Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. I am Jason, and my stent is lower longer in. Here's to Senator Chris Murphy for doing more work in one day than most members of Congress have done this year. A 15-hour Senate filibuster is no match for my daily output of wasted time. So, the Orlando shooter sent a dude dick pics, which is another good reason not to send dick pics. As information surrounding Orlando shooter Omar Mateen comes to light, it becomes increasingly apparent that he was a regular at gay clubs, hung out on gay dating apps, and might actually have been struggling with his sexuality. One of the people who saw Mateen on a gay dating app was Orlando resident Cord Cedeno, who told TMZ that he first connected with Mateen on Grindr. According to Cedeno, when Mateen reached out to him over messages, he just said "Hi," over and over. If that is the mark of a killer, then there must be thousands of people in filtered Facebook messages for the FBI to investigate. Cedeno says he eventually blocked Mateen on account of his creepiness (understood), but knows four friends who remained in contact with him on other dating apps. Specifically, Adam4Adam, where Mateen was sending out faceless dick pics. It's unclear how Cedeno is certain that the dick pics in question belonged to the killer, but TMZ's verbiage suggests he was identified by the tie Mateen wore in his Grindr profile pic. This is just all more reason to save every dick pic you get. You never know when someone's wang will be relevant to the FBI.
Great news for everyone who hates children: an elementary school in Alabama just stamped a child's arm with the phrase "I need lunch money!"
Ugh... that smiley face is so passive-aggressive. Jon Bivens didn't think much of it at first when his third grade son came home from Gardendale Elementary School with a smiley face stamped on his arm. "I thought it was a good job stamp," he told AL.com. Then, when he read it closely, he realized it read, "I need lunch money." WTF. How are you gonna stamp a child with message like that? "They herd these kids like cattle," Bivens said. "He's been branded." Damn right. Comparisons between the public school system and factory farms ring truer by the day. Now they are branding children. "It's a form of bullying and shaming the kids," Bivens continued. "When you start stamping a message on a child's body instead of calling... it's not okay." No kidding. There are so many levels of wrongness going on here. First of all, this is obviously humiliating. A family's finances shouldn't have to be the child's concern. And they definitely shouldn't be the concern of all of his classmates who, let's assume, know how to read. Secondly, he's a third grade child, not a giant carrier pigeon. And even carrier pigeons have their messages written on a piece of paper, not their wing. How could this possibly be the school's best method of communication? What kind of education are these children getting when the extent of the school's technology ends at a rubber stamp? Someone should stamp the principal's arm with "I need Internet access." Thirdly... and least importantly but we are already here... what the hell is going on with the message being in the first-person? We know that kid didn't stamp himself. Is "I need lunch money" supposed to be cute, like it was his idea? Knock it off, he's not a dog you're trying to make famous on the Internet. As if this story wasn't so bizarre already, Biven's son didn't even need any money! Not that stamping a child as being cash poor is ever acceptable, but Bivens said his kid almost always brings his lunch to school and only uses his cafeteria account to buy treats. He still had $1.38 in his account, and it was the last week of school, so Bivens wasn't going to add more money right before summer. The school's principal Laura Ware tried to explain things by saying the lunchroom staff uses various forms of communication when a child is running low on funds, including calling and emailing, as well as stickers and stamps. So, what, the stamps are like when creditors start calling you late at night to harass you? In any case, Biven said he never got a call or an email this time, which you would have to assume comes before branding an 8-year-old. "I don't care if my son has a -$100 balance... I don't care," Bivens told AL.com. "Send me a note home or an email... Where can I draw the line regarding my parental rights?" He should probably draw that line right across the principal's face with a big, inky stamp.
