Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. Congratulations to everyone who looked directly at the eclipse last Monday and can still read this. If you've been paying attention to the news, you probably know that Texas is in the middle of dealing with Hurricane Harvey. Be safe if you live in Texas, everyone. Now, let's start a story about leggings...
Despite the rising popularity of wearing leggings as pants and the rising hatred for body shamers, a high school principal is making headlines for body shaming her students out of wearing leggings. As reported by local South Carolina news outlet ABC4, Principal Heather Taylor held an assembly where she clarified who she will let wear leggings to school... and her answer is pretty awful. Another local news outlet, News 2, obtained and shared an audio recording of Taylor's speech. “(Leggings are) meant to wear underneath a long shirt that covers your heiny, or a long sweater of some type, or a dress," she reportedly told students in an assembly. "It is not meant to be your actual pants, and if you have a shirt that comes to here, then you are showing everything. Yes, everything." Excuse me, Principal Taylor, but you're not a fashion designer, and you clearly don't understand leggings. Back. Down. She continued by straight-up body shaming students who were a size 4 or larger. "The sad thing is with that, ladies... if someone has not told you this before, I'm going to tell you this now... unless you are a size zero or a two, and you wear something like that, even though you are not fat, you look fat," she allegedly told students. TYSM for fat shaming your students, Principal Taylor. As an educator, that was such an important lesson. After the story started to gain popularity, Taylor released a statement addressing the situation, and a very key phrase fails to appear: "I'm sorry." As per ABC4, her statement reads, "Yesterday and this morning, I met with each class of the Stratford High School student body. I addressed a comment made during a 10th grade assembly and shared from my heart that my intention was not to hurt or offend any of my students in any way. I assured them all that I am one of their biggest fans and invested in their success. After speaking with our students and receiving their support, I am confident that, together, we are ready to move forward and have a wonderful year. Stratford High is a very caring community, and I want to thank all of our parents and students who have offered their support to me and provided me with an opportunity to directly address their concern. I am very proud to be a Stratford Knight." Folks, you just witnessed an apology statement that did not actually include an apology. News 2 interviewed a student at the school who was subjected to listening Taylor's speech IRL. "It was really hurtful, cause I felt like my size made me look disgusting towards someone in the clothes that I wear," she said. "I wear leggings outside of school and I wear leggings when I go and hang out with my friends, and to think that someone would think that I look like a stuffed sausage... that was kind of hurtful." I wonder what Heather Taylor is doing now... she's probably too busy telling babies they're too fat to be wearing diapers.
James Cameron, director of Titanic and Avatar, just got his ass handed to him by Patty Jenkins after his "criticism" of her film Wonder Woman went viral. A few days ago "The Guardian" published an interview with Cameron where he called the summer blockbuster Wonder Woman "misguided" and a "step backwards." "All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards." He went on to, ironically, pat himself on the back for writing better, stronger, female-et characters in his own movies. "Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit. And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!" And sure, Sarah Jeanette Connor is a wonderful fictional character, but there can be more than one strong female lead, JAMES. Also? Being pretty and being strong are not mutually exclusive. Anyway, Wonder Woman's director, Patty Jenkins, absolutely dragged Cameron for his remarks with this incredible response she posted on Twitter, "James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman. Strong women are great. His praise of my film Monster, and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. But if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far have we. I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress." Look, it is fine if James was not a fan of the film, but these comments are obviously not a great look, especially considering that Cameron has a pretty notoriously sexist past and has said a lot of gross shit over the years. Remember when he used to call Kate Winslet "Kate Weighs-a-Lot" on the set of Titanic? Or when he said that Zoe Saldana‘s CGI character in the movie Avatar has "got to have tits even though that makes no sense because her race, the Na’vi, aren’t placental mammals"? Not to mention that Cameron has been married five times, and has had several affairs. Linda Hamilton, one of Cameron's ex-wives, even called her marriage to him "terrible on every level." Ah, nothing like a male director telling a female director that her movie is a "step backward." Watch out, James, if you keep stepping backward with your own regressive comments, you are just going to keep falling into a pit of angry movie-goers.
