Hey there, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Okay, there are few images that cause more backlash online than the sight of a plus-sized woman comfortable in her body. Children on the heavier side face high bullying rates starting as young as 3, with girls receiving an even higher amount of abuse for their bodies. Sadly, this routine body-shaming continues well into adulthood as the childhood name calling shifts into concern trolling over health risks. Obviously, there are health factors that weight plays into, but you cannot truly predict how someone's health by looking at their body. Basing health concerns off weight alone ignores how many thin people have eating disorders, poor diets, drug and alcohol abuse issues, and sedentary lifestyles. Conversely, basing assumptions on image also ignores how many plus-size people are physically active, eat well and have healthy blood pressure. At the end of the day, someone's health and body is their business alone, and not a subject for strangers to debate. But the culture of fatphobia has obscured basic human privacy under the guise of "concern." One example of the culture of concern trolling cropped up when conservative YouTuber Dominique Samuels took issue with a Calvin Klein billboard featuring the rapper Chika. Here's the billboard...
"Why do we need the morbidly obese to speak the truth in their Calvins? Out of all the black plus-size models that exist, you just had to pick the one that looks 5 minutes from diabetes to promote unhealthy living, Calvin Klein? You should be ashamed," she wrote. It wasn't long before other people jumped on the thread to echo her sentiments about the billboard. However, plenty of people took issue with Samuels' rhetoric, and pointed out how weird it is to get bent about an underwear ad. Others went on to point out how reductive it is to conflate weight with diabetes, when there are plenty of thin people with diabetes and plenty of plus-size people without it. Eventually, Chika caught wind of the thread and jumped in with her own responses to the body shaming. Chika pointed out how fixating on someone else's body just shows insecurity and internal ugliness, and went on to point out the absurdity of defending her own existence when she is hurting no one. She also pointed out that the billboard was taken down months ago, so the backlash is literally late. After Chika responded, even more people jumped on the thread to appreciate the billboard and point out the hypocrisy of Samuels' original logic. Everybody wears underwear, so why can't we see people of different sizes modeling it?!
Sadly, a growing number of people have sipped the Kool-aid of anti-vaxx conspiracy theories and decided to ignore decades of medical research. This has resulted in an uptick of unvaccinated kids, which presents a huge public health risk. Because of this, more schools have been forced to implement policies that demand families vaccinate their children lest they be kicked out. The recent emboldenment of the anti-vaxx community and subsequent backlash has given the Internet a lot of wild exchanges between conspiracy theorists and people with a grasp of science. One of the more satisfying exchanges took place between an anti-vaxxer who posted a sassy meme, and a commenter who laid out why the meme was deeply factually incorrect. Here's the meme...
A commenter was quick to lay out how and why unvaccinated children pose a threat to themselves, vaccinated children, and immunocompromised people who rely on herd immunity. "Well, doctor, I'm glad you asked. Your unvaccinated kid is a risk to every kid not just the vaccinated ones. As I'm sure you can recall from the hours of immunology lectures you had to attend the vaccine efficacy rate varies from vaccine to vaccine, but none are 100% effective and of course it would be imbecilic to expect them to be. That as I'm sure you will recall from your high school lessons in epistemology and logic is what is know as a Nirvana fallacy, but I'm sue I don't have to explain such a basic failure of critical cognizance to somebody as learned as you." The commenter laid out exactly how unvaccinated people quickly become incubators for viral mutation and pose multiple risks to others. The commenter beautifully dismounted from the take down by asking why the meme doesn't accurately portray a velociraptor. "Anyways glad I could clear that up for you, now when you have a minute do you think you could see your way clear to back up your ridiculous claims that the flu shot caused 50000 deaths and chemo causes cancer, because people are starting to suspect you are just talking out of your ass. Nice meme by the way but why doesn't your velociraptor have feathers?" Unsurprisingly, the person who posted the meme had nothing to say in response.
Jennifer Aniston just joined Instagram and made a classic newbie mistake: forgetting to check the photo for traces of cocaine. J.An (Does anybody call her J.An?) "broke the Internet" with her first post, a selfie featuring a reunion of all six of the friends from Friends. The whitest show of all time featured an even whiter cast member in the pic: a mysterious powder on somebody's phone.
Right in front of Matthew Perry is the phone with powder on it. Is it baby powder? Snow? Dandruff? Perry famously struggled with addiction during the course of the show's ten year run. My first thought is "I hope that Matthew Perry is okay." My second thought is "Hahahahahahahaha." The picture with what looks like cocaine has everyone wanting to party with Jen and friends. CNN repots that people were so jazzed about Aniston joining Instagram that all the excitement crashed that app. Hopefully whatever it is on the phone doesn't cause a crash, too. Internet sleuths have theorized that the "white stuff" isn't coke, but rather a blurry view of her phone case. But if that's her phone on the table, then how is she taking the selfie? Really makes you think.
McLovin' from the 2007 film, Superbad is still resonating with the youths! Most of you who were teenagers when Superbad was released will never forget the joy of the ridiculous McLovin' Hawaiian fake ID. I personally have not seen the movie. Anyway, Superbad skyrocketed the careers of Emma Stone, Michael Cera (although he had Juno the same year), Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen. It was a cinematic teen dream from the rom-com "coming-of-age" factory that is Judd Apatow. Twelve years later, McLovin' is still beloved. While we shouldn't condone underage drinking, 20-year-old Iowa University student Daniel Burleson is getting some serious Internet attention for using a McLovin' ID as his fake ID and then handing it to a police officer. Burleson was charged with "possession of a fictitious card" which is better than if he had used a real person's ID, which is a much more serious crime. Burleson was allegedly holding an alcoholic beverage when an officer discovered he was underage. When officers spotted the McLovin' novelty ID in his wallet, he was escorted out of the bar. The 20-year-old told officers he bought the license on Amazon which is so hilariously perfect. I really hope that the bartenders had a solid laugh before serving this kid a beer. While fans of the film are celebrating this underage man's Superbad experience, it also caught the attention of Seth Rogen...
Victory! Burleson himself even responded...
I hope he made a solid amount on Venmo!
It's Monday and guess what, kids? The final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer is coming out tonight during "Monday Night Football," likely continuing the trend of giving fans a lot to talk about without giving away actual details. Once again, that’s not a bad thing and should really be the basis for all blockbuster trailers. This will be the toughest task for our heroes yet and is expected to be the finale to everything Skywalker-related, at least when it comes to the movies. Rey and Kylo Ren are clearly the biggest characters of this modern trilogy, so they will probably get a lot of focus in this final trailer, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise. What we really want to know is if Kylo will be redeemed in the end because no one buys Rey going to the Dark Side, not for a minute. Unless you’re 10-years old, pretty much everyone knows she is going to remain a hero. Honestly, after the mixed reception to The Last Jedi, fans are really hoping that The Rise of Skywalker sticks the landing. Granted, J.J. Abrams is going to be directing it, so we can expect some solid moments from the director, along with his signature lens flare and maybe a reference or two to Return of the Jedi.
Instead of doing this little dumb blog I should be listening to this album...
Maybe not. I don't understand German. I think it's in German. If I had a TARDIS I would probably end up in the time of the Plague and surrounded by doctors in scary masks.
A few weeks ago at the Global Climate Strike some signs were giving us hope for the future...
While others were a little bit snarky but fantastic...
Hahahahahaha. Do you guys know Democrat Pete Buttigieg? He is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and candidate for president of the United States. Well, I think his campaign poster is kinda odd...
What the hell? So, Trump revealed a photo of how windmills causes cancer...
Halloween is right around the corner and some pumpkins are very scary...
Luckily I don't have student loans. So, I was told I'd see some odd sights at Walmart. I didn't believe it until I saw this...
Haha. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Signs Your Girlfriend is Going to Dump You
5. Your Visa card and your belt both hit their limit.
4. She's been wearing an engagement ring for three weeks, but you don't recall proposing to her.
3. She just started a college course that meets seven nights a week.
2. Her love letters come soaked in formaldehyde rather than perfume.
And the number one sign your girlfriend is going to dump you is...
1. Whenever she introduces you it's always "I would like you to meet an old friend of mine..."
Hmmm... if you spot the Mindphuck let me know. And now...
If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, call the National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879.
From raising a glass to raising the dead. Okay, so, do you guys remember Ed Enistink, the guy who lives in the 90s? Here's his pic...
He would come on the Phile once in a while. Well, something happened to him that's not good. He passed away. Yes, I killed off a character. But apparently he had a daughter who also "lives" in the 90s. So, please welcome to the Phile...
Emily: Sup, Jason.
Me: So, how did he die?
Emily: He drank from a hose. I always thought that was okay to do. Guess not.
Me: I never drank from a hose in my life. Anyway, you are welcome to come on the Phile any time you want.
Emily: Whatever. I to go. I have a bunch of texts to take care of. And look at screenshots.
Me: Texts and screenshots? That doesn't sound very 90s to me.
Emily: Sure it is. Take a look!
Me: Oh, boy. This is as dumb of a bit as before. Emily Enistink, kids, the girl who think it's the 90s. That's such a stupid premise. Hahaha.
The 107th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Butch Patrick will be the guest on the while next Thursday on the Halloween entry. Now for some...
Phact 1. In May 2000, a fireworks storage located in Enschede, Netherlands caught fire and eventually exploded, destroying an entire city district and killing 23.
Phact 2. Left handed persons are significantly more likely to suffer from autism and schizophrenia while at the same time being much more likely to have an IQ over 131 and being more proficient at math than their right handed counterparts.
Phact 3. It is impossible for a centipede to have 100 legs. They have one pair of legs per body segment, but always an odd number of body segments, allowing for 98 and 102 legs, but not 100.
Phact 4. Canada was invited to join the United States in the Articles of Confederation in 1777.
Phact 5. The Blue Mustang statue, nicknamed Blucifer because of its glowing red eyes, in front of the Denver International Airport killed its creator in 2006 when its head fell on him and severed an artery in his leg.
Today's guest is is an American singer-songwriter of blues and folk music. Her latest album "Joy Comes Back" is available on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Ruthie Foster.
Me: Hello, Ruthie, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Ruthie: I'm great, Jason. How are you?
Me: I'm okay. So, where are you from originally?
Ruthie: Just outside Austin, Texas.
Me: I love your latest album "Joy Comes Back." Was it fun album to record? A joy?
Ruthie: Ha. Correct. It was a safe haven for me to go in and record while I was actually touring. In between touring and all of that.
Me: You have won so many blues awards, but your style of music is not just the blues. You do gospel, soul, jazz. Did growing up in a music town like Austin influence your music?
Ruthie: I think growing up in Texas I was exposed to all different types of music. From gospel and a lot of folks know a lot of blues music came out the state. Even conjunto and tejano music. It's just a real mix of folks there. That definitely influenced my musical taste. You'll hear different elements of those genres in my shows.
Me: I don't like it when people are narrow minded about music, only listening to one genre. Do you agree?
Ruthie: Yes, I agree. I think that's something people take away from my shows. Once in a while I'll get people who claim they didn't like blues music because it was too depressing or whatever the reason. But they saw another side of it because I don't just bring the genre, I try to bring a kind of an education about the blues. Blues is just about life. Having a witness to living it's just really about every day living. Plus what I bring to the blues, I bring those different elements... gospel and folk to the genre. I like to think I do any way.
Me: I was surprised on the new album you cover Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." Were you or are you a fan of Black Sabbath?
Ruthie: LOL. Yes, it was more of an experiment than anything. Again listening to different times of music. Like when I when to college I was way into my rock music. I always had friends that would bring different types of records over. That's how I got into listening to Black Sabbath and a lot of rock bands that were popular during that time. Even before that time.
Me: So, you play guitar, which is cool. What make do you play mostly?
Ruthie: I love Sun House. I love playing a resonator, I don't travel with it as much. I already travel with one guitar so I don't want to travel with a lot of guitars.
Me: So, what made you decide to cover "War Pigs"?
Ruthie: I was recording something else and I had the resonator and I thought it would be fun to play around with that song on the resonator and the slide. The intro to "War Pigs" is a blues line, melodically is a blues lick. I've always heard it that way. I just thought it'll be fun to break it down and bring that song back. Plus it's kinda relevant. It's interesting on how relevant it still is in this time.
Me: I love the title track, "Joy Comes Back." Did you write that song?
Ruthie: Thank you. It was a tune brought to me by my producer Dan Barrett, by Sean Staples. He's an artist in the Boston area. At least he was at the time. And it really said a lot about where I was headed in my life. I was in this place where I was just ready for some good news. I needed some good news and that is just what this song says. The album in a round and about way did a full circle back to that I think musically.
Me: How long did the album take to record? A while, right?
Ruthie: It took about two to three years to make.
Me: What made you decide to title the album after that song?
Ruthie: That particular song kept standing out because it's a theme to get back to.
Me: I am surprised someone else wrote the song as it seemed so personal. I really thought you wrote it.
Ruthie: Swan allowed me to write an extra verse to it, in that way I got a co-wrote out of this song. It was a thrill for me to at least have a little bit of a say and add to the song in some way. I think it's just one of those "hallelujah" chorus songs that is definitely a part of what I do live.
Me: You wrote a lot of the music for your prior album. How many songs on this new album did you write?
Ruthie: I didn't. I think that's just where my head was at the time. I did write some, and I was sitting on a lot of tunes before that but none of them really worked with the theme of this record. Again it really wasn't much of a theme I have been looking at, and looking for. I kinda wanted the record to be about just getting feelings and emotions out. If we had enough of a group of songs to make a record that's great. Yeah, I didn't write much on this one. I didn't write much on the last one either.
Me: How did you decide which songs to cover?
Ruthie: I really began a fan if music, I want just to go back to listening. That's how a lot of these songs came about. I was listening to groups like the Weepies. I've always loved them and Dan and I have just gone and seen them in concert in Austin before we sat and listened to some of their music. That's where the "Forgiven" song really kicked off this album. I wanted to record that song because that's pretty much where I was sitting in my life. Then it kinda broke me open and gave me a chance to do a little more recording with other songs I really liked. I listened to a few more writers in Austin. Grace Pettis had written a lot of great songs. I knew Grace and I knew her dad too. She brought a few songs in that ended up on this record. We just kinda let the songs come to us really as we were recording.
Me: Are you involved in the songs that you cover?
Ruthie: Absolutely. That's important because I'm the one out there singing these every week. Yeah, that's important to me. I want to record the things I want to say, I want to relay, and relate to people. I think even to relate to my own life. I think it's important to be present when it comes to picking the material for my records.
Me: How would you compare this record to the other albums in your career?
Ruthie: This was just done differently. It was done in my home town. I could go home and sleep in my own bed after recording. There was some days after we recorded I would show up for recording and we wouldn't record. I just wasn't in the place to be in front of a microphone and try to interpret a song I didn't write. Some days Dan and I would just sit on the porch and drink coffee and talk about life and our kids and go have lunch and then go home. In that way it was very organic and let me open to whatever needs to happen. It wasn't one of those albums I had to put together or felt like I had to put together in a week because that's all the time I got. My producer with the musicians and too the time off the road to record. I really took my time and really I've gotten used to putting out a record every two years and I really didn't think I was ready to record at all. I didn't see myself putting out another record. In that way the record really was organically because I was not in a place to record at all when Dan and I met.
Me: How did you and Dan meet?
Ruthie: We met through our kids. He was walking his kid around the neighborhood in a stroller. I was at my yard watering the yard, so it just kinda happened that way.
Me: You have been with the label Blue Corn Music for a long time, so I imagine they let you record on your own terms, am I right?
Ruthie: Exactly. I didn't want to be in a place in this music industry, this music business where I felt I had to put out a record. Blue Corn never did that with me, I can't say that about my management. They are here to guide my career, I'm sure they'd love to see my come out with a record every two years. That's what I do love about working with Blue Corn, they never get in the way of what I do, which is really important. Denby Auble, who is the president, I always considered him a friend and very much a partner with what I do.
Me: Derek Trucks plays guitar on the title track on the album, which is cool. I saw him play in concert when he was like 12-years-old. Who else do you have guesting?
Ruthie: We got Willie Weeks on bass on a song. I think it's "Open Sky" he's on. A lot of Austin players, Mr. Warren Hood. Warren Hood is the son of Champ Hood, a lot of folks would know. We've got Joe Vitale on drums who played with Crosby, Stills & Nash and God knows, so many other people. Joe was in the studio working with another artist and we grabbed him to put a few drum tracks down. Gosh, there's so many sweet, sweet spirits that jumped in and really helped us out. Background vocals. The bass player in my band, Larry Fulcher is playing on a couple tunes. I think he's on "War Pigs" and "What Are You Listening To?" I know he's on that. Samantha Banks is playing spoons, she came in and laid down some spoon tracks for "Richland Women Blues." That was fun. I know people love that live and I've never recorded it. I've been doing it live for many years and we finally got to a place and a record where the song really works. I'm really pleased to have a good portion of my band on this record.
Me: Have you had your live band for a long time now?
Ruthie: Yeah, pretty much, I've had known Samantha for about twenty years now. She and I started out in two separate bands. She was in a fusion band and I had a local band in the Brazos Valley region in the Austin area. We've known each other for a long period of time, and played together for about fifteen of those years. Larry came to us maybe about five years ago. He still plays with and travels with the Phantom Blues Band and Taj Mahal. So, we get him when we can. I have another bass player, Tanya Richardson who is my cousin, and she pops in once in a while too. She popped out of the band to drive tricks, she wanted to do her own thing, which I think it's great. So, a lot of the folks I had with me for a long time. They're like family.
Me: I interviewed a few members of the Phantom Blues Band year ago. Anyway, that's cool. Ruthie, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon. Take care.
Ruthie: Thank you, Jason.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Ruthie Foster for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with singer Robbie Dupree. 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