On Monday, the administration at Patrick Henry High School in San Diego, CA found themselves frantically trying to cover up a racy picture in the yearbooks they'd just given out to students the previous Friday. They noticed just a little too late (okay, a lot too late) that in a picture of some girls in bikinis (what kind of high school is this, anyway?), the girls are making references to sex acts, using their fingers (ew) and letters written onto their arms (still ew). According to students, the girls in the picture are in a "dogpile," holding up finger signs that apparently allude to the sex act "shocker," and they've also got letters on their upper arms spelling out another sex act (which, according to the FOX News broadcast, say "[bleep] his [bleep]," so you can probably guess what that means). FOX spoke to sophomore Joseph Zizzo, who explained, "Apparently it must've just slipped its way in there" (that's what…she…said?). He added, "Most of the girls in the picture got a lot of privileges taken away." Instead of recalling the yearbooks, the school is now just giving out ones with a sticker covering up the photo. Listy Gillingham, the principal of Patrick Henry High, sent a letter to parents apologizing for the screw up. "I sincerely apologize that we did not catch the error prior to senior distribution or even before it went to print." Ah, high school. A time of innocence and personal gro... haha, just kidding. Teens gonna teen.
Pop star/"Aryan goddess" Taylor Swift, 26, and actor/Nordic god Tom Hiddleston, 35, were spotted doing some Teutonic smooching on the beach on Tuesday. Your Perfect Princess Swift just broke up with the DJ Calvin Harris a couple of weeks earlier. Harris had tweeted a nice sentiment about the break-up on June 2nd, writing "The only truth here is that a relationship came to an end & what remains is a huge amount of love and respect." He deleted that tweet and unfollowed Swift on Twitter. Previously, Swift and Hiddleston were filmed dancing together at the Met Gala, which occurred while Swift and Harris were still dating. Of course, as your grandma always used to say, dancing isn't fucking.
The cache of released documents regarding Brock Turner's January 2015 rape of an unconscious woman at Stanford has been an unending source of outrage, but it appears the final head-scratcher is the letter his mother, Carleen Turner, wrote to Judge Aaron Persky prior to sentencing. And... get this... she actually managed to write a letter even more infuriating than the one written by his father. So, so, so much more. Get some ice, 'cause your blood is gonna boil. The letter is 3.5 pages long and you can read it in full here...
but here are some especially choice excerpts for you to hate-read (emphasis added by this very angry blogger). Carleen starts the letter off by talking about her son, the "REAL" Brock Allen Turner, as though the one who was convicted on three felony counts for raping someone passed out behind a dumpster was somehow "fake." "He participated in Cub Scouts during grade school with Dan as his Den leader. The scouts sell popcorn in the fall and after a couple of years, Brock decided he wanted to be the top seller for our region. Dan and I do not take order forms to work, if our kids are selling a product it's on them to sell. Brock would go door to door to sell, he even got a 90-year-old lady to buy some. She couldn't eat popcorn but was impressed that Brock took the time to sit with her on her front porch and talk to her. That's the kind of kid he was—very respectful and polite." Guessing he didn't rape the 90-year-old probably toothless woman. Maybe it's because he was just a little kid and this is completely irrelevant to the case at hand. Maybe it was because she was conscious. "Our elementary school put on several programs over the years and the big one was the 6th grade musical. Brock's class did Oliver and he was chosen to play Bill Sykes, the bad guy. . . Brock wouldn't stop smiling. The teacher said he is supposed to be a mean guy and she could not get Brock to act mean. That's just him—a nice guy." Right, a nice guy who later raped an intoxicated, completely unresponsive woman on the ground behind a Dumpster (and texted photos of her breasts to his friends and fled on foot when confronted). But maybe he did it "nicely?" Maybe he had that smile on his face the whole time. You know who else smiled a lot? Ted Bundy. Just saying. "This house now reminds me of the horror of that moment [referring to the phone call from Brock on January 18th, 2015]. I have not decorated the house nor have I hung anything on the walls. I am a mom who loves family pictures but I haven't had the heart to put photos around of our family being happy. How can I? We will never be happy again. Those happy family ties are gone forever, replaced by despair, fear, depression, anxiety, doubt, and dread. I don't think I have been able to take a deep breath since this happened. My first thought upon wakening every morning is "this isn't real, this can't be real. Why him? Why HIM? WHY? WHY?" I have cried every single day since Jan. 