It's no secret that there are plenty of people in America who are dying for Donald Trump to be impeached. However, no one has expressed that quite as subliminally as Daniel M. Kammen, a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1996, Kammen has served various U.S. departments, and up until this week, he served as a science envoy for the U.S. Department of State. In the role, he worked on creating sustainable energy, creating jobs in the U.S., and building alliances with other nations. In response to a series of Trump's actions as president, namely his response to the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Kammen decided to step down from his position as science envoy, and he did so by sending Trump a letter of resignation. In the letter, which Kammen shared on Twitter, a hidden message is clearly visible–the first letter of each paragraph spells out the word "impeach." "Mr. President, I am resigning as Science Envoy. Your response to Charlottesville enables racism, sexism, & harms our country and planet," Kammen tweeted alongside a screenshot of the letter. He also cheekily highlighted his Twitter handle in the letter–Trump's favorite communication platform, natch. Kammen confirmed to Mashable that his acrostic spelling out "impeach" was no accident, and that this really was the letter he sent to the president. He also spoke with CNN about why he chose to resign. "I can't stand with this President and then go home and tell my kids, 'Gee, I'm working with someone who seems to be promoting neo-Nazis, racism, sexism,'" he told the outlet. "It was sadly easy to step down because I view what the President is saying as inconsistent with what's in the best interests of the country and my mandate as science envoy," he said, according to CNN. "But it was hard to step down because I really value the relationships with the individuals (at the State Department) and the relationships with these foreign governments, and I don't want to step away from that." While Kammen's letter was pretty dang badass, Trump could definitely use a lesson or two regarding science and sustainability... so hopefully the Department of State's other science envoys can manage to convince the president that climate change is real. Please?
A waiter in D.C. allegedly told a gay couple that they couldn't share their sundae dessert because "it wouldn't look right," the "Washington Post" reported. Henry McKinnon, 58, and Ron Gage, 55, were eating at the Prime Rib in Washington, D.C. They'd made a reservation for 8:30 p.m. and were wearing the jackets required by the dress code, according to the "Post," so obviously this is a relatively upscale restaurant. Everything was going fine until it came time for dessert, when Gage asked for "one sundae with two spoons." Gage claims that instead of complying with his wishes, the waiter said he'd "bring it in two separate dishes," and then said, "'It wouldn't look look right with two gentlemen eating out of the same sundae. It doesn’t go with the ambiance of the restaurant.’” Gage told the "Post" that he and McKinnon were "stunned" and speechless." Upon leaving, they tipped the waiter 15 percent, which is the generally accepted minimum, but according to publication they usually tip 20. The couple left without asking to speak to a manager. “I’m kind of embarrassed to say we didn’t say anything,” McKinnon told the "Post." “It just took us back to such a shameful place, in a way.” The "Washington Post" reached out to James MacLeod, the restaurant's general manager, who said he was basically still trying to figure out what exactly had happened, but hadn't been able to speak the waiter yet. MacLeod mentioned that the waiter is Bulgarian, and speaks four different languages, English not being his first. “I am not sure if he got confused as to what he was saying, or how he was saying it," MacLeod explained. MacLeod also said he planned to reach out to Gage and McKinnon, but there's been no update on that. What's ironic is that, according to their website, The Prime Rib has been rated as one of the top five most romantic restaurants in the country by "Food and Wine" magazine. Maybe some should let the waiter in question know, because he certainly seems pretty good at ruining dates.
With the idea that monuments should represented a shared history, one Virginia resident has a bright idea: replace the Confederate statutes in his home town of Portsmouth with a statue of hometown hero Missy Elliott. "Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it," the petition reads. Nathan Coffin created the Change.org petition to be delivered to the town Mayor and Vice Mayor, and the site already has almost 19,000 supporters. Once it reaches 25,000, the politicians will be notified. "We believe it is time to finally replace the Confederate Monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth Virginia near the intersection of Court and High streets with a new statue of a true Portsmouth native hero," wrote Coffin. "Who better to encapsulate the culture and spirit of the city enshrined in a new monument than Grammy Award winning rapper, dancer, and record producer Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott?" The petition makes quite the argument for Elliott's effect on history and on the town of Portsmouth. "Hailing from humble beginnings as the only child of a power company dispatcher and a welder at Portsmouth's lauded naval shipyard, she rose to become a platinum recording artist with over 30-million albums sold. All this without even once owning a slave." Hard to beat that logic, isn't it? Elliott responded to the petition on Twitter...
Aside from curing an evil by tearing down a monument to the Confederacy, something about a Missy Elliott statue just feels like a great idea. After all, who would you rather take a selfie with?
Hey, it's Sunday... instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...
I bet it's a good one. The Phile has a new sponsor, kids...
