Hey there, welcome to the Phile, kids. It seems that I just did this. Haha. How are you? Well, after a delightfully psychedelic Opening Ceremony, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics are in full swing. Breaking records, winning medals and taking names, despite some Venus and Serena Williams-related heartbreak, the women of Team USA are making the country (and the gender) proud. Ledecky, only 19-years-old, killed the 400m freestyle, powering so far ahead of the competition that the other swimmers were barely in the frame. Leah Smith won the bronze in the 400m freestyle event, as did Dana Vollmer for the women's 100m butterfly. Jumping, flipping, flying, and making it look easy, Ledecky's fellow 19-year-old received the highest score of any competitor in the floor exercise, beam, and vault events. The commentators couldn't even find something to criticize. The first gold medal for Team USA was won by Virginia (Ginny) Thrasher in the 10m air rifle competition, and Corey Cogdell took bronze for trap shooting. The number one team in the world (USA) beat the number three team in the world (France), and advanced. Carli Lloyd, who scored the winning goals for the 2008 Olympics gold medal, 2012 Olympics gold medal, and 2015 World Cup final, worked her magic scoring the point that won the match 1-0 for the red, white, and blue. Pulling a Katie Ledecky, the U.S. women's basketball team wiped out Senegal with a 121-56 win, breaking their own record for most points scored in the Olympics. The previous record was 114, set in 1992 and tied at the London games.
Marisa Dick, a gymnast competing in the Olympics in Rio, has already accomplished a lot more in her 19 years than most of us lazy slobs have in our entire lives. Not only is she competing against world's most prestigious athletes on an international stage, but she already has a gymnastics move named after her. Yea, she jumps up, does a fancy leg switch thing (that is definitely the technical term, right?) and slams her crotch onto the beam while landing in a split. The long and the short of it is that the dick is hard. It also looks very painful. The move is now officially recognized by the Federation of International Gymnastics under the non-fun name "change-leg leap to free-cross split sit," but the gymnastics world refers to it more commonly as "The Dick." Plus, it is fun to be like "Did you see The Dick!?" or "Your Dick was really nice." Hehehe. However, not everyone finds the name so funny. In a letter to "The Wall Street Journal," one representative from the FIG wrote, "We would like to underline that there are more spectacular new elements expected than her new move. We guess last time it makes the buzz only because of her name.” Oh come on. Have a little fun. Laugh at a very impressive looking move that shares a moniker with a dude's junk. Going down in the history books with a signature move ensures that you will always be remembered, but having a move called "The Dick" pretty much makes you unforgettable.
As if life weren't already enough of a roller coaster, a young woman was kicked out of an amusement park for her attire... and no, the attire in question wasn't a pair of nipple pasties, but rather a gray V-neck like you might see in Gap's athletic section. Bina Ramesh was wearing the gray tee when she went to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ last month, and was told by a male security guard that in order to enter the park, she'd have to change her shirt. As Banesh explained in a Facebook post, she and her good sport of a guy friend did a little shirt-swap to prove that there was nothing innately offensive about the gray shirt itself. "Apparently, when a boy wears the same top, it's fine, so thank you for swapping shirts with me in the parking lot because we still live in a world of ridiculous double standards and sexism," she wrote. In the comments, she posted a picture of her wearing the offending shirt.
Shield your eyes!
There's so much to learn as a new parent: how to change a diaper, soothe a fussy baby, shut down a stranger when they demand you stop breastfeeding in public. Last week, a mom in Dartford, England, allegedly demonstrated the proper technique for that last one. When a stranger asked her to stop breastfeeding in a public park, she responded by saying "fuck off" and squirting breast milk in the stranger's direction. No wonder people always talk about the beauty of breastfeeding! The story was posted on the "Dartford Gossip Page" by the complaining stranger, who probably naively expected sympathy. The post read, "To the lady Dartford park who thought it was appropriate to breastfeed her baby whist my child and very easily distracted husband sat near by. I don’t think it was necessary for you to react the way you did just because I asked you to go somewhere private, telling me to fuck off and squirting me with your boobs was incredibly uncalled for. I hope you are ashamed of yourself!" Maybe next time you go somewhere with your "very easily distracted husband," you should give him some Vitamin R first. A little Ritalin should keep him focused on what matters (your own boobs). Considering women in the U.K. are legally allowed to breastfeed anywhere in public, Internet commenters leapt to the defense of the mommy feeding her baby. Comments included "you deserve what you got" and "it's you who should be ashamed" and "if ur husband is easily distracted id say thats ur problem." Yikes. That's gotta sting more than breast milk.
People are not happy about Sprite's newest, slut-shaming, wildly confusing ad campaign. Like, in what altered state of mind did the ad execs working for the lemon-lime soft drink Sprite decide that their brand is "sexist dudes at a bar"? Sprite is a soda that children drink at birthday parties because they're not allowed to have beer or even caffeine. How did they get from there to this?
"She's seen more ceilings than Michelangelo." "A 2 at 10 is a 10 at 2!" "You're not popular. You're easy." Huh? Is ad copywriting these days just stealing dumb things that people write on walls next to urinals? Obviously and predictably, many people weren't too happy about these ads. As writer Aimée Lutkin wrote on Jezebel, "Let’s remember that Michelangelo only saw one ceiling, but for a very long time. We should all be so lucky to find a relationship like Michelangelo had with the Sistine Chapel."
So, have you heard of Dick's Pizza? I have no idea where it is but this is it...
Canada. It's in Canada. Do you kids remember this logo?
Well, this year Trump has a very similar logo.
Ha! Alright, so I know most of you are playing "Pokémon Go." Some people are not just playing, their cashing in on it. Like these guys who started a pop-up refreshments stand at a Pokéstop.
Remember in the last Star Wars movie what Kylo Ren's lightsaber looked like? Well, that's not the first time someone that used a lightsaber that looked like that.
Oh, George. Haha. I love kids drawings, and one of the best things about kids drawings is sometimes they don't look that innocent.
Can't believe that URL was available! Hey, did you see this on the Olympics?
That should be the Mindphuck. So, it's summer and I am showing you pics of women in bikini's this year with something not so sexy in the background.
Angela added new photos to the album "Try to Ignore the Cows Pissing." Okay, so, there's one thing you might not know about me and that is I don't like to break the rules. Unlike this guy...
If you can't read it it says "please do not touch." And he's touching. Ugh! So, my son and I were recently chatting about how we used to watch "Sesame Street" together and how that show is so different now. That's why I have a pheature called...
If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. It's pretty easy. Okay, so, ever hear the saying zero fucks given? Well, some people take that literally, so I thought it'll be fun to have a pheature called...
July 3rd, 1930 — August 6th, 2016
Fountain of Old.
Donald Trump admitted he was wrong, tearing a hole in the space-time continuum. On Friday morning, Donald Trump admitted in a tweet that he was wrong about a video he referred to in a speech about a U.S. payment to Iran and a hostage release in January. Trump claimed he had seen footage of a plane unloading money on the same day the Iranian government released four American prisoners. But that was not the video he saw. The money represented the first payment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute. It is related to a failed arms deal signed just before the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The settlement by the U.S. was decided on by an international legal tribunal in The Hague. It was made in cash because the U.S. does not have a banking relationship with Iran, as sanctions have blocked the country from international financial systems. The video Trump saw was of hostages being released. That's it. More importantly, his tweet is an unparalleled admission by the Donald of actually being mistaken. A white buffalo, a black swan, a true rarity throughout the entirety of his presidential bid...
It's probably not a coincidence he tweeted it so early in the morning.
The 51st book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Brian Watson will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.
Today's guest is the lead singer for the Chicago based band Stepdad whose latest EP "Masterbeast Theatre" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Ryan McCarthy.
Me: Hello, welcome to the Phile, Ryan. So, how are you?
Me: So, I have to ask, any of you guys in the band really stepdads? If not, where did the band name come from?
Ryan: Nope, it came from an Internet band name generator. It has no meaning whatsoever and we've since thought of cooler names, but it's too late to change!
Me: For the readers that don't know, guys, tell them who is in the band. You had a few different people in the band, right?
Ryan: Well, we started as a duo, just Mark and I. Now we've got Ultramark, Nathan K. and Ben Weissenborn. So 4 of us.
Me: Ryan, your music is very 80s sounding. How would you describe it?
Ryan: 8-bit power pop.
Me: I listened to your EP "Masterbeast Theatre" and really like it. I also like your first release "Ordinaire Ep" that was released years ago. You came a long way since then, right?
Ryan: Yeah, "Ordinaire" was recorded in my bedroom studio in our old apartment.
Me: I do have to tell you, though, with 10 songs, that's not an EP, that's an LP. That's pretty much a full release. Ryan. Was it planned to have 10 songs?
Ryan: Well, the original EP had 8 songs. The re-release has 2 bonus tracks. Plus we had it remastered and got some fancy new artwork.
Me: Like I said, I like your new EP "Masterbeast Theatre." I love the title... great pun. I do have to say that is one freakin' crazy art on the cover. Do people still say covers, for the front artwork? Anyway, who is responsible for it?
Ryan: He is a friend of ours named John Bailey. Phenominal artist! He designed our t-shirts as well.
Me: Where did the title from the EP come from?
Ryan: Ben Beutel-Gunn
Me: Okay, so, you had a very bad thing that happened when you were making this album, right?
Ryan: Yeah, our van was broken into and several things were stolen from us, the most important of which was the hard drive that contained a good chunk of what was to become our new album. Several tasty jams and critical bangers were lost in what we like to call “The Great Banger Heist of 2014." Despite what was lost, 4 of the songs were already finished. These are the survivors. The ones that avoided capture.
Me: Over the years you guys have a lot of animal themes... Parrots, wolves, centipedes, jungles, beasts... do you guys like animals?
Ryan: Everybody likes animals. C'mon.
Me: I like the song "My Leather, My Fur, My Nails" from your first EP... which is also animal related. What is that song about, Ryan?
Ryan: We like hearing what other people think it's about.
Me: So, anyway, who does most of the songwriting?
Ryan: Mark and I write the songs. It's a very uncollaborative process. Mark and I will write songs on our own and then filter them through each other until they are done. Mark writes the lyrics and I do the production.
Me: You guys are based in Chicago, right? Do you all still live there? I love Chicago, but haven't been there in awhile. Where is the best place to eat there? Is that Michael Jordan restaurant still open?
Ryan: We started in Chicago, but now we all live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I'm not familiar with any Michael Jordan restaurant. When I lived there I used to work at a sandwhich shop in Roscoe Village called Costello's. I highly recommend that place.
Me: Ahhhh. You guys worked on something called "Axe Cop." When I first heard of it I thought it was "Ass Cop." Man, I really need to pay attention. Anyway, what is "Axe Cop" and what did you do for it?
Ryan: "Axe Cop" is an online comic series that is illustraded by a professional artist and the story is written by his little brother. He is like 7 or 8 years old. It's really demented and hilarious. Basically we found "Axe Cop" like 3 days after it was launched and thought it might be cool to write a theme song for it and send it to Ethan (The creator/artist) incase he ever decided to make it into something more than a comic. Plus Mark and I were watching a lot of "Airwolf" and "Macgyver" at the time and it was a perfect excuse to write a very 80s style TV show theme. Synth guitar solos, saxophone, and super compressed gated drums are a recipe for a successful 80s TV show theme song.
Me: Ryan, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again. I wish you a lot of luck and continued success and come down to Florida to play. Thanks again, and before you go, plug your website.
Ryan: Merci beaucoup! Stepdad.us is where it's at yo.
Me: Great job, and please come back soon.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Real quick I do have to say that yesterday and today I mentioned America's first gold medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics was for shooting. Well, dear NBC, the "University of West Virginia" apparently doesn't exist. Please update your biographies so angry West Virginians don't yell at me anymore. Anyway, thanks to Ryan for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with James Friley from Idiot Glee. 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