18. . . He was a shy and awkward 19-year-old, far away from home trying to fit in with the swimmers he idolized. He is the most trust-worthy and honest person I know. He was telling the truth." Lady, if your son... who raped an unconscious woman... said he thought it was consensual, and lied in court about previous alcohol and drug use is the "most trust-worthy and honest person" you know, you need to meet some new people. Maybe consider meeting the victim, the woman whose life your son ruined. In all the wailing of "Why him?" not even one little "Why her?" "Then that awful, horrible, terrible, gut-wrenching, life-changing verdict was read. I know what a broken heart feels like. The verdict was true." Look, it is heartbreaking that your son turned out like this, but don't you ever think the victim knows a little more about what a broken heart feels like. Hi, remember your son's victim? "This verdict has destroyed us. Brock is a shattered and broken shell of the person he used to be. My once vibrant and happy boy is distraught, deeply depressed, terribly wounded, and filled with despair. His smile is gone forever-that beautiful grin is no more. When I look into his eyes I see fear and anguish. . . He is crushed that the jury ruled against him." Oh, boy. Can someone show this woman the word "perspective" in the dictionary? "Please send him a message that his life still has meaning, that you believe in him. Please give him hope. His life is forever impacted and drastically altered by the ramifications of these guilty verdicts. Ohio is one of the strictest states with the sexual offender registry. Brock will have to register at the highest tier which means he is on the same level as pedophile/child molester. There is no differentiation. . . Your honor, please be kind and merciful to my beautiful son. He is suffering and will continue to pay for this for his entire entire lifetime." Still reading? Or have you gone completely apoplectic and passed out? That would be understandable. But just think of how your passing out might affect poor Brock! Don't do this to him, since he obviously thinks he's the victim here.
You know, with the recent shootings here in Orlando and elsewhere, someone in England put up a sign that I think says pretty much how everyone feels... but in a British way...
#stopkillingpeopleyoufuckingtwats. Speaking of guns... no one needs an AR-15. Wanna know why?
I think that explains everything. So, I was out sick for a week with this bloody kidney stone business and I was watching "Jeopardy" and I saw something that kinda irritated me.
Idiots. Everyone knows it's Mario. Just kidding! It's Q-Bert. Hahaha. Hey, have you seen Hillary Clinton lately? I think she's getting ready for San Diego Comic Con or something...
Speaking of... the new Hillary and Trump joint slogan says it all...
Hey, it's Thursday, do you know what that means?
Oh, man. I really apologize. Moving on... and now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...
Top Phive Ways That Donald Trump Celebrated His 70th Birthday
5. Spent the day recklessly fomenting racial hatred, then hit up Dave & Buster's for a few rounds of Skee-ball.
4. Tweeted out 70 new bullshit lies about Obama.
3. Tried to choke town the cake that Melania attempted to bake...
2. Opened the birthday card from his "African-American."
And the number one way Trump celebrated his 70th birthday was...
1. Had his pal, Dr. Ben Carson, check his prostate.
Oh, Target. If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. Okay, so, with all those shootings that seem to happen there's always the great gun debate. Well, a friend of the Phile carries a gun so I wondered what he thought. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...
Good afternoon, humans. On that wonderful day when we no longer have a need for anything other than love to protect us... I will never pick up a gun again. Until that day... I will be the man who discreetly carries a gun in the hopes that he will NEVER have to use it. But, don't worry... the gun will never jump from it's own holster, chamber a round, click off the safety and begin firing itself. I am in control of my gun. I am in control of my emotional stability... and any and all anger issues that may pass through my head or heart. Guns don't kill people... Bad people with guns kill people. Good people with guns kill bad people with guns. Perhaps we need more good people with guns... seems like pretty simple logic for all intelligent beings to comprehend. But, hey... I guess it's kinda hard to comprehend if you're enough of a hypocrite to make speeches about how guns are evil and should be made harder to get by law abiding citizens... while YOU walk around with a hired brute in a suit like ME to be your bodyguard and then INSIST that I be armed with a gun to keep YOU safe from bad people with guns. How the fuck do people like you even look at yourself in the mirror without laughing? LAIRD / 2016... might as well vote for an asshole like me... wouldn't be the first time. Yeah, I know... they'd have me killed within 72 hours of being sworn in... C'est la vie.
