Monday, October 11, 2021

Living In Joe Biden's America

*Your washing machine breaks, so you have to order a new one, but there is a one-month back order before it can be delivered, so you have to go to the laundromat in the meantime, where you go and the change machine isn't working because there is a shortage of coins in the U.S. so you have to go home and go back the next day once you scrape up enough coins around the house.

*The government wants to give your five-year-old a vaccine (even though his risk of dying from the disease is lower than his risk of getting hit by lightning) that countries such as Iceland have banned.  You wonder how American anatomy is different than Icelandic anatomy, then you realize that it's just American politics is bought by Big Pharma.

*The school district makes your five-year-old wear a mask, which is actually progress because last year when they panicked they just closed the schools entirely.  Meanwhile, virus rates rise and fall regardless of mask mandates (showing they don't matter, so they should be dropped).

*The library makes you wear a mask to go inside, which is actually progress because last year when they panicked they just closed the library entirely.  It was optional, but when social pressure didn't work, they just mandated it again.

*Your car is approaching 200,000 miles and rather than put more money into it, you decide to buy a new one, but there are no new cars to buy because the supply chain is broken and there is a computer chip shortage due to the virus panic.  When a car does show up, the dealers want to change 5 grand above MSRP due to "market fluctuation".  You decide to just take the bus, where they require you to wear a mask that does little to nothing to prevent disease but makes public health officials feel that they can do something about something they cannot.

*You work remotely but you have to either get a rushed vaccine whose long-term health effects are unknown or you have to stick a Q-tip up your nose twice a week to prove you don't have the virus, even though the tests are notoriously buggy with false negatives and false positives and you are never near any coworkers or customers whom you might theoretically infect.  Or you can quit, which just contributes to the staffing issues plaguing the economy.

*You have to take a flight, but your flight gets canceled because the president is trying to force airline workers to get the vaccine, so they just keep calling off work to protest.

*Your elderly parents get hungry on a long car trip and want to stop for a snack, but the fast food restaurants all close early due to staffing shortages or only have the drive-thrus open and the lines are too long.

*Your elderly parents watch the network news which just promotes the party line on the virus panic, regardless of facts, punctuated by commercial after commercial for Big Pharma products, terrifying them.

*Your elderly parents get the vaccine and then you have to take them to the emergency room for blood clots and swelling.  The emergency room is short-staffed because vaccine mandates have caused some health care workers to quit.  Some of their friends die or get serious illnesses such as a form of blood cancer after getting the vaccine.

*The president nearly falls down the stairs of Air Force one because he can't see his feet because he is wearing a mask.

*You drive through suburban and rural areas and see "Trump 2024" signs, as well as signs and flags wanting to have sex with the president, though they mean that figuratively.

*Real problems in the country go unaddressed as the politicians spend their time fighting over a virus that is a manageable medical issue and would have been on page 28 of The New York Times in 1969.

*People who are vaccinated get sick and die from the virus, yet when people get mad, they seem to get mad at people who don't want the vaccine, but if you are vaccinated and supposedly protected from a disease, how does anyone else's vaccination status actually affect you?

*Democrats give up the logical stronghold of "pro-choice" and declare that people can be told what to do with their bodies, then don't understand why the pro-life side of the abortion debate starts gaining headway and why they can't see that there's a difference (because there isn't).

*Everything in the grocery store and everywhere else costs more or else comes in smaller containers (when it's in stock at all) due to inflation picking up because of all the free money sloshing around the economy, so the money in your hard-earned savings now is now worth less.

*The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices doesn't do what the President wants, so the CDC Director follows the politics and overrules them, then tells everyone they should follow the science.

*Media pundits and politicians tell you incorrect things, then accuse anyone who corrects them of spreading misinformation and try to get that person censored, fired, and so forth.

*The Republican Party was on the edge of extinction, but now it looks like they will return to power for an entire generation and do all sorts of dumb things like force women who had abortions to bury their fetuses because they are right on one issue and The Democrats can't admit they were wrong on it and keep doubling down on it instead.

*You post a complaint about how living in the country seems like living the final days of the Soviet Union, complete with the corporate media serving the role of Pravda, but Big Tech censors it since leaders don't like to be told when they are wrong, and will even double down on mistakes and kill people rather than admit they were wrong and finally do the right things.

Welcome to living in Joe Biden's America, where everything is a pain in the ass.  Trump is a con artist, but it's enough to make one nostalgic . . .

If you need to laugh, so you don't cry, then please read Edna's Employment Agency.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

New Song!: "History Of Our Home"

This song was inspired by having places reoccur in my dreams. Some of them were places that I had lived, while others were not, but it was interesting that I had a bit of dream geography to return to each night. It got me thinking about how we internalize the external and carry around memories of places where we lived.  The lyrics are below.  It's the same deal as always.  If you like a song, then feel free to cover it if you're in a band or whatnot.  I love to hear covers of my songs, so please let me know about your version.  If you start making money, then send me a check/we can work out a deal.  Similarly, if you want to use a song for your Youtube video or whatnot, then just let me know.  It's usually fine by me unless it's a commercial product or whatnot (and then it's likely fine as well--I just want my cut).  Find out first though.  Write me at wredfright ATATAT yahoo DOTT com.

Dandelions are growing in the front yard.
In the backyard is buried a cat.
When we moved in, we found a slide projector in the basement with some slides from the '70s, how about that?
Grandma's got a painting of a flower hanging in the hall.
In a doorway, there are some smudged pencil marks.  They were a growth chart; how the kid's grown tall.

The history of our home is written on the walls of our hearts.

In the living room is the beat-up yellow chair my wife always complained about.
It's still here, but she's long gone.
In the kitchen, there isn't an inch of counter space that Grandpa hasn't put something on.
Over the driveway, the neighbor's mulberry tree grows.
Don't park under the branches unless you want your car to have a purple stain.
I gather the berries and make pies, so I don't cut them down or complain.

Some places reoccur in my dreams.
Night after night, I walk their halls and climb their stairs.
Though I haven't lived in them for years, it's nice to know that inside they are still there.
We change the places where we live, but in return the places change us.
A place can be abandoned or demolished, but inside us it can be as it once was.

Written October 2021
Recorded October 2021

Want more Wred Fright music?  Order the Yeast? 7" here!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Cuyahoga County's Creepiest City?

Cleveland Magazine often includes bonus magazines, usually puff pieces for area industry and municipalities.  A recent one is for Independence, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio USA.  Usually, these are pretty boring reads, basically press releases for the city as it tries to compete against others for residents, businesses, and so forth.

As an aside, my gut instinct is that these magazines seldom accomplish little aside from wasting some taxpayer dollars and employing a few writers and graphic designers briefly.  I didn't know much about Independence other than they don't like homeless people, so I suppose the magazine was informative.

Anyway, I found it surprising that Independence brags about being a surveillance camera police state basically.  Apparently, they've ringed the town with security cameras and license plate readers and run everyone's license plate through a national crime database.  What's not astounding is that they're doing this.  Plenty of other cities do this as well, a practice that does raise civil liberty issues (for an overview, check out  What's astounding is that the city, instead of keeping their 1984-style creepiness on the down low, tries to use it as a selling point to attract businesses and residents to the city.  Maybe there are people out there who are comforted by the fact that the police will know every time they go to the grocery store, but I am not one of them.  Despite the recovery of stolen cars trumpeted in the article, I suspect this is overall a waste of money that provides a patina of security rather than the real thing.  While the police and their computers are busy scanning every car on the road, criminals are probably busy stealing and switching license plates before they pass through town to commit another crime.

But if you really want to live in a dystopian, panopticon suburb, then this may be the place for you!

For more fun with surveillance society, check out my novel Blog Love Omega Glee!

Friday, October 1, 2021

What Happened To The ACLU? What Happened To American Liberalism?


I got a letter asking for money from me from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  I have been a member of the ACLU for years, but I ripped up the contents of the letter, stuffed them in the envelope, wrote the above message on the back of the envelope, and mailed it back to them.

With luck, they'll get the hint and take me off their mailing list, or, better yet, reconsider their cowardly and erroneous support for vaccine mandates.  I was aghast when I read the following Glenn Greenwald article:  "The ACLU, Prior to COVID, Denounced Mandates and Coercive Measures to Fight Pandemics".  I actually went and checked it out myself, and yes, after years of defending people and their rights to make their own healthcare decisions, the ACLU seems to be so scared of SARS Jr. that they abandoned their principles in the manner that Greenwald describes

You can argue that the ACLU themselves are not the writers of the article, only a pair of their senior lawyers, but it's fairly clear that supporting vaccine mandates is a de facto position now of the organization, as the following article explains:  "Why the ACLU Flip-Flopped on Vaccine Mandates".  In the past, the organization seemed to stick to their civil liberty principles regardless of how unpopular their lawsuits and campaigns were at the time.  You can see a timeline of the ACLU's fine work here:  "The Successes of the American Civil Liberties Union".  They supported Communists, African-Americans, abortionists, pornographers, Nazis, and other minorities from the tyranny of popular opinion.

That's why it is so disappointing to see the ACLU now play the role of the bully, seemingly only because their staff members are scared of a virus that, while annoying and even deadly, clearly is not The Black Plague.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Black Plague, here's a primer:  Basically, in 5 years, it killed a third of Europe.

Now that's a pandemic.

SARS Jr. (I call COVID-19 SARS-Jr. because that's basically what it is:  "The Naming System Behind SARS-CoV-2"), by contrast, doesn't seem to be making the same dent in world population.  In 2020, world population was estimated at 7,794,798,739.  Now, it's estimated at 7,896,921,101 and counting (you can follow the fun at

So the virus is nasty, but there are more people on earth in 2021 than there were last year, so it's not that nasty that we need to abandon all sense and principle, and I am not sure if anything is worth abandoning sense and principle.  Panics, and this is a panic, usually end badly.  We're already seeing the effects with people fighting among one another, blaming one another for illnesses and deaths (guess what, it's a virus that's responsible, and not one another--OK, if you're a conspiracy theorist, you can blame Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszek, Fort Detrick, The Wuhan Institute Of Virology, and everyone else who likes to fund and conduct gain of function research in coronaviruses:  "Rep. Roy Demands Pelosi Open Investigations On COVID Origins").  We've all seen nasty sideeffects from the attempts to stop the spread of the virus, whether medically, economically, and personally.

One of them is now the ACLU losing all sense.  As Alex Berenson has bravely reported (they threw him off Twitter because the facts, studies, and observations he notes do not fit the party line), the Sars Jr. vaccines are not as effective as people hoped they would be and they have harmful sideeffects and consequences.  Given that situation, it's odd that there is such a push to get everyone vaccinated.  If Biden and the others pushing vaccine mandates thought the vaccines worked, why would they care so much about others making different health decisions as the vaccinated would have nothing to fear from anyone unvaccinated?  Even Noam Chomsky, historically a smart guy, can't seem to grasp this point.  Greenwald again had an excellent article about this entitled:  "An NBA Star and New York's Governor Show That Liberal COVID Discourse is Devoid of Science".

Liberals are all concerned for the moment about protecting the right to choose when it comes to abortion, and I'm with them; that's a big decision about one's own body and it should be left to the individual whose body is in question.  But the same goes for the vaccine.  I guess when it comes to killing babies it's "my body, my choice", but for anything else, it's "my body, Biden's choice, ACLU's choice, your governor's choice, your school board's choice, and so on and so forth").   

Which brings me to my second point:  what happened to liberalism?  What happened to the ACLU seems to have happened to liberals across the board.  For example, I got a fundraising email from Democratic Congressional Representative Tim Ryan, who is running for Senate in Ohio.  He discloses that he is fully vaccinated but he has the virus.  Rather than blame Big Pharma for making a rushed, crappy product and Big Media and Big Government for foisting it on him, he writes, "And I’m grateful to have the protection of a safe and effective vaccine that's kept my case fairly mild."

I guess Ryan is trying not to get me to give his campaign money by writing something as stupid as that.  Ryan is young for a politician (48 years or so) and seemingly healthy (he does yoga and whatnot), so he would likely have had a mild case of the virus even if he didn't have the vaccine.  Like most nasty viruses, it hits the old and sick the hardest.  And guess what, no one is going to live forever anyway.  If the virus doesn't get me when I am old and weak, then something else will.  I just hope I don't have to live in misery because public health officials and politicians want to go on power trips trying to do something about something they are powerless to do anything about.  Viruses spread.  At this point, the genie is not going back in the bottle.  All they can do is make other aspects of life miserable.  In the past, this virus would have been kept to a manageable medical matter and not something that is causing so much collateral damage in other aspects of life.  Today, our leaders are morons, so we get two years and counting of dumbness.

As a warning to liberals, you're opening the door to con artist Trump's return and Republicans taking over Congress.  They're wrong on nearly every other issue, but this is the issue that currently affects everyone's lives most directly, and you're on the wrong side of it.  Don't get involved.  If people want to get the vaccine, then let them get the vaccine.  If they want to wear masks, then let them wear masks.  But don't force people to do things that have been demonstrated to not work, despite every little doctor and politician on the news claiming the opposite (makes me wonder if these people know how to do math and logic because the virus keeps going regardless of these efforts, even in localities with very different approaches to things).  When you shove unwanted medicine down a population's throat, they're going to eventually shove something back that you don't want.  This article on Biden's growing unpopularity is probably just the top of the roll down the hill:  "Biden's Slide With Key Voters: Momentary Blip or Danger Sign?".  It's not too late for liberals and the ACLU to gather some courage and go back and find their principles.  2022 and 2024 are still a ways away.  Biden should have just declared victory over the virus early on and moved on.  Now it's his problem and not Trump's.  Banning people for expressing dissident views doesn't exactly help your side's credibility (the ACLU has been fairly silent on these big tech free speech issues as well, leaving it to The Republicans, who a generation ago wanted to censor information about sexuality); it's like you're just conceding the debate by trying to stifle the other side (along those lines, I was particularly disturbed by Elizabeth Warren's attempt to pressure Amazon to censor Berenson's books because Berenson's stuff seems to hold up; unlike most of the other American reporters who read press releases and lack critical thinking skills--watch the network nightly news and count how many Big Pharma commercials air for fun--when I factcheck Berenson his analysis bears out).  Even if Berenson were dead wrong, it's not for Warren to pick what I or anyone else can read.  She can stick to picking her own reading.

But since she's opened the door to having others pick what one reads, then I suggest she start rereading The Bill Of Rights she swore to uphold.  Apparently, she needs some remediation there.  

And so does the ACLU. 

New James Nowlan Film!


One of my favorite contemporary novelists, James Nowlan, also makes films.  The previous one was about a sadistic game show host who captured a number of people to force them into a reality show competition in which most wouldn't survive.  It was in French, a language which I do not understand very well, but I still dug it (I think I eventually saw a version with English subtitles).  His latest film is a short, and it's in English (mostly anyway).  Check it out if you get a chance; it's more fun than most of the latest stuff being hyped on tv, movies, and streaming services.

For more Nowlan, check out The Underground Literary Alliance anthology!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

drinkdrankdrunk: "Iowa Party Report" by The Midnight Rider

i’m 48 and live in the middle-of-nowhere, so don’t expect this paragraph to be a pittsburgh rave with a topless rubdown rooms and a dude in a bunny suit giving out free bumps of special k (aka horse tranquilizers) . . . this is also where i live/used to work and a smart dog doesn’t shit where he eats . . . the cubs just won the world series, so a dental hygienist party bus might be a good place to start . . . i’m pretty popular at my dentist’s office--i’ve gone to a couple plays with my (married) dentist and the hygienists follow me around the office like i’m charles manson . . . there was even a day when i put on scrubs and they gave me a dental tool and i pretended to operate on an unsuspecting assburger’s g (who is a patient at the same office) . . . a couple years ago, hygienist d (who is a huge stoner) came into the room and asked if i wanted to ride on the office party bus to the cubs’ game the following weekend . . . she said the receptionist at the front desk was going too, and i knew j because she used to be the athletic department secretary at shady state (before she got fired for complaining to the lesbian vice president that the lesbian athletic director was having an affair with the lesbian softball coach--who just happened to be a’s sister) . . . i had never been to wrigley field before, so i immediately said yes . . . i guess i should also mention that the majority of professional sporting events that i have attended over the years have either been in washington, dc (where everyone talks on their cell phones and leaves early) or cleveland (where everyone complains about the price of the tickets, parking, and food) . . . i was hoping that chicago would be a good, ole-fashioned drunken orgy, and i certainly wasn’t disappointed . . . i didn’t necessarily know what the people on the bus would be like, so i made the decision to be low profile (and for me that’s pain pills and bloody marys) . . . when i arrived, a section of lumpy rednecks were already half-drunk and singing “cubs gonna win today” . . . j waved me over to my seat and immediately pulled a giant white baggie out of her bag--for a second i thought she had a fucking kilo of cocaine, but it turned out to be white russians that she planned to sneak into the game with her . . . after about 45 minutes, the bus driver pulled over and got on the loudspeaker to announce that “if anyone else grabbed a woman on the way to the bathroom” that he was gonna kick them off the bus and they’d have to walk home--and then the food fight started . . . the redneck behind me knew that i was a professor, so every time he threw food towards the front of the bus he would “accidentally” elbow me in the back-of-the-head and say “sorry, professor” . . . some dude with a harelip threw up in the aisle, and another dude asked me if i wanted to buy weed (which i did a few days later in a grocery store parking lot because i really didn’t want the fucker to know where i lived) . . . wrigleyville was nuts as well . . . we went to a bar called the cubbyhole both before/after the game, and there were people passed out on the floor both times . . . did the cubs win the game?--how the fuck would i know?; i was just as hammered as they were . . . on the way home, d-the-hygienist got in a screaming match with her redneck husband for the bus to hear . . . d would scream: “tell ‘em why we can’t get pregnant” and her husband would yell back even louder: “you married up and i married down”--to the point where d started punching him in the face until her friends pulled her off . . . and then it was over . . . i’ve never been to another cubs game and i don’t think i want to--the dental hygienist bus was everything i’d hoped for and more . . . other memorable parties?--well, there was the “bluetick coonhound graduation party” at this redneck girl’s parents’ house on the mississippi river . . . j2 had been a student in my technical writing class--she had big tits and liked to drive 4-wheelers, but that’s all i really knew about her when she invited me to her graduation party . . . it was way out in the country, and you had to drive down a dirt road for the last 3-4 miles until you hit the river . . . her parents’ house wasn’t that impressive, but i could see some weird taj mahal looking structure peeking out from behind . . . it turns out that her parents bred bluetick coonhounds for a living, and the fucking dog house was nicer than the main house . . . there were also more dogs at the party than people . . . there were kegs, horseshoe pits, and a hot/little redhead from the track team that had been in my film class whom i chased all night (i didn’t know it at the time, but a2 was already pregnant by some blockhead on the track team) . . . towards the end of the night (and after smoking a lot of weed with current/former students), we wound up playing hide 'n' seek in a graveyard that paralleled the river . . . i kept trying to “catch” a2, but she would always scream uncomfortably (almost as if i were hurting the baby or some shit) . . . by the end of the evening, i had scaled a fence and was sleeping in a pen between two (rather smelly) bluetick coonhounds--it kinda reminded me of a virginia field party when i was 16 . . . next up: before i ever hooked up with a, i got invited to a party at her house by the 300-lb baseball coach (who was her roommate along with a’s sister) . . . as my luck would have it, a wasn’t even there that night because she had to work (and obviously i wanted to hang out with her over the baseball coach or the posse of butch lesbians who were always trying to have sex with her sister) . . . i arrived after midnight in the middle of a driving thunderstorm . . . the party was supposed to be in the backyard, but because of the rain, it had mostly moved onto the long/extended back porch . . . after a few minutes, i realized that the baseball coach and i were the only men at the party . . . after a few more minutes, i realized that every female in attendance was a lesbian (and soaking wet) . . . and when lesbians are drunk/wet, they start giggling and removing articles of clothing . . . and as the baseball coach and i concentrated on talking about hunting or fishing, i noticed more-and-more bare lesbian breasts on the porch . . . soon there were squeals of delight as two chunky soft ballers started scissoring each other in a dark corner of the porch . . . i think they all still had their pants on, but a scissoring frenzy had begun with a’s lookalike sister smack dab in the middle of the pile . . . the baseball coach and i focused even harder on “baseball”, but dear lord, it’s hard not to stare/drool when the 2008 lesbian olympics are taking place at your feet . . . i waited around until 2 a.m., but i don’t think a ever came home that night . . . the baseball coach and i never spoke of the lesbian olympics again and he never invited me to another party . . . i think a’s sister saw me staring at her out of the corner of her eye (and on top of the pile), and it didn’t bother her in the least . . . the final party entry has to do with a rock n’ roll fantasy of mine: partying with a rockstar . . . rock n’ roll shows are few and far between in central iowa, so i was stoked when old student l asked if i wanted to see np with him and another kid (who looks like rocky from the rocky horror picture show) in rock island . . . we picked up a quarter of weed on the way, but no one remembered to bring a bowl . . . we stopped at a quickie mart for rolling papers, and i rolled them (rather poorly) on the dashboard . . . it was a small club in rock island, and i didn’t necessarily believe that we’d get to go backstage to party with np . . . l has since become the guitar tech for the o, and he thought we had a pretty good chance . . . the show itself was kickass, and i noticed that l went outside a couple times to smoke with the np tech guy . . . after the show was over, l came over and asked if we wanted to go backstage to party with b and r . . . the joints that i had rolled had been in my pocket all evening, and i told l that i wasn’t sure if they would light . . . he said, no worries:  that if all else failed that we’d smoke out of a can (and i thought to myself: there’s no way that the lead singer of np is gonna smoke weed with me out of a can) . . . when we got upstairs, r (who has been married to b for over 15 years) noticed how good-looking rocky was and immediately scuttled him off to another room . . . i tried to make small talk with b about professional wrestling and his southern roots, but b mainly just wanted to do some drugs . . . the ratty joints weren’t working, so l poked some holes in a beer can and we were indeed smoking weed out of a can with the lead singer of np . . . i don’t remember much of what b said but he reminded me a bit of my friend mt (the lead singer of cleveland’s kth) . . . b was obviously exhausted from the show/the road, and it seemed as if there was someplace he’d rather be . . . most strangers would be intrigued to smoke weed out of a can with a long-haired english professor and his even longer-haired student, but rockstar b’s brain had already checked out and was on the road to omaha 

The Midnight Rider prefers to remain mysterious.  You could visit his website, but he won't say where it is.  You could read his books, but he won't say what they are.  You could email him, but I'm pretty sure is not a real email address.  In a world where everyone is repping their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, sex tapes, line of clothing, new microbrew, virus panic vaccine status, and overall brand, I find that refreshing.  I am happy to have the Rider ride on drinkdrankdrunk.

Monday, September 6, 2021

New Wred Fright Album!

So I took the tracks I've been rerecording over the past year and turned them into an album.  I called it Severe Platter Damage because they are kind of noisy.  It's also a bit of a joke because the songs are older, and severe platter damage is a term used in data recovery to describe the worst possible condition a hard drive can be in and still be at least partially recoverable.  I think the tracks work well together, and I tried to sequence them in a way that works.  I thought about mastering the tracks so the volume was more even, but I kind of liked the wild and varied nature of the original recordings, so I let them be.  It also fits the spirit of the album title.  I'm not sure if Soundcloud will let you download the tracks from the playlist, but they are all available individually there as well, so you can download them and make a MP3 playlist if you wanted to.  I'm also open to anyone reviewing the album (please just send me a link so I can see what you think).  I doubt this will be pressed on vinyl, but you're welcome to burn a copy on cd for yourself if you want to or copy it onto cassette if you're into the whole retro thing.  For vinyl, a record company would have to step up as I am still selling copies of a record I pressed in 1994, so that's enough for me (I was sold out of them, but then a friend found a small treasure trove of them in his closet).  I'll probably start another album of songs next year, but for now it's time to turn back to writing.  I'd be fine with playing a show or two, but these days everyone has to show their health records to get into a concert or something, and I just think that's creepy, so I don't think it's likely I'll get invited to play anywhere anytime soon, or ever again.  I only play guitar and sing when I play, so it wouldn't sound like the album anyway, and I don't see myself getting a backing band anytime soon, or ever as well.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the album/playlist and have fun rocking out to it.  It certainly doesn't sound like much else around these days, but given what passes for music these days, people may not like that.  Maybe you will though.

To hear more music, get the Yeast? 7".