Monday, September 28, 2015

Pheaturing Ivan Lovatt

Hey, kids, welcome back to the Phile on a Monday. How are you? So, did you see the lunar eclipse last night? Watch the lunar eclipse, they said. It'll be amazing they said.

Ha! My interest in the lunar eclipse was eclipsed by my desire to sleep.  Okay, speaking of space type stuff, NASA just announced the most exciting space news in 50 years in their boring science language. After decades of looking, a NASA spacecraft has found evidence of liquid water on Mars. Billions of years ago, Mars was flowing with water, but for the past few decades that we've been researching the red planet, the only H2O to be found was in the air, soil, and the ice in the planet's poles. Five years ago, however, researchers noticed "mysterious dark streaks running down the warm slopes of Martian craters and mountains." They entertained the possibility that this could be water. To test this hypothesis, they sent a spacecraft, which noticed "deposits of perchlorate" that were being moistened by a compound none other than water. NASA made the announcement via livestream at 11:30 a.m. People had already guessed what the news was, but they were still excited nonetheless.
Researchers are still uncertain how exactly the water is there. It's also unclear how exactly this could help a manned mission to Mars, but it will help nonetheless. As mama always said, some water is better than no water when the atmosphere is trying to kill you.  This woman got her dream job and was fired 30 minutes later because she looks like this.

Twenty-seven year old Claire Shepherd is a retail merchandiser from Swansea, Wales. She has 6 years of experience, so it probably came as no surprise when she was offered a job after nailing a phone interview with Dee Set, a U.K. chain. But then, irony struck. Immediately after accepting the position, she got an email listing the company's dress code. Among other things, it mentioned that all employees must cover their tattoos, just in case any customer finds them offensive. Shepherd immediately knew that was going to be a problem. She knew that unless she came to work every day in a burka/opera glove ensemble, she'd never be able to hide all her ink. In particular, her double hand tattoos were going to give her considerable problems. Shepherd assumed that the policy was a holdover from the archaic dress codes of the past, so she emailed right back and explained her tats. What happened next shocked her to her tattooed core. Dee Set responded and informed her that because of her extensive body art, they were rescinding their offer of employment. The one they had given her a half hour before. Stunned and outraged, Shepherd took her story to Facebook. Her post quickly went viral, with many tattoo-positive people coming to her defense. After Shepherd's post hit the media, Dee Set backtracked as quickly as possible and offered her the job again. But she said no...  she had already taken a job at B&M. There, her tattoos aren't an issue, just like at every other job she's had in the past six years. Pretty ironic that Dee Set's gesture to avoid offending customers has instead offended people all around the world. Either ironic or dumb. It's nice to see that things worked out for Claire Shepherd. Regardless of anyone's personal opinion of tattoos, they're here to stay. And as the hipster generation continues to mature, everyone is going to have to get used to seeing inked-up people in the workplace, or else there won't be any acceptable workers left. And that goes for people who take duckface selfies too.  Frances Bean Cobain, the 23 year old (extremely cool but how could she not be) daughter of tragic nineties angst icons Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, is married. She wedded musician Isaiah Silva earlier this week, and people are pointing out that he looks kind of familiar. In that he looks a lot like the Nirvana frontman, aka her dad.

Definitely a strong resemblance, although you do have to wonder if it's due to physical similarity or grunge style affinity. I mean this dude has a very "Smells Like Teen Spirit" vibe for 2015, not that that's a bad thing. And with the current wave of nineties nostalgia, maybe all guys in their twenties are going to look like this pretty soon. Isn't it a logical evolutionary step from the man bun? According to E! News, the small wedding only had "13-15" guests (were two of them ghosts or something?), and Courtney Love was not sorry not to be one of them.  With a Donald Trump presidency in the realm of possibility, people are beginning to ask what his leadership would actually look like. Scott Pelley, anchor of "60 Minutes" and surprisingly sassy guy, sat down with Trump at the candidate's Fifth Avenue penthouse. It didn't take long for Trump to reveal he knows just as little about policy as you'd imagine. When asked about his tax plan, Trump said that he'd make significant tax cuts for the middle class, but didn't say what or how. Another shining moment involves Trump laying down his foreign policy vision, which boils down to, "Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let 'em get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?" Even when Pelley wants to talk about the struggles that have defined The Donald's character, Trump responds in the Trumpiest way possible. At one point, the candidate discusses losing his brother at a young age to alcoholism and explains how that affects his habits today. "I've never had a drink. I own the largest winery on the East Coast, and yet I don't drink, which is a little weird." And finally, just as George Washington himself was reluctant to become president when elected in 1789, Trump says he doesn't want to be president, but feels a sense of duty. "I didn't want to do this. I just see our country as going to hell. And I felt I had to do it." I bet a lot of TV's were punched last night. There have been many George Zimmerman stories since he was found not guilty for killing 17 year old Trayvon Martin, but this one may the worst. Regardless of whatever you thought at the time of his trial, George Zimmerman has found plenty of ways to offend people since. First of all, there are his terrible paintings, some of which were sold to support that "Muslim-free" gun store in Florida. There was that time he threatened his pregnant girlfriend with weapons and she called 911 (there were three domestic violence incidents overall). There was that time he was involved in a road-rage shooting. In fact, we're barely scratching the surface here. All of those incidences prove he's a douche, and although his far-right folk hero status (which he has since embraced, along with an ever-present cigar in his photos) indicated he might be kinda proud of what he done did that night, he never actually said or did anything to prove that. Until Friday night, that is, when he retweeted one of his admirers. Shit, I hesitant to show it but I will...

For the record, George Zimmerman is in fact less than 1/7th as cool as the White Stripes song. This screenshot, saved by, shows Zimmerman (@TheRealGeorgeZ) retweeting @SeriousSlav's breathless fan letter, "@TheRealGeorgeZ Z-Man is a one man army,” complete with a photo of Martin's dead body. One would think that seeing the body of someone you killed during a confusing night would fill you with sadness and you'd avoid it at all cost. But this is George Zimmerman, and he wanted to share it with the world. The tweet has since been deleted (although retweets including @SeriousSlav laughing about the photo have not been), but this isn't exactly new for Zimmerman. His timeline is actually full of Martin's picture, since he regularly responds to (and mocks and threatens) people who write to him calling him a murderer. You can't exactly call his social media strategy unsuccessful, since he has had way more of a public afterlife than I think anyone anticipated. You can call it awful, however. You can definitely call it that.  Hey, the Phile has a new sponsor, kids. Check it out...

Hmmm. I have no words.  So, with the new Star Wars movie coming out, they are slowly revealing new characters. Here is an exclusive...

When a problem comes along you must Wicket. Wicket good. Haha. That's so stupid.  Hey, do you know what this is?

Grandfather clock. Moving on...  So, last week as you know the Pope was in the U.S. And when he went to Philly he did something very strange.

Haha. Okay, so, Facebook is making changes to its privacy policy apparently. A friend of the Phile has something to say about it. He's a patriot, singer and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Better safe than sorry. On this day of September 28th 2015, I am not stupid enough to buy into all this Facebook privacy crap. I fully grasp the concept that any hopes of so called "cyber privacy" faded from reality the moment I logged on and CREATED A FUCKING FACEBOOK PAGE. Therefore, anything I post in a public forum is just that... PUBLIC. To sum up... I'm not an idiot. There is no, nor will there ever be any privacy on Facebook. I understand that anything I post on Facebook can and probably will be co opted by any and all federal, state and local agencies and/or private citizens of this or any other country. The Mayan calendar was wrong about the end of the world. So were the Y2K doom sayers. So were the September 23rd 2015 paranoidians. So were the followers of Jim Jones. So were the people who thought Gary Cherone would be the lead singer of Van Halen forever.

Haha. That's a real easy one. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's Monday and time to talk football with my good friend Jeff in a pheature called...

Me: Hey, Jeff, good to have you back on the Phile. How are you doing?

Jeff: It's always a pleasure to be back here on the Phile. Hoping some good luck roles my way in the next few days. Plus I'm almost done with my third book so that's exciting.

Me: Very cool. Alright, so, what's the NFL news this week?

Jeff: The biggest news coming out of week 3 is the Steelers lost their quarterback due to injury. Ben Roethisberger injured his left knee in a game against the Rams yesterday. He will be out for 4-6 weeks. Yet another big named player injured early in the season. The other big news is how angry the Patriots have been this season. Forget Marshall Lynch, New England has been in beast mode all season. They are destroying teams. In other news, Carolina QB Cam Newton asked a referee why there wasn't a flag thrown when he thought there should have been one thrown on the defensive. Ed Hochuli (referee) told him he hasn't been in the league long enough to get those calls. The look on Newton's face (even with his helmet on) was priceless. I don't agree with the statement, which Hochuli has denied making now.

Me: Okay, last week I was beating you by half. How did we both do last week?

Jeff: In week 3 you went 1-1 with the Giants picking up their first win of the season. Your record stands at 4-2 plus and additional point to give you 9 points. So, 1-1 is a good week, but there's only one thing better... DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK. Because I was able to go 2-0, while the Steelers picked up a win as well. I'm 3-3 on the season, with two Steeler wins. That gives me a total of 8 points. As it stands right now you lead by 1 point.

Me: That's better than nothing. Let's do this weeks picks... I say Jets by 2 and your Steelers by 5. So, I kinda hope your Steelers win. Haha. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks this week are the Carolina Panthers by 3 points and Arizona by 7.

Me: Very good. See ya next week, Jeff.

Jeff: Good luck and we will talk next week!

Art is what people who aren't willing to be of value to society do with their free time.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is the 31st artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery. Please welcome to the Phile... Ivan Lovatt.

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

Ivan: Very busy.

Me: I have to say, you are one of the most creative artists I have ever had on the Phile, sir. Have you been doing some sort of art stuff all your life?

Ivan: Yes, I have always enjoyed being creative, art was my strongest subject as a child and I have enjoyed a great deal of encouragement and support.

Me: Where are you from, Ivan?

Ivan: I was born in Nairobi Kenya, Africa, I loved the wildlife and the culture, this was a great inspiration.

Me: Is that's where you still live?

Ivan: I now live on the Gold Coast Queensland, Australia, which is also a beautiful inspiring and interesting place.

Me: You started out doing art with driftwood, is that right?

Ivan: Although I have used many types of material, when I arrived in Australia in '94 I found an amazing variety of driftwood, with which I creative native wildlife sculpture this work has been well received, and I enjoy returning to this material from time to time.

Me: I have a pic of one of your wood carvings here to show...

Me: Then you started to do sculptures made out of chicken wire... why chicken wire? Is it because it's flexible?

Ivan: I am constantly in search of new materials to explore, when I started working with chicken wire I was amazed at the possibility of this material.

Me: I saw you did wildlife with the chicken wire, and then you started to do different celebrities. Who was your first celebrity you have sculpted?

Ivan: I enjoy making sculpture of people I admire, although most of the portraits I've may have been commissioned so I don't always get to choose. Although luckily most of them have been people I do admire greatly, my favourite subjects other than aboriginal faces, have been the great explorers such as Sir Edmund Hillary, and Sir Douglas Mawson.

Me: What was the hardest one you have ever done, and the easiest? Also, what was the smallest sculpture you have done and the largest?

Ivan: Up till now, the smallest sculpture I've done is a life-size little blue ran and the largest is a barn owl made in a larger gauge of wire which stands at 3.4 m tall.

Me: How long would it take you do one sculpture? Some seem a lot more detailed then others.

Ivan: Two people often ask how long the sculpture takes. I don't like to time my work I don't think it is important I often work on more than one piece at a time. The work is labour-intensive but I feel anything worthwhile takes time.

Me: You did John Lennon a few times, I think, right? Has any living celebrity you you have made into chicken wire seen your work, or purchased it? I bet if you did one of Donald Trump he would buy it.

Ivan: No, no one famous.

Me: Speaking of buying, you show your stuff at art galleries, right? Do you sell your work as well? How much would it cost if I wanted a chicken wire sculpt of myself?

Ivan: My work can be found in galleries around Australia, but I can also be contacted through my website

Me: Ivan, did you ever get cut making them?

Ivan: It actually isn't as hard on your hands as you might think, as long as you are not struggling with the work you're doing, most of the time I wear gloves, these days I hardly ever even get scratch.

Me: Thanks so much for being here on the Phile. You are a very clever artist, and I wish you lots of luck. Let me know when my one is done. Just kidding. All the best, Ivan.

Ivan: Thank you for the exposure, best wishes, Jason.

Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim, Jeff Trelewicz and of course Ivan Lovatt. The Phile will be back next Monday with singer Alia Lorae. 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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