The 49th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Author, Phile Alum and friend Jeff will be a guest on the Phile on Monday.
Today's pheatured guest is a talented singer whose new single "You Must be True" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Aiym.
Me: Hello, Aiym, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Aiym: Everything is great, thank you! How are you today?
Me: I'm pretty good. I feel a lot better and my son is coming down to visit today. Okay, I have to say, I like your name... it's very unique. Does it have a meaning? I bet it does.
Aiym: Thank you! In Kazakh my name translates to "My Moon" which I like because I do feel a strong connection to the moon!
Me: Aiym, where are you from originally?
Aiym: I was born and raised in Kazakhstan.
Me: I have no idea where Kazakhstan is... what is nearby? Is it a country?
Aiym: It is actually a massive country, which holds a spot as the 7th largest country in the world. It is in the middle of Eurasia and borders with Russia and China.
Me: Is that where you started your music career? Did you always want to be a singer growing up?
Aiym: I always wanted to be a singer I think. I was not sure if it was possible though so I guess I kept it to myself at some points in my childhood. I loved to sing and would always listen to music and the CDs my parents brought from abroad. I moved away in high school so at that point I mostly just sang at events and competitions. I'd say my career has really started in London and progressed in L.A.
Me: What is it like in Kazakhstan?
Aiym: Kazakhstan is a lovely country with beautiful nature and wonderful people. I hope for it to become a more popular destination for people to visit because there's a lot to see and experience! It's got an interesting culture and history!
Me: So, how long ago did you leave it?
Aiym: Wow, it's been 11 years now!
Me: So, what part of London did you live in?
Aiym: I was so lucky to live in my favorite part... Covent Garden. It is magical!
Me: What was the biggest change or culture shock for you living there?
Aiym: Everything was a bit of a shock when I just moved. I was still a kid and even though I knew English well grammatically and could communicate I had trouble really being myself, making jokes and etc. My boarding school was an unusual experience. It was an all girls college too which was quite strict and I came from a very relaxed background so it was different from what I was used to. I loved it though and learned so much!
Me: You performed at the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire in London... that's a pretty big venue. What was that like?
Aiym: That was amazing! I auditioned for a chance to perform with my band and when we got it I couldn't believe it! Truly an unforgettable experience. A severe case of laryngitis was a bummer though, haha.
Me: Is that the biggest venue you performed at?
Aiym: I'd say so, yes, that venue is massive! There have been so many great shows after that though and I loved every single one of them. Hoping to play big festival stages and stadiums soon!
Me: You were a backing singer for a bunch of different acts, am I right? Who did you perform with and who was your favorite?
Aiym: I used to sing for a singer called Ayana from Barbados. It was my first experience playing in a band and performing at venues. She is a talented and hardworking singer and has taught me many things! I sang with a lot of singers after that too and it was always a blast.
Me: Okay, Aiym, now you're living in Los Angeles, right? Man, that must be another culture shock. Was it?
Aiym: Actually it wasn't! I was just so thrilled to be here so even if something was a shock it was followed by a good share of excitement. LOL!
Me: When did you move there?
Aiym: September 2013. I can't believe it's been almost 3 years now! I love every day spent here.
Me: What's your favorite thing about L.A.?
Aiym: Music has moved me to L.A. and it is also my favourite thing about this city now that I live here. I love that I can surround myself with so much different music, meet amazing people with extraordinary stories, create music with friends and musicians and do all of that in a place that is truly legendary.
Me: Have you been anywhere else in the states?
Aiym: Actually, I haven't had a chance yet but I would really love to! I've only travelled to San Francisco and that city blew my mind. Should probably at least take a cheeky trip to Vegas, huh?
