Thursday, May 31, 2007

Flannery Alden Is Prone To Interview Me Whimsically.

One of my favorite bloggers, Flannery Alden, between plotting the end of Mel Gibsons' career and conquering the world, has interviewed me.

If you aren't reading her blog, you probably should.

Flan: I've taken time out of my busy vacation schedule, which includes visiting the ducks and geese and their babies at the park and splashing around in the wading pool to interview the marvelous Phil!

Phil, you are an actor, what role have you always dreamed of playing and why?

Phil: That's an excellent question, Flannery. I suppose the standard answer is, Hamlet. In many circles it's considered the greatest piece of literary art ever written. It's also considered to be the great actor yardstick, almost like a marathon might be. A lot of actors want to test themselves against it. I don't pretend to understand it in it's entirety, but I do appreciate it's beauty and monstrous difficulty. Randle P. MacMurphy, in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. He's the classic alpha male, never-say-die outlaw, an outsider to society, and leader of men who never stops fighting for his, and others freedom. Tom, from Tennessee Williams 'A Glass Menagerie.' Just a beautiful play.

Oh, and Spiderman.

Flan: You keep a close watch on local politics in your area. Imagine you are running for office in your community. What would be your main issue, your vision for change, and one skeleton you wouldn't want released from the closet?

Phil: That's an excellent question, Flannery. I think my main issue, as well as a vision for change, would be efficiency in government. The government does a lot for us that it doesn't get credit for, and I think it should be given credit. Our government is too often viewed negatively and this needs to change, but I think most would agree, the waste of time and money is criminal. I think it can do what it does better, plus offer more to the citizens it serves. If we can get government to work more efficiently, I believe those goals can be accomplished without an increase in taxes. Starting with improved health-care.

Locally, the goals would be the same. Improve existing services while increasing efficiency. The landscape of Elmhurst, Illinois has changed. Lot's of new businesses, condos and giant houses. On the surface it appears to be thriving, but property taxes seem to be pricing out people I might appreciate having in my community. Also, Elmhurst government, and I should know more about it, seems to apply Eminent Domain rather liberally. I'm not sure if it has always been to the benefit of the city and it's citizens. I'd be interested in exploring those issues in town.

Skeleton? Putting me on the hot seat aren't you? I have a few, when given an opportunity to embarrass myself, I usually take it. Since my Mom reads this blog, I'll go with the relatively harmless streaking incident at my college quad. Hey, it was the early '90's, everyone was doing it, right. Right?

Flan: I'm a bit of a picky eater and I don't really like foods that are exotic. What entree on the menu at the restaurant you work at would you recommend and why?

Phil: That's an excellent question, Flannery. Lucky for you, our menu caters directly to customers like yourself. Starting with our famous burgers, which have been featured in local Chicago news programs, as well as the National Geographic book, 'Ten Best Everything.' We have a wide selection of toppings and sides, I like Cheddar, avocado, no onions with fries, but the onion rings are pretty good too. If you feel like an entree, all our steaks are excellent, I like mine lean so I go for the fillet or Butt steak, but I sell more of the N.Y Strip.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Can I get you anything to drink while you look? We feature a number of nice imports on tap, plus the local Chicago brew Goose Island, which largely sucks. Since you came in on a Saturday, all our bottles of wine are discounted, some by as much as half off.

Don't forget to leave room for dessert, our Key Lime Pie is as good as I have had outside Key West.

Flan: If you were to hop on one of the trains that passes by your house, where would you go, what campfire song would be your signature song, and what would you pack in your hobo bag?

Phil: One of the magical things about riding in boxcars is the freedom from a destination. Giving yourself over to the rivers current. The excitement of not knowing. I would go wherever it took me.

My hobo bag would contain food. Cheese, bread. Probably a knife and perhaps a notebook.

My song would probably change, but my standard song was written by my friend Shelto. It goes alittle like this.

My name is Phil. This is my song.
My love is gone. Hit that bong.
My days are long. This is my song.
My name is Phil. This is my song.

I go home. I put on my robe.
I think I might die, I think I just might.
I'm Phil.

I like to drink. I do this all week.
When Sunday comes, I need to catch-up on sleep.
I'm Phil.

They turned off my lights.
They turned off my gas.
They turned off my phone, this is no kind of home.

I'm Phil. I'm Phil.
I'm Phil. I'm Phil.
My God, I'm still...

I know, my life, is wasted.
You try, I cry, I'm wasted.

And I'm going...

I go home.
I do so alone.
I hate the sky.
Fuck the sun.
I'm Phil.

No one can say, how I got this way.
No, I never knew, life would treat me so cruel.
I'm Phil.

It's cold, and it's grim.
When did all this begin?
My love is gone, and now I'm singing my song.
I'm Phil.

I'm Phil. I'm Phil.
I'm Phil. I'm Phil.
My God, I'm still...

Flan: Since you're His neighbor, how is God these days? What's He up to? What does He think of the political climate in the nation and the neighborhood?

Phil: That's an excellent question, Flannery. He seems well, mostly it's just small talk when we see one another. I get the impression He appreciates the respite from the various requests one gets when one is the Almighty. He's getting a new garage built, but I think He's having some trouble with local ordinances. Something about the proximity of the garage to His neighbors property line.

As far as the political climate in the nation, I think he has grown weary of having his name selectively invoked to support peoples actions and opinions. He did give us facts, logic and reason. I think He would like to see us employ them more often.

Within the neighborhood, politics is not often brought up. I live in a mainly Republican community, but there are no politics when our children are playing tag, or hide-and-seek. We are neighbors, when someone needs help we help them. It's the difference between the abstraction of political theory concerning the country and seeing someone in need right in front of you.

Thanks, Flannery.


Flannery Alden said...

Brilliant, Phil! I love your campfire song.

Tell God I said "Hi!"


Flannery Alden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don said...

Don't diss the Goose Island Phil, or I'll have to cut you ... cut you bad.

Chris said...

Nice work, you two!

Skylers Dad said...

Great exchange you two. And Phil, I was moved to tears by the campfire song.

Playing Randle P. MacMurphy, eh? "Between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of you, I don't think it's crazy at all and I don't think you do either. No man alive could resist that, and that's why I got into jail to begin with."

Nobody but Nicholson could have pulled off that line!

Natalie said...

I love the campfire song. It made me want to be a hobo named Phil.

Dale said...

I need someone to help me pack. If elected, will you do this for me Phil? And would I have to move there to get you to?

Nice job Philannery.

BeckEye said...

That song really should've been the American Idol winning single. Quite inspirational.

Grant Miller said...

Is there a particular tune your son should be whistled to?

Valerie said...

Nice interview.

I haven't been back to Elmhurst since my parents moved out in 2004. I've heard it's changing a've gotta stay there to keep it real.

Elizabeth said...

I would love to see you play Spiderman.

Phil said...

Flannery - I was just struck by the idea of naming our next kid, God, so I can make this little game reality.

Don - You ain't bad! You ain't nothin'!

Chris - Thanks.

Skyler's Dad - Thanks for coming by and commenting. Though I agree Nicholson's performance is definitive, I've been in and seen productions of Cuckoo's Nest, so I don't see Nicholson as the only person to be able to play it. Kirk Douglas was McMurphy in the original stage version. Woulda liked to have seen that. Sinise wasn't bad when he did it.

Natalie - That's funny.

Dale - Yes, yes and thanks.

Beckeye - Thanks for visiting. Totally isn't it.

Grant - The tune can be heard at my MySpace page, or the link on the name Shelto.

Val - But what happens when 'Keepin' it real' goes wrong, in Elmhurst!?

Elizabeth - It would be pwerful cool.

Anonymous said...

Flannery asks some excellent questions, don't she??

I've been as close to Hamlet as I wish-- Flann can tell you more 'bout it. I'd rather be in something like "Waiting for Godot" or "The Sandbox." Or "Oh, Calcutta!"

I DID get to do a small snippet from Glass Menag for a directing class. Normally I did character roles but this time I did Tom's Final Goodbye Speech from the end of the play. Wow, that was tuff stuff.

Phil said...

B.O. - You are right, there is something to be said for enjoying the role you are playing. The heavy stuff doesn't always mean fun. I don't know The Sandbox, gotta check that out. Godot is great, and I'm a big fan of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I alwyas wanted to see both on back-to-back nights. Compare and contrast type performances.

Duff said...

I like how every answer you provided began with "That's an excellent question..."

And again, that song is some funny shit. Love it.