Wednesday, March 29, 2023

New Recording!: "Has Anyone Seen Mitchell?"

I once worked at a business where the managers all used fake names (they were Russian and wanted to sound American), and I found that amusing, so I wrote a song with their fake names in it.  They worked pretty hard because they were materialistic, but as they were later to find out, to a degree anyway (I don't know that the lesson completely took), materialism is ultimately a dead end (from what I hear, after I left, it all ended in tears as they sued one another).  You can always make more money; you can never make more time.  So this song is a carpe diem, take time to sniff the flowers one.  You can hear the demo and read what I wrote it about here.  For the rerecording, I had fun with a Peanuts toy keyboard and the usual voice, guitar, keyboard as bass (non-toy one), and drums.

Thanks to The Tinnitist for featuring "Bomb The Bombs" on a recent playlist!

For more Wred Fright music, listen to the Yeast? 7"!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

City Council Cartooning


I've lived in my city three years now and figured it was about time I attended a city council meeting.  It was probably better than whatever was on television that evening, but it wasn't exactly exciting.  Still, it's a civic duty to keep an eye on government once in a while; otherwise, they'll get up to all sorts of mischief.  It seemed like the main work was done before I arrived, and the official meeting was mainly a formality where they'd vote rapidfire.  Mostly, it was groupthink at play because they all agreed on what they were voting for, except for approving the minutes when one council member abstained.  Overall, they seemed like a dutiful group of folks, though, like most local governments, they were overly involved in other people's business (much of the meeting was based around telling people how they could build their buildings--the anarchist/libertarian streak in me made my scratch my head; short of making sure a building doesn't collapse, let people design their buildings how they want).  They even had a section of the meeting open to the public.  Nobody had any comments that night, but there were only some city administration in attendance, me, one woman who had a business or something where she needed a zoning variance, one man who was pissed off apparently from the earlier meeting and stuck around to glower at the council the rest of the evening, and one other woman who probably either was a volunteer for The League Of Women Voters or a newspaper reporter (she seemed to be taking notes) there (yes, Americans get the democracy our lazy asses deserve).  I myself took very few notes, but I did do some sketching, which gave me a great idea.  I mean why pay for a model in your art class or pay a few bucks to attend a Dr. Sketchy event in a bar (admittedly, there's alcohol and the subjects being sketched are probably better looking) when you could just get some free models at the city council meeting?  I mean drawing essentially a series of old, white men isn't the most exciting sketch subject matter in the world (arguably, a bowl of fruit still life might be more interesting just for the color variation), but you can't beat the price for life drawing!  Plus if you take notes as well, then you can send your notes to the community newspaper, so the rest of the community has an independent report of what went on at the council meeting.  All those in favor of occasionally attending a council meeting just to do some cartooning, say aye!  The ayes have it!

For more fun, read my latest novel, Fast Guy Slows Down!

Sunday, March 19, 2023

New Recording!: "Bomb The Bombs"

The early- to mid-1980s were filled with great peace songs such as "It's A Mistake" by Men At Work and "99 Red Balloons" by Nena, which pointed out what a disaster it is to be playing around with nuclear weapons.  The end of the cold war lessened this concern, at least in the pop world, but, unfortunately, nukes are still around, and this is probably an even more dangerous time for us where they are concerned with the U.S. and Russia playing chicken over Ukraine and China gearing up for an invasion of Taiwan.  So as much as I'd rather be singing a silly love song, you get this ditty contemplating worldwide annihilation instead.  I'm semi-surprised we haven't destroyed civilization yet, but we should get serious about peace and get rid of these damned things worldwide before we do.  Musically, it's the usual voice, guitar, keyboard as bass, and drums, but I had fun with some bleeps in the recording program.  You can hear a demo version and read the lyrics here.

Thanks to The Tinnitist for featuring "Sourheart" on a recent playlist!

For more Wred Fright music, listen to the Yeast? 7"!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

New Recording!: "Sourheart"

This one's a love gone wrong song and marvels at how people keep on trying to find love after multiple miserable experiences with it.  The mating instinct is strong, I suppose, not to mention the general human need to give and receive affection.  You can read what I wrote about the song when I wrote it and listen to the demo version here.  For the rerecording, it's the usual voice, guitar, keyboard as bass, and drums here.  To spice it up, I used some slapping my thighs for additional percussion and had some fun with the synth settings on the keyboard.  The song has an early 1980 rock/new wave vibe that seems to call out for stuff like that.  After all, Fad Gadget's not around anymore to make new tracks, so someone has to do it.  I like how it came out.  I dig that heartbeat bass drum sound.  This would be the single if I were the record company releasing the album (since I am not, they're all singles since parents love all their children).  

Thanks to The Tinnitist for featuring "One By One" on a recent playlist!

For more Wred Fright music, listen to the Yeast? 7"!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

New Recording!: "One By One"

This is the first rerecording of one of the demo songs where I just used guitar and vocals, so it's nice to hear it fleshed out.   You can hear the original here and read what I wrote about the song here.  It's the usual vocals, guitar, keyboard as bass, and drums.  I also used the keyboard for some percussion and pipe organ (the pipe organ might be my favorite setting for the keyboard actually).  This song isn't as good as "One On One" by Hall And Oates, but it's my second favorite two ones separated by a preposition song!  Speaking of Hall And Oates, the Callin' Oates hotline (719-26-OATES) was still going strong last I checked, and if I remember correctly, "One On One" was one of the song options.

Thanks to The Tinnitist for featuring "No Place To Do It" on a recent playlist!

For more Wred Fright music, listen to the Yeast? 7"!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

New Recording!: "No Place To Do It"

This new version (you can hear the old one here and what I wrote about the song here) features some fun harmonica (it's what sounds like a dying dinosaur in the background), though I did enjoy the toy guitar on the demo version as well.  Otherwise, it's the usual voice, guitar, keyboard as bass, and drums on the track in which a teenager laments the effect his lack of privacy has on his love life.  I always thought Mudhoney could do a great cover version of this one.

Thanks to The Tinnitist for featuring "Rubber Ducks" on a recent playlist!

For more Wred Fright music, listen to the Yeast? 7"!

Friday, February 17, 2023

Your Predictions Were Wrong, But I Will Still Put You On Television And Let You Predict Some More

In October 2021, I saved an article about how we were through with the spread of Covid-19 because I wanted to see how the predictions bore out.  You can still read the article at  I was curious to see how the predictions panned out.

They panned out badly.

For example, Big Pharma Pimp Scott Gottlieb predicted in the article that "I’m of the opinion that this is the last major wave of infection."

A month later the Omicron variant appeared and drove the case report to new highs.


Well, Gottlieb did qualify his prediction with a "Barring something unexpected", but a new variant is hardly something unexpected when dealing with a virus.  Regardless, one would think the dude would lose some credibility by being so far off the mark.

Ah, but you see, we live in Joe Biden's America, where incompetence gets rewarded apparently, so a year later, Gottlieb was still appearing on CBS's Face The Nation, pimping for Big Pharma, and having his arse kissed by mainstream media (note in the appearance linked here [no human besides me also apparently read the transcript since it has items such as "faith in the nation" on it--she's saying "Face The Nation"] how he doesn't talk about how adding the Covid-19 vaccines to the childhood immunization schedule allows the pharmaceutical companies, primarily Pfizer and Moderna, to continue to be shielded from liability for vaccine-caused injuries/death once the vaccines' emergency authorization expires, which, call me cynical, probably explains more about the rush to put them on the childhood schedule than just getting indigent kids access to the vaccines--you can read more about that here).

The article's writer, David Leonhardt, fared about the same, writing, "Whatever the next few months bring, the worst of the pandemic is almost certainly behind us." 

Actually, the worst was ahead as far as cases went, though we can be somewhat charitable to Leonhardt in that deaths in the winter of 2021-2022 didn't quite reach the height of the deaths of the winter of 2021-2022.  He also seemed to think that the Covid-19 vaccines worked, writing, "Of the more than 700,000 Americans who have died from it, nearly 200,000 probably could have been saved if they had chosen to take a vaccine."

Yet, the vaccines weren't even approved in the States until mid-December 2020, by which point about 300,000 Americans had already died, and that's leaving aside the problems with categorizing deaths as caused by Covid when the person may have been infected with Covid but really died of something else (such as a gunshot wound), so Leonhardt is arguing that half of the 400,000 Americans who died of Covid from mid-December 2020 to early October 2021 could have been saved if they had taken the vaccine.  It's not clear where he gets those numbers from, but it hardly matters, as it soon became obvious that being vaccinated did nothing to prevent transmission and infection.  The best he could argue would be that vaccination prevented death, but on a statistical basis Covid-19 already had a case fatality rate of something akin to the flu even before the vaccines and that has not substantially changed since (you can read a debunking of a similar claim here).  At the time of the writing, it was already clear that the vaccines weren't what was hoped for (they have subsequently looked much worse as now people with multiple boosters are more likely to get infected and the mRNA vaccines seem to have serious side-effects including death), so Leonhardt should have known better even then.

So did Leonhardt have to eat crow or find a new job?

Nope, a year later he was still at The New York Times offering the same level of dumb commentary such as this one:  I mean call me crazy but I suspect the main reason that there's more deaths in Republican counties than Democratic counties is because people in rural counties (which skew Republican) are on average older than people in urban counties (which skew Democratic).  Someone should let Leonhardt know that older people die on average sooner than younger people do.  We could also let him know that viruses tend to spread faster in urban areas (which is why the virus deaths early on are concentrated in Democratic counties; the virus took longer to reach the rural areas).

Admittedly, predicting the future of a virus is difficult, but maybe the lesson is that one shouldn't act like one knows stuff one doesn't, or, worse, like some of these public health folks and panicked journalists have done, lie (reading books such as The Real Anthony Fauci, Pandemia, Gone Viral, and A Plague Upon Our House make it hard to take seriously anything coming out of a government agency or mainstream media where the virus panic is/was concerned).  It's no wonder trust in public health and mainstream journalism continues to decline.  At some point this must be mended.  A good start would be holding people accountable for their work.  If the boneheads making the predictions in this article aren't apologizing and trying to do better, then they shouldn't still be plaguing us with their ill-informed opinions and trying to mandate vaccines that don't work on children and promoting other daft ideas.  Instead, they're still shoved down the public's throat while anyone who is actually closer to reality gets treated like a dissident if not insane conspiracy theorist by people who don't also critically think and just pass on wholesale the opinions and talking points they get programmed with (American liberals unfortunately have been even more prone to this than American conservatives were in the last few years, which is unfortunate because in the past the liberals were usually a bit brighter; now, they seem to want to outcrazy the conservatives, all while trying to tell us how the conservatives are crazy).

Sigh.  I won't make any predictions on things actually changing for the better, but I sure hope they do.  Maybe if we all work together and more people start thinking for themselves, they will.

My latest novel, Fast Guy Slows Down, doesn't feature any predictions that I recall, but it does feature some laughs.