Not sure what I think of that. I have never been arrested but if I ever was I don't think I'd wear this t-shirt like this asshole did...
I like to follow the rules and do what I am told, but some people just take it a little bit too far...
Hahaha. I was in the book store the other day and I saw a book that kinda surprised me. I think this would be a good one...
There's a new movie coming out, kids, that I think might be pretty good...
Am I right? Technology seems to be getting smaller and smaller nowadays but it turns out technology is not the only thing getting smaller...
I wonder if you got shot with that if it would hurt. So, do you know what the "alt-left" looks like? No? I'll show you...
So, the Internet is an amazing thing, kids. One of the most amazing things about it is you can easily look at porn. So, whose to say you want to stop reading this blog and go look at porn? Well, I thought of a solution, but then I thought what if you were reading this blog at work, or at church even. Then I came up with another solution. Porn that you can look at and be safe. Enjoy.
So, ladies, are you looking for some different kinda bras to wear? Well, I can help you. How about the Hand Palm bra, quite funny bra?
So, did you see Trump staring at the eclipse last Monday? It was amazing what happened...
Did you see that Mayweather versus McGregor last night? I didn't, but looking at a pic from it I kinda wish I did...
I thought it was boxing match. Hahaha. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Things Overheard When Trump Stared At The Eclipse
5. sir? Let's get you inside, so you can go back to tweeting on the crapper!
4. Did he just call the moon an "obstructionist loser"?
3. He swears this is the biggest crowd ever to watch an eclipse!
2. He says that lots of "very fine people" are staring at the sun today!
And the number one thing overheard when Trump stared at the eclipse was...
1. He's distracted! Run! RUN!!
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Alright, so, if you are going to work tomorrow or on a date, or just hanging out with a bunch of friends, you might wanna seem intelligent. I am here to help, kids.So, once again here are some...
Phact 1: In South Afirca, in order to prevent poaching preemptively, there has been an initiative to apply a strong red dye to the horns of rhinos, which is clearly visible. It's poisonous to humans, but non-lethal to the rhinos.
Phact 2: Russell Brand was legally entitled to take $20 million dollars from Katy Perry's fortune after their divorce but refused to take any.
Phact 3: Hugh Laurie auditioned for his role in "House M.D." by shooting a video in a hotel bathroom. Director Bryan Singer, unaware that Laurie is English, commented "See, this is what I want... am American guy."
Are you a lazy person? I bet you're not as lazy as the person who did this...
That's fucking gross!
Mark Simone, Starbucks called you out on your bullshit. Haha.
Hey, it's time for...
Another Sunday, another presidential Twitter rampage from a one Mr. Donald Trump. This particular rant was unique in that Trump started it off with, of all things, a book recommendation. (Who knew he reads books?!) That book is "Cop Under Fire," by David A. Clark. I'll give you some time to add it to your Kindles. All set? Great. After getting his recommendations out of the way, Trump turned his attention to the Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts.
Of course, he made sure to point out that he'd also be visiting Missouri, where he "won by a lot in '16."
The 65th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
One of the writers, Mike Stoller, will be a guest on the Phile next Thursday. It'll be good.
MTV Video Music Awards
The MTV Video Music Awards is an annual reminder to be thankful that MTV no longer shows music videos.
Today's guests are the members of the cool rock and roll band Harmful If Swallowed. Their have a brand new album called "Sleepness" coming out soon. Please welcome back to the Phile from Harmful If Swallowed... Greg Martin and Carlos Nieto III plus their newest member Jay Pinfold.
Me: Hey, guys, welcome back to the Phile, how have you been?
Jay: Staying busy...
Me: It's been four years since you guys were here last. Have you guys been really busy in that time?
Greg: Yes, we’ve been super busy playing shows, writing for this upcoming release and really making a conscious effort to stay out of trouble. Wink.
Carlos: We are always staying busy like Greg said, if not playing live, we’re buddying up writing music together!
Me: Last time you were here you had four members and now you have three... what happened?
Carlos: Harmful if Swallowed originally started out as a 3 piece band. Through the years we have added and subtracted. No matter if it’s a 3, 4 or 5 piece meal, the formula is always going to be there!
Me: Jay, were you in the band before or are you new? You are a really good drummer I have to say. How long have you been playing drums?
Jay: I joined H.I.S in 2015. I’ve known Greg for a long while now. And one day I reached out to him to see what he was up to, and he said, “Mate, get down here and play drums with us." The rest is history. Thank you, mate. I have been playing drums ever since I could crawl. My dad was my teacher, he taught me my first beat!
Me: Greg, you and your brother Josh founded the band, right? Was it hard to work with a relative?
Greg: Next question… hahaha. That is correct Josh and I are the founders. Actually, when it came to the music it was amazing. I think why it worked so well is that Josh and I were into the same music. That’s what made it so easy for us to write and recruit band members together.
Me: Are you guys pretty close still?
Greg: As close as family members can be I guess…
Me: Carlos, I'm glad you're still in the band... you're a fantastic bassist and a really good artist. We talked briefly about that last time you were here. Are you still doing art?
Carlos: Are you kidding, I don’t have a choice! Haha. It’s a marriage and if you don’t work hard at it, it will never work. Thanks man, I am always working and striving hard to perfect my craft. Yes, when I’m not playing my music, I tour around the U.S. teaching anime to kids. I love it!! I am also finishing up my graphic novel that should be out soon so keep an eye out for it!
Me: You paint, right?
Carlos: Yes, my most recent painting was a mural I painted and entered into a contest for the Gene Autry Museum. I won of course, hahaha... and this is cool. The winning prize was that they blow up my painting and hung it on the side of the museum for all of Los Angeles to see. A moment I will never forget.
Me: I have a pic of that painting here...
Me: I probably mentioned this last time you were here but I have to have you back and we'll talk about you art. Whatcha think?
Me: Greg and Jay, do you guys paint or have any side hobbies?
Jay: I wish, my hobbies include working out, listing to as much music as I can listen to in one day, and bird watching!
Greg: I dabble in graphic design a little, but I would never call myself a graphic design artist. I to workout, eat well and love to keep active outside. Gosh, I sound like a dating site app. Haha. I’m still a kid who loves to stay outside and never come in even if my mom is calling me at the top of her lungs!! Do those kids still exist?? I love taking jabs at the millennial! As for painting, no, that’s left to the master, CNIII (aka Carlos Nieto III).
Me: Okay, you guys are based in L.A., right? Has the music scene changed at all since you guys started out as a band in 2006?
Greg: No, it’s still the same shitty scene. The only thing that has changed is that it smells even worse now!
Me: I mentioned last time you were here that you guys reminded me off Bowling For Soup... I have no idea what I was thinking. That band's lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and fun and yours are more serious. Which one of you guys does most of the songwriting?
Carlos: Greg does most of the songwriting, musically and lyrically. I love that with our new EP, Greg asked me to be more apart of the writing process and we worked so well together. We spent long lights in the studio together!
Me: Do you write with an acoustic guitar, Greg?
Greg: Funny you should ask that. I write all of my songs with the acoustic guitar. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If the song sounds amazing on the acoustic just imagine what it would sound like with a little gain behind it…
Me: Which normally comes first... the music or the lyrics?
Greg: Music usually comes first when I’m in writing mode. But if I have an idea for a song lyrically, you better believe that pencil is out and poetry’s in motion!!
Me: Do you all have the same musical influences? Last time you mentioned the influences Rush was one of them... that's one of my worst bands ever and I don't hear any Rush in your music. Am I missing something?
Greg: Growing up listening to Rush’s Alex Lifeson and Getty Lee harmonize chords with the guitar and bass. It was something to admire, also the way Alex incorporates his chorus guitar sound in their music, I couldn’t get enough of it! If you listen to our music today there are similarities of that. It’s kind of a formula that’s already baked into our sound!
Carlos: Can I add to that? I was never a fan of Rush, but when I saw Primus open for Rush and I waited around to hear their set. I was blown away how a 3-piece band could write and play such tunes that just worked. And listening to the bass and guitar harmonies together got my attention right away. So when Greg and Josh said hey we like Rush and kinda mold our sound after them, musically I got it!
Me: Your music is labeled as punk rock, but it's different punk rock than what was out when I was growing up. Are you guys into punk rock like Social Distortion, The Ramones, Sex Pistols?
Jay: Oh yeah, I love all the bands that you mentioned. Grow up listening to all of that. The great thing about our music today is that it can be labeled as punk rock or rock, your choice!
Carlos: My brother gave me his record collection and the bands you listed we’re all there. I think our music has influences of punk rock in it. But, I feel it has definitely moved into a sound of it’s on now.
Me: Have you ever seen any of those bands live fellas? I saw Social D live a few times and was lucky enough to see The Ramones once.
Greg: I’ve seen Social D a few times. Sad story was we we’re booked years ago to play with Social D, but unfortunately that show fell through. Oh well, there’s always next time. As for the Ramones I kick myself everyday for not going to see them when they did like 3 nights at The Palladium. Man, all I heard from friends was that they kicked ass!!!
Me: You guys have opened for some very cool bands... KORN, Bad Religion, Supersuckers (who I have been trying to get on the Phile for years), Green Day, and Living Colour. Which band was the best experience opening for?
Carlos: Opening for Living Colour for me! This is a cool story, we did 2 nights with Living Colour in L.A. I’ve always been a fan of Living Colour so when we got the opportunity it was like one of your dreams coming true. The first night was a complete nightmare gig, one of those you wished you were never on. Haha. What could have gone wrong, DID! If it wasn’t Greg’s amp blowing up, it was not having enough space on the stage to perform. What a night! Night 2 was a lot different. Our make up gig. LOL. It was our chance to redeem ourselves, and that we did. We rocked it that night, great response all around and for me that was one of my best shows yet!
Greg: By far Bad Religion!!! We opened to 3000 peeps, the crowd acted like we were the headlines… Seriously, they were singing our songs, we had 3 slam pits going on the whole night. It was the longest 35 minutes of my life!
Jay: Since I’ve been playing with guys, I think my favorite was night two with Living Colour too. Everyone was on their game, the audience was really into it too, and we had a great mix that night!
Me: Living Colour is playing Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival this year at Disney... does that surprise you? I saw them in concert a few times years ago.
Jay: Nope, They’re legends, mate!
Me: Okay, let's talk about your new single "Blame" which is the first track from the new album, "Sleepless." How would you describe the new music to the band's earlier stuff like the music on "Allergy"?
Carlos: Evolution is the best way I can describe this album. You are going to hear it and feel it the minute you pop this into your, iPod, CD player, record player, etc.
Greg: "Allergy" will always have a place in my heart. This new album like Carlos said, will show you how we have evolved as musicians, human beings and how we have fine tuned our craft.
Me: I love the video for "Blame," and I have to ask who is the redheaded wife that argues with her husband in the video? I have to show you a pic of her here...
Greg: Thank you, the redheaded wife is the very talented (singer/actress) Aryiel Hartman.
Me: I thought the concept was pretty good for the video... with the dominatrix people... have any of you experienced anything like that before? I only had an experience with rope, but we won’t go into that. Hahaha. Ahem... was it a fun video to be in?
Jay: I had a blast on set. Carlos and I didn’t know what to expect when we got there. We saw all these birds dressed up like they were straight from a brothel, we were like, “hell yeah!!!” Hahaha.
Carlos: No experiences to share, but loved being a part of this video. The content was right up my alley, and we all had so much fun making it!
Greg: Loved filming this video, everyone involved was pro, and we all couldn’t remember when we had so much fun. Didn’t want to leave when it was a wrap. Hahaha.
Me: Who came up with the concept for the video?
Greg: I came up with the concept and co-wrote it with my fiancé the sexy blonde dom in the vid!
Me: Will you guys be making other videos for any other songs on the album?
Jay: Yeah, but it’s a surprise! You’re just going to have to wait for it…
Me: By the way, is it me or does one of the dominatrix woman in the video look like Lady Gaga? I have a pic of her to show...
Carlos: It’s you! LOL.
Greg: Hey, easy there that’s my fiancé. LOL. I guess now that I look, I can kinda see what you are saying…
Me: That's your wife? Haha. My bad. So, what's next for you guys? Any plans for a tour? I'll have to see you guys if you come to Orlando.
Greg: Tour? You’re just gonna have to wait and see, this band is always full of surprises. Okay, stop pulling my arm… We are touring this September in support of "Sleepless." If you’re in Texas, Arizona, Cali, Oregon or Washington you better get your ass to one of your shows!
Carlos: I am so ready for this!!!
Jay: Me too, mate, I already left. Hahaha.
Me: Go ahead and mention your website and I wish you guys continued success. Please come back again soon. Rock on.
Carlos: HarmfulIfSwallowedBand.com! Thanks man, we had fun…
Jay: Right on, this was great!
Greg: Thank you, my man, always a party!
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to the guys from Harmful If Swallowed for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Mike Gent From The Figgs. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite me. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker