Amazon driver’s name is, but I’m calling him Bob. You certainly took one for the team Bob. A Ring video is now going viral on social media showing a delivery worker dropping off a package in front of a San Bernardino porch. Minding his own business he goes to take a picture of the package for confirmation and obliviously accidentally sits on a cactus behind him as he is bending over. 

He immediately bounces back up saying, “Oh my god. No, no, no. What the hell? No, no.” Ugh, I can already imagine the pain. My dude got 10 quills right up his butt, and let me tell you this reaction is beautiful. I want to meet this guy so bad. Of course, probably embarrassed by the situation since he saw the doorbell, he immediately tries to act cool before jumping in pain. He then starts laughing at his misfortune because well, he couldn’t believe it happened. It was a silly mistake, one that almost cost him his butt. Unfortunately, to make matters a little bit worse no one was home to help them so the poor dude had to pick out the cactus thorns himself. But let’s face it if I was him I would be mortified if someone walked right through that door. Can you imagine just saying, “Hey can you help me get these cactus spines out of my butt? I’m struggling here and I’m in pain.” Yeah, no thank you, I rather just wobble away to my truck and get them out there. I loved his attitude, I really have to give it to him. Especially at the end when he just says he’s good and gives a thumbs up. The best part is that he repeatedly keeps saying sorry to the owners because he knew they were going to see him struggling. I bet the ride back turn in that warehouse is quite painful though. God bless ring doorbells, and God bless Amazon workers. Hope you feel better, Bob. 

Jesus Christ, I really can’t keep up with the Internet anymore. Every time I try to find a good story that will make me feel good, I find something like this has traumatized the living hell out of me. I get it, there are a lot of Republicans who really love their political party. I’ve met a handful that live, breathe, and would basically die for her former President Donald Trump, which I mean your preference, your choice. Personally, I don’t. But I will say this, I respect people’s political parties. That being said, this is just too much. I get it, a lot of people have their own sexual fetishes and fantasies that they like to follow. It’s normal, it’s human, and let’s face it it’s nothing new. But this is where I’m drawing the line y’all. This is too much. I’m officially traumatized and I need this to stop because it’s driving me crazy. Anyways, introducing Trump toys made specifically for “the special lady in your life.” 

Yep, it’s actually a thing, and like I said I’m terrified. Apparently, Mike Oxall’s Guns & Ammo, who in my opinion have no business doing any kind of sex toy, decided that the world needs a Trump dildo. Because well, why not? Have to give them credit for that clever name though, I had a good giggle over it. I will say that the most hilarious part about this whole situation is that they specifically make it a point to say that these dildos are not for men whatsoever. They continued to advertise the dildos with several hashtags including: #Trump2024, #Trump 2424 Landslide, #Trump2037, #trumpismypresident, and #Trump2024toSaveAmerica. Which I mean… what in the world is up with that Trump 2037? What’s going on in that year? I am confused. Oh man, don’t ask me where you can buy this because I will not provide you with the link. Whoever buys this is indeed sick and has to probably go see a therapist. I know I am. Anyways, hope you have a good day and stay off the Internet for a while. I really hope this is some sort of sick joke. Don’t kill the messenger. 

Ever since the death of Alex Trebek, "Jeopardy!" has been stirring up controversy. From the outrage over Dr. Oz’s stint as host to that Final Jeopardy, Aaron Rodgers pown to this NBA fail to the initial snub of LeVar Burton (followed by a petition which earned the "Reading Rainbow" legend his own chance to guest host), the 37th season has been newsworthy to say the least. And now, after so much hosting drama, it’s a contestant that’s trending... for allegedly flashing a white supremacist hand symbol during an episode. Now, there’s an online petition for the show to acknowledge this issue and condemn the possible messaging. Kelly Donohue, a bank examiner from Winthrop, Massachusetts, appeared on "Jeopardy!" for the first time last week and won a total of $79,601 for during a three-day reign as champion. His time on the show did not seem too out of the ordinary, save for a slightly awkward moment of live TV when Donohue answered a question with the outdated term, “What is gypsy?” as opposed to the socially preferable “What is Roma?” Guest host Anderson Cooper pointed this out briefly, but Donohue received the point. He continued on his winning streak, competing on the Los Angeles game show set until April 26th when he lost (somewhat miserably) to contestant Dana Schumacher-Schmidt. But it’s another moment from that night’s episode that’s drawing not only attention but serious concern over white supremacy. Yahoo News broke the story which has gained steam on Twitter.

As you can see, Donohue held up three fingers then tapped them against his chest while holding his thumb and index finger together: a sideways okay sign. This motion is officially recognized as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. In 2017, 4chan users falsely claimed that this finger symbol represented “wp,” or “white power.” Even though there was no evidence to support it, the online hoax grew to the point of real-life popularity with white people throwing the symbol as trolling mechanism. In 2019, the racist Australian mass murderer Brenton Tarrant utilized the symbol when appearing in court after Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shooting in which he killed 50 people. From then on, the dark intent of the classic okay seemed clear-cut. The okay symbol was seen popping up on hands throughout the Capitol mob in Washington, D.C. last January. Donohue claims that he was trying to personalize his introduction by drawing attention to the fact that it was his third game, being the returning champion. And in Donohue’s defense, he did throw up deuces... in honor of his second game... during the quiz show introduction on April 25th. Then again, being a "Jeopardy!" champion with knowledge of all things trivia, it’s hard to imagine Donohue had no idea about the coded meaning of his hand gesture... especially during a period so fraught with civil rights abuses against black people. Social media was quick to respond, calling out Donohue’s apparently brazen white power salute. Others, however, maintain that this is not a social justice issue and that Donohue was truly demonstrating the number three. Taking a similar approach to both the "Jeopardy!" Dr. Oz boycott and the LeVar Burton support campaign, 467 former "Jeopardy!" contestants have signed an open letter, published on Medium, which demands a response from "Jeopardy!" over Donohue’s hand gesture. The statement places blame the show’s producers for not catching the symbol sooner and removing it from the taping. The writers explain, “During other tapings of 'Jeopardy!' episodes, changes have been made to avoid negative messaging making it to air. On more than one occasion, contestants have made gestures during their introductions that were seen as undesirable for broadcast and were asked by the production team to reshoot the footage without the gesture. A couple of years ago, a contestant unintentionally wagered a monetary amount that used numerical values coopted by white supremacist groups and, since the total didn’t affect the outcome of the game, 'Jeopardy!' digitally altered the numbers in the version that aired. This should have been done in this case. Intentional or not, the burden was on the production team to catch the similarity to a hate symbol and make sure it didn’t end up on air.” Since Kelly Donohue has not formally apologized, these "Jeopardy!" alums and fans feel it’s up to the program to say and do more.

Sony Pictures' Venom 2 project has experienced several delays due to the current COVID-19 situation but despite all of that, Marvel fans are still eager to see the follow-up and a lot of them have been patiently waiting for the studio to drop the first official trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff film. Several rumors circulated over the weekend that our first taste of Venom: Let There Be Carnage will drop today and lo and behold, it's finally here! The trailer features Eddie Brock still struggling to live a normal life with the Venom symbiote which has fully bonded with him. It also treats us to our first official look at Woody Harrelson's Cletus Kasady who transforms into the menacing Carnage thanks to the symbiote and by the looks of it, he has a major score to settle with Brock. Interestingly, the film seemingly tweaked Carnage's origin story but to avoid giving away too much, I'll just let you witness the awesome teaser yourself. It's no secret that the first Venom film received mixed reactions from fans and critics, but it still did pretty well overall and pretty much helped Sony solidify its own Spider-Man franchise outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, with rumors floating around that Sony has agreed to do another crossover with Marvel Studios, could we all see it go down in Venom: Let There Be Carnage? I'm guessing no since the film will focus on the epic clash between Venom and Carnage but I'm pretty sure it's upon us. Originally set for an October 2020 premiere, Venom: Let There Be Carnage will now hit cinemas on September 24th, 2021.

Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...

It might not be a bad album. Haha. Keeping up with the youngins and their lingo is tough. Kids these days like to use "emoji," which use small pictures to communicate how they're feeling... kind of like hyroglyphics. When using emoji, it's easy to confuse laugh-crying for just regular-crying, and these boomers and old folks made the unfortunate mistake of using the wrong face at the wrongest possible times.  

How do you like them apples? Any stroll through a store would have you believe that "pink is for girls" and "blue is for boys" are the associated gender roles are the very backbone of our society. Products from nail clippers to hand lotion are assigned genders when last time I checked, inanimate objects don't have gender identities. Like this breakfast menu...

When I get bored I like to go on Twitter and look up certain words and one of those words is "Foghat." Here's a tweet I saw recently...

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

Top Phive Funny Things Said By Someone Yesterday
5. I have never opened "Shazam" not in a rushed panic.
4. Pfizer’s gonna make t-shirts for International Women’s Day that say “the pfuture is pfemale.” 
3. When random men DM my girlfriend, it's like... where's my DM or is chivalry dead?
2. Every day I wonder why I bothered putting in a two week notice when I quit jobs as a teenager... WTF bridges was I trying not to burn at the American Eagle in Cary, North Carolina?
And the number one funny thing said by someone yesterday was...
1. Why do I have to perform gender, can’t I do gender stage crew?

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

Looks okay today... maybe a little cold. 

Today's guest is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music. Her book Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is the 150th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile... the levandary Dolly Parton!

Me: Hello, Dolly! Hahaha. Welcome to the Phile. I am sooo excited to have you here. How are you? 

Dolly: I'm good, thanks for having me. What is your name? 

Me: Haha. I'm Jason. 

Dolly: Hi, Jason! Nice to meet you! 

Me: Thanks. Nice to meet you too. 

Dolly: Do you play an instrument? 

Me: Ha! I play kazoo. 

Dolly: That's good. I love the kazoo. 

Me: That's enough about me... for now. Haha. Okay, so your book is the 150th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Tell the readers what the book is about. 

Dolly: I collected the stories behind 175 of my most beloved songs in my book called Songteller

Me: What did you learn about yourself as a songwriter looking back at all these songs? 

Dolly: Well, when I was writing those songs I had no idea one of these days I was going to be sitting around for two or three days talking about them with Bob Robert Orman who is my dear friend. He's a country music historian and when I started to put the book together well, he was asking all these questions and I was really having to dig deep and I was having to remember things I had wanted to forget. It was really like at the end of the day I was just kind of exhausted in a good way but it was really kind of like therapy and I just hadn't really thought about all those songs but it took me back in time and it was good and bad. So I really had a chance to revisit and think about why I wrote the song. Where I was emotionally at that time and where I was physically, where I was living, what I was doing and why I wrote them. So it really was fun for me but it was kind of draining in a way. 

Me: I bet it was. So, how old were you when you started to write songs? 

Dolly: I was about 5 or 6-years-old. Then I got serious about writing songs right about when I was 7. 

Me: Hahaha. How serious can you be and how serious were your songs when you were 7-years-old? 

Dolly: Ha ha. Well, I got pretty serious because well, my mother's people were all very musical, everybody played musical instruments and were always singing and playing at anytime. Anybody would come through I'd make them show me chords on the guitar and I would hear my mom and my aunts and all the women sitting around or just people talking about people that had been in the war, killed in the war, somebody's son got murdered up at the sawmill. I would just hear all these stories so I knew all these stories and I absorbed everything so it was easy for me to write. I had the gift of rhyme early, early on and when I learned to play that little guitar my heart was always heavy hearing all these songs so that was how I kind of channeled all those feelings even whether they were happy or whether they were sad. I started doing it really early on so it was easy for me to gather up information and inspiration from other people's lives. 

Me: What songs was your mom singing around the house? 

Dolly: Well, the songs my mom used to sing were a lot of the old songs from the old world, from England and Ireland. Barbara Allen, "Pretty Fair Miss," all those old songs that really told stories. That's how people used to carry the news back in the day before news, before we had radio. But they used to write them as ballads, they were called ballads and they would carry them from town to town to town so whether it'll be "Knoxville Girl" or "Down By the Banks of the Ohio" all those great old songs like that so that's what mama would sing. That was just kind of imbedded in my soul like "Fair and Tender Maidens" all those songs. I write a lot that kind of have that old-timey flavor. 

Me: Ha. Isn't "Down By the Banks of the Ohio" about a murder? 

Dolly: Exactly. It's about a boy that took the girl and she just said "no, I'm not going to marry you" so he killed her and threw her into the river. I guess when they say "banks of the Ohio" that was in England, not here in Ohio. Not in Cleveland. LOL. 

Me: You must like those dark songs, right? You had the song "The Bridge" which was a heavy song for country radio in the 60s, Dolly. Am I right? 

Dolly: It was. And I wrote a lot of those songs before I came to Nashville. But I love that, I'm very dramatic in my writing. I love stories and I love creating stories and I just become whatever I'm writing about. I'm I'm writing about a girl that's going to jump off a bridge that's me, I'm climbing every step up there to jump off that bridge, I feel that water, I just become whatever I'm writing about. But I think that's good in a way because I kind of like to act it out too. I was always kind of dramatic as a kid. But I'm dramatic in my writing as well. 

Me: So, "Jolene" tells the story of a true person, right? 

Dolly: With "Jolene," just like that haunting melody, I write in those minor keys, it could just be done slow just like one of those old songs mama hadn't done it slow. I could do that as a ballad with those haunting minor chords and all that so without me even realizing it that's just in my Smokey Mountain DNA and that just kind of embedded in me, but yeah, I love telling stories. 

Me: Okay, so, you started writing songs when you were about five. What was the first song you wrote? 

Dolly: "Little Tiny Tassel Top" which I penned when I was just four or five-years-old, inspired by a homemade doll my mama made me. 

Me: What does that say about your childhood where you write a song about a doll your mom made you? 

Dolly: Well, it told me we didn't get store-bought toys and all that stuff so we had very little, very personal little things like that. But we always grew our own corn, we had to shuck and shell that corn in big buckets so daddy could take it to the grist mill and had it ground up for cornmeal. So we had all these cobs and stuff laying around but we also had this one particular doll, we always had the poker to poke the fire but I took this little cob and daddy burned some eye holes in it with the poker and mama took the tassels that had come off of the corn that we were shucking and she glued the tassels back on and she made a little dress out of the shucks and kind of made me a little doll. Well, it was mine. It was personal. That was my own little doll and she had tassels on her head so I called her Tassel Top. So of course she was my doll and I had emotions for her and love and feelings for her so I wrote the song about little tiny Tassel Top, you're the only friend I've got, I hope upon never go away, I want you to stay. Of course I wrote severals things. Mama had kept that in the box through the years and years later mom said, "I got some stuff I'd bet you'd love to have." So she had several things that I had written, that she had written down that I had made up because she's fascinated with my rhyming and singing that little song. So and then that kind of brought that back to me but I was writing before I could ever write. 

Me: Why do you think she loved it so much? Dolly writing about a dolly. Haha. 

Dolly: She loved it because we were all creative. But when I started playing my little guitar I got serious and mama would always and I have a sister and two brothers who are older, and there's eight kids younger so I was kind of one of those kids that needed attention and I wasn't going to get any extra unless I was going to get my butt busted or was in trouble or needed to do something. So I just kind of lived with my music, I lived in my little guitar and I just created my own little world and mama would be fascinated with the songs that I would write. She would when people would come to our house she would say "run and get your guitar" and she'd say to them, "I want you to hear this song this little thing wrote." So I thought I'm getting all this attention and I'm doing something special so that just kind of encouraged me. I don't know what's going to inspire me or encourage me but I realized I was getting attention doing it and I loved doing it so it just became my thing. 

Me: What's the biggest lesson do you think you learned growing up the way that you did? 

Dolly: Well, I think the biggest lesson I learned from growing up like I did is being grateful and thankful and understanding all people and understanding that it's not about money. If you do good at what you're do you're going to make money but I'm not the least bit intimidated and I never was by people that had more than me even in those early days. I seemed to could fit anywhere, there were some things I didn't know I was little embraced about. 

Me: Like what and how? 

Dolly: When I first start to having to eat at a table with people that have table manners I don't know how to use my fork or my spoon. I still don't know half of that but I don't care anymore. If it's there I just use whatever's there. But I just remember more than anything in those early days just being uncomfortable because I was out of my element. But I learned soon enough it ain't about all that. I've got good manners as far as not eating and talking with my mouth full or something like that but I just watch other people what they do and I just follow along with that. Anyhow I just never felt out of place because I was always self contained and I was always comfortable with who I was. And I still am. 

Me: So, I always wanted to see you in concert, so maybe after this pandemic is over. What was your live show audience like, Dolly? 

Dolly: I saw drag queens in an aisle and truckers in an aisle. I like bringing all different kinds of people together. 

Me: What do you think is behind all that? Why is that? I think that's great by the way. 

Dolly: Well, I think a whole of that is I think people relate to me because I did grow up with humble beginnings. I think people can relate to me in every way and like my gay following they relate to me because they know I love people. I accept everybody for who they are. I am not a judgmental person. I love everybody, I really do. I really care and want to care, that's the Christ spirit I think. I just think we're supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves, we're supposed to care, we're supposed to try harder than we are these days. I also think that I relate to every personality in my own family. Like I said there's a whole big bunch of us and I see somebody in my family and everybody is the audience. There's gay people in my family, there's truckers in my family, there's plumbers or there's farmers, there's rebels, somebody in my family is in everybody I meet. I just have an open heart, I want to love, I want to be loved, I want to create good things, I want to uplift people and glorify God even though I'm not out here to preach. Everybody's got their own faith, I'm not saying just because I believe it you have to believe it but you got to believe in something. You certainly need to breath in love. 

Me: You recently said in Billboard magazine that you support Black Lives Matter. Why did you think it was important for you to let people know that? I support BLM as well by the way. 

Dolly: Well, I was doing an interview and that was during that time and the interviewer blatantly asked me do I think black lives matter and I said, "Are you serious? Of course black lives matter!" Who do you think we are? We are all important, everybody matters, blacks, whites, it doesn't matter, we're all God's children in my mind and I'm here for somebody to blame what am I going to say? No, they don't matter. Of course Black Lives Matter. It did not come from any kind of political thing or any kind of movement or any of that but my heart is open to everybody and of course we all matter. So I don't have any apologies to make for anybody, I love everybody. 

Me: That's good. Okay, what's your favorite Dolly Parton song? 

Dolly: Oh, I think my favorite from a very personal standpoint is "The Coat of Many Colors." 

Me: Why is that? 

Dolly: Because it's about mama, but it's about a philosophy, it's about acceptance, it even endorses the bullying kind of thing but to me it's about a life of many colors, a love of many colors in addition to being a little coat. 

Me: So, this is my last year doing this blog, Dolly. I think I'll still do interviews on another blog kinda thing, don't know yet. Anyway, I have a short list who I want to interview before October and Willie Nelson is on my list. You have known him for a long time so what can you say about him? 

Dolly: Willie and I moved to Nashville about the same time. I moved in 1964 and I started writing for Combine Music and recording for Monument Records owned by the same man, Fred Foster. Willie Nelson also was there and Fred had his offices which were upstairs in this building and down below he had a setup for all the writers. We would all go down there to write, sometimes together, sometimes separately, but I remember Willie and I just clicked like that and our lives kind of ran parallel. We were on Monument, we were with Combine, then we both went to RCA and everywhere we would go we were always there. So we really are very connected and were really care a lot about each other. But I remember Willie was clean shaven, short hair, he looked like a dork. But a good whatever he likes, I mean he was so clean. 

Me: That was before the reefer, Dolly. 

Dolly: I know! That's where he started smoking the dope. But anyway, when it was only because he kept trying to have hit records and they were not accepting. Such a fantastic writer, such a great singer, and he wasn't doing what he should so he just kind of threw it all down and went back to Austin to start growing his hair and all that and that's when the outlaw movement started with Waylon and all of them. When he got to where he said "I don't give a damn," is when I started doing what I could do great. 

Me: There's a lesson in that. 

Dolly: I think so too. 

Me: Did your parents get married young, Dolly? 

Dolly: Mama was 15, daddy was 17 when they got married. They didn't have any money so mama didn't even have a wedding band. Daddy either for that matter. But one year daddy decided that we would all pitch in and but mama a wedding band and so we bought mama her first wedding ring with a house full of kids and her kids helped buy the ring. I even wrote a song called "The Circle of Love" and it tells that story about the ring and how we made up money to buy mama's ring and did whatever we could to make enough money for that. 

Me: You're so amazing, Dolly! Thanks so much for being on the Phile. 

Dolly: Thank you, you did a good job. 

Me: Give me a call if you need a kazoo player. 

Dolly: Oh, I wil. Good luck to you!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Dolly Parton for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with Alison Sealy-Smith and Lenore Zann from the X-Men animated series. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain! 

Give me some rope, tie me to dream, give me the hope to run out of steam, somebody said it could be here. We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year. I can't count the reasons I should stay. One by one they all just fade away...

Friday, May 7, 2021

Pheaturing Emilio Estévez


Hi there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. How are you? In 2019, a Milwaukee father fatally punched his 5-year-old after the little boy ate a piece of his cheesecake. Now, Travis Stackhouse has pled guilty to the awful crime. During Father’s Day week in 2019, Travis Stackhouse was gifted a cheesecake by his family. But reportedly, the dad became upset when his three children were eating the dessert themselves; Stackhouse complained that he only had a single piece. Reacting violently, Stackhouse punched his small five-year-old son, Sir Amer Stackhouse… and the injuries proved fatal. After Stackhouse struck his son on the night of June 21st, 2019, it became clear that something was wrong. After the attack, Stackhouse went to a bar with friends and returned home at 2 a.m. the next morning. By that point, his girlfriend... the boy’s mother... had called 911 since her son was unresponsive. That’s when paramedics arrived to a horrific scene. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office stated that he died from blunt force trauma to the abdomen, which caused a ruptured stomach, bruised kidneys, and a torn adrenal gland. According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the details of this domestic abuse hell get even worse. Stackhouse additionally admitted to the police that he’d hit his son in the face as well, using the back of his hand and a metal rod for maximum pain. At first, however, Stackhouse lied to law enforcement saying that the boy had simply fallen down the stairs; the victim’s six-year-old brother told the truth though. And sadly, he also exhibited evidence of physical abuse: eye bruising, a lip cut, and a laceration on the sternum. From then on, it was clear that Stackhouse was the culprit. According to the complaint, he could not even correctly spell the names of any of his five children or list their birthdays. Prosecutors then charged Stackhouse with first-degree reckless homicide. The Milwaukee County Jail website listed that he was held on a $25,000 bond. Travis Stackhouse has now faced trial this week over the killing of his young son. After two days of witness testimony, the jury trial was cut short. The 33-year-old Stackhouse pled guilty to first-degree reckless homicide as well as to charges of child abuse and child neglect. According to The Chicago Tribune, Stackhouse faces up to 37 years in prison. His sentencing is on June 29th.  

Attention all women! If you start randomly bleeding from your eyes while you’re on your period, don’t be alarmed. Apparently, it’s not as uncommon as you would think, and it’s relatively less harmful than it looks and sounds. Even if your menstrual cycles are a pain in the ass, as it is for many of your female peers, know that you’re not alone. In Chandigarh, India, a 25-year-old woman stunned doctors when she walked into a hospital with bloody tears. Yes, I said bloody tears. According to Vice, she explained that although she wasn’t feeling any pain, this wasn’t the first time she was crying blood. Apparently, she experienced the exact same incident a month earlier, and as doctors tried to figure out what was going on with her, they were able to tie her bleeding eyes to her menstrual cycle. The woman underwent various tests, including ophthalmological and radiological investigations, but apparently, the results came back all normal. The woman didn’t even have a family history of ocular bleeding or hemorrhages, which occurs when the blood vessels leak. When they were able to make the connection to her period, they explained to her that she most likely had a rare condition called ocular vicarious menstruation. According to the British Medical Journal, ocular vicarious menstruation is a rare condition, “of cyclical bleeding outside the uterine cavity during a woman’s menstrual cycle,” as told by Vice. Those who have this condition normally experience bleeding in their lungs, kidney, lips, stomach, nose, or eyes. BMJ also published a study on the woman in Chandigarh, monitoring what happened while she was treated with a combination of oral contraceptives for three months, including estrogen and progesterone. The treatment apparently helped calm the eye bleeding, hopefully offering a solution to those who will later suffer from this condition. Apparently, this isn’t the first this has happened either. In 1913, a case in New Mexico reported a woman having ulcers in both her legs that would bleed and become extremely large while she was on her period. The condition thankfully disappeared after she had given birth, but the poor woman had to endure a very difficult pregnancy. And in 2014, the Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Journal, a 31-year-old woman actually sought out surgery to correct this condition. While it’s still unsure on what the correlation is between having your period and bleeding from your eyes, the favored answer is endometriosis, which according to the British National Health Service, is “tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places.” And not to save the scariest scenario for last or anything, but in 2016, a British teenager named Marnie Ray would actually bleed from many of her orifices while she was on her period. While menstruating, she bled from her ears, nose, mouth, scalp, and fingernails, and her condition was widely unknown. So again, ladies, don’t freak out too much if you start bleeding from wherever else while on your period. You are not alone, and although solutions are still yet to be found, you’ll most likely be okay. But, I do highly suggest you go to the doctor. That can’t be okay just left alone.

A California man was tragically struck by an alleged drunk driver just after leaving an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. According to local reports, Ray Galindo was a proud member of the program for the last 15 years. He was unfortunately killed on April 23rd in Modesto Bee when 22-year-old Braxton Howze allegedly ran into him. Fifty-eight-year-old Galindo had been speaking to a AA newcomer outside the living sober fellowship and was sitting on the tailgate of his pick-up. Authorities say that Howze, who was allegedly intoxicated, swerved off the road and hit him. An AA group leader, Mark G, told local news stations, “It’s like my heart sank in my chest. Ray was a standup guy, he was a very helpful person, he always wanted to lend a hand.” Galindo leaves behind three sons, two of who are adults and one 9-year-old. According to Dee Dee Leslie, the child’s mom, Galido was “a good dad.” She noted, “He wanted (his son) to have a good education and all the stuff he couldn’t have.” Howze, who according to police was allegedly driving on a suspended license from a previous DUI, is now facing charges including hit and run, gross vehicular manslaughter, and DUI. He appeared in his mugshot with blood and bruises, which was released by the Modesto Police Department. He is on a $1,000,000 bail and is due back in court on May 11th. According to Bankrate, Alcohol is known as a roadway killer. Drinking and driving allegedly kill 28 people a day in the United States, around one person every 52 minutes, according to the NHTSA. To put this in perspective, this is more than ten thousand lives lost each year to drunk driving. A drunk driver is considered legally impaired when their blood alcohol concentration, also known as BAC, measures 0.08 or higher. Alcohol-related traffic facilities make up under 30% of all traffic fatalities each year, with California being the highest driven fatalities each year.

Thirty-eight-year-old Dawn Marie Baye was arrested last Friday on ten counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and eight counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. And the events which led up to that arrest are shocking in a scandal that’s rocked Chauvin, Louisiana… because Baye was the local school lunch lady. Dawn Marie Baye was a cafeteria worker at Lacache Middle School in Chauvin, Louisiana. Through that position, Baye met many teenage boys… and invited them to her house in Baton Rouge for X-rated sleepovers. The boys who partied at Baye’s home were aged 13-16 and police say those nights spent together included watching porn, drinking alcohol, and having unspecified sexual encounters. According to KLFY, Terrebonne parish sheriff’s office conducted a weeks-long investigation into the wild crimes, finding that the gathered information matched up with prior social media tip-offs. In response to the sensational story, Sheriff Tim Soignet is encouraging parents to understand exactly where their children are going when they head off for a sleepover. The (now former) Louisiana school cafeteria worker was arrested last Friday and sent to the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex where she’s being held on $50,000 bail. Of Baye’s termination at Lacache Middle School, Terrebonne schools Superintendent Philip Martin told The Houma Courier, “She was a cafeteria worker and ‘was’ is the appropriate term because she’s no longer employed. When people make bad decisions there are usually bad consequences that go along with them.” 

Sunday is Mother's Day, kids! Mother’s Day is supposed to be a special day of celebration, commemorating an official holiday for mothers everywhere for everything they do for their kids. But for a national day that’s normally decorated with mother’s day gifts, its origin story is actually haunted by sadness and tragedy. So what is the heartbreaking story that paints the history of Mother’s Day? It all started back in the mid-19th century with Anna Jarvis. Although she was not shy about giving her own mother credit for coming up with the idea, Anna aimed to fulfill her late mother’s dream after she heard her mom, Ann Reeves Jarvis, recite the following prayer, “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial Mother’s Day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life.” However, Ann actually had something a little different planned for this alleged “Mother’s Day” concept. According to Katharine Lane Antolini, an assistant professor of history and gender studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College and author of Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for the Control of Mother’s Day, evidence suggests that the original idea for the national holiday implied a day for mothers, as in the word “mother” in plural form, meaning that it wasn’t intended for one’s own singular mother. The idea was for mothers to get together for one day to help out other mothers who were less fortunate than they were. Ann was inspired to do create this community because her own experience with motherhood was incredibly devastating. Characteristic to what the times were like during the 19th and early 20th century, Ann had 13 children, but only four of them actually saw adulthood. According to Time, that was pretty standard in raising families, considering, “an estimated 15 to 30% of infants in that Appalachian region died before their first birthday,” as told by Antolini. Before modernization took off, society was riddled with epidemics and poor sanitary conditions. So when Ann was pregnant for the sixth time, she asked her brother, Dr. James Reeves, to help organize events where doctors could lead discussions with local mothers to teach the best hygiene practices to keep their children healthy. The events would be known as Mothers’ Day Work Clubs. When it was time for Anna herself to lead the events, she couldn’t bring herself to do so. Antonini suggests that it most likely has to do with that she herself was not a mother, further explaining a more positive perspective of Anna’s, saying, “She didn’t want it to be turned into a beggars’ day,” Antolini said. “She thought even poor mothers were rich if they had their kids’ love.” However, people started coming forward claiming that they initiated the first Mother’s Day. “Battle Hymn of the Republic” writer Julia Ward Howe started “Mother’s Peace Day,” inspired by the Franco-Prussian War and the American Civil War, where mothers supported antiwar efforts in stopping their sons from dying prematurely. And President Woodrow Wilson signed a Mother’s Day proclamation in 1914 making the second Sunday of May, “a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” Other criticisms supported that the celebration of mothers had been talked about for decades, but a Mother’s Day holiday only started getting attention because women were starting to have careers outside of staying home and raising children. Some even offered that Mother’s Day celebrations were actually repercussions to these monumental changes for women. Nevertheless, Anna still proved her worth in initiating the commercialization of the holiday, much to her dismay, unfortunately. She started the Mother’s Day International Association, pushing the holiday outside of American borders, and partnered with florists and a successful letter-writing campaign to get state governors to recognize the holiday at both the state level and eventually the federal level. Yet, at the end of her life, she resented that florists, candy-makers, and greeting card companies were making tons of money off of her idea without crediting her, and according to the New York Times, she felt that the day was used as, “a means of profiteering.” She missed the innocence from when she had initially sent 500 white carnations to a church in honor of her late mother, before Mother’s Day had become so internationally official. What started as an innocent way to bring together communities and celebrate those who have sacrificed so much for the betterment of others stemming from sadness and tragedy, turned into more anguish as over-commercialization took away from the meaning of why we celebrate the holiday in the first place. So whatever official day it is, maybe it’s best if we continue to celebrate our loved ones as much as we can, letting them know how much they’re appreciated for all they’ve done. 

Any stroll through a store would have you believe that "pink is for girls" and "blue is for boys" are the associated gender roles are the very backbone of our society. Products from nail clippers to hand lotion are assigned genders when last time I checked, inanimate objects don't have gender identities.  Like this wall art...

Girls can't read books and boys can't laugh. Sorry, I don't make the rules. If I had a TARDIS I would like to go and meet Audrey Hepburn, but knowing my luck she'd be shopping with her pet deer Ip. 

Now, I’m as fond of Audrey Hepburn as anyone but… Never make a deer into a pet. There are numerous stories of people who have been killed by their pet deer, once the animal grew up. Deer have razor-sharp hooves, and are very dangerous and unpredictable. Even a deer that was raised from a fawn by the same person or people, have been known to turn on them for no known reason, and people die, especially children. It is a standard practice among people to keep something as long as it is cute, drop it off into the wild once it’s not, cry for five minutes, then go get a new something cute and forget about the last cute thing. Stuff like this is why in some large cities, there are sections overrun with half-feral dogs. Some people cannot be convinced to sterilize their pets... so they have the pet until they're children or they themselves get tired of it and then drop it off in a nearby canal. Said animal breeds with the other unsterilized animals that are dropped off by other people. Keeping up with the youngins and their lingo is tough. Kids these days like to use "emoji," which use small pictures to communicate how they're feeling... kind of like hyroglyphics. When using emoji, it's easy to confuse laugh-crying for just regular-crying, and these boomers and old folks made the unfortunate mistake of using the wrong face at the wrongest possible times. 

Hahahaha. It's nice to help your family with childcare if you can. But what if they don't want to repay the favor later on? One mom is asking whether she's in the wrong for expecting free baby-sitting from the sister whose child she helped raise. She emailed the Phile about the conundrum. The mom says her nephew was unexpected.

My sister gave birth to my nephew Luke when she was 20-years-old. It was an unexpected pregnancy and the father was married, so he didn't want any involvement his child. My parents and sister had to go to work so I was responsible to babysit Luke. It was never a burden, I have always loved kids and love my nephew dearly. So, for years I babysat every week, to the point that Luke calls me his second mother nowadays. Only when he was 12 my sister decided he was old enough to take care of himself so I stopped the babysitting. Now I have a child. Me and my husband having been very busy lately and stressful with work, so we decided to take a day off. I asked sis if she could babysit my daughter while we were off. She said okay, but I would need to pay her. I was very confused, even thought this was a joke but she was dead serious. I asked her about the time that I spent 13 years of my life babysitting her son for free since I was a teenager and she enumerated the reasons of why she is demanding payment: I was young, therefore more patient, while she is almost 40s, I have never complained and she didn't oblige me to babysit. She always brought gifts to me, so she considered this a payment. I was like what the hell??? I replied that sometimes she didn't even ASK me if I could take care of Luke, she just left me alone with him and only came back hours later. The "payment" was only some groceries, nothing expensive. And the babysitting also involved cooking, doctor appointments, etc. I had to postpone a lot of plans too, because "family comes first." She responded, "Okay. Go find someone else, then" and hung up. I don't know if I am being wrong because I didn't demand payment at the time. Am I wrong?"  Your sister is wrong. You have an extremely petty, selfish sister. All you should say in response to the sis is, "Sooooo it's okay for me to help raise you kid when I was a kid myself, however when I ask an adult you to watch my kid for one day it is too much and you deserve money?" Ask her son if he would babysit and pay him. One day versus 12 years really isn't asking much at all. Normally, I'd be on your sister's side but you babysitting her kid for free for 13 years completely changes everything. If you do something for someone for free and they don't reciprocate then they're wrong. You saved her thousands (maybe even tens of thousands) of dollars and this is how she shows her gratitude?! Holy crap! Never babysit for her again if she wants to do something out of town or she has another kid. Hire a sitter instead. At least the sitter takes the job seriously. If someone baby-sits your kid for years, you owe them the same in return. Guess no good deed goes unpunished. If you have a problem you want my opinion on then email me at   

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

Looks like a nice day there. Look at that sky. 

She might have been having a bad day. She might have been really been particular about the thickness of tomatoes. Whatever the reason, Judith Ann Black... a 77-year-old Florida woman... was angry enough to fling a Whopper sandwich and racist slurs at a Burger King employee. According to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun, the Whopper attack happened on April 30th at a Burger King near The Villages, the retirement community where Black lives. A little after 6 p.m., Black became enraged at an employee because the tomato on her Whopper was reportedly sliced too thick. The employee told investigators that she told Black that she wouldn’t be able to help her solve her tomato slice emergency if she didn’t stop yelling. When the employee turned her back, she said, Black threw the Whopper at her, hitting her below the neck with the burger. The employee says she heard Black call her the N-word. According to the BK worker, Black also told her to “shut up you black bitch”. Multiple onlookers... including a fellow Burger King worker, customer, and manager... reported similar accounts, and surveillance video footage shows Black throwing the sandwich at the employee after her angry tirade. After throwing the Whopper, Black walked out to her husband’s truck, followed by her husband, reports say. Wildwood police officers were able to track Black down using the license plate on her husband’s truck. According to officers, they were able to confirm her identity by comparing her license on file and the surveillance footage. In the arrest report, police said Black spoke freely after they advised her of her rights. “Mrs. Black stated that she understood her rights and was willing to speak to me,” the report reads. “Post-Miranda she stated that she was upset about the thickness of the tomato on her sandwich and confronted the victim at the counter. She stated that she was angry that the victim was not fixing the issue and ‘had the burger in my hand and tossed it at her.’ When asked, Mrs. Black stated that she did hit the victim with the burger. Mrs. Black also stated that she called the victim a ‘stupid black bitch.’” According to the arrest report, Black would have been charged with a misdemeanor had she only thrown the Whopper at the fast-food restaurant employee. However, since she also used racial slurs, the charge was elevated to a third-degree felony, which carries a potential sentence of up to five years in state prison. She was booked in the Sumter County Jail before being released on bail a $2,500 bail, according to records from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. Originally from Mansfield, Texas, Black moved from Texas to The Villages, Florida, in 2015. The Villages is a planned community that bills itself as “Florida’s friendliest active 55+ retirement community.” The Villages was the subject of the documentary, Some Kind of Heaven, and has gained notoriety for being almost exclusively made up of white Republicans. According to The Washington Post, the community is 98.3 percent white” and “registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 2 to 1.” I am proud to say I was only there once. 

The 150th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

National treasure Dolly Parton will be on the Phile on Monday. 

Today's guest is an American actor, film director, screenwriter and producer. He is the brother of Charlie Sheen and son of actor Martin Sheen. He started his career as an actor and is known for being a member of the acting Brat Pack of the 1980s, appearing in The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, and The Outsiders. In 2018, he released another feature film, The Public, starring Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater, Jena Malone and himself which he wrote and directed as well. Please welcome to the Phile... Emilio Estévez.

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

Emilio: I'm great, Jason. Thanks for having me here on your blog to talk about my movie The Public.

Me: You're welcome. So, what is the movie about? 

Emilio: It's a drama about a standoff between homeless people and the police that plays out in a Cincinnati library. 

Me: You wrote, direct and star in it, right? 

Emilio: Yeah, I play a librarian. 

Me: One of my best friends, Tracey, who lives up on Long Island is a librarian. Was it fun to play one? 

Emilio: Hello to your friend Tracey. A lot of people think librarians are meek shushy people who wear cardigans and giant glasses that have chains going behind them. Does that describe Tracey? 

Me: Ummm... nope. Not at all. 

Emilio: I didn't thinks so. Tracey would tell you the every day life of a modern day librarian is first responder and basically is the original Google. They were Google before Google. And understanding what that space is, that scared space between patron and librarian is something that was very new to me as I was doing my research. That space at the desk is on par with doctor/patient and lawyer/client. It's sacred and it's privileged. It's unwritten ion course but it's a sacred space. 

Me: Did you spend a lot of time in libraries going up? 

Emilio: I did. I spent a lot of time there, it was a safe place for me as a kid. I could get lost in the stacks My parents would drop me off after school and I would roam the stacks and look through index cards. I was pretty proud of myself as a 10 or 11-year-old kid that I could navigate my local public library. Of course years later I would find myself in detention in another film in a high school library. It's been 35 years since I've been in a film that took place in a library. But for me libraries were always that very safe place and it's where I could let my imagination and my curiosity sort of roam free. That is something that is lost on a lot of the youth today. 

Me: So, I take it you're a fan of books, am I right? 

Emilio: If you recall, I don't know how old you are, but I'm of a certain age that if I wanted to look something up in a dictionary and it was the end if the dictionary I may stop ten or fifteen times before I got to that word. Same thing with the encyclopedia. I'm looking got a particular subject I may stop along the way, God knows what I would discover just based on taking the time to go through the book. So I think the kids miss a lot of that, the age of instant gratification has been upon us for quite some time but I think it's no wonder we have started to and tried to capture a slower life either it's through slow food over rather going back to reading books instead on the Kindles. Actually feel and touch, I like the very tactile of the feeling of a book in my hands. I think that's coming back. It's no wonder Amazon is actually putting money into brick and mortar stores again because they realize people are missing the old days. The technology is getting away with slowly killing us. 

Me: Libraries are still being used though, right? 

Emilio: Yeah, they are still a big resource with children's programs and computers. My film is more about the library is more than loaning out books. 

Me: I know libraries are being shut down and closed though. Making this movie did it give you any perspective on that? How do you feel when you hear a politician wants to shut down a library to save a few bucks? 

Emilio: My initial reaction about something like that is that politician probably hasn't set foot in library in the last 20 years. Because I believe that every successful community, the center of every successful community is a public library. Anne Lamott, the writer/activist has a book out called Almost Everything which you should check out, she was credited with saving the John Steinbeck Library in Salinas, California many years ago when they were threatening to shut that down because the lack of funding. She's quoted saying, "Communities without libraries are like radios with batteries." I think that's a very accurate description of how vital a library is. If you want to check in on the health of a community check out a library and talk to the desk reference librarians, they'll tell you what's going on in her community probably better than law enforcement will. 

Me: So, was it hard to write this movie or easy? 

Emilio: I did a lot of research into the lives of librarians to get my depiction right but I also had the challenge of writing characters, people that are experiencing homelessness. So I had to do that though, as I mentioned with librarians without going onto stereotypes. 

Me: What did you want people to see in these characters? 

Emilio: Well, I wanted to personalize them. I wanted to humanize them. And I think that so often the individuals experiencing homelessness when depicted in a film are often timed stereotyped. Or they are depicted without any faults, sort of the noble poor. I felt that with THESE individuals in the film I wanted the audience be able to find something relatable to them rather than have them be repugnant. I think the very issue with homelessness now and I don't know if you're following what's been happening but Los Angeles is up alone 12% from last year in homelessness. It's a crisis, it's no longer a homeless situation. It's an absolute crisis. And so often it's looked at as a crisis that is just not sexy. I think there's got to be a way to embrace this because I believe the problem is solvable. When we look at how long we've have experienced homelessness in this country it's really only about 40 years. This began in 1979 and then of course in 1980 when we got the new administration which gutted hud by 70% which defended mental health intuitions and sent a lot of people out in the streets and back into our communities. So it's a problem that's only been around for 40 years so I think, again this in my own personal belief, is that if we get our arms around it, if we figure out a way to collective solve this we can and the first thing we need to do is start humanizing these people rather than criminalizing and dehumanize them which we so often do. 

Me: For a lot of marginalized people, homeless people, a library might be the key to the outside word. Libraries might have a very different meaning, right? 

Emilio: That's right. They offer an opportunity for them to write to their family... "hey, I'm still alive" or "send money." They offer an opportunity to get online and look for a job. For entertainment. Again if they are in a library a lot of times, again crowded libraries like the one we have in downtown L.A. there is limited time where they can get online and go on a compeer. So they are looking at two hours of time to which to get all of their news write to their family, look for a job, etc. So two hours a day to have access to that is not a lot of time when you consider most of us, and a lot of people reading this blog have access not only to a cellphone, an iPad, or a laptop computer. 

Me: Okay, is this the first film you directed? 

Emilio: No, my first film I directed was Wisdom in '86. You know, it's too bad we can't make something disappear. 

Me: Is it that bad? 

Emilio: It made me the youngest person to write, direct and star in a single major motion picture. Hubris, hubris, hubris. It should've been a triple hubris hyphenate. Ha ha ha. 

Me: That makes for a good t-shirt or band name. What was it like doing all that? 

Emilio: Oh, gosh, I was 23 and I was surrounded by an amazing talented group of people on the other side of the camera. I had Robert Wise who was my mentor, the director of The Sound of Music and West Side Story among many others. The editor of Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Andersons, he's on set as our executive producer. I had Danny Elfman who was our composer. 

Me: He was on the Phile before. He's pretty good. 

Emilio: Yeah, right. Michael Collins, Steven Spielberg's editor was cutting it. Adam Greenberg who just shot the Terminator was my D.P. Bernie Williams who was my producer that produced Clockwork Orange, so you can't imagine, or you can, this group of people now I had surrounded me but I had a terrible script, a wildly out of control ego and here I was on set telling all these people who knew better than I what to do. 

Me: Why did you have an out of control ego, Emilio? 

Emilio: I was 23. We all remember where we were when we were 23. Most of my friends had just graduated from college and I was't going to tell them anything. I was just young and stupid and driven by wanting to do more, wanting to be not just known as an actor, I wanted to branch out and frankly I just wasn't ready. 

Me: What would you as a director today tell that young director then? 

Emilio: Go back to the drawing board, work on the script a little more, streamline that, really prepare. One of the things that Robert Wise talked to me about was I have to anticipate and I have to communicate. I was at 23, as I'm sure a lot of young men were great communicators so I just wanted people to read my mind about what it was that I wanted. So it really is all about communication and anticipation and getting in front of things that I was left flat footed with. Many times on that film set. 

Me: I'm surprised you kept going. Why did you keep going? 

Emilio: You know, a lot of actors directed once and that's it. They recognized how difficult it is and just get beat up. I could tell you I got some of the worse reviews maybe ever written. There's a free publication in L.A. called L.A. Weekly which is an independent newspaper and they devoted three pages writing about how bad the movie was. And to use a Citizen Kane reference the title of the review was "Ain't No Rosebud." Ha ha ha. 

Me: Hahahaha. How did you not give up after that, man? 

Emilio: Well, I think there was no where to go but up. I think it couldn't got any worse, for better or worse I dug in and decided to do it again on another picture called Men At Work which I felt was okay. I'm going to take myself a little less seriously, I'm going to make this romp with my brother Charlie and going to have some laughs and we did just that. That has become a bit of a cult classic and a guilty pleasure for a lot of people and they've been a lot of calls for a sequel on that but I don't see that as a possibility. 

Me: Earlier you said this is not the first movie you made that's set in a library and you of course referred to The Breakfast Club. I've never seen that movie believe it or not. What do you think of that movie? 

Emilio: No diversity. That would be my first reaction look at that film now as a young person saying wait a minute, who's reflected in this movie, who is this movie for? Does it hold up for me in the same way it does for of my age who hold it in such regards? No. There's no diversity in the film, there's no people, no actors, no characters of color. That's my biggest takeaway from looking at the film now with a 37-year-old lens. 

Me: Do you ever look back at your films? 

Emilio: I rarely do. In fact if I'm channel surfing and a picture of mind comes up I generally go right through it and onto something else. 

Me: But some of those films gave you so much fame and success, Emilio. 

Emilio: Listen, from my perspective now it created a lot of opportunity. And some of that opportunity is what we talked about earlier, the opportunity to direct. And so when I'm young I don't obviously have the perspective I have when I'm older. The older Emilio looking back at that film and back to those times specifically would been "take your time, take your time a little bit more." I think I would have made different choices, smarter choices, rather than going for the money or what my agent thought was cool and hip. Because at the end of the day my résumé follows me the rest of my life. There's a lot of pictures on my résumé that I'm not proud of. 

Me: Emilio, thanks for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon. 

Emilio: Cool, I hope so.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Emilio for a cool interview. The Phile will be back on Monday with Dolly Parton! Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain and hit your mom if you can.

Give me some rope, tie me to dream, give me the hope to run out of steam, somebody said it could be here. We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year. I can't count the reasons I should stay. One by one they all just fade away...

Monday, May 3, 2021

Pheaturing Tom Bailey

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? I just got my second Moderna vaccine shot a bit ago, and didn't feel a thing... yet. Fingers crossed. Is this all too surprising? I’ll try to keep the snarky, sarcastic comments to minimum as I explain what happened here, but no promises. Josh Duggar, the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar from "19 Kids and Counting," has been arrested and charged with, “one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography,” according to CNN. If you’re unfamiliar with who this is, "19 Kids and Counting" was a TLC hit show that followed the Duggar family as they managed a household with 19 children. Now before I get into what happened, let’s dig into some context. The reality show was actually cancelled back in 2015 after reports of Duggar allegedly molesting girls as a teenager surfaced. And although Duggar was never charged, he did admit it, saying on Facebook, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.” And with his family, known for their Christian values, speaking on his behalf, he was never charged for any of those incidents. According to CNN, they had said, “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God.” However, his time under the spotlight wasn’t over, as the former reality TV star’s name reappeared across headlines once again for getting caught on Ashley Madison, a website designed to help married people cheat on their spouses. The site was hacked in 2015, and Duggar’s name was revealed amongst the many others who had used the site.   So what the heck did this guy do now? Well, if you missed it back in 2019, Duggar has allegedly downloaded content that depicted the sexual abuse of children, specifically under the age of 12. And if this is still shocking to you at this point, then I don’t know what else I could’ve explained for this not to be. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas reported that he was arrested in Arkansas on those child pornography charges, and if convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. When he appeared in federal court via video conference, he actually pleaded not guilty. His attorneys, Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story, and Greg Payne said in an email to CNN, “We intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom... and that is exactly what Josh intends to do.” As for Jim Bob and Michelle, Josh’s parents? They posted a statement on their family website saying, “We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.” I’m trying not to be too critical, but I almost applaud the bold statement made by Josh’s attorneys. I mean, this guy got officially caught downloading not just any sexual abuse material, but of children. He also has quite a amount of kids himself, which is even more sickening. Again, I’m not all surprised, but if you are, then I can’t really help you out in any way. But I saw this coming, and I’m glad this guy is finally getting what he deserves. Side note: Why is he smiling like that in his mugshot? 

Creepy. Brandishing signs reading “Stop the bullshit," climate activists gathered in Washington D.C. on Thursday to dump cow manure outside the White House. Demonstrators were protesting U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate plan, which they say is inadequate. The Thursday morning protest, which coincided with Earth Day, was led by activists with Extinction Rebellion DC. Extinction Rebellion is an international environmental movement dedicated to using nonviolent civil disobedience to urge governments to take action on the global climate crisis. The demonstration included at least a dozen environmentalists, who pushed pink wheelbarrows of steaming manure which they unloaded in a big pile on a street by Lafayette Square, reports Jane Recker from The Washingtonian. On top of the hill of poop, demonstrators stuck a sign reading “Stop the Bullshit." Other banners read, “Declare a climate emergency now!” and “Biden’s 2030 plan = mass death." The demonstration came on the heels of President Biden’s two-day virtual climate summit of more than 40 world leaders. By hosting the event, Biden endeavored to reestablish the U.S. as a leader in global efforts on climate change after then-President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris accord. During the summit, Biden promised that the U.S. would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 52 percent by 2035 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. According to spokesperson Reilly Polka, Extinction Rebellion DC feels the president’s plan doesn’t go far enough. XRDC is calling for the president to set his net-zero deadline for 2025. “We’ve elected another president who can’t understand basic science,” Reilly Polka told The Washingtonian. “Just like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, Biden is fiddling with dates and targets as the ocean rises and the world burns. The president has failed to address the immense scale of the planetary emergency. Those traveling first class are still enjoying the party too much to hear the cries of those already drowning in the decks below.” After dumping out a dozen wheelbarrows of manure on the street, protesters said they would “clean up their shit." But in the end, it was largely BIOPIC, low-wage workers of DC Public Works who ended up cleaning up the mess, which had begun to block traffic. “Rebels returned with shovels to clean up, which was the plan, but the city had already begun,” a spokesperson for XRDC told The Washingtonian. “It’s unfortunate that the city had to clean our mess, but that’s exactly what Biden is asking humanity to do with his 2030 plan... he’s making it everyone else’s problem. We thank the city for their services this morning.” 

A few caveats here before everyone decides they’d rather roast to death in the uninhabitable desert where Indiana used to be than do anything about climate change. This idea came from one guy. A Swedish professor at the Stockholm School of Economics. There are also actual, serious, real, widely accepted medical problems with eating human flesh. In short, this isn’t happening. You recycling and driving your car less is not a slippery slope to consuming the flesh of your dead family members. But anyway, on to making fun of this guy now. Magnus Soderlund said at a Stockholm summit last weekend that he thinks eating human flesh could help save humans from climate change because farming animals... specifically cows... is not great for the environment. Specifically, at the industrial scale we currently do it at. This is, of course, insane. And stupid. Even Soderlund said he was hesitant to eat human flesh but would try it so as not to appear “conservative.” Look man, eating bacon made from the ass of a dead 80-year-old man isn’t going to make anyone think you’re forward-thinking. It’s going to make them think they want to get as far away from you as possible. For what it’s worth, Soderland did follow up his cannibalism plan with some (only barely) more digestible options such as eating insects, or our pets. Honestly, insects are a fine enough plan. They’ll be a hard pass for me but if someone wants to eat cricket tacos I’m not going to stop them. But pets? Why in the name of God does this guy see food everywhere? Put me on a full vegan diet before I start eating human corpses and my dead dog. Again, this shouldn’t be reflective of all climate change discussion. If anything it’s absurd to have someone this nuts speak at what’s supposed to be a serious convention. He diminishes the actual good points. Soderlund isn’t thinking outside the box or being creative. He had a shitty idea and for some reason was able to share it with the world at a legitimate forum instead of being shot down and told to do better. That happens a lot. 

A devastating fire in Bardstown, Kentucky, fatally killed more than 50 dogs and puppies at a kennel. According to WDRB, owner Ron Kraemer went into town to buy dog food, only to return to find his kennel, Doggy Style Kennels, on fire. He posted a heartbreaking video of the fire on social media, detailing in a Facebook post how he lost all the Labrador Retrievers that he has been breeding and training, except one sole survivor, Candy. Kraemer sadly wrote, “To my clients and friends, I came home from town today with a load of dog food to find my kennels in flames. I have lost all my dogs and puppies except for Candy that somehow pushed her way through the gate. You can imagine how devastating this is. My dogs were my life. Please continue to follow my page. This will not be the end of Doggy Style Kennels.” Kramer explained how miraculous it was for Candy, the lone survivor, to break through the gate, despite her fellow friends and siblings tragic fate. Kraemer said, “When I pulled in the drive there were two neighbors here and they ran up to me ‘Ron, we tried! We tried. We couldn’t save any.’ And I could see nothing could be saved.” Kraemer also explained that he’s still yet to be told how the fire officially started, but he believes that it possibly could’ve started from an electrical mishap with a heat lamp that he uses to keep the puppies warm. However, comments on the kennel’s Facebook page have accused Kraemer of running a puppy mill because of how many dogs were residing at the kennel at the time. Kraemer expressed his love for his business and passion with a fiery response saying, “If you want to call me a puppy mill because I have a continuous flow of puppies, go for it, alright? But there is nobody that does this better than I do. There is nobody that treats their dogs any better.” A GoFundMe page has been set up as a fundraiser to help the owner of Doggy Style Kennels rebuild his dog kennel. Puppy mill or not, this is quite the tragedy. 

Oh Ted oh, you just can’t seem to stay away from the spotlight huh? During President Joe Biden’s joint session of Congress last Wednesday afternoon in the House Chambers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, all eyes were on him… except for Ted Cruz’s eyes. While he was addressing a variety of topics including coronavirus vaccinations distribution, American rescue plan, stimulus checks, rental in food assistance, and more, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was caught sleeping and minding his own business. So yes, although Biden’s speech was interrupted by several standing ovations and loud applause from lawmakers throughout the entire address, Senator Cruz was far less enthusiastic about the situation. Luckily for us, there was video footage of the Senators sleeping and briefly opening his eyes before then dozing me off again. Texans, come get your Senator! During Biden’s address, he mentioned his administration’s legislative agenda, including higher capital gain tax, expanding voting, a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, LGBTQ Health Care, women’s rights, and climate change. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris were standing right behind him. But Cruz did not appear to care one bit about Bidens first 100 days, he just wanted a good nap time because he probably had a hard day. The footage made its way on social media, of course, and it’s safe to say that Twitter had one heck of a ball. It has been viewed more than 1 million times across several accounts showing slight variations of the same part of the address. Several mocked Cruz by taking jabs at the Senator, including Trevor Noah from "The Daily Show" tweeting, “Looks like Ted’s eyes are hooked up to his state’s power grid.” Cruz did issue a rebuttal of Biden’s speech during an appearance on Fox News’s Hannity show telling host Sean Hannity, “I think the speech tonight, you could sum up three words: boring but radical. The speech tonight, by design, was calm and dulcet tones, you know I challenge you to remember a single line from the speech.” Yeah, yeah Ted, go off and try to explain yourself. What else do you have to lose? Politics aside, to me this is so rude. I don’t care if you don’t agree with what someone of a higher power is saying, you sit and listen. That’s your job. Shame on you, Ted. 

Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...

Ummm... maybe not. 

Looks like an okay day there. 

The 150th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Dolly will be on the Phile next Monday. 

Today's pheatured guest is an English singer, songwriter, composer, musician, and record producer. He came to prominence in the early 1980s as the lead vocalist for the new wave band Thompson Twins. His first solo album "Science Fiction" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Tom Bailey.

Me: Hey, Tom, welcome to the Phile. Thanks for being here. 

Tom: It's my pleasure. 

Me: You had a solo album out called "Science Fiction" a few years ago. What was that like? 

Tom: It was kind of weird. 

Me: Why is that? 

Tom: Because I never stopped making music. I've released so many albums in one sort or other but nothing that was mainstream pop, nothing that was oriented around structuring, three and a half minute pop songs. So, yeah, it was a bit weird. 

Me: What took you so long to do a solo album, Tom? 

Tom: The massive distraction of other things. 

Me: Like the other "bands" you were part of? 

Tom: Yeah, International Observer, Babble, The Holy Water, I'm too easily distracted to dabbling into labours of love which don't make anyone any money but is great fun to do. 

Me: Was it hard to get back into the pop mentality again? 

Tom: I think the challenge was confronting my own denial. I had to come to terms with it again. I think once I decided to do it it actually seemed strangely familiar. I thought, "You're a fool, Tom, if you had any skills it was in this department. And you ignored them and it's taken you a long time." It's the same with touring with these pop songs and things. The metaphor is getting back on the back after a long time. It just comes back to me. 

Me: So, I have two ask you about the title track "Science Fiction." Are you a fan of sci-fi? 

Tom: Kind of. I think what happened was at the back of my mind I was feeling for an overall concept for the album, something that tied all the various song idea together. I thought this would emerge, as it often does, I think it was three or four songs in "Science Fiction" the song came along and I thought that's it, and it would also be a great title for an album. A lot of the songs have the idea of sort of staring up at the sky, stargazing images came out in order to understand what we are back on Earth kind of thing. That's really what science fiction is, it's the kind of false futurism but it's about now. 

Me: You play guitar and keyboards, right? What do you use to write your music with? 

Tom: I swap between both. If I play just one instrument it can lead me down a kind of repeated pathway. Sometimes I say that to people who write on keyboards, just learn half a dozen chords on a guitar because it will help them approach the same song with a different way. 

Me: That's a good point. So, what instrument did you learn first? 

Tom: The piano. 

Me: What part of England are you from, Tom? 

Tom: I lived in Chesterfield, Darbyshire, only 12 miles from Sheffield right on the border. I was born in Yorkshire and all my family come from South Yorkshire, so I have a claim to both places. 

Me: Did you come from a musical family? 

Tom: I did. My family are all medical actually but they are all keen amateur musicians of one sort or other. My father was a very early builder of home hi-fi so there was always a great quality spending music around me as a kid. I guess that's one of those things that influences me when I'm young, to have that kind of intensity of music around me. 

Me: What got you into playing or using synthesizers? I remember when my dad first got his one for his home studio. 

Tom: Thomas Dolby. In the second Thompson Twins album which was called "Set" we were still guitars, bass, drums, percussion band, and there wasn't any keyboards because we couldn't afford keyboards, it was as simple as that. I love the sound of synthesizers and I was desperate to get that kind of influence in to the work. I think I reached a point where they became affordable. So Steve Lillywhite who produced "Set" said let's get Tom Dolby in and it actually led to a strange little pattern of events where he came in and played synth of some of the tracks and then my synth did arrive so I was also playing along side but he was way ahead of me in terms of what to do so on and so forth. But by the end of that album I was in a situation where we hadn't quite got enough tracks and I acquired a drum machine and a synthesizer and I went home and wrote purely on those two instruments the song "In the Name of Love" which kind of ended up being the lead single of the album because it had this kind of bravado about it that everyone liked. It was also slightly embarrassing because for the first time it stopped being a kind of group written song and it was an individually written song. 

Me: How did that affect the other members of the band? 

Tom: It somewhat undermined the stability of the seven piece band that we've become. 

Me: So, when you guys were a trio did you all write songs? 

Tom: Yes, it was a super critical moment for us. 

Me: Why was that? 

Tom: Because up to that point we had been a band of instrumentalists that wrote music together. Often from improv workshops we just kind of jammed away. A song would develop from group work. When we became a three piece we very clearly said we're not going to do that anymore. It's not about the music or the songs anymore, it's about the whole pop experience. As a committee of three we have to design the experience which is going to include videos, visuals, the way we behave on stage, how we put on a show, blah blah, blah blah blah. Then we had the division of labour, I did the music, Alannah did the visuals, Joe did the stage show. It was almost written as a kind of manifesto, that's how we're going to do it. It was a challenge to us, an experimental challenge, like of it doesn't work and we don't have a top ten record within a year we're going to quit. It was a very weird way to put pressure on ourselves under. Looking back there amazing thing was we realised therefore we were designers of a pop experience. We were no longer a band of instrumentalists. We were designers of an overall experience. That made it very clear and it also gave me a fantastic freedom to not to have to include the instruments that people plated in the band in everything that we did. So suddenly I'm free to make a rhythm from a cardboard box and a fire extinguisher. That just kind of blew the thing wide open. And it gave us access to our signature sound. 

Me: I didn't know this, but one of your songs was in the movie Sixteen Candles, which I have never seen. I did ask Molly Ringwald out on a date once though. True story. Anyway, was that a big deal for you guys having a song in that film? 

Tom: A lot of British people didn't see that movie. In America that song is MASSIVE, even though it was never released as a single, it's because of the film. So when I sing it in America it gets an enormous response. I never saw the film but I know people in the U.S. did so I only have to mention the film and they go crazy for the song. 

Me: I first got into the Thompson Twins with the song "Hold Me Now." What's the story about that song? 

Tom: A part of it comes from a real emotional breakdown. Alannah and I had some kind of fight about somethings, some kind of emotional dispute and then we got over it and that song rose out of the atmosphere of having realised there are more important things to do than to fight. If I'd written that just to write a sappy love song it wouldn't work so well but it was based on something real and powerful for us at the time. When we were recording that Bill Wyman from the Stones walked into the studio and we were freaked out and someone said, "What do you think?" And he said, 'Sounds all right to me." 

Me: Phile Alum Nile Rodgers produced "Here's to Future Days," a record I love! How was it working with Nile? 

Tom: We'd written all the songs and actually recorded all the basic material for that before we teamed up with Nile. Nile is a wonderful musician and he certainly brought a sort of magisterial finish to the whole thing but did didn't get involved to about half way through. Nile is such a lovely man and we recently played together again. I have to say the whole time he worked on "Here to Future Days" he was pretty much in his most extravagantly misbehaving drugs and drink and everything. Everything was going mayhem central in Nile's life. So it became very difficult actually. He's written all about that in his book so I'm not saying anything new. Fantastically he's now very clear of all that and is happy and healthy and supremely together. I think it's a miracle actually with Nile's life, the way he pulled himself out of it all. And still creating mega-hits as if it was the easiest thing in the world. 

Me: That's true. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Continued success, Tom. 

Tom: Cheers, Jason. Take care.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Tom Bailey for a cool interview. The Phile will be back on Friday with Emilio Estevez. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Kiss your brain!

Give me some rope, tie me to dream, give me the hope to run out of steam, somebody said it could be here. We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year. I can't count the reasons I should stay. One by one they all just fade away...