Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pheaturing Frank Carlberg

Hello,  and welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. Try to forget summer is almost over by reading the Phile. Don't you wish the Phile was as non-addictive as LinkedIn?  Did you hear this story of a drone catching a man tanning on top of a wind turbine as summer reaches new heights? Just when a man thought he'd found a place to soak up some rays where he wouldn't be discovered, a drone came by and caught him on top of a 200 foot wind turbine. When he heard the drone approach, he simply sat up and waved. That's pretty much the best response to give when you receive an unexpected drone visit. This guy is either the laziest employee to ever work on a wind farm, or the most committed person to getting some alone time. It's incredibly impressive that he went to the top of this turbine, and if he did it without proper authorization or access, he's a hero. Either way, let's hope his secret happy place hasn't been permanently ruined. There's no chance he'll have quiet and solitude trying to nap on top of a hydroelectric plant.  Tila Tequila, whoever that is, defended Hitler and it cost her a job. Surprise! Tila Tequila has been kicked off "Celebrity Big Brother" for some old blog posts in which she defended Hitler and dressed up like a Nazi. It's interesting that reality stars and celebrities somehow never learn that saying or doing horrifically racist things is going to create a public relations nightmare. “Back in 2013 I made a statement about Hitler not being a bad person, and immediately realised soon after that I had made a terrible mistake that would ultimately come back to haunt me.” You'd think someone would have at least a moment of realization before they defend Hitler that it's going to come back to haunt them. And while she acknowledged that this was during a period of severe substance abuse and depression, she also managed to create a nicely designed image of herself dressed as a Nazi in front of Auschwitz. Typically, people suffering from severe depression can barely open their laptop, let alone hop into Photoshop to design an image of themselves wearing an SS uniform. I have no idea who this is, so I looked her up...

We expect more from our reality stars.  Jerry Seinfeld's family lemonade stand shut down by police and probably Newman. If only it had the resilience of Kramerica Industries. A charity lemonade stand run by Seinfeld's son Julian was shut down after neighbors complained about all the illegally parked cars stopping for lemonade. Believe it or not, incredibly wealthy people in the Hamptons can't be bothered by a few extra cars on the road. And the socially elite certainly cannot tolerate a kid's lemonade stand. Incidentally, this lemonade stand donates its profits to a charity that clothes needy families. So at this point, a fair guess about who owns a Hamptons home next to the Seinfelds would be Mr. Burns or Voldemort.  So, Subway eats fresh bad news: an employee says they knew about Jared Fogle for years. This is even harder to choke down than one of those yeast-y sandwiches. It's not particularly shocking to find out that Subway prioritized their brand over exposing a known pedophile, but it is satisfying to watch the people who aided and abetted him get called out. Cindy Mills, a former Subway franchisee, claims she contacted the CEO of SFAFT (Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust), Jeff Moody, about Fogle as far back as 2008. 2008!!! Fogle had made numerous statements to her about having sex with minors between the ages of 9 and 16 in the United States and Thailand. This is how the conversation went: Mills says Moody cut her off in the middle of the conversation, saying, “Please don’t tell me any more.” He indicated that he had dealt with similar complaints in the past, according to Mills. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, he has met someone. She is a teacher and he seems to love her very much, and we think she will help keep him grounded,’” Mills recalls. Subway is denying all this, of course, and made the following statement to "People" magazine: "When we first heard about an alleged complaint being made to the company about Jared Fogle, we immediately investigated and found no record that this was ever brought to our attention. When we heard about the possibility of a second complainant, we began an investigation that is ongoing." Of course, if they did know about Fogle's crimes, that's terrible on many levels. From the most cold-hearted, practical perspective, it's terribly stupid. If you know your spokesman is a pedophile and aren't willing to turn him into the police (what!), you might want to fade him out of your advertisements. Maybe make your new mascot a dog in a sandwich suit, or something. Someone people can actually look up to! If you didn't get that reference, Fogle was brought down by a 2 year old in the end. "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for that meddling FBI and their dog!" This is Bear.

Even if you just met this guy and knew his name was Bear, you'd think he was pretty awesome. Little do you know! Bear, age 2, is one of only a handful of K9 dogs in America capable of sniffing out storage devices. "Bear is unique because he can sniff out SD cards, thumb drives, external hard drives, iPads and micro SD cards," said Bear's handler, Todd Jordan, "It's something we probably can't smell." Crazy. Bear's involvement in former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle's child pornography case has been known since the FBI raided Fogle's house (the second video in this article is from July). But, authorities are now saying evidence discovered by the canine officer, specifically a hidden thumb drive, was a key factor in building the case that led Jared to confess. Said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota, "It's all critical. We put together a huge spreadsheet and understanding of everything Fogle did during a broad period of time, and what he didn't do. That's one more point in that whole understanding of what that's all about." Whether you're counting Bear in human years or dog years, this is still poetic justice. Good boy, Bear. Good boy.  A school sent a girl home with baffling letter banning her Wonder Woman lunch box. Forget zero-tolerance towards violence, now kids can't even be fans of superheroes or anyone who solved problems with anything more aggressive than a calculator. In today's America, schools exist to teach children that life is a series of arbitrary rules handed down by a panel of incompetent adults who literally have no clue what living on planet Earth is like. It has been so since time immemorial, but somehow gets worse and worse every year. Sometimes, the problem is dress codes. Actually, the problem is often the dress code. Or it's sex ed. Or it's school lunches (also a recurring problem), or attendance for kids with cancer. It's been a while, in fact, since we've had a good old-fashioned outrage moment about a zero-tolerance policy towards violence that goes way below zero into the realm of imaginary violence. That's what happened in the case of this letter that was sent home from school with the daughter of Daniel and Sarah:

Wow. It turns out this somehow managed to be both a fictional violence problem and a dress code issue. One that attacks a feminist icon (who uses the Lasso of Truth to solve problems with as little violence as possible, by the way) while at the same time implying that this policy is disproportionately enforced against this girl's male classmates. Frozen lunchboxes, despite being an abomination, are fine, but anything from the Marvel or DC universe (and hey, I'd love to see some more female-led superhero flicks) means your kid is a problem. It is, in other words, the Perfect (Shit)Storm of academic idiocy. So far, there's been no response from the school, but I'll let you know if the universal "WTF?" reaction online has any effect on this policy, which really just makes you want to punch something.  I just mentioned Jared Fogle, did you see he's gonna have his own talk series?

Haha. Fucker.  Have you ever seen an object that looked like a face? That kinda stuff creeps me out. Look...

Haha.  This weekend Florida almost got a hurricane called Erika. I think Erika was drunk though...

All those hurricane forecasters in Florida were like...

Haha. That actually looks like someone puked on a map.  Remember when you'd go to summer camp as a kid and they'd make you write a letter home, so your parents would know that you're not dead? Well, I have been showing you some real letters from summer camp. Here's another...

What an amazing toilet story. Okay, as you probably know, I live in Florida and here in Florida there's some really crazy stuff that happens that will happen nowhere else in the universe. So, that's why I have a feature called...

Florida mother Ashley Habat has a 4 year old son named Will, who up until recently was enrolled in Sonshine Christian Academy (get it? Son... shine. Get it?). According to her interview with "News4Jax," Habat was running late taking Will to school on August 21st, and when she arrived, she was surprised to hear a teacher say "It's picture day, Will! Are you excited?" She complained to the school that they had not given notice that it was picture day. The school replied that they had slipped a note into students' folders the week before. Habat apparently thought this level of notice was insufficient, and took to Facebook to say so in a post she set to be seen by "friends only." Unfortunately for Habat, she also tagged the school in the post, negating her attempt at privacy. Before she left to take Will to Sonshine the next day, she got a call asking her to drop by the office when she came. When Will skipped off to class, the school administrator told Habat that after that day, he would no longer be welcome at the school. They also sent a letter, stating that Ashley's "relationship with Sonshine did not get off to a very good start the first day of school. ...You utilized social media to call into question not only the integrity, but the intelligence of our staff. ...These actions are also consistent with sowing discord, which is spoken of in the handbook you signed." Said Habat, "I was in shock. Why would you expel a 4 year old over something his mom posts on her private Facebook page only people on her friends list can see?" She happens to be wrong about that first part... because she apparently doesn't know how Facebook works, but she's right about the punishing-the-child aspect. I mean, do you really want to leave a 4 year old to be educated solely by someone who can't even write Facebook posts correctly? The school had no comment.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. By the way, last entries Mindphuck fucked with my mind. This is what it was...

The Mindphuck I was thinking was that the girls arms are different lengths. That might be true, but 99.9% of you said there was a face in the couch. I took a closer look and guess wheat, you're right. Good job, everybody! My mind was fucked. Moving on...

The 39th book to be pheatured in the Phile's book club is...

Suzi Albrecht will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a jazz pianist whose latest CD "Uncivilized Ruminations" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Frank Carlberg.

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

Frank: I'm very well, thank you! And thanks for asking!

Me: Frank, when I think of your last name Carlberg for some reason I think of beer. Why is that?

Frank: Because it sound a bit like Heineken... no?

Me: Huh? No, that's not it. Anyway, where are you from, Frank?

Frank: Finland.

Me: You live in New York, now, right? When did you move from Finland? Do you visit there often?

Frank: Yes. A few years ago. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Me: I interviewed a few jazz artists here on the Phile, Frank, and most play more then one instrument. I know you are a piano player, but do you play any other instruments?

Frank: I also play soccer.

Me: That's not an instrument. Growing up in Finland, what music did you listen to?

Frank: Rauli Badding Somerjoki, Juice Leskinen, Olavi Virta... you dig!? Oh yes , and Alice Cooper.

Me: How old were you when you started to play piano?

Frank: Four.

Me: Let's talk about your latest album, "Uncivilized Ruminations." I have no idea what that means, Frank. Jazz is always so deep with names, and how albums are put together, let alone the music style. What does the title mean?

Frank: Did you read the poems?

Me: No, I didn't.

Frank: Anyway, it is kind of the opposite of civilized ruminations.

Me: This isn't your first album is it? How many other albums have you had out in the past?

Frank: Twelve.

Me: I know you had an album out called "American Dream." It was described as a 12 part song cycle with settings of poetry by Robert Creeley. See, that's what I mean by jazz being deep. Any other genre would say the album has 12 songs... not a 12 point cycle. What is a 12 point cycle anyway?

Frank: Not point... part, baby, part... A 12-part song cycle consists of five tunes... you didn't know that....?

Me: If I did I wouldn't of asked. Do you listen to other genres of music apart from jazz, Frank?

Frank: I love genres..... one of my favorites.... big genres, small genres, hot genres, cold genres... and leftover genres are almost better the next day!

Me: You head a few bands, right? The Frank Carlberg Quintet, which I am guessing has four people in it, and the Frank Carlberg Big Band. How many people are in the Big Band?

Frank: It is not so much about the number... it is more about the size.

Me: Do any of these bands appear on "Uncivilized Ruminations"?

Frank: Sure do!

Me: You have a female singer on this new album, Frank. Do you sing, or do you prefer having other people sing?

Frank: I sing and other people prefer that I have other people sing.

Me: And when you write a song, what comes first, music or the lyrics?

Frank: Lyrics.... did you actually open your promotional CD or did you just list it on eBay?

Me: I opened it. Speaking of your songs, there's quite a few long songs on the album. I think the shortest is just over four minutes long. That's normal or jazz recordings though, right?

Frank: Very normal... exceedingly normal!

Me: Frank, you went to school in Berklee, right? I interviewed a lot of musicians who went to school there. How was your experience?

Frank: It was awesome...I think... actually I can't remember... I went there?

Me: Sheesh. Okay, Frank, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun. Someho I feel it wasnt. Want you want to plug your website?


Me: All the best, and take care. Thanks again, sir.

Frank: Sir!? For a minute there I thought you were interviewing Uncle Leo... anyway... you're welcome.

Ugh. I have no idea what to think about that interview. I wanna bang my head against my wall. Why do I bother? Ha. Anyway, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks, I guess, to Frank Carlberg. The Phile will be back tomorrow with musician Glenn Aitken. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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