Me: Or Orlando... Alright, let's talk about your music. I love your new single "You Must Be True." Did you write that song yourself?
Aiym: Thank you so much! Yes, I did. I wrote it 4 years ago and always felt very connected to it. The producer and musicians I've worked with helped me recreate exactly what I was feeling writing this song and each part in that song is special.
Me: So far, you have released a few singles that are available on iTunes, but you are coming out with an EP called "Till Dawn." Will these singles be on the EP?
Aiym: I am producing my EP at the moment and I want to include some of my singles in it! I want the EP to have a specific mood so I will make the final decision once it's complete.
Me: Why release the songs separately at first, Aiym? I know it gets your music out...
Aiym: I wanted to share my songs with my friends and people who are interested in my music or have discovered me somehow! Putting the songs out separately helps understand your direction and the feedback you get from people is extremely valuable. I like knowing which songs my friends and fans prefer and it helps me understand and define my sound more.
Me: Will "Till Dawn" be your first EP?
Aiym: Yes! I am very excited to complete it and share it with the world!
Me: So, who are your influences growing up?
Aiym: My singing was heavily influenced by the generation of very talented vocalists of the 90s like Whitney Houston and Celine Dion so you can imagine how much noise was coming out of my room trying to learn how to belt like that... haha!
Me: What bands or music did you listen to growing up?
Aiym: Spice Girls like every 90s kid of course! I loved Zemfira who is a famous Russian artist, a great musician and a poet. I really enjoyed listening to ABBA because my parents were big fans. I really really loved Michael Jackson and he certainly is one of my biggest influences in music and an inspiration! I wasn't exposed to a lot of rock or alternative music when I was growing up but I am compensating now.
Me: Did you go to any concerts back home?
Aiym: I went to concerts of local artists and bands back home. My first biggest concert was Destiny's Child in London and I was so excited to be there I literally cried throughout the entire thing, haha.
Me: I read Led Zeppelin changed your life. How so?
Aiym: I haven't been listening to a lot of music like that growing up so hearing it for the first time really moved me. The passion and power of Robert Plant's vocals and the amazing instrumentation of the songs got me to another level of appreciation of the music and made me want to listen to more and more of their songs and bands of a similar style.
Me: Do you have a favorite Zeppelin song?
Aiym: “Since I've Been Loving You”! It takes me on an emotional trip.
Me: What about Foghat? Have you heard of that band?
Aiym: Yes, I have actually sang “Slow Ride” at a show once. It was a lot of fun!
Me: Cool! That'll be 75 dollars. Haha. So, have you been playing many shows around the L.A. area?
Aiym: I have been playing a lot in L.A. with my solo project as well as all the other bands I sing in. I started playing shows almost as soon as I moved out here!
Me: Do you like performing?
Aiym: Performing is without a doubt my favorite part! I love being on stage and sharing this insane energy with the band and the audience. The feeling I get is extraordinary and the stage really is a happy place for me!
Me: Okay, so, when does your EP come out, Aiym? Are you excited for it?
Aiym: I am still in the production process, but I plan the release for summer! Oh yes, I am absolutely stoked! Can't wait to share it!
Me: Oh, I have to ask, are you laying in a pool on the "You Must Be True" single cover?
Aiym: Haha... I will let that remain a mystery!
Me: Go ahead and mention your website and everything and I hope this interview was fun. Do you have anything else you wanna add?
Aiym: My website is AiymAlmas.com. You can follow my Instagram @AiymA and Facebook page Aiym Almas Music for music and life updates! To hear my singles you can go on my soundcloud soundcloud.com/aiym-almas and you can download songs on ITunes too!
Me: Thanks for being here, good luck, and please come back when your EP comes out.
Aiym: Thank you so much! I really enjoyed our conversation! Have a great day!
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Aiym. The Phile will be back on Sunday for Father's Day, which is the 900th entry with Phile Alum Bryan Bassett from Foghat! I'm so excited! Spread the word, not the turd, don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye love you, bye. Have a great Father's Day... I will.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker