Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I Hope That You Have A Cool Yule!

Well, we made it through another year!  I am happy that Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead finally made it out before 2017 closed up shop.  I hope that you have a cool Yule!  Happy New Year!  See you in 2018!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

R.I.P. Textnovel.Com

Textnovel.Com announced that it is closing.  This was a cool site.  Literary agent Stan Soper created it after being inspired by the success of cell phone novels in Japan.  When the site started, I was serializing Blog Love Omega Glee on the blog here, so I also posted it there (by the way, any links to Textnovel.Com won't be working about a week or two from now) for a while where it became a finalist for their 2008 contest.   They even ran an interview with me back then.  I liked the idea of fiction being written text message by text message, so I wrote a story using the 160 character limit of text messages, and since a lot of the Textnovel.Com readers seemed to dig paranormal type fiction, I wrote it in that genre.  That was the first version of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead. When I went back to the site though to post it, they had made some changes, and I didn't like it as much, so I ended up not posting it there and turned it into a novel instead.  Still, it was a cool site, and it has been interesting to watch the concept of a cell phone novel develop.  Today, I'm often reading a novel on my cell phone (currently, it is The Derz's Prince Among The Dregs), and that's a great way to read my novels (except for The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, which once it goes out of print, I will work up an epub version).  So if you haven't finished reading anything on Textnovel.Com, you better finish reading it quickly as you only have until the end of the year before the site gets the plug pulled.  Of course, that assumes the writer actually finished the story.  As with blognovels, I seem to be one of the few authors who would actually see something through to the end.  A lot of good books never got finished, which is a shame.  Though it's fun to work without a net as the old saying goes (it can actually provide motivation to get through the hard work of writing a novel as even a bad novel takes some effort to create), it's probably a bit unfair to readers to never finish a story.  Either stick to the November Novel Writing and don't publish it if you don't finish it, or grind it out if you have it once you started serializing something.  I worked without a net twice, but the third novel I didn't publish until it was all done.  That's probably how I'll work in the future, but I'll still miss the thrill of getting feedback from readers while the work is being created, and that was something Textnovel.Com gave me.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Wred Fright Page On Facebook

I waited years for Facebook to go the way of Friendster and MySpace, but, like a zombie, it keeps going and going and going, so I have finally created a page for my novels to give you something else to like about Facebook.  You can like it here.

Wred Fright On Google Play!

I am happy that announce that my books are available on Google Play and Books now.  They should be available as both PDFs and EPUBs.  The previews can look a little off to me as it looks like they are converting the PDF into an EPUB for the preview, but when I tested the EPUB by actually downloading it, they were using the actual EPUB version I provided and everything looked fine.  If you do have any problems, then please let me know, and I can help out, but both versions should work just fine.  You can find Blog Love Omega Glee here and Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead here.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Quest For Uranus Out!

Mark Justice's new movie, Quest For Uranus, is out.  It is available here.  I play a reporter in the movie.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Song: "Happy Hour Made Me Unhappy"

This one was originally a poem, but it seemed to cry out for music to accompany it, so I turned it into a song.  I suppose it's a bit of a murder ballad, but it's not technically a ballad.  The singer of the song should definitely have just DTMFA, as Dan Savage would say (Google it if you don't know), and gone on Tinder.  Instead, he's going to jail.  You can check out the MP3 here.  Really, this stuff is much more fun and cheaper than therapy.  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.

Oh, happy hour made me unhappy.
Caught my baby sitting in someone's lap.
She said it was just a friendly kiss. Aren't they all?
But I think there's more to it than this.

My baby gets up early to go to work.
Why's she spending so much time with that dumb jerk?
My love, I hardly see her as it is.
I like to see her immediately after the close of biz.

Happy hour made me unhappy.

Instead, I saw her and him locking lips.
Instead, I saw her and him shaking hips.
She said he's just a coworker who happens to be a friend.
But I think for us this is the end.

She's always whispering in her cell phone.
She's always going places all alone.
I snooped.  Who was this person in my bed?
The texts I read on her phone made me go red.

I dropped by the bar early to surprise.
When I got there, I could not believe my two eyes.
At first, I thought maybe I was just seeing double.
But it was just my love turned to rubble.

By the time the police arrived to break me from my bubble.
It was too late.  There had been some trouble.
I murdered them both for a nightcap.
Oh, sometimes happy hour isn't such a laugh.

Happy hour made me so very unhappy.

Written July 2017
Recorded September 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pushcart Prize Nomination

OK, I didn't see this one coming, but, apparently, the editors of New Pop Lit nominated my story "Operative 73 Takes A Swim" for a Pushcart Prize, which is sort of the Oscars of indie publishing.

What a nice surprise!  Thank you!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Night I Wrestled Kong Sauce

I stumbled across this video the other day when a friend shared it on Facebook. I was helping out my buddies in Kong Sauce during their song, "The People's Elbow", named after one of The Rock's signature professional wrestling moves. Fittingly enough, given the wrestling-inspired title, they had me come out and wrestle the band and the audience, for some extra fun. When I am offscreen, I am wrestling the audience. Thanks to my buddy Zartan for posting this blast from the past!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead Out!

Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead by Wred Fright is published.  It is available as an ebook on Smashwords, Amazon, and probably lots of other places where ebooks are sold.  You can also get it directly from me here:

Just select what format you want (EPUB or PDF), and I will email it to you once I receive your order (please be patient as I can be offline or on vacation; I will get it to you as soon as I can).

Amazon also has a print version available here.

There is no white light.  There are no deceased loved ones greeting you.  Instead, there is a stack of pancakes, or maybe a deer, or maybe just a bored bureaucrat asking you to fill out a customer satisfaction survey.  As if dying weren't bad enough, the afterlife seems to be about as exciting as filling out a tax form.  Worse, sometimes the bureaucracy of the universe screws up and tells you that your death was all a mistake and it would be sorted out shortly, and, in the meantime, would you mind patiently waiting as a ghost?

Such is the experience of McAllister "Mac" Rose in Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead, a humorous fantasy, in which she, not comforted at all by such an assurance and assisted by a bumbling "Question Dude," must try to find her way back to life on Earth as a war in Heaven begins.  The novel satirizes conventional notions of life after death, positing that after one dies, one encounters a Question Dude who asks one to fill out a customer satisfaction survey before escorting one back into the general chaos of the universe.  All runs well until some of the Question Dudes start questioning the system and decide to set up their own private Hell to punish those souls that they consider undeserving of being recycled back into the energy of the universe.  Into this situation, a librarian who died by mistake wanders in, setting into motion events that will involve a mad monk, a former slave who likes to punch sharks in the nose for relaxation, and a slacker who died when his bungee cord was itself slack, among other characters.

Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead is the third novel by Wred Fright.  The other two are The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and Blog Love Omega Glee.  More info about the author and his books can be found at Wredfright.Com.

Praise for Fright and his works from fellow writers, literary critics, and scruffy publications:

"[A]n innovative writer of fun new pop lit--a pioneer in the fight to revive American literature" - American Pop Lit

"Wred Fright writes with the wit and cynicism of a modern day Berkeley Breathed, but his vision of our future is much closer to the world of Zippy the Pinhead than it is to Bloom County" - Crazy Carl Robinson

"[I]nfinitely preferable to the eye-glazing 'literary fiction' shoveled out by the bigger publishers" - Daniel Green

"I can't wait to read the next one!" - Eddie Willson

"Wred Fright is one of the best pseudo-fiction (maybe even just fiction) writers that I’ve ever had the luck to stumble upon" - James McQuiston

"[A] complete joy to read" - Razorcake

"I found myself laughing out loud a number of times, and that's a rare occurrence" - Zine World

If you are press, a high resolution image of the cover is here and one of the author is here.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Open Mics!

This is a video of me playing an open mic recently, courtesy of Meg Stepka, who hosts it. I've played a couple of these recently, mainly because my buddy Derek DePrator has been playing them. I've played open mics before, and they are fun, but it's more fun playing one when other musicians I know are also playing it. I probably will play some more open mics in the future, but I'm getting busy with the release of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead, so it might not be until 2018, which isn't far away. Some good musicians are at them, so they are fun to listen to as well. In addition to Derek, Meg's band, Meg And The Magnetosphere, usually plays, and they're really good also. In the video, I'm playing a Billy Bragg cover and then "Y-Town". The sound is a little reverby, mainly because I had to free the video from Meg's Facebook Live page (she said it was ok to do so), using some open source video editing software.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pogeybait On Musical Mayhem!

The second half of the Musical Mayhem episode that The Escaped Fetal Pigs were on featured our pals Pogeybait. They talk about the Pigs a bit during their segment and then get to rocking. Check it out below!:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "The Beaver Of Love"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem. Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "The Beaver Of Love" was the last song by us before the rest of the program featured our friends Pogeybait. "Beaver" was another one of our "hits" on the local college radio station. It's a fun novelty song that Mark Justice and I wrote when we first formed the band, and it was essentially the two of us. Having the full band play the song didn't improve the song much, but it did make it thrashier. Playing in The Pigs was fun, and this song was always a good laugh. Alas, college bands inevitably break up when graduation comes calling. With The Pigs, we got an extra year when Mark decided to go to grad school and stay in Bowling Green, but by the middle of 1992, Simon Luke and I had both graduated and moved away and that was the end of the band. Mark and I did one side project a year later, which unfortunately got billed as The Pigs when it wasn't supposed to be (the promoter did that and not us), but that was the last time any of us played music together. Fortunately, Mark makes movies now, so we have been able to collaborate that way when I act in them. I moved on musically to being the main songwriter in a band, playing more guitar than just singing, and playing more serious songs, but The Pigs were a great way to develop musically. Watching the Musical Mayhem video was a fun way to reminisce about those days.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Quest For Uranus

My buddy Mark Justice's new movie, Quest For Uranus, has had its first trailer released. I play a reporter. You can see me near the end of the trailer.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Simon On Acid"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem. Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "Simon on Acid" was a fun song. It was based on a Captain Kangaroo cartoon that featured a kid with a magic crayon or something. The kid's name was apparently Simon. Somehow, the drummer of the Pigs got the nickname Simon; it was before he was in the band, so I don't know why. It might have had something to do with someone thinking he looked like the kid in the Captain Kangaroo cartoon. In any case, the nickname stuck, so it made sense to do a "cover" of the cartoon song, which twisted it a bit to explain why everything the kid drew came to life: because he was on acid. I especially liked this song because I got to play drums while Simon sang. Everyone loved Simon, so this was a popular number. On this night, Simon also threw in a song he wrote for the band entitled "Jell-O 1-2-3."

The Goo Goo Dolls shirt Simon is wearing is not ironic. He was from Buffalo, New York USA and loved the band, who also hailed from there. He was even friends/acquaintances with them and got us backstage with them when they opened up for The Replacements. At that time, the Goo Goos were a scruffy Replacementsesque punk band. They hadn't yet evolved into a semi-boring adult alternative radio juggernaut. The early Goo Goo Dolls is pretty good stuff, especially the third album. Before that, they had the energy but not the songwriting chops. After that, they had the songwriting chops but lost the energy. In 1990, they were in a sweet spot where they had both.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Why Does Captain Kirk Always Get Laid?"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem. Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "Why Does Captain Kirk Always Get Laid?" was one of The Pigs' Weird Al Yankovic type parody songs where we would take an existing song and write new and funny lyrics for it. On this song, our guitarist, Mark, combined two loves of his: Anthrax and Star Trek. I liked this one because I got to play a lot of harmonica on it. It was also a really funny song. Captain Kirk really did get a lot of loving on the original Star Trek, didn't he?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Uterus Queen"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem. Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "Uterus Queen" was a parody of the song called "Rocket Queen" by Guns 'N' Roses. I don't think I had ever heard the GNR song when our guitarist, Mark, added this song to the set. I had little to do on this song, so I may have used it as a bathroom break. You can see me showing up halfway through the song wearing a Gone Daddy Finch (another local band of the time) t-shirt and cheering the drummer, Simon, to add "more cowbell". Jimmie really loved adding then state of the art computer effects to the footage and songs like this certainly can use all the help they can get. I was a little surprised when this track made the cut for the show, but Jimmie liked heavy metal, so that may have been enough to do it, plus a large chunk of his audience would know GNR, who were hugely popular at the time, so that may have made the difference as well. If I remember correctly, this may have been another song we never recorded, with the only recording being the one Mark did all by himself (like Prince, Mark can pretty much play any instrument; he just can't play them all at the same time, which is why he needed a band). It would have been interesting to see what the entire band would have done with the song, given the time to create a studio recording.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "D & D Is The Devil's Game"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem. Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "D & D Is The Devil's Game" was a song from the second Pigs album, Devil's Food. It made fun of all the religious zealots who thought the game Dungeons & Dragons was a form of devil worship. The hysteria over the game was strong in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the game grew in popularity. Members of The Pigs played D & D, so we thought the hysteria was pretty humorous, and thus Mark wrote this song poking fun at it.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Monster Of Party Beach Showing

Monster Of Party Beach will be shown as part of The Northern Ohio Indie Film Festival, which will be held on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 5 - 11:30 p.m. at Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio USA.  Director Mark Justice will be there in person.  I, of course, "acted" in this horror comedy.  And, best of all, the festival is free!  More Pigs videos will be back featuring Mark in his prefilmmaking rock and roll days soon!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Operative 73 Takes A Swim"

More Escaped Fetal Pigs videos are coming, but we'll take a break from the series in this post since I have some news.  I wrote a story for New Pop Lit.  It is called "Operative 73 Takes A Swim" and it can be found here.  The editor, King Wenclas, also discusses the story a bit here and here.  The second link likely has the first appearance anywhere of the author photo for my latest novel, Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead, the publication of which is rapidly progressing.  It may even be out before the end of the year.  In any case, it will be out sometime soon, provided I don't hit any major life obstacles.  In the meantime, you will just have to be satisfied with this story to tide you over.  I wrote it for an old literary acquaintance who has since passed on.  I certainly didn't always agree with him, particularly when he moved his focus from literature to politics, but I tried to give him the happy ending, well happier anyway, in fiction that he apparently missed out on in life, or death.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Bad Catholic"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem.  Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "Bad Catholic" was not a song The Escaped Fetal Pigs played often. In fact, this might have been the only time we played it; it certainly appears to be the only recording of the song. At this time, we were branching out, and I was learning to play guitar, so I may have written both the lyrics and music for this one, though it might have been one of the last ones where I wrote the lyrics and Mark wrote the music. It's about a person who believes in God, but never goes to church. It's semi-boring, just like a mass, which is probably why we didn't play it much, but the chorus is kind of catchy. You can hum it the next time you're in a church. The video is fun as well. I like it when Mark channels his inner Gene Simmons for the camera, and I also like Simon's cymbal hits at the end of some lines.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Oompa Loompa Love"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem.  Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "Oompa Loompa Love" was one of our last "hits" (meaning it got played on the local college radio station and live audiences liked it).  Sadly, it never got put on an album, which back then meant we never put it on a self-released cassette.  The band had plans to make a new cassette, but we never got it together enough to do so.  The recording of the song that got played on the radio was a demo Mark did all by himself.  Obviously, he was inspired by his love of the movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.  In the song, the Oompa Loompas rebel and try to find some love.  This was another fun song to play even though I really didn't have much to do during it.  I was gradually learning guitar at this point, but didn't play it much live with The Pigs.  In subsequent bands, I would usually sing and play guitar or just play guitar.  It was kind of fun in The Pigs to just sing even if it was just silly songs about manufacturing chocolate love dolls. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Mutilate A Baby Doll"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem.  Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. "Mutilate A Baby Doll" was a fun song to play.  It had a simple catchy riff and our guitarist Mark Justice usually brought a baby doll for the audience and the band to savage.  Mark wrote the song, which I always thought was a parody of the many violent heavy metal songs.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Iron Seuss"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem.  Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991.  Some things are known to go great together:  peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, and so on and so forth.  Some things are not known to go great together, but they do.  Such is Dr. Seuss and Black Sabbath.

This song was a holdover from the first band Mark Justice and I were in together, which was called The Darrow Dregs.  The Dregs started as a goof in the basement of Darrow Hall at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio USA.  There were some rooms in the basement for music students to practice in.  One such room had a piano, which our buddy Tim Hustmyer played.  Mark played guitar and another friend from the dorm, Frank Esposito, sang.  At some point, they got together jamming and goofing on songs.  For example, "American Woman" became "Cafeteria Woman" complaining about the quality of dorm food.

At some point, I got roped in because I played harmonica.  And, at some point, someone, probably Mark with his penchant for heavy metal, decided "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath would sound great with lyrics from Dr. Seuss.  It was probably the biggest "hit" by The Dregs, based on crowd response.  When that band broke up (Frank and Tim decided that studying was a bit more important than being in a comedy folk band), Mark and I carried on under a new name, The Escaped Fetal Pigs.  We kept some of the better songs by The Dregs, and, among them, of course, "Iron Seuss", which sounded even better when played with bass, drums, and electric guitar, though I, of course, kept playing harmonica on it.  By this point, I did more singing than harmonica playing, but on some songs I kept playing Magic Dick (Google that if you don't know who that is), and this is one of them.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Rob Lowe's Video Store"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem.  Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991.  "Rob Lowe's Video Store" poked fun at the infamous sex video that came out featuring Rob Lowe and an underage girl at the 1988 Democratic convention.  It has a fun disco beat.  Well, the song does anyway.  I don't know if the sex video does; I never saw it that I can recall.  In any case, I don't remember doing so, but, like Ronald Reagan, I don't remember much of the 1980s, but yes, mistakes were made, so maybe I did.  Probably not though, because it's not like these days where videos get spread throughout the Internet quickly.  Back then, tapes had to get bootlegged, copied, and passed around, and a bit more work was involved.  Watching Rob have sex probably didn't interest me much, though I do remember that he came to Bowling Green to campaign for Michael Dukakis (the scandal happened later when the tape surfaced).  Anyway, old Rob Lowe managed to bounce back from that scandal pretty well.  One hopes the girls/women in the video managed to also do so.  In the song, the video store sells only naughty video tapes until the police arrive to arrest Rob Lowe.  A staple of the live set was having the members of the band claim to be Rob Lowe to impress women only to deny being Rob Lowe when the police arrive.  On this particular night, we modified that shtick a bit to include a shoutout to our buddy Scott Law of the Toledo hardcore band The Stain.  We were a bit fascinated with Scott at the time.  He was an outrageous frontman who one never knew what he might do on stage.  He could take off his pants.  He could show up with an ax and chop up the stage.  He could offer to have sex to stop a war.  Supposedly, his band would start supplying him with various drugs well before showtime and then watch what happened when he hit the stage.  Who knows the truth though?  The stories, rumors, and legends are endless.  We certainly enjoyed him and his antics.  If The Pigs had stayed together, I am sure we would have written a song about him.

Alas, for now, you have to settle for one about Rob Lowe.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Hatebomb"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem.  Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991.  This song was one of the later Pigs songs when we started to morph from comedy rock to music that was a bit more serious as well as aggressive (we were listening to a lot of Slayer and hardcore punk if I remember correctly).  This song is still pretty humorous though, well, as humorous as explosives go.  It was inspired by one of my old managers at K-Mart, who used to put on a disguise and go spy on another store, Fisher's Big Wheel, that was a block over.  In the song, two rival store managers start a real price war between their two stores and start engaging in combat, culminating in each sending bombs to one another.

By the way, I worked for K-Mart, but Fisher's Big Wheel had a better music selection since they carried The Dead Milkmen.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine"

This is from the tv show Musical Mayhem. Jimmie Frederick taped the show at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA in the Fall of 1991. This song was fun to play live as we liked to do the Sid Vicious pogo dance during it. It's not named for that though. It's based on Walt Kelly's Pogo comic strip. The narrative of the song involves a bunch of people who find some old Pogo books and base a religion on them.

Hey, there are worse religions!

In this version, the band plays their standard roles. We also would do a version where Simon (the drummer) would sing, Mark (the guitarist) would play drums, Jim (the bassist) would play guitar, and I (the singer) would play bass. Maybe someday I'll find a video of that. In the meantime, there is this.

More Pigs are coming for the next few months. I have already found another videotape with more good Pigs stuff on it. I also have the Pogeybait portion of Musical Mayhem coming. Party like it is 1991!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Escaped Fetal Pigs On Musical Mayhem!

My lovely dual cassette player died today.  It had been faithfully serving me and my rare cassette playing needs since the last century, so though I am sad to see it go, I can't complain.  Fortunately, the reason I bought it was to transfer some cassette recordings to digital formats I could post on the Internet and store electronically.  I did most of that in 1999-2002 and then a bit more in 2012-2013, so I have all that done, but the cassette player's passing did remind me that I should finally get rolling on another archival project I planned on doing.  Just like I had a stack of cassette audio recordings slowly working their way towards obsolescence and decay, I also have a stack of video recordings on VHS heading the same way.  So before my VCR, purchased about the same time as my dual cassette player, croaks, I have started to transfer some of the videos to digital.  This is the first one.  Filmed in 1991, it is an episode of Musical Mayhem, a cable public access show from Defiance, Ohio USA (?), which featured The Escaped Fetal Pigs.  Our friend Jimmie Frederick produced the show with a little help from our other pal Lisa Collet.  This is the introduction to the show and features the band visiting a pig farm, among other fun bits.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Goodbye To News Of The Weird!

I've enjoyed reading News Of The Weird for many years.  Every week, it usually makes me laugh out loud with one or more incredibly strange yet true news story.  Sadly, it's coming to an end.  After almost 30 years of collecting and sharing strange news stories, Chuck Shepherd is retiring.  Someone else may take over the column, but it will never be the same.  Robert, thank you for years of chuckles!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Story

"Operative