Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. How are you? I am good... worn out but good. I hope you're having a good summer. Summer is the most exciting time to realize you're bored. Okay, let's start with a story about Disney... the greatest company to work for ever. Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of the late Roy Disney, the co-founder of the Walt Disney Co. Abigail herself does not have a job within the company, but she has made some public complaints about the way things are being run and how it is effecting the employees of the company. Disney recently spoke on the Yahoo News show "Through Her Eyes," and shared a story of how a Magic Kingdom employee reached out to her about the poor working conditions at the theme park. So, Disney went to see for herself, and she did not like what she found. Disney reported, “Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, ‘I don’t know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people’s garbage.’” Disney was especially upset because she felt her grandfather would not approve of these conditions. She said, "I was so livid when I came out of there because... my grandfather taught me to revere these people that take your tickets, that pour your soda.” The man currently in charge of Disneyland is CEO Bob Iger. Iger receives nearly $66 million a year for his salary, and Disney feels he is not sharing the wealth properly. Disney told Yahoo News that she attempted to discuss this issue with Iger via email. “I wrote Bob Iger a very long email, and one of the things I said to him was, ‘You know, you're a great CEO by any measure, perhaps even the greatest CEO in the country right now. You know, your legacy is that you're a great manager. And if I were you, I would want something better than that. I would want to be known as the guy who led to a better place, because that is what you have the power to do,” said Disney. Apparently, she never received a response from Iger and was instead directed to HR. Oof. This isn't the first time the company has been criticized. It has also been accused of implementing sexist pay practices. However, when addressed about these sort of issues, Iger pivots to the subject of Disney's education program which helps fund its employees tuition. I guess the Magical Kingdom might not be the fairytale world it appears to be after all... but Disney's Hollywood Studios is. Ahem. Moving on...
It could only happen in the year of our lord (or is it the year of Satan?) 2019: an ICE agent is going viral because Twitter users think she's hot. Yes, "#IceBae" is a thing. It gives me no pleasure to report this, but here we are. It all started with a tweet from the online activist known as Hotep Jesus, who's currently on the come-up after a guest spot on the Joe Rogan podcast. He saw a photo of the immigration agent while perusing the news, and was taken with it. So he took a break from his regular schedule of tweeting anti-immigration sentiments to blast a photo of her into the world. The caption: "Tell AOC we breaking up and tell ICE To come get me!" Here's the photo in case you're interested...
The photo quickly started to spread among the horny and easily swayed male internet populace. Despite the fact that turning an ICE agent into a sex symbol feels... misguided at best. Before too long, #IceBae made her own account. It hasn't been verified, but based on videos and photos, it seems to be the real deal. She's identifying herself as a "customs officer" based in Texas. She started responding to tweets right away. Hotep Jesus was delighted. If this new account is to be believed, Ice Bae's real name is Kiara Cervantes and she's not ashamed. She responded to tweets accusing her of upholding concentration camps by saying she's "doing [her] best." She's also posted many selfies, which is her right as an American. The fact that she's Latina is especially delightful to conservatives. But many Twitter users are horrified by her sudden fame, not to mention her justification of her job. And her readiness to embrace the #IceBae label. Some feel the #IceBae phenomenon makes light of the serious situation at the border. It's also a great example of garden-variety online creepiness. So obviously, it's just a matter of time before ICE bae is named to Trump's cabinet. Please eject me into the sun.
Vice President Mike Pence's whole schtick is that he's a conservative Christian. That's why President Grab Them By The Pussy put him on his ticket (and also to look tall. Pence is under 6 feet). On Saturday, he visited one of the camps in which immigrants are kept against their will, and stared blankly over detainee's heads and insisted that everything is fine. Remember Matthew 25:35-40 where it says, "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me"? Pence doesn't. Among the many critics of Pence's sociopathic behavior were ministers and priests, who know a thing or to about Jesus's teachings. Laypeople also criticized the vice president, calling him a #FakeChristian. Here's hoping that there really is a hell.
Who needs klan rallies when there's "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Fox News? The evil Brooks Brothers mannequin did a segment on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar after a recent Washington Post profile told her life story. In the WaPo piece, Omar told a group of high school students, "I grew up in an extremely unjust society, and the only thing that made my family excited about coming to the United States was that the United States was supposed to be the country that guaranteed justice to all. So, I feel it necessary for me to speak about that promise that’s not kept." Tucker's takeaway is that Omar's disappointment in America not living up to its ideals is tantamount to treason, a lesson that Muslim immigrants and people of color are a threat to America at large. "Ilhan Omar is living proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this country," he said, telling his viewers that criticism of American justice is dangerous when it comes from a woman in a hijab. Donald Trump's whole campaign was calling America a broken trash country that needs to be "great again," but Tucker and friends called him a savior, not a danger. Tucker proceeded to argue that immigrants like Omar come from cultures that are so "different" that they will never have what it takes to be "American." That's just straight up Nazi trash, who used the folklore of the "German volk" as a reason to annihilate anybody who was insufficiently Aryan. "Maybe we’re importing people from places whose values are simply antithetical to ours," he said. "This can not continue. It’s not sustainable. No country can import large numbers of people who hate it and survive. The Romans were the last to try that, with predictable results." Omar, for her part, laughed the attack off, calling the racist fool a "racist fool." Omar's colleagues in Congress are also condemning this trash. If there's any doubt who the president sides with in this terrifying, boring "feud," he took the opportunity to retweet an article bashing CNN and calling Omar an anti-Semite. Tucker Carlson implying that you can’t love something if you criticize it is more anti-Semitic than anything Ilhan Omar has ever said.
R. Kelly spent the weekend in federal custody and it's only just begun. The notorious sex criminal once known as a singer has been faces two federal indictments in two different time zones, and it's a tapas plate of disgusting crimes. In New York: five counts of racketeering, transporting for prostitution and coercion or enticement to engage in criminal sexual activity. In Chicago: thirteen counts including child pornography, enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and obstruction of justice. Bye forever.
Then it hit me...
If you don't know what that is it's Heinrich Himmler visiting a Dachau concentration camp. I feel physically ill. Did you know some babies are born with a lot of teeth? I didn't until I saw this...
Yeesh! I can't get that vision outta my head. Did you know Trump plays the accordion? If not I have proof...
When Trump was in Britain a few weeks ago my fellow Brits sure had some really creative anti-Trump signs. Like this one...
Hahaha. That Ivanka Trump sure gets in the way all throughout history... see was even in The Wizard of Oz movie. Don't believe me? Look!
Haha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...
Did you watch Wimbledon tennis recently? It was nice to see Elron John volunteered there...
Hahahahahahaha. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...
Top Phive Ways To Be Annoying In Computer Labs
5. Log on, wait a sec, then get a frightened look on your face and scream "Oh my God! They've found me!" and bolt.
4. Laugh uncontrollably for about three minutes and then suddenly stop and look suspiciously at everyone who looks at you.
3. When your computer is turned off, complain to the monitor on duty that you can't get the it to work. After he/she's turned it on, wait five minutes, turn it off again, and repeat the process for a good half hour.
2. Type frantically, often stopping to look at the person next to you evily.
And the number one way to be annoying in a computer lab is...
1. Before anyone else is in the lab, connect each computer to a different screen than the one it's set up with.
If you spot the Mindphuck then let me know. You should, it's pretty easy.
Thinking about having kids? Look how happy that baby is about puking on his dad. MAYBE RECONSIDER.
Buzz Aldrin is the Art Garfunkel of the moon.
The Congresswomen he's referring to in the tweet are most likely AOC, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, who are all women of color. Telling these women, who represent America, that they should leave based on their race/background is... despicable. Of course, AOC had some words for him.
Boom. Our girl sure knows how to deliver a clapback. Trump tried to use racist, bullying tactics to shut these women up and he failed. All he did was show his true colors. These women, on the other hand, fight every day for America. They are as American as it gets and we need them here.
An Indian chief had three wives, each of whom was pregnant. The first gave birth to a boy. The chief was so elated he built her a teepee made of deer hide. A few days later, the second gave birth, also to a boy. The chief was very happy. He built her a teepee made of antelope hide. The third wife gave birth a few days later, but the chief kept the details a secret. He built this one a two story teepee, made out of a hippopotamus hide. The chief then challenged the tribe to guess what had occurred. Many tried, unsuccessfully. Finally, one young brave declared that the third wife had given birth to twin boys. "Correct," said the chief. "How did you figure it out?" The warrior answered, "It's elementary. The value of the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides."
