So, did you see it? Whatcha think? Wasn't it the best movie ever?! I thought it was great! I am of course talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 2015 has saved its best for last. It might be the most anticipated movie in your lifetime, and it’s most definitely the most anticipated movie of the year, but does Star Wars: The Force Awakens live up to these Death Star-sized expectations? It does!
Anyway, how are you? Welcome to the Phile, kids, for a Sunday. What's going on? Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO/horrible douchebro Martin Shkreli was arrested early Thursday morning for securities fraud at his apartment in Manhattan. The charges are related to alleged illegal sales of stock shares at his previous biotech firm, Retrophin Inc. Shkreli was CEO of Retrophin, until he was ousted by its board. He's also currently being sued by the company. The securities fraud charges against him are related to this matter, and allege that he used stock sales to illegally pay off unrelated debts. Shkreli became the poster boy for pharmaceutical greed when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, astronomically jacked the price of a drug commonly used to treat HIV and cancer patients. He has since found several ways to somehow make his personality appear even worse: his ex-girlfriend claims he once offered her $10,000 to go down on her, and he made enemies with the Wu-Tang Clan after it was discovered he was the one who purchased the only copy of their new album. His arrest is interesting, as there was a hilarious and unsubstantiated rumor going around about the contract Shkreli signed when he bought the Wu-Tang album. The rumor claimed that the contract had a stipulation that either Wu-Tang or Bill Murray reserved the right to steal the album back from the buyer in an elaborate heist. It's not true, but today the Internet shall be joyously overflowing with suggestions that Wu-Tang or Bill Murray had something to do with Shkreli's swift arrest so soon after he bought the album. Let the rumors fly, because Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthing ta fuck wit, and Bill Murray does what he wants. And even if Wu-Tang didn't have anything to do with Shkreli's arrest, they know that revenge is a dish best served cold, and are patiently waiting in the shadows. The first "Fuller House" trailer has arrived, and it focuses exclusively on a dog, as if to say, "Remember Comet?" The clip does feature Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey uttering two of their best catchphrases, but only shows the dog onscreen. Maybe this teaser is trying to tell the audience that the whole show will take place through the perspective of dogs and babies, Look Who's Talking-style. Dog jokes aside, this somber tour through the old set will make you feel like it's TGIF again... it's sweet that they haven't done any redecorating in 20 years. There are barely two months left before you finally find out the answer to the big question of the series: Whatever happened to predictability? A woman named Heather McManamy passed away this week at age 36 from breast cancer. One of her last requests was that her husband Jeff McManamy share a letter she wrote to friends and family. It is, of course, heartbreaking. But it's also funny, smart, and littered with curse words. The letter is going viral with over 3,000 shares, probably because reading it makes you feel that Heather McManamy is someone you would have wanted as a friend. When you finish it, you'll mourn her passing too. She starts with the bad news, then segues to gratitude: "So… I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, apparently, I’m dead. Good news, if you’re reading this, is that you are most definitely not (unless they have wifi in the afterlife). Yes, this sucks. It sucks beyond words, but I’m just so damn glad I lived a life so full of love, joy and amazing friends. I am lucky to honestly say that I have zero regrets and I spent every ounce of energy I had living life to the fullest. I love you all and thank you for this awesome life." And asks that you not impose your beliefs on her when she's no longer around to argue about it: "Whatever religion brings you comfort, I am happy that you have that. However, respect that we are not religious. Please, please, please do not tell Brianna that I am in heaven. In her mind, that means that I chose to be somewhere else and left her. In reality, I did everything I could to be here with her, as there is nowhere, NOWHERE, I would rather be than with her and Jeff. Please don’t confuse her and let her think for one second that is not true. Because, I am not in heaven. I’m here. But no longer in the crappy body that turned against me. My energy, my love, my laughter, those incredible memories, it’s all here with you... Please tell Brianna stories, so she knows how much I love her and how proud of her I will always be (and make me sound waaay cooler than I am). Because I love nothing more than being her mommy. Nothing. Every moment with her was a happiness I couldn’t even imagine until she came crashing into our world." And takes a couple knocks at cancer: "And don’t say I lost to cancer. Because cancer may have taken almost everything from me, but it never took my love or my hope or my joy. It wasn’t a “battle” it was just life, which is often brutally random and unfair, and that’s simply how it goes sometimes. I didn’t lose, dammit. The way I lived for years with cancer is something I consider a pretty big victory. Please remember that." Then focuses on her loving family: "Most importantly, I was unbelievably lucky to spend over a decade with the love of my life and my best friend, Jeff. True love and soulmates do exist. Every day was full of hilarity and love with Jeff by my side. He is genuinely the best husband in the universe. Through all my cancer crap, he never wavered when so many people would want to run... I believe that the awesomeness that is Brianna is our love brought to life, which is pretty beautiful. It absolutely breaks my heart to have to say goodbye. If it’s half as sad for you as it is for me, it breaks my heart over again because the last thing I ever want to do is make you sad. I hope that with time, you can think of me and smile and laugh, because, holy shit did we have a breathtaking life." She finishes with some suggestions for her awesome funeral and a reminder to us all: "If you go to my funeral, please run up a bar tab that would make me proud. Heck, blast “Keg on My Coffin” and dance on the bar for me (because there had better be a dance party at some point). Celebrate the beauty of life with a kickass party because you know that’s what I want and I believe that in a weird way, I will find a way to be there too (you know how much I hate missing out on fun). I look forward to haunting each one of you, so this isn’t so much a goodbye as it is see you later. Please do me a favor and take a few minutes each day to acknowledge the fragile adventure that is this crazy life. Don’t ever forget: every day matters." RIP Heather McManamy. You were rad.
Let me wipe this tear from my eyes and move on. Okay... Thirty percent of Republicans support bombing Agrabah, the fictional place from Disney's Aladdin, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling... and of those Republicans, 45 percent support one specific candidate. Can you guess who? Of course you can; it's Donald Trump. PPP, a liberal partisan polling company, but a well-respected one also found that 19 percent of Democrats support bombing the fantasy land, perhaps because they suspect it of harboring magic lamps of mass destruction. But more Democrats, 36 percent, oppose it. Only 22 percent of Republicans oppose the same. Maybe some people will just believe pretty much anything? Yikes. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tweeted a new family photo on Friday as an adorable Christmas gift to their subjects. The only better holidays bonus would be a reimbursement of all the tax dollars that go to fund their lifestyle. This chill photo of a casually dressed royal clan shows that their happy family is just like yours... except that half the people in this picture will go on to be kings of England.
The older generations of the Royal House of Windsor are not a particularly photogenic group. (Just imagine how the U.K. will react when the Queen dies and Prince Charles' face is printed on the money.) The world has Princess Diana and Kate Middleton to thank for infusing the royal gene pool with some much-needed cuteness. Seriously, only the cheeks of Princess Charlotte could justify the existence of a monarchy in 2015. And the infectious smile of Prince George can almost distract you from William's ever-expanding bald spot. Ha. Okay, so, you know about this Elf on the Shelof thing, right? Well, there's a new thing in 2015... Whore in a Drawer.
That's so stupid. That's almost as stupid as this...
So, I mentioned the new Star Wars movie at the top of this entry... I will not post spoilers, but I will say Luke is in the movie more than you think...
It's pretty much the same thing! Ha. So, did you see Carrie Fisher on all those talk shows with her dog Gary? Gary is getting so popular they are coming out with a Gary action figure. Take a look!
Haha. I love the old school packaging. So, if you are wondering what to get your kids for Christmas, how about this game?
Ummm... actually, never mind. I said I wasn't gonna give a Star Wars spoiler away but I think this poster does it anyway...
Hahaha. That cracked me up. Well, Christmas is a few days away and I am sure you will be going to a Christmas party wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. What about this one? The "Santa Would Never Cheat on Mrs. Claus!!!" Sweater.
The model seems to like it, though. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Startling Similarities And Differences Between Martin Shkreli's Arrest And Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. A long-awaited event whose arrival has thrilled millions.
4. Media coverage includes the phrase "vile, Darth Vader-like villain."
3. Has many hoping for a violent "drowning in a prison toilet" scene.
2. Is happening because of unbridled corporate greed.
And the number one similarity and difference between Shkreli's arrest and Star Wars is...
1. At its core, is a tale of good overcoming the most disgusting sort of evil.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, before I continue I have to mention something very cool... on Friday's episode of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" he had a very cool bit called Late Show Holiday Gift Guide. Check out the video... youtube.com/watch?v=zxgpeWN7lXY. After you watch it you'll see why I thought it was cool. Mind. Blown. Okay, so, you pretty much know what I thought of the new Star Wars movie, but I was wondering what a friend of the Phile thought about it. He's a patriot, singer and renaissance man. You know what time it is...
Good morning, humans... Happy Sunday, phuckerz! I'm gonna piss some people off here... and yet... a single fuck shall not be offered nor given. Everyone's losing their minds over the new Star Wars movie... camping out... seeing four am showings to be the first to experience the wonder. Not me... I was a fan of the first three movies. As soon as we started with Ewoks, Clones and muthaphucking Jar Jar Binks... I bailed. I was too busy singing, getting laid, getting married, paying bills and raising kids to get jazzed up about Star Wars. Disney bought the franchise from George Lucas and I figured it wasn't the same... so I opted out of the mass insanity. I know many of you are pumped up about it... many who have seen it are rabid over how great it was. I have no interest or time for this... I'm too busy enjoying my life to follow the herd. And by the way... Here's a spoiler... THE WOOKIE DID IT!
This is not the entry you're looking for.
It's 11:13 am, 65°F and Kelly might have just revealed that she's having twins, or she might have misspoken, or she might be playing a long-term mind game to make a social statement about celebrity-obsessed Americans. Really, anything is possible, because in a radio interview with Texas radio station 103.7 KVIL, the pregnant pop singer said, "I'm going to be everywhere once I get these kids popped out and done." Yeah, she said the plural "kids," indicating that there might be a few babies rumbling around in there. The interviewers immediately caught what Clarkson said... shout out to Fort Worth's radio hosts for being on their game!... and pressed her for more info. But she just laughed. It seemed like a cool opportunity to be like, "Oh, let me clarify, there is only one baby. I understand why you thought that, but this is a misunderstanding, and I'll be having a singular child." But she totally didn't. Which is pretty suspicious, though not as definitive as an ultrasound. It's hard to know what's going on in Clarkson's mind. Because she makes a lot of calculating public moves that have kept her pregnancy firmly in the spotlight. Lately, she has: Announced that she's pregnant (allegedly) spontaneously while singing a song at her concert. Revealed the sex of the baby (or both babies???) in an Instagram photo. Hidden potential clues about the baby's name in her family holiday card, though she now denies this. Is it all a misunderstanding, or a long con? Who is having how many babies, dammit?!
What's gong on, Kel?
The 42nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Hod will be the guest on the Phile next Sunday.
Today's pheatured guest is a talented musician from England whose album "Brilliant Words" and the live CD "Global Live" are available on iTunes here in America. Please welcome to the Phile... Darren Poyzer!
Darren: Good thank you. Riding the rollercoaster with coffee in one hand, guitar in the other, and some semblance of great spirit holding on to my hat.
Me: So, you're from Manchester, England, right? Shouldn't there be a Womanchester?
Darren: Ha. Good point. There is a Godmanchester and I currently rent a place near Chester. Manchester is a unique music city, industrial, a spiritual home to a culture of diverse rock'n'roll and sexuality. I retain a little bruised piece of the city in my heart, it's rough and tumble when you're cutting your music teeth there.
Me: I just purchased the live CD you have on iTunes over here in the States called "Global Live." How long ago was that recorded?
Darren: One crazy night in 2003, as if by magic. Three musicians who'd never met before, rehearsals by proxy, an expectation that sticking a couple of mics up and two cameras in the gig might deliver a 3 song demo. Turned out nice though, 14 songs full of raw passion and beauty.
Me: You actually have four CD's out and a live DVD though, don't you? Are they available over here as well?
Darren: Yes. "Global" and "Brilliant Words" are on the CD Baby catalogue, and everything else is available for reasonable trade, worldwide mailing and / or free streaming at poyzer.com. Having someone come along to say hello is everything. I remain independent and endeavour to be a pleasant surprise and inspiration for those who choose to step outside the mainstream.
Me: "Bloody Love Songs" is that a CD of newly written material? Is it a full band CD or just you and an acoustic guitar?
Darren: Mostly very fresh writing and the first proper studio outing in five years. A binge writer, I doodle throwaways until my head bursts and the melodies and poetry bubble. "Bloody Love Songs" as a concept arrived at in the sunrise of 2009, essentially a singer songwriter collection recorded with a gathering of friends given plenty of artistic licence. It's brought another emotional, beautiful and passionate gathering of like minded souls together to create something very very special.
Me: Darren, I wanted to interview you because anybody that played with Eddi Reader, Glenn Tilbrook and Martin Stephenson are cool with me. I interviewed Martin a way back and Eddi and I am trying to get Glenn on the Phile. Did you read those interviews?
Darren: Yes, and Martin's dear brotherly friendship and spirit shines for you as it always does when you meet the chap for real. I attended two of his workshop gatherings last summer and he is an inspiration to many of my peers on the local scene. I've also co-written with John Bentley and Chris Difford of Squeeze at Difford's collective gatherings in Italy. Your interview with John captures his superb sense of humour and likeability, and I was so pleased to meet him when he had just re-joined Squeeze... he's a dear fellow and his own instrumental work is on my listening playlist at home.
Me: Who are your influences and your favorite person or band you had an honor to play with?
Darren: Right now, the autistic children I improvise with at school. They have changed my life, my music. I am real again. If there's one songwriter to name out of many, I guess Nick Harper, who's father is the venerable Roy Harper.
Me: Are you friends with Eddi and Glenn?
Darren: Eddi is very approachable and totally fabulous, though having done only one show with her as actual support artiste, I haven't had the chance to get to know her as a friend. Glenn, yes... we've done a few awesome shows together, though nothing recently. I'm playing a festival with Chris Difford, and I admire Chris greatly, another friendly and most likeable person, an inspired and outstanding lyricist.
Me: What about Graham Parker? I am a huge GP fan.
Darren: Not a fan as such, though GP's "Hold Back The Night" is well and truly etched on my Saturday night reason for being.
Me: Is there anybody you haven't played with that you wish you could?
Darren: I grew up with The Jam so Paul Weller was my ultimate gig. Not so much now. I seem to have evolved to embrace every opportunity to get to know the people I play to, be they a handful in a room or thousands in a field. Playing my best and most honest gig, making new friends be they famous or infamous, and generally just being an approachable likeable chap are the things that keep me alive.
Me: Darren, I think it's cool you are a special needs teacher. What do the kids think of your music? The Peverett Phile was once a proud sponsor of TACAnow.org and generationrescue.com. Check them out if you would like to.
Darren: Thank you, I will. I work with children with downs and autism, and adults with quite severe Cerebral Palsy. We don't play my music, I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest that at all. Our work generally takes well known popular songs, simple loops and chord progressions, and using everything from random organic sounds to interaction with sound beams, allows ensemble participation for all.
Me: Tell the readers of the Phile about Stand and Deliver. That was a comedy show, right?
Darren: As I understand it, Stand&Deliver was one of only three alternative poetry venues in the U.K. in the early 1980s, taking the spirit of punk into backstreet rooms where fledgling poets and songwriters would recite and inspire social and political revolutions. These were at heart lively gatherings, so as a handful of pioneers became popular the dirge of straight poetry stayed rooted, and a new wave of intelligent, thought provoking alternative comedy embraced the U.K. I played my first ever songwriter gig supporting the late, and most certainly great, Adrian Mitchell, in a small room above a smoky backstreet working class pub in the small Manchester suburb of Ashton Under Lyne. That was for me, the spark...
Me: Also, what exactly is Three Chords & The Truth?
Darren: Re-inventing and renewing the creative process. Every so often I set up an open mic for songwriters and poets in the spirit of the events that made me who I am. 3 Chords is one such occasional venture...
Me: Darren, any plans on coming to the States?
Darren: I've had the pleasure of two small tours out of Austin and along Texas highways, into small communities and have found them to be quite incredible experiences. I have dear and much loved friends out in Lamesa, these people being the pioneers of Forrest Fest, celebrating the one small area of public park locally where trees survive the harsh Texas climate. At any point I could, and would dearly love to...
Me: I wish you the best of luck and I hope this was fun. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else, Darren.
Darren: Thank you most sincerely, all the very best to you too, in your life and life work always. Poyzer.com, drakemusicproject.org.
Me: Good job, Darren.
Well, that about does it for this long entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Darren Poyzer. The Phile will be back tomorrow with A Peverett Phile Christmas 7 pheaturing Roger Earl from Foghat! I am so excited! 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