Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? Wow. There's sooo many stories I could tell about the Florida shooting. This is gonna be depressing, so hang in there, kids. Rather than extending empathy to the survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, a particularly gross corner of the Internet has waged psychological war on the teens of Stoneman Douglas High School by accusing them of being actors and undermining their cries for gun reform. One such offender is the hedge fund manager and editor-in-chief of the alt-right publication "The Washington Reporter," Jacob Wohl. When Wohl tweeted a moot point about how guns protect citizens from government tyranny, Stoneman Douglas High School junior Sarah Chadwick was quick to shut him down. "Remember that period in American history when people were crushed by the government and marched off to camps? Neither do I. That's because we have the Second Amendment," Wohl wrote. In a few pithy words, Chadwick was quick to correct his statement by alluding to the Japanese interment camps of the 1940s. "Someone obviously didn't pay attention in U.S. history class..." Chadwick wrote. Her followers were quick to pile onto Wohl's misguided assertion that individual gun ownership protects citizens from being overpowered by one of the largest military forces in the world. While other divulged indicting information about Wohl himself. If the trolls know what's good for them, they'll put down the mantle and admit they've finally met their match with these fiery teens.
On Wednesday, while convening with those affected by last week's shooting in Florida, president Trump suggested teachers be given guns in order to prevent future school shootings. His proposal has already received explicit backlash from people of all walks of life, including a combat expert who ripped apart Trump's argument for arming teachers. Fittingly, now teachers themselves have decided to jump into the conversation. The trending hashtag #ArmMeWith features teachers from across the country suggesting which weapons they'd prefer to be armed with over guns. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for a teacher hovers around $55,000 per year, which means roughly half the teaching population receives less than this annually. To add to that, teachers nationwide are burdened with the out-of-pocket costs of school supplies. Not to mention, the exorbitant rents and lack of support for teachers in need of childcare. All this is to say, it's unsurprising that teachers are pushing for better access to updated supplies and resources, not weapons. Many of the teachers emphasized that adding guns to the classroom would make it feel less safe for all parties involved. Instead, they opted for more comprehensive on-campus counseling, and tools to help curb any emotional issues students are dealing with. Again, as many aptly pointed out, teachers are trained to teach... not shoot. Amen, to all of this.
Professional trolls (they prefer the more politically correct term, Fox News hosts) have met their match in the teen survivors of the Parkland school shooting. These teens are angry, Internet savvy, and witty, too... which is blowing right-wingers' minds so much they're insisting that the kids are actually actors. But the kids are real, and they're spectacular. Stoneman Douglas High School junior Sarah Chadwick tweeted this excellent burn of Marco Rubio, who after receiving $3 million from the National Rifle Association, stands firmly on the side of the guns over the children.
KABOOM. Fox News host and soccer mom who might have put razor blades in those apples Laura Ingraham was absolutely AGHAST to hear someone other than Trump talk about Liddle Marco this way.
"WELL I NEVER!" she said, clutching her pearls. Well, Sarah has a fact-check for you, Laura.
Well, I guess not. Let's talk about something else for a minute...
The man of many words and few editors is at it again. The Republican darling Ted Cruz is getting slammed for his lack of pop culture finesse after attempting to make a Simpsons joke during his speech at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. "The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson. And Republicans are happily the party of Homer and Bart and Maggie and Marge," Cruz quipped, with the naive confidence of someone who misunderstand the whole point of "The Simpsons." Given the fact that Lisa was presented as the intelligent voice of reason, and Homer was pitched as the ultimate roast of American entitlement and anti-intellectualism, many people found Cruz's statement painfully on-the-nose. The obvious gap between the intention of the slack-jawed Republican's Simpson joke, and his accidental self-roast only fueled the fire of Twitter users across the land. At one point, "The Simpsons" show-runner Al Jean came for Cruz's head. If his past behavior serves as any type of indicator, it's unlikely Cruz will glean anything from this public roasting. However, this does present a rare moment where Simpsons fans of all political stripes agree with the Republican on something.
A man named In Young Lee was subjected to being called a racist slur on a Taco Bell receipt. It's ridiculously upsetting that stuff like this still happens, but here we are. In a lengthy Facebook post, Lee wrote that he went to Taco Bell with some friends for a late-night snack. He explained that he gave the cashier the name Steve, because he's found it's easier for both him and cashiers if he gives a white sounding name instead of his own. But when he got his food, Lee noticed that he was listed as Steve Chink.
Young Lee He confronted the cashier, who lamely tried to explain that there were other people named Steve working in the kitchen, so he had to differentiate. That makes no sense and also is completely unacceptable. The cashier defended his action at first, but eventually relented and apologized. But then Lee heard the cashier and several other employees cracking jokes in the back, and he heard him using that word again. Lee stormed over to the counter and called out the cashier, which was the manager's cue to get involved (although, honestly, he should have been involved earlier). The manager also apologized, but then blamed Lee for "snatching [his] food" off the counter. Lee wrote, "When he attempted to condemn me, people in the restaurant started to berate both the manger and the cashier, which led him to apologize and finally admit that they were in the wrong. I thought incidents like this only happen in the news and never expected it to happen to me but I guess it really does happen in the real world. Normally I would let things like this go but under the current political climate I find it very important to address such issues and voice them loudly and clearly. #putanendtoracism #iamnotachink." Is this the worst Taco Bell in America? It's gotta be right up there.
Okay, I said a few moments ago that teachers are listing the weapons they'd like to be armed with. Well, in the next few weeks I'll be showing you some pics of what teachers want.
Hey, do you remember Karl Weezer? I don't, but this is him now...
Feel old yet? So, I was thinking about getting a new tattoo and there's a few ideas I have in mind. This is NOT one of them...
Ugh! I apologize for thar pic. I just realized what the tattoo was on. So, a lot pf people don't know if Disney's Goofy is a dog or a man. Well, Disney has decided to revamp Goody and settle the debate once and for all...
Gawsh. Haha. If I had a TARDIS I would like to go to Hastings in England to the beach. But knowing my luck that would be the day a German World War I submarine would wash up the shore. Yep. That really happened.
So, the other day I was supposed to Google "Black History Month" and instead Googled "Black History Moth" and this is what I got...
If you're having a bad day it can't be as bad as the guy this happened to...
I would be soooo upset if that happened to me. Well, today is the last day of the Olympics. Some Olympians were worth watching because they are so attractive. Like U.S. bobsledder Aja Evans...
Well, as you know I live in Florida and there's some things that happen in Florida that happen no where else in the Universe. So, here once again is...
A former server at an Outback Steakhouse in Florida claims she was fired after she posted a Facebook rant about not getting a tip on a $735 takeout order. Tamlynn Yoder, the waitress, says the order was for 25 steak dinners, 25 chicken dinners and 25 side orders of potatoes, and came from a local megachurch, Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, where a conference was being held. In the time it took to put the huge order together, she missed out on other possible tips from tables in the restaurant. Speaking to the "Palm Beach Post," Yoder, 25, said, “We take the order over the phone, we put the order together, take payment and then take order to the car. It’s a lot of work just as much as serving.” Yoder told WSVN-TV, “I brought it out, put it in the car. We received the payment. There was no gratuity. I got upset. I posted a post on Facebook about the church not leaving a gratuity tip.” She added, "Coming in to eat or takeout, you should automatically be wanting to tip 15 percent. From there, you either go up or down based on service." Apparently a friend of Yoder's saw the post and called the church to complain. But it turns out the whole problem was simply that the person picking up the food didn't realize he or she had to leave a tip. So a representative from the church called the restaurant in an attempt to make things right with Yoder. However, Yoder was fired from Outback. As it happens, the restaurant has a strict policy against their workers posting anything about customers on social media, reports WSVN-TV. On top of that, Outback gave the church back its money for the order, even though the church was apologizing for their error. Church official David Lonsberry told the "Palm Beach Post," “We did not call the restaurant to have her fired, we wanted to get the situation resolved." Well, it's been resolved, but probably not to the satisfaction of Yoder.
That's a dumb Mindphuck. If you spot it let me know. So, something happened at the parkland school shooting and a friend of the Phile has something to say about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...
Happy Sunday, pluckerz. An armed, uniformed deputy was in position less than a minute after the Parkland school shooting began. He was right outside the building where the shooting started. He never attempted to enter the building and stayed outside... safe and sound as 17 people were murdered. What kind of coward does this? I worked as a school security officer for several years. I would never have even considered placing my safety over that of young lives in harm’s way. What the fuck? This guy is a useless sack of flesh and not fit to be a door greeter at Walmart. I heard he was suspended without pay and has now resigned his position. This piece of shit had ONE job to do... and he failed miserably at it. Scott Peterson is nothing more than a coward with a badge and a gun. A disgrace to the uniform. Fuck him.
Ha! Okay, so, a "friend" of the Phile has something to say about Trump and the Florida shooting. So, once again, here is...
Sarah: Oh, my darling, oh, my darling, oh my daring Clementine. Hello, Jason.
Me: Hi, Sarah. A week ago Trump tweeted this...
Me: WTF what he thinking?
Sarah: Just because the FBI failed to act on a tip about the Parkland shooter because they were busy with the investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia doesn't mean that Trump thinks the FBI failed to act on a tip about the Parkland shooter because they were busy with investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
Me: Did he think about what he was tweeting?
Sarah: I think he’s making the point that we would like our FBI agencies to not be focused on something that is clearly a hoax in terms of investigating the Trump campaign and its involvement.
Me: A hoax? You telling the independent FBI what they should investigate is borderline obstruction of justice.
Sarah: Ummmm... can I go now?
Me: Sure. I have to talk about Trump anyway. Sarah Huckleberry Hound Sanders, everyone.
Whoever was in charge of keeping Donald Trump away off Twitter the other night did a bad job, and the President sent out this tweet...
The 76th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
The author, Howard Kaylan will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.
October 27th, 1920 — February 22nd, 2018
There are few things less inspiring than scandal-free elderly celebrities.
November 7th, 1918 — February 21st, 2018
He's number 7 on Gallup's List of the Most Admired People of the 20th Century... one spot ahead of the Pope. That's gotta piss SOMEBODY off.
Today's pheatured guest is a singer and musician whose new CD "Tales, Trials, Truths," is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Kristin Rebecca.
Me: Hello, Kristin, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Kristin: Hi! Thank you for having me. I’m doing really well!
Me: Where are you from? I wanna say Ireland as some of your music is very Celtic sounding, but you're American, right?
Kristin: I have Irish heritage, but I’m born and raised in the states. Currently, I live in Maryland.
Me: You did spend some time in Ireland... what were you doing there?
Kristin: I went there with my parents for a vacation a couple years ago. We got to visit Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, the Rock of Cashel and the Aran Islands. I found the trip so inspirational I recorded a concept album around the folklore. The album’s called “Where Fairies Dwell.”
Me: I enjoyed your latest album "Tales, Trials, Truths," Kristin. Where did that title come from?
Kristin: All songs on the album are stories from my life, lives of those around me and stories from past events I’ve heard about on my travels that happened decades ago. Some of the stories take you on the highs of life, other the lows, but all are true. When thinking about all those different descriptions I came up with three words I thought best described the album as a whole, and that was “Tales, Trials, Truths."
Me: You have been making music for a while now, right? Did you start songwriting and playing music young?
Kristin: I’ve been full time for about six years. I first got into music in middle school and wrote a few songs as a pre-teen, but decided I wasn’t any good as a songwriter. I started writing again at eighteen and felt much more confident about my abilities.
Me: You play harp and guitar... which is cool. Not a lot of people play harp nowadays I think. Which instrument came first, Kristin, and which one is the easiest to play?
Kristin: Harpists are somewhat of an endangered species. I started with the guitar at the age of twelve and then took up folk harp at fifteen. Both have technical challenges you have to overcome but I have found that the harp comes to me more naturally.
Me: Do you play both on stage?
Kristin: Yes, I switch back and forth between the two, depending on the song.
Me: I noticed you play harp sitting and standing... does it depend on the song, or how you have to play it?
Kristin: It depends on the performance setting. Sometimes the venue is really intimate and standing feels way too formal. Sitting makes it feel like you and the audience are one. On a bigger stage it’s better to stand because people can see you better.
Me: When you write do you write on guitar or harp?
Kristin: Typically, I write my melodies on the harp, then decide whether the song will be a song with a harp backing or a guitar backing. After I make the decision I’ll move to that instrument and work on the backing.
Me: What do you write first? Lyrics or melody?
Kristin: Most of the time I start with the lyrics and then write a melody, but occasionally a hook will pop into my head and I’ll build the rest of the lyrics around it.
Me: Do you play guitar and harp on the new album?
Kristin: I do! I play guitar on nine of the tracks and harp on eight of the tracks.
Me: I have to ask you about some of the songs on the new album... the single is "Can I Be Honest." Shouldn't that have a question mark. Haha. Anyway, what is the inspiration behind that song?
Kristin: LOL! It probably should. When I first told people that I had written a new song they would ask me the title, and I’d tell them, “Can I Be Honest.” They would answer “yes,” not realizing it was the title. I wrote the song about that moment when you are about to tell someone you like them, but you aren’t sure if they like you back. It can be a difficult conversation since you aren’t sure how the person will respond.
Me: I like the song "Wackos and Weirdos." You must have written that song about people you have come across. The line "super hero wannabes" made me laugh. Who is this song directed at, Kristin? I might fall into that category.
Kristin: LOL. I’m sure you don’t fall into the category. I wrote it after I went on a string of bad dates with different men. These were the kind of dates that would feel like you’ve been there for three hours and it had only been twenty minutes. The chorus talks about the different problems I faced.
Me: Another song I have to ask you about is "Night in Santa Monica." Is that a true story, Kristin?
Kristin: I wish it was! It was originally titled “Night in Atlantic City” because I wrote it for a New Jersey songwriting contest, and they said if you wrote a song about New Jersey you were more likely to win. It didn’t end up winning, but I wanted to use the song on my album, “Tales, Trials, Truths.” When I showed it to my co-producer, he said that he liked the song, but asked if I could think of a city more romantic then Atlantic City. I wanted to keep my chorus, so I thought about what cities had the same syllable count as Atlantic City, and I decided on Santa Monica. I changed a few words of the verses and got the song you heard today.
Me: I see you travel and play a lot! What is the best part of being on the road?
Kristin: I love traveling! If I could be on the road all year I would. It’s great to visit different places and get to meet people! I typically travel with my dad so if we can visit historical sites in the area where I’m performing we do. Also, as we drive we look to see what interesting sites we are passing. The person not driving looks up the history around the place we pass on their phone. One of the most recent places we passed the Georgetown Steel Mill.
Me: Your parents must be proud of your success am I right?
Kristin: Yes, they tell me that all time which makes me so happy! They have also been really supportive during this whole journey, which means the world to me.
Me: As well as performing your own material you have recorded a few covers, am I right? Are there any covers on this new album?
Kristin: I tend to cover songs that I wish I wrote and from lyricists I really admire. There are two covers on my new album. The first is “Blame it on the Moon” by Mike Batt and the second “Ready for the Storm” by Dougie Maclean. Both songs spoke to me lyrically and musically and I also wish I had written them.
Me: I was thinking "Let's Dance" was gonna be a cover of the David Bowie song. Who are your inspirations music wise, Kristin? Did you grow up listening to a lot of teen pop? Madonna, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC?
Kristin: I listened to some pop growing up like NSYNC, Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson, and my parents got me listening to a lot of music from the 60s and 70s. Some of my favorite artists were The Allman Brothers Band, Carole King, John Denver, and Joan Baez. These artists also inspire me both lyrically and musically to this day. I was also listening to CCM singer Rich Mullins. Rich Mullins was one of my main inspirations on how to incorporate a unique instrument like the harp into modern sounding music. While he wasn’t a harpist he did play hammered dulcimer and used it as a main instrument in many of his songs.
Me: When you are not making music what do you do for fun? I saw pics of you dressed up in medieval kinda dress like this one...
Me: Do you spend a lot of time at renaissance fairs? Your music would kinda fit for there I imagine.
Kristin: It is fun to dress up! The pictures you saw are from when I perform at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I also play at fairy festivals as well.
Me: Cool. Okay, so, you're pretty young, Kristin, when you are not making music or playing what do you do for fun?
Kristin: When I am not making music, I like to write stories, go to movies, have a meal with friends, exercise and volunteer.
Me: Kristin, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Mention your website and please come back when your next project comes out, will you? All the best.
Kristin: Thank you! I really appreciate your giving me this opportunity. You can visit my website at kristinrebecca.com. I will definitely let you know about upcoming projects. I hope you have a wonderful day!
Me: You too. Thanks, Kristin.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Kristin Rebecca. The Phile will be back tomorrow with documentary filmmaker Fran Strine. 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