Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pheaturing Phile Alum Laura James

Good evening, and welcome to the Phile for a Thursday. How're you? Many people throw around the age old saying "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." But the 22-year-old Amanda Mills has elevated the game with the new adage "when a dude hits on you, get some free gas." Mills is a Dallas native with a sizable social media following, so when she stunted on a creeper with a short but sweet life hack, she shared her winning moment on Twitter. Basically, Mills was standing in line at the gas station waiting to pay when a dude in line decided to make his move, or at least attempt to. When he called her "cute" she cleverly asked "cute enough for you to fill my tank?!" Much to the luck of her wallet, he obliged and Mills scored a $34 tank of gas. When she shared the exchange on Twitter, lots of women were taking notes. While some of the guys on the thread revealed they'd never dish out a free tank of gas. To be fair, the guy may have redeemed himself from the title "creep" when he purchased the tank of gas and left her to go about the rest of her day. Generally, given how much women are regularly solicited and harassed, any dude who tries to work game at a gas station isn't starting on a hot foot. This story, however, has a happy ending.
Actor Sylvester Stallone and his bodyguard reportedly jointly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in 1986. The actor, now 71, was 40 at the time. The news comes via a police report obtained by the "Daily Mail." The detailed report was filed shortly after the incident. The victim, whose name is omitted from the report, said the assault occurred at a Las Vegas hotel. The 16-year-old was invited to Stallone's hotel room, and they had sex. He then asked her if she had ever had sex with two men at the same time, and his bodyguard Michael "Mike" De Luca, who had been waiting in the bathroom, joined in and sexually assaulted her at the same time as Stallone did. The men reportedly pressured the minor to keep the incident a secret, with Stallone threatening to "beat her head in" if she told anyone. Even though the teenager filed a police report, Stallone did not face much punishment, as she signed a "no prosecution" form. "I'm humiliated and ashamed, but I don't want to prosecute," she reportedly said at the time. You can read the full police report here... TMZ spoke with Stallone's spokeswoman, Michelle Bega, about the rape allegation earlier today. "This is a ridiculous, categorically false story," Bega told TMZ. "No one was ever aware of this story until it was published today, including Mr. Stallone. At no time was Mr. Stallone ever contacted by authorities or anyone else regarding this matter." This is not the only abuse accusation against Sylvester Stallone. As the "Daily Mail" notes, Stallone's half-sister Toni-Ann Filiti accused Stallone of raping and sexually assaulting her in 1987. She threatened to sue her half-brother, but he settled by paying her off before the case went to court. Filiti passed away in 2012.
Sexual misconduct is a bipartisan issue. This morning, TV host Leeann Tweeden has accused Senator Al Franken of sexual misconduct. There's a photo, and it's extremely disturbing.

In 2006, Tweeden and Franken were on a USO Tour to entertain the troops in the Middle East. According to Tweeden, Franken wrote a kiss between the two of them into the script, and insisted they rehearse. "He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable. He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘okay’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth." Oy. And later, on the plane ride home back to Los Angeles, Franken took the disgusting picture while she slept, which she didn't discover until hours later. "I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?" Men, you've had 200,000 years. It's time to put women in charge. Franken has so far resisted on responding to any calls to resign, but has sent his "sincerest apologies" to resign.
As Alabama's Senate candidate and alleged pedophile Roy Moore is cratering in the polls, Bold Champion of Women Ivanka Trump has finally decided to come to the conclusion that pedophilia is bad. In an interview about her efforts to enact tax reform that would drastically cut funding from Medicaid so she wouldn't have to pay taxes on her inheritance, Ivanka bravely stated, "There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts." Couple of things. 1. Her father is an alleged sexual predator who bragged about walking in on teenagers changing. 2. She didn't call on him to drop out of the race, or do anything useful with this information. 3. What took her so long? Stunning and brave.
Speaking of Ray Moore... he has now been accused by a total of nine women of "inappropriate sexual behavior" after a report by the "Washington Post" last week detailed the account of a woman who says the then 32-year-old Moore assaulted her when she was 14. In the wake of the allegations, most of which accuse the politician of sexual advances on teenagers, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Moore to drop out of the race for Alabama Senator. In response, he issued the following tweet. See if you can spot the problem.

Poor choice of words, indeed. It led immediately to that special sound unique to Twitter, the clamoring of thousands of people making the same observation at once. And the Internet screamed back: A legendarily terrible tweet from Moore when you consider the high school cheerleading movie titled, in the exact same words of his tweet, Bring It On. Some commenters were even more brutal about the whole thing, pointing out that the actors in those movies were only playing teens and were probably too old for Moore's liking. One of the stars of Bring It On, Gabrielle Union, herself weighed in Moore's debacle of a tweet.

It's already been broughten.
So, sometimes Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, creates characters for their movies they might have a certain look than they do when the finished product comes out. Like this one for example...

That's a little different, right? Hey, do you like Tic Tac? Have you seen their new slogan?

Ha! Very true. One thing you may not know about me is I like to follow rules, but some people just take it a little bit too far...

Good job, unicycle rider. If I had a TARDIS I'd like to go back to 1945 to see my dad as a kid. But, knowing my luck I'll end up in 1945 and the only kid I'll end up meeting is this kid who was blinded from the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Hmmm. Did I take that too far? Moving on... Hey, do you remember Pete Wentz from 2007? This is him now...

Feel old now? Hahaha. Did I win you back? Hey, parents, if you get a note from your kids teacher I hope it's not like this...

Oh, Demi. So, I accidentally Googled "corgi ship" instead of "cargo ship" and I got this...

Mr. Snacks is soooo cute. So, apparently there once was a time when Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden of Eden, basking in his ever-loving light. Well, I think this next pic proves that time has long gone, and darkness has fallen over the realm of men.

Oh, boy. Ummm... It's Thursday, people, and you know what that means...

Two female workers at a Pennsylvania Proctor & Gamble paper factory regularly brought their lunches to work and stored them in the lunchroom fridge. When it was time to eat, they routinely noticed a funny taste and a small pinhole in the foil lid of their yogurt cups; this happened at least 13 times. Not sure what was going on, their supervisors notified the FBI who set up a hidden camera. That's when it was discovered that Joseph Bartorillo, a co-worker, routinely injected their yogurt packages with his man fluid. Mr. Bartorillo pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Ha! If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Hey, it's time to talk about football with my good friend Jeff...

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. How are you? 

Jeff: Always glad to be back here on the Phile! 

Me: This is a sad story which I have to mention... 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin scored his first touchdown of the season, an 83-yard catch, Sunday against the Giants and broke down with emotion in the end zone soon after. Did you hear why? No one did at first but Goodwin and his wife Morgan lost their newborn son that morning at 4 am due to complications with the pregnancy, announcing the news with an Instagram post shortly after the game. 

Jeff: Yeah, I did hear about Goodwin's emotional touchdown. That's what is great about sports sometimes, it can heal things. It's incredibly sad but I'm glad that he was able to have that moment. It's one that I'm sure he will never ever forget! 

Me: Speaking of the 49ers... they celebrated their first win of the season like they just won the Super Bowl. It was like watching someone win the Special Olympics. Hahaha. Do you think I'm bitter? 

Jeff: You? Bitter? Nah! But just remember how it felt when the Giants had their first win of the season? Their only win of the season? So can you blame the 49ers? So this leaves just the Browns as the only team in the NFL to not win a game. So hey, you have that going for you. You're not a Browns fan! 

Me: Have you heard about this? The NFL owners are discussing taking the Cowboys franchise away from Jerry Jones? Why do you think that is and do you think it'll happen? 

Jeff: Yes, I heard about Jerry Jones. I honestly hope that they do. The man thinks he is bigger than the NFL. Basically, the owners are talking about extending the contract of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Due to the ongoing issues with Ezekial Elliott who is finally serving his six game suspension, Jerry Jones is threatening to sue if Goodell's contract is extended. He isn't threatening to sue the NFL, he's threatening to sue individual owners! Talk about a bloated ego! 

Me: So, what other NFL news do you have? 

Jeff: Honestly? The Jerry Jones story is the biggest thing coming out of this weekend's games. Adrian Clayborn is not a name most people know, but he got a little more famous on Sunday night. He's a linebacker for the Falcons and he sacked Dax Prescott not once, not three times, not five times but he got six sacks on one game! It had only been done once before. 

Me: Hey, Disney has taken over another team... 

Me: What do you think? 

Jeff: Mel Gibson would be proud of that! I think that's supposed to be John Smith anyway. 

Me: Yep. Okay, Giants lost... blah blah fucking blah. How did we do, Jeff? 

Jeff: Oh? Did the Giants lose? AGAIN. To a bad team? BADLY. And did the Steelers win? Against a bad team? Barely? Yes they did! We both went 1-1 in our picks this week though. But my gain has expended by a point thanks to the Steeler win. 

Me: Ugh. Okay, let's pick... I say Cowboys by 4 and Saints by 3. What do you say? 

Jeff: My pick is the Packers by 3 and Eagles by 7. 

Me: Cool. Okay, next Thursday is Thanksgiving (and my birthday) so there won't be an entry that day. So, I'll see you back here next Wednesday. Have a good week, Jeff. 

Jeff: Happy early birthday!

So, the Roy Moore allegations are troubling Trump and I think we know why. Just in case we don't I invited someone to the Phile who could explain it. So, please welcome once again to the Phile...

Me: So, Sarah, today at the White House press briefing, reporter James Rosen of Fox News (whoa!) asked you why the sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore are "troubling," but why the official position is that all the women accusing Trump of harassment are lying liars. A typical, political bulshitting response, but fascinating to get it on the record, and by a Fox News guy, no less. This wasn't the only time Moore came up in the briefing. Asked approximately eight times, you wouldn't say that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, condemns alleged pedophile Roy Moore. Almost as fun as his refusal to disavow Nazis who marched chanting his name, Trump won't even show as much political bravery as a Ted Cruz (!!!) and say something like "These allegations are credible, Roy Moore is bad, he shouldn't be in the Senate, or even in the race." 

Sarah: We're still taking the "woah if true" line of thinking. 

Me: While this string of words might seem satisfactory at face value, it's what's missing that's important. You, Sarah, like jazz, is all about the notes you don't play.

Sarah: Why? Because I didn't say something strong and definitive like "Moore should leave the race," or even a statement like Ivanka's that says that he believed the women. I declined to answer if Moore is a "creep," because you can't determine that from afar. 

Me: Plus, you were asked about the many (sixteen to exact) allegations against Trump himself, and was typically word salad-y about it. 

Sarah: Jason, the White House hasn't caught on with the rest of the Republicans, who have withdrawn their endorsements for the man who has been banned from the Gadsden Mall for creeping on young ladies. 

Me: People are surprised that the president is sitting this one out. Not being a voter in a particular state never stopped Trump from sharing his opinion before. 

Sarah: Hell, Jason, nothing has ever stopped President Trump from sharing his opinion before. 

Me: Ha! He and Moore must have an "alleged sexual abuser Bro Code" or something. Thanks, Sarah, this was rather stupid. Hahaha. Sarah Huckleberry Sanders, boys and girls. That was so stupid. And now for...

I never liked the fact that images are square or rectangle but camera lenses are circular. 

Because Donald Trump seems hell-bent on undoing Barack Obama's legacy, Trump has decided to reverse an elephant hunting trophy ban Obama enacted in 2014. But hating Obama isn't the only reason Trump's lifting the ban. He's got two other reasons, namely his big game hunter sons Eric and Donald Jr. Elephants are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. There are only about 350,000 elephants left (spread across 18 African countries), according to the Great Elephant Census. They're also one of the smartest and most empathetic species on Earth. Overturning the ban means that now hunters who collect "trophies" from the elephants they kill in Zimbabwe and Zambia (but not Nambia) are allowed to bring them back to the U.S. Trump's decision is heinous, but hey, what can he do, his kids love hunting. During a press conference Trump held while still campaigning, he said, "My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment. But my sons are hunters, Eric is a hunter and I would say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf. My other son, Don, is a hunter. They're great marksman, great shots, they love it." Yes, this is just what the Rust Belt has been demanding. Donald Trump may not fulfill all his campaign promises, but at least he's making sure that Obama's legacy is undone and that elephants should needlessly die so people can hang their severed body parts on the wall. 

Liz Smith 
February 2nd, 1923 — November 12th, 2017 
Word going around the Hollywood party scene has it that a "kinda journalist" with the initials L.S.  may not be "off the market" for good!

Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum whose book "Safari Pug" is the 69th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome back to the Phile... Laura James.

Me: Laura, welcome back to the Phile. How are you? 

Laura: I’m very well, thank you! 

Me: Your new book "Safari Pug" is the 69th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Your last book "Cowboy Pug" was also in the Phile's Book Club. “Safari Pug" is the third in the Pug series, right? 

Laura: Yes, “Safari Pug’ is the third in the series. I’m very honoured it gets pheatured in the Phile’s Book Club... thank you! 

Me: You don't actually own a pug though, do you? I have to say pugs are my favorite dogs but there's two facts about them that I am not sure you touch on in the books... one is that they fart a lot and the other is their eyes pop out sometimes. Have you heard of those facts? They are the coolest looking dogs though. 

Laura: Pugs are wonderful dogs. I’m not sure that they fart more than other dogs! I have two wire-haired dachshunds and they are known to break wind from time to time (sorry dogs... but you do!). I’ve heard about the eye thing too but I don’t think it is a common occurrence. It sounds like an urban myth to me. Pugs are full of character and very loving. They are indeed very cool. 

Me: Anyway, what is "Safari Pug" about, Laura? How does he get to go on a safari? 

Laura: Well, it starts off with Pug’s owner, Lady Miranda, having a nightmare involving a lion. Of course she says that it was Pug who was frightened, not her. She suggests that Pug needs to get over his phobia and they head for the safari park. Pug and Lady Miranda tend to travel about in a sedan chair, carried by her two footmen, so you can imagine how that goes down in a safari park. It turns out they can be quite dangerous places if you’re a pug. 

Me: Does the book have the same characters as the others? 

Laura: The usual cast of Pug, his young owner, Lady Miranda, her housekeeper Wendy, and her footmen Will and Liam are there as always. They also get to make some new friends, many of them animals, and they meet the not-so-nice Arlene von Bling, a minor television personality who likes to steal… 

Me: Did this book take as long as the others to write or are they coming easier now? 

Laura: The first book, “Captain Pug” took the longest, mainly because I was building the world in which Pug and Lady Miranda live. The second book, “Cowboy Pug” and now “Safari Pug” were a lot easier to write. I feel like I know the characters really well now and that makes writing their adventures a lot easier. 

Me: So, have you ever been on a safari? I've been on a few... at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Haha. Would you ever go on a safari? 

Laura: Animal Kingdom... that’s a start! A few years ago I was lucky enough to trek through the Rift Valley in Kenya. We got to meet the orphaned elephants that live in a sanctuary outside Nairobi and went to the Giraffe Manor, which was fabulous. I’d love to spend more time in Africa. 

Me: Do you like to travel, Laura? 

Laura: I do and I’d love to do more. 

Me: You live in England... Bath, right? What’s your favorite thing about living there? 

Laura: I live near Bath, which is famous for being a beautiful Georgian city. Where I live is quite rural. I live in a cottage belonging to a nearby estate. It’s all very "Downton Abbey"! 

Me: I don't know if I told you this before, but I went to Bath once... there was a cool comic book shop there. You don't really read comics, do you? 

Laura: I have to say, I’ve never come across the comic book shop in Bath. I’ll have to see if I can find it, next time I’m in town. Comic books, as you’ve correctly guessed, are not really my thing. 

Me: So, your books are sold all over the world... I hope not in France though. Hahahaha. They can have their on French bulldog or poodle series. Anyway, your books have been translated in different languages, am I right? Does that make you laugh? 

Laura: I would love the books to come out in France! Especially as the illustrator, the amazing Eglantine Ceulemans lives there. One day, hopefully. It is very exciting to think of Pug travelling the globe and getting to go to places I’ve never visited. 

Me: I like the translated titles... “El Cowboy Pug," and "El Capitan Pug," Do you get a lot of reactions about the books from other countries, Laura? 

Laura: I know! I love "El Cowboy" and "El Capitan" too. Our Spanish publisher is amazing. They give me feedback although I haven’t heard directly from a Spanish reader yet. I was thrilled, really early on, when I received a message on my Facebook page from a girl in Australia who had dressed as Captain Pug for World Book Day. She looked adorable! 

Me: Awe. Do you see the books as being very “British"? 

Laura: I supposed in many ways the Pug books are quite British but the themes of the books are universal. Friendship and loyalty are very important in Pug’s world and there’s always plenty to laugh about. 

Me: Do you hear from American readers at all? 

Laura: I do! It's so exciting. The first book, “Captain Pug” came out in the U.S. in March and “Cowboy Pug” comes out next month. Some kids have done reviews on YouTube, they're very entertaining. 

Me: Okay... so, speaking of America... I have been talking to a few book store chains such as Books A Million and Barnes and Noble about you doing singings over here. I think Books A Million is very promising. They are getting back to me soon. 

Laura: You’re amazing! That is definitely something I’d like to do one day. 

Me: Also, have you ever thought about the books being turned into a children's series? I say we go to California and pitch. I will help you anyway I can. 

Laura: Ah, yes, Hollywood! Of course I think about it. I’m a big dreamer, like Lady Miranda. 

Me: Do you ever get requests for Pug merch? 

Laura: Yes, a few people have mentioned it. How adorable would it be to have a Pug?! You’d have to be able to change his outfits... especially hats, he’s big on hats. 

Me: Okay, so, I am sure you are working on another Pug book. Are you? 

Laura: I have just submitted “Pirate Pug” which will come out in the U.K. towards the end of next year. 

Me: Every book you come out with I will feature on the blog. I promise. 

Laura: Thank you, thank you! 

Me: Laura, tell the readers where you can get the books... I have to say thanks for the signed books you sent me. I hope this was as fun as the last time you were here. Take care, keep in touch and mention your websites. Take care. 

Laura: Pug’s adventures are available in all good book shops and online. Also, take a look at my website where you can download Pug activity sheets for free... Thank you so much, Jason. It has indeed been loads of fun. 

Me: Cool. I'll have you back here soon. 

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and Laura James. The Phile will be back on Sunday from Clermont Comic Con with Phile Alum Richard Rivera, creator and writer of the comic "Stabbity Bunny." 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

Monday, November 13, 2017

Pheaturing Declan McKenna

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Pedophilia should be a non-partisan issue, but 2017 is a horrible, bad year. Last night, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter attempted to defend Roy Moore, an Alabama Senate hopeful accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, by comparing him to the late John F. Kennedy. In the tweet, Coulter "informs" Democrats that JFK had an affair with a 19-year-old woman while married, as if this information would make everyone go, "Oh! It's okay for grown men to sexually pursue young girls now!" Well, the tweet backfired spectacularly. Mostly because, and say this with me folks, PEDOPHILIA IS ILLEGAL. Having an affair with a much younger ADULT woman, though kinda skeevy, is not. In the United States, the age of consent is anywhere between 16-18, and varies by state. Darn. Looks like JFK just lost a ton of votes! Too bad. Seriously, Ann. What the hell did you think would happen when you tweeted this nonsense?
Speaking of... The Vermont single serving coffee company Keurig officially pulled their ads from airing during the Sean Hannity show, after he defended Republican senate candidate Roy Moore from sexual misconduct allegations from four different women. During the interview, Moore claimed innocence and vaguely referenced seeing "lots of young women" when he was young, but denied the allegations that he fondled a 14-year-old when he was 32-years-old. In Moore's defense, Hannity suggested the women's accounts could be politically motivated. "So, there’s politics in all of this. Then you have false allegations that are made, and you know... how do you determine? It’s he said, she said. I just... I don’t know how you find out the truth," said Hannity. He also went on to suggest that Moore “deserves the presumption of innocence” and that “none of us know the truth." Following his cringe-worthy defense of Moore, Keurig, and Eloquii decided to pull their ads from his show. Needless to say, Hannity fans aren't taking the decision lightly and have decided to take their anger out on Keurig. There are an alarming amount of adult humans out there who are so angry a mediocre coffee company pulled ads from Hannity they have started a hashtag... #BoycottKeurig.
Can you imagine if they were this angry about grown men preying on teenagers?! That would be a better world indeed, but I'm not holding my breath. I appreciate the emphasis on "misbegotten." Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of people on the hashtag responding to the anti-Keurig rage with accolades for the brand's decision. In some cases, people are straight up roasting the theatrics. In a perfect world, we'll all join hands in our joint hatred towards mediocre coffee AND child molesters. Until then, this hashtag adds a ridiculous dose of levity to an otherwise heavy newscycle.
According to a recent article from "Daily Mail," the "Smallville" actress Allison Mack is a key recruiter for the terrifying sex cult known as DOS. The cult title stands for "dominus obsequious sororium” which is Latin for “master over the slave women." The members of DOS are composed of the highest ranking women from the self-help group NXIVM, which is a larger cult targeting women. Just last month the "New York Times" did a chilling report on NXIVM, which reveals that women are regularly branded with cauterizing rods, placed on starvation diets, and forced to recruit more "sex slaves." The group was founded by the human hellscape Keith Raniere who allegedly recruits women through the model of a "self-help" group and then traps them in a cult where they're required to have sex with him. What in the living fuck? To make matters (somehow) more terrifying, a Wednesday report from "The Sun" reveals accusations that Mack, the actress most known for playing Clark Kent's bff Chloe Sullivan, is one of the main recruiters. A former spokesman for the group, Frank Parlato, told "The Sun," “If it was just Raniere by himself he would persuade almost no one but he has all these women to induct and hypnotize new women... so you are not just indoctrinated by him but a group of other women... one of them is a well known TV actress so she has influence over them. They induct the women into this secret group by telling them it is an all women’s group... they don’t tell the women that Raniere is actually in charge." According to Parlato, the cult is marketed as a women's empowerment group, thus Raniere's reliance on women to recruit other women. Then, as part of the joining process, women are brainwashed into divulging nudes or financial collateral as a way of blackmailing them to feel trapped. Once part of the cult, women are allegedly encouraged to recruit other women into their "slave pods," stop dating altogether, and be available 24/7 to their master. Essentially, it's a massively organized abusive relationship. Parlato shares that he was fired after Raniere discovered him investigating the cult's financial records, and he's currently caught in a legal battle. I sincerely hope all of these women get free. This is fucking terrifying.
As is often the case with Donald Trump Jr.'s tweets, our big boy GOB Trump tried to seem all macho and cool only to reveal how sad(!) his existence is. Yesterday, in honor of the anniversary of the Trumpocalypse, Trump Jr. shared a personalized card from his dad that is hardly personal at all.

"Great Job! Thanks"?! If that's all he got in his childhood too it explains so much. People were laughing at the cold greeting he scored from his dad. A few things are off about this. Why does the design seem so incoherent? Why is the order of the date the European "8 November" instead of the American "November 8"? What happened to America First? Is it for Russia? But hey, at least he got the date right this time. It's also funny because these map photos conveniently ignore little things like the popular vote and population density. Who knows what the world would look like today if Donald Trumps Jr. and Sr. got enough love from their fathers.
Tiffany & Co is a pretty ubiquitous brand, with their signature color and heart-shaped necklaces. But the jewelry company is apparently seeking world domination and has expanded further into home decor. REALLY EXPENSIVE home decor, under the line Everyday Objects. Here are some items that especially stand out for being ridiculously overpriced. $95 paper cups, made from bone china. Normal people price: $2 for a pack of 20, or the cost of the guilt you'll feel when stealing paper cups from your office. $1,000 tin can. Normal people price: $0 because who buys tin cans??? Use an empty soup can. $1,500 off-brand LEGOs Normal people price: maybe $4 since this set only includes 10 pieces and I have no idea how much LEGOs cost. $9,000 ball of yarn. Normal people price: $9-30. Imagine a room filled with yarn. That's how much yarn you could buy for this price. Sadly, Tiffany is only selling five of these balls of money. $425 protractor. Normal people price: $5, but the price of being that obnoxious spoiled kid who pulls out a designer protractor in third grade is priceless.

So, ever go to a public restroom and see something that you thought was kinda weird? Check this shit out...

WTF? So, I went to the book store the other day and realized something... they don't write books like this anymore...

Hahaha. Parents, I hope you don't get a note like this sent home from your kids teacher...

I once in third grade got in trouble for drawing a gorilla with a penis because I was dared by the other kids in the class. My mum was piiiisssssseeeeeddddd. So, the other day I wanted to Google "drug smuggler" for a certain reason and I accidentally Googled "drug smuggler" and looked what I found...

I try and follow rules as much as I can but some people take it just a little bit too far...

Hahahahahaha. The other day Melania Trump tried calligraphy during the Trumps' trip to Japan, as I said on the last Phile and I don't think she did quite well...

So, once in awhile Disney, the greatest company to work for ever, sometimes experiments with different looks for their characters. I don't know who these two are... but they look odd...

People here in Florida try to get away with crazy saying on their license plates... like this one...

So, if I had a TARDIS I would love to go back in time and meet Eisenhower but knowing my luck I'll end up with him and Patton examining stolen artwork in a Nazi mine.

So, I have to say one of the best things about the Internet is you can see porn easily and free. That's not good though if someone is reading this blog and gets bored and decides porn is a lot better. It is, but that's besides the point. Anyway, I thought I can show you a porn pic here so you don't have to go and look at porn on another site. But then I thought you might be at work and I don't want you to get in trouble. So, I came up with a solution. Check it out...

You're welcome. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Trump Is Doing In China Today
5. Admiring all the Trump-brand shots and ties rolling off a sweatshop loading dock.
4. Demanding to be introduced to this General Two guy he's heard so much about.
3. Casually admitting that until 20 minutes go, he thought China and Japan were the same country.
2. Pulling his eyelids taut and making buck teeth, a show of respect.
And the number one thing Trump is doing in China today...
1. Touting the fact that not a single Mexican has ever scaled the Great Wall.

Ha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, do you know what's best? Lemme tell you...

Roofer Gary McKenzie, 22, is accused of farting on a child's face. He denies the charge, saying its “disgusting and disgraceful.” He has also been charged with punching the boy in the arm and sucking his eye while play fighting. The official charge sheet states that McKenzie “willfully ill-treated the child, namely by breaking wind in his face, in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health contrary to section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.” McKenzie says he was simply “playing” and claims the only farting episode he knew of had been accidental while climbing stairs. In a police interview played to the court, the boy related the horrors of his ordeal. “He was right next to me and bending down; he was wearing shorts; his shorts were right next to my face. I said ‘why did you do that?' and he said he did it because he wanted to be nasty.” The boy said McKenzie was a serial fart attacker and that he had seen him do the same to another boy. “He pulled his pants down and farted right on their face. I knew he had because I heard the noise.” Okay, maybe in some cases it isn't the best.

So, with all these sexual harassment stories coming out I wondered if a friend of the Phile ever encountered that. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

With everyone coming forward lately with their tales of sexual abuse/harassment/assault, many of you have asked if I had ever been either victim or perpetrator during my time as a singer. The answer is no... other than being "hit on" in a casual way by men and women who claimed they could help my career. I never experienced it from a victim's standpoint. I never was a perpetrator either... I may have slept with a few women who threw themselves at me because I was lead singer of a band... but I never forced myself on any of them and always turned down such advances by women I felt were too drunk to make rational decisions. Translation... I was a bastard but not a RAT bastard. I was however the victim of molestation by a family friend when I was all of 13-years-old. Her name was Andrea and she was a friend of my mother's when she was a kid. In fact, she introduced my parents and used to babysit for me when I was a baby. She came over one night while my mother was tending bar and asked if she could come in. When I said mom was at work... she said, "I know, I'm here to see you." So I let this tall, curvy woman in (who looked like Loni Anderson) and she asked if we had any beer. I got her one out of the fridge... by then, she had walked upstairs. I followed and found her standing in the doorway of my mother's bedroom naked. She told me to get myself a beer and lit up a joint... I'll skip the details of how I lost my virginity over the following five hours... but I will say that I was a willing participant to what went on between myself and a woman 16 years my senior. When all was said and done and I was laying in bed next to this woman, the phone rang... It was my mom. I picked up and said hello. Mom said, "Put Andrea on the phone." Shocked by this, I covered the phone and said, "It's mom... she wants to talk to YOU." Andrea took the phone and said, "Hey, babe... how's your night going? Yeah, everything went well over here... see you later, sweetie." I asked Andrea what the fuck that was all about and she said this... "Your mom said I could be your first and take your virginity if I paid off her hundred and twenty dollar bar tab at the King George Pub." Yes... my own mother sold the virginity of her 13-year-old son for $120. Yes... it fucked me up in many ways. Yes... this and many other reasons are why I haven't spoken to my piece of shit mother in 30 years. Yes... my father found out about it, drove to Andrea's place, kicked in her door, put a gun to her head and told her to be out of town within 24 hours. She left in 12 hours and never returned. Kinda gives you an insight into why I am... what I am... as well as why I have little tolerance for stupidity from arrogant women and why my closest friends are all beautiful women. Have a nice day...

Ummm. wow. Thanks for sharing that, Laird. Okay, the 69h book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author will be on the Phile on Thursday.

President Trump gives... interesting handshakes.Whether he is pulling French president Emmanuel Macron in for a painfully awkward 30-second handshake, or making Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giggle with his aggressive grip, the President likes to make a statement with his handshakes. But while visiting the Philippines for the Association for Southeast Asian Nations conference (ASEAN), the Trump really struggled to nail the traditional ASEAN handshake.You see, the handshake is done in a chain, with all participants crossing arms and linking hands in a giant circle. Our president couldn't quite the hang of it at first, and once he did, he painfully grimaced through the entire thing...

Yeah, that was awkward. First he tried to grab Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with two hands... Then he realized he left Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte hanging on the other side.  Yeah, he didn't look too comfortable being all tangled up. But honestly, this is maybe the least embarrassing thing President Trump has done this week.

Today's pheatured guest is an English singer, songwriter and musician whose debut album
"What Do You Think About the Car?" was released this past summer. Please welcome to the Phile... Declan McKenna.

Me: Hey, Declan, it's great to have you here on the Phile. I first heard about you when you were on the TV show "Conan" over here in the states. I have to show a screen shot of you when you were on that show...

Me: How are you?

Declan: Thanks. It was fun doing "Brazil" on "Conan." I was so nervous.

Me: Well, you were great. I love the album, Declan. I love the song "Humongous" that opens the album... not many songs or people use that word. What was the inspiration on that song?

Declan: "Humongous" is my favorite one on the record mostly because it's the most recent one I wrote. I wrote it so close to the deadline when I was supposed to finish the album. It kinda just happened when I was at home sitting and playing my guitar, messing around with some chords. I think I was listening to Abba or something and I was messing around with chord progressions. It was written with a big chorus, something I'd want to shout and put a lot of energy into it when I do it live. It started going that way when I started writing the lyrics as well, it started to come together like powerful and progressive but not like fast pace or anything, just putting a lot of power with a few words. It's not overly wordy, but I was happy making that, it seemed to go in the right direction as well considering it was the last one I wrote.

Me: You have a lot of background vocals in your songs, Declan. Do you write those as well or does that happen when you're in the studio?

Declan: Depends. Sometimes it'll start with an "ooh" and an "ahh" or whatever. It could almost be the first thing I think of but other times it'll be like main melody and when I get into the studio what I like to do is try harmonies. I'm not particularly into perfect harmonies and that sort of thing. It really just depends on the song.

Me: The album is called "What Do You Think About the Car?" which comes from the little piece of audio that opens the album. Is that a recording from when you were a kid?

Declan: I was four-years-old and it's from a video my sister was filming outside my grandma's house. She just got a new car and she turns to me as I walked up the driveway and she went, "Dec, what do you think of the car? Do you like it?" And I was like, "Yeah, it's really good and now I'm gonna sing my new album now." And I start singing. I think I was singing like a Boston song or something. I felt like for my first album it kinda made sense. It's my first reference to making an album. It also is like I feel the album came from my family and people around me. That sort of what inspired a lot of the stuff on the album. It kinda inspires me to keep doing what I'm doing and it just felt like a nice thing to do. And my sister got on the album so... hahaha.

Me: Where did you find that audio, Declan? It's nice you had it.

Declan: Yeah. The only reason I was able to find it was because a couple of years ago we made a birthday video for my dad with a lot of home videos and my sister put that one on there. We didn't find the original tape but we did manage to get that little clip out of my dad's birthday video.

Me: That's cool. You're from England, right? What part?

Declan: Hertfordshire, but I went to school in Cheshunt.

Me: Ahhh. Cool. I love the song "Make Me Your Queen." You must be singing about someone in mind, right?

Declan: Haha. That's actually the second last one I made. It was written about the same time as "Humongous" and recorded in the same session so it has a bit of continuity. It was inspired between Abba and George Harrison I think. I kinda wanted to make like a post truth serum love anthem. It's like an anti-love song to the politically elite. It was kinda pretentious like that. LOL. I didn't really know what it was gona be but it kinda came together from parts of other different songs. I turned these country love song lyrics into something a bit sarcastic and a little bit of satirical or something like that. I was trying not to take myself to seriously with it. It's a song that kinda touches itself to something that is a little bit serious and a little bit humorous. It was an interesting writing process on that one. I wrote it pretty much in an hour or two like once I got all the ideas together.

Me: Okay, so, what comes first, the lyrics or the music?

Declan: Ummm... it depends on the song. Sometimes the lyrics comes out seconds after the track with melodies and stiff. Sometimes the lyrics are the motif. I start off with a couple of words, but don't have a tune. It's like where I'm gonna start the song from. Sometimes I go into something that is already made and make it a little different. So, yeah, it's like I like to spend a lot of time on lyrics but that's not always where I start or where I end. It's like it really, really doesn't matter.

Me: Do you work with a band when you record or just when you perform? On "Conan" you didn't have a band.

Declan: I haven't written anything or recorded anything with the band other than love versions and stuff. With the recording of the actual album there was no involvement with the band. I had though of trying to do it... I think maybe it'll help with the live show a bit if we sort out what we were doing than just having a song recorded and trying to create it. As for the majority of the album it was myself and James Ford, and Jimmy his engineer as well who were working on everything. In between they learnt how to play all the parts and stuff so it just worked out a lot easier to do it that way. There weren't a lot of people sitting around waiting to do something. There was a lot of experimentation going on sonically like with what we were doing. A lot of the demos were quote raw, quite like we could go one way or another with this. Having too many cooks might've been a negative thing for this first release. It would be of been quite fluttered and all over the place.

Me: Like I said, when you were on "Conan" you were alone with just a loop pedal, or whatever it was called. Did you start out performing that way?

Declan: Yeah, yeah. After awhile I wasn't a fan of doing the loop pedal thing just because I wanted too perform and jump around and doing all the stuff I saw my favourite bands doing. I was kinda confined to a big stage or whatever. It's cool, when I started out I didn't have anyone to work with or wanted to do music full time. It's just as well as I wasn't signed to a major record label and could pay for musicians. LOL. It's something I did, but I do sometimes think about pulling it back out... not like that. Haha. I haven't really done that yet with the band. But we'll see what happens.

Me: Did you start young playing guitar? What am I talking about, you are young now. Haha. But you know what I mean.

Declan: Yeah, I always wanted to play electric guitar. It was just at my school, you can basically learn classical acoustic guitar or you can learn the flute. So, once I got fifty or sixty quid I went to Cash Converters and I brought a Squire Stratocaster guitar and I just tried to learn stuff on my own. Eventually that guitar got stolen from my conservatory but I sort of always had my guitar as the main instrument. But more and more I've been writing on piano. It's sort of different, mostly because I don't know much about the piano so I will accidentally play things and think that's really good. It's nice to write with something I don't have that much knowledge about.

Me: You've been writing songs for actually a long time, right?

Declan: Yeah. A really long time to be honest. I've been writing songs forever, it's like when I was really, really young, like six or seven, I had a band with my sister and two of my cousins and we sort of wrote songs and performed them in the living room. You know, stuff like that, I think a lot of kids do, but I think I was one that never really got out of that phase. Haha. I just kept doing it.

Me: You had a musical upbringing like I did, right?

Declan: Yeah, yeah, most of my siblings did, and my parents as well. All were kinda arty. My dad plays guitar and my mum plays keys, the flute and sings and stuff. My oldest brother played electric guitar so I was kinda brought up around music.

Me: Who were your musical influences growing up, or now, Declan?

Declan: Bowie and Ray Davis. I saw Ray Davis before I really appreciated them as much as I do. I was only ten and saw Bob Dylan, Ray Davis... it was like crazy. Thinking about that now, if I can go back and see that show again. After awhile I become a fan of the Kinks and that sort of era. I'm a big fan.

Me: On the album there's a song called "Isombard." What is that?

Declan: That was a song I wrote on piano in a piano room in my school. Around the school there were inspiring quotes and one was like a Martin Luther King quote where it said, "If we can't run, then we'll walk. If you can't walk, then we'll crawl." I kept singing that in my head and got on the piano and went over and over it and recorded it with my phone. Then when I got home I sort of structured it and out that line over it. As far as that word, it was sort of written as a character. I had that bit of the song where it sort of goes "Isombard." I spelt it wrong when I initially made the demo and I looked it up and it was spelt differently. I just kept it with the spelling mistake because I just preferred the way to was spelt now... so...

Me: Did you write all the songs on this album alone?

Declan: Ten of the songs on the album were written by me alone. The last one "Listen to Your Friends" I co-wrote.

Me: What was it like writing with somebody?

Declan: It was weird and quite long. It was my first time co-writing with somebody. It was with someone I looked up to musically. It was a strange feeling at first but once I got used to it we came out with a song I really love. I'll be interested in doing it a bit more but I like kinda writing on my own because I feel like I'm not pressured or that sort of thing. I think I came out of it with a better thought process. 

Me: Do you like being on tour, being so young, and seeing so many cool places?

Declan: Yeah. I'd just love to spend more time in places I get to. A lot of times I play then I'm off straight away. I don't get to see the city or the nightlife or whatever. Going from show to show is not an experience to draw from so I'm trying to wake up a bit earlier and see a bit more of places when I get a free minute, but sometimes I get so exhausted on the road.

Me: Some of your songs are politically charged songs. Do you have a list of issues you like to write about?

Declan: Yeah. LOL. One question I often get asked is "what are you gonna write about next?" I don't know. There's really not like a check list I go through. It's just if I do write something kinda political I'll see what is on the news or I'll pass something in the street. It's just if I see something or hear something, or someone will say something and I'm like okay, I'm gonna write about this. Or if I start to write a song about said topic it just kinda happens if I write something on the personal side of things.

Me: I love the spoken section in "Listen to Your Friends." That's so cool. Did you write that down on paper as a kind of monologue first? How did you come up with that?

Declan: It's actually a good story on how I wrote that. I was co-writing that song and we made like a chat but it was structured properly. I was playing it over and over and I got the train into London one of those days to go see my friends and I saw someone reading an article... it was basically about parents taking their kids on holiday term time and complaining how much of an issue this was. It kinda stems from that, but it was awhile ago and I was on a train and I got fined because one of the workers at one station said I can go through because my car wasn't working and I was really angry, and I was like taking the piss about double standards I experienced. When I got back I was like cool, I like this.

Me: And what about "Paracetamol"? What is that song about?

Declan: It's kinda dark, but I tried to make it kinda positive with a positive message. I feel like when a subject matter often touch something in a negative light it's already bad. It's about when people try to commit suicide and parental or authority figures in their life force them to go into antihypertensive therapy. I think kinda hearing about that stuff is still round, still happening today in this day and age, I was like it just struck me and was one of those things I had to write about it. I didn't really expect anyone to hear that song, but it felt powerful to me, and I wanted to speak out against the wrong doings in the world, and not over step the line in what I talk about in songs so...

Me: It's very topical, Declan. I don't know about the U.K. as I haven't been there in the years, but in the U.S. that is kinda going on now.

Declan: Yeah, especially with that topic where we have transponders in the bathroom and all this stuff going around it and it's very backwards and confusing the way stuff is going on in America but I think things often in the world do get worse before they get better. The thing for me is not dropping the cause but being persistent with it. Which I think people around the world are doing now. There's been a lot of confessing and a lot of people speaking out. We haven't seen such numbers in recent years so I think it's exciting in that sense.

Me: Before you go I have to ask you about the song "Brazil," which is the one you did on "Conan." That was your first single, right?

Declan: Yeah, it was one I wrote for the album. I was about fifteen and it was the summer of 2014 I think when the World Cup was happening and I just saw a lot of things around with Internet information about a lot of corruption and bad negative things going on around the Brazil World Cup. It kinda happened very quickly... I had this guitar part where I sort of worked the melody quite easily in. I wrote to pretty quickly once I realized what I was writing about. Yeah, I guess I wanted to write against the corruption in this FIFA organization. Making a lot of money but not doing anything for the poor local people that are generally poorer then the FIFA executives need more money. There was all these bad things going on around it getting into the song and there were a lot of bad things sort of happening at once.

Me: So, are you working on the next album yet, Declan?

Declan: Yeah, definitely, I've got loads of good ideas. I think I'm gonna do something with more conviction. I don't know, I haven't thought about it too much.

Me: Cool. Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Declan. You're gonna be huge.

Declan: Cheers. Lovely to talk to you, Jason.

Me: Thanks so much, Declan.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Declan McKenna. Before I go I have to mention a friend and fan of the Phile named Steven Wolther passed away from a  seizure. His funeral is today in New Jersey and I wish I could be there. I last saw him last year when he visited me at work at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You will be missed, Steven. Okay... the Phile will be back on Thursday with Phile Alum Laura James. 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