Today's guests are an author whose book Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography is the 101st book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. The other is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist whose latest album "Medicine Songs" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile Andrea Warner and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Me: Hello, Andrea, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Andrea: Hello. Great to be here.
Me: And hi, Buffy. This was a surprise that you are here. How are you?
Buffy: Hi, Jason.
Me: So, Andrea, you wrote the book on Buffy and followed her around with a tape recorder. Are you sick of each other yet?
Andrea: Nooo. I love it.
Buffy: No. We have such a great time together.
Me: So, Buffy, did you approach Andrea to write the book?
Buffy: No, I had nothing to do with writing this book. Andrea approached me and when I found out she was the one who wanted to write a biography of me I told my manager to just say yes.
Me: Why did you say es to her?
Buffy: Because I adore her as a writer. I read "We Oughta Know...," which was her first book also about Canadian women in music. And we had done an interview to.
Me: What made you want to do it, Andrea?
Andrea: Well, it's Buffy Sainte-Marie number one, she's just amazing, and number two: when I was trying to put together my research for when I interviewed Buffy for "Power in the Blood" in 2015 I was really frustrated of the lack of information I could find. I'm a researcher, I like to dig deep. There was just so many blank spaces. The traditional places where I would go to find out about musicians of that iconic status hadn't written about her so I felt she'd kinda been erased from music history. If she's not written about, there's no record of her work, we all know of course she's an icon and she's amazing, but I really felt she and her work and everything she'd done had been quite minimised. And after we had our conversation for "Power in the Blood" I didn't want to get off he phone. She said to me that she didn't want to get off the phone. She said it out loud and I was like, "Oh my god, that's amazing!" I freaked out and I left that interview wanting to thinking about writing an authorized biography of Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Me: Buffy, was it hard to tell someone to tell your story?
Buffy: No, not really, and I was so glad. A couple of years earlier I had read Andrea's first book "We Oughta Know..." because there's so much that comes through in her writing. It's beautiful writing, she's beautiful, intelligent, and she's real funny, and she can just see the between the lines of both the show and the business. That's always real important to me... both of them. There's a difference between the show and the business and she could see I was abused and kicked around by the business. But the show is still a whole lot of fun for me. I think that's one of the places we really connected on.
Andrea: She's so funny and her music is so full of hope. None of the things that were done to her arguable have dampened her spirit at all.
Me: The book sets the record straight on somethings that people get wrong. For example, you didn't play Woodstock, am I right?
Buffy: No, isn't that funny? LOL.
Me: So, why do people think you played Woodstock?
Buffy: Andrea in the book points that out. Almost every concert in the U.S. someone will come up to me and say, "You were just so good at Woodstock, I loved you. You were just the best." I wasn't at Woodstock. A couple of months ago I spent some time with Joni Mitchell and they tell her the same thing, "Oh, you were just so good at Woodstock." And she wasn't there either so... I don't know what they were smoking that day but neither Joni or I were there.
Me: What do you think about people thinking she played Woodstock, Andrea?
Andrea: The assumption was she would be because she was such an important part of that time. I feel like people just create the scenario they wish had existed.
Me: So, there wasn't a whole lot of info to go on about Buffy's life so how did you put a whole book together?
Andrea: I like the fact that when I do care so much about research and I really care mostly about people's lived experience. So being able to spend so much time with Buffy. She was just so generous with her time, we were on the phone constantly so she was really able to fit in so many gaps where she could and I was able to bring a different "lens" from the music industry point. Like that she's never been nominated an indiction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and these other places. Donovan gets a lot of credit for her songs, which is terrible and very frustrating. All these kinds of things is where I can bring my "lens" to it.
Me: So, according to the book, Buffy, your first crush was Tchaikovsky, am I right? That's the guy that wrote the "Nutcracker Suite" I think. What's the deal? Haha.
Buffy: LOL. When I was a little girl I saw a piano when I was about age three and I fell in love with it the way the other kids love sports and Barbie dolls, I loved music. I started playing fake Tchaikovsky at a very young age.
Me: What did you think of Buffy's love of Tchaikovsky, Andrea?
Andrea: Well, I think one of the things is thinking about what it is to come out of trauma and where someone places their trust in people. My assessment was it makes a lot of sense for ones first crush to be one: a natural musician, a dead natural musician, and to find safety in someone's hypothetical arms, that isn't there at all but who she could take a lot of comfort in their music because she loved it so much. And I think that was my assessment was that it makes sense that a young girl who was coming out of some traumatic situations in her childhood would gravitate to a dead classical musician. I think its beautiful. There's a lot hope there but there's also a lot of darkness that we move through as well.
Me: You wrote about her being sexually abused by family members and how she was abused by her husband. What kind of conversations did you have to write about that?
Andrea: I don't think we had conversations about how to write about it at all. What we did I think I would just listen and I was one of witness. I think Buffy has done a lot of that work herself. She was a witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, there's a lot of tenderness and a lot of space and really just sitting with someone's truth is very important.
Me: Buffy, is it challenging for you to relive some of this with the writing of this book?
Buffy: No, it wasn't hard to relive and I think it's something that I held back on offering as my show but bio. But with Andrea the resort really is mutual because I really think she is a superb writer. When we first started Andrea said if here's anything I don't want to talk about we just won't. I don't think anything came up that we weren't both interested in exploring.
Andrea: Absolutely. And from the very beginning Buffy was very clear one: she didn't want me to out her on a pedestal and I'm not super interested in that myself. I think that when you put someone on a pedestal you'e doing them quite a disservice. You're not actually treating them as a person. And I relay think that all of us need to treat each other as people because that creates community, creates compassion, it models ways to live in our environments. I just think that's so important. I could still be a fan of her work and I am still obviously deeply besotted with her but I also want to see her as a real person. That was pretty vital to the writing of the biography I think.
Buffy: I think also that Andrea dug into the songs that makes me happy. For me it's never been about being a show business personality so much. The context of the songs is what I was trying to get across. That's why I wasn't so mad at Donovan. Ha ha ha. I wanted to get the message out and Andrea seemed to be responding to those things and the songs I really intended and I felt that we were both aiming for the same target.
Me: The book goes into how you had a lot of creative control of your music. Can you tell us a little bit more about that, Buffy?
Buffy: It was a little bit odd. I just gotten out of college, thought I was going to India, I was playing and trying my luck at folk singing in the East Village and doing pretty good. Vanguard Records wanted to sign me, I went I went to sign with them. By the way I almost went with Blue Note which is a jazz label by the way. But I went into Vanguard and they said, "Who's your lawyer?" and I said, "I don't have one." They said, "That's okay, you can use ours." They signed me to a seven year deal. A lot of the early people in management, they just didn't know what to do with me. They didn't mean to be mean to me or particularly communal about it or any of that. They just didn't know what to do with me. Many of the wanted me to come out like Pocahontas in fringes, they wanted to play that. Most of them come from a New York show business thing where you have a gimmick. Some of them were afraid of the fact that I was outspoken I think, they didn't know what to do about that. They thought that I would offend themselves. Also I wasn't very smart about social things. I didn't grow up in social climbing environment, in a business environment where family talks about business at the table. There wasn't a lawyer in the family, I never met any of those people.
Andrea: She also didn't go partying and drinking after either so that was a factor too.
Buffy: Exactly. I'd go home and write. That was fun for me. And for me to go to an after hours bar where everybody is getting half crocked, and I don't drink at all. I even unintentionally insulted some people, I didn't mean to. For instance some people in France were celebrating me in the 60s and they get out this 5400-year-old bottle of wine and I said, "Oh, no thanks, I don't drink." It's not cool. I didn't know I was supposed to kiss business men on the cheek, I'd hold back from that. Because I didn't go out drinking after hours where the Judy's and the Joni's and everybody else went, that's where the business deals were made, so I missed a lot of business opportunities and social opportunities.
Me: Do you think this book is you trying to take control back from people that tried to control you?
Buffy: Well, I guess that was maybe Andrea taking control.
Me: Hmmm. Andrea? What do you think about that?
Andrea: Certainly that's my intention. I gibe all the autonomy back to Buffy. I do get frustrated, it's her life, she gets to live it and it's her lived experience and I could be this outsider being like I'm going to get mad about this on her behalf. Lime analyze from a perspective where I'm just constantly thinking oh, God, there's just so much erasure happening, this constant mythologizing of white male's at the expense of so many artists. Artists of color, women artists, trans artists, Buffy Saint-Marie. I know again she's like this icon, just I get very frustrated because her discography is so deep, so varied, so much complexity happening and so much innovation. There just hasn't been a proper celebration of that.
Me: So, you left out something in the book and that's this, the Ben & Jerry's ad. Why did you leave this out?
Andrea: So, Buffy emails me a few weeks ago and is like, "So did I ever tell you about the time I was an ice cream flavour?" And I was like, "No. What are you talking about?" This book could be 700 pages, seriously, twice or three times as big.
Me: I want to point out this is an ad for Ben & Jerry's ice cream that features Spike Lee, Carlos Santana, Pete Seeger, and you as ice cream flavors. I have the ad here...
Me: Who are the other people, Buffy?
Buffy: Bobby Seale, who founded the Black Panther Party, Dolores Huerta the migrant worker and union activist and Daniel Berrigan.
Me: So, how did you become a part of this ad?
Buffy: What happened was Ben & Jerry got in touch with us and said, "Here's our campaign that we would like you to do. We'll give you ice cream for life."
Me: Nice! Do you get ice cream for life?
Buffy: No, a few years ago they had to cancel it.
Me: No! That's bullshit. Hahaha.
Buffy: Oh, it's okay, I'm old. Ha ha. It was lovely because Spike Lee made the ad and it was on TV and our pictures were on New York City busses. It was very interesting that Ben & Jerry wanted to do that.
Andrea: The wild thing is I researched hard, I spelt her name every misspelt way I've ever seen it, I would look everywhere that I could. Sometimes, unless Buffy tod me about it herself, there was just a gap, I didn't know that it existed. This is one of those things.
Me: Do you learn anything Buffy that you really didn't know about?
Andrea: Oh, absolutely. One: just Buffy's sense of humour is amazing. She's so funny. There's a lot of humour in her songs to, and if you give it a deeper listening to her lyrical content and then with juxtaposition musical arrangements, there's so much humour happening.
Me: Did you learn anything about yourself while researching for the book?
Andrea: Buffy was editing the book a lot and at one point I had written "tear down" something in reference to something that she had done and she crossed it out and said, "No. To build up, in spite of and beyond," That's a radical paradigm shift for me to think about language the way instead of being destructive, talk about empowering language. Talk about language that builds us up and builds community and builds hope. If we radically starved our lens in this fashion think about building up in spite of and beyond other than earring down what a much more beautiful world that is. I think that's what her music does too. But it was that specific edit that really jarred me i the gut one day and I was like oh my God, I'm a changed human for the rest of my life.
Me: Buffy, did you learn anything new about yourself?
Buffy: The one thing I may have learned is that throughout my life, probably because of really young and early infant traumatizing, I think that I have lacked a sense of when there was a predator around. I think that was something I was not allowed to learn because when a child is being abused and traumatized the word "no" only makes it worse. And so don't have the power of the word "no" in my vocabulary if people have overpowered me and oppressed me with that word... "no." Yeah? Watch this. Andrea unpacking some of this stuff as she does in the book and our personal conversations I think that's maybe something I'm starting to learn... the scent of a predator. I should have seen what was coming and instead I didn't. Not that I'm a pollyanna, but I do see the positive side of things, but there's a part of that that needs to be tempered with and awareness of the possibility of predators in show business and in government and in leadership and in personal life. It is possible so that was something to think about.
Me: Cool. Thanks so much for both of you for being on the Phile. Both of you please come back. Buffy, I want you to come back and we can talk about you music.
Buffy: Thank you, Jason, I will.
Andrea: Thank you, Jason, for having us. You're a good writer.
Me: Thanks, so are you.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Andrea Warner and Buffy Sainte-Marie. The Phile will be back next Monday with musician Terry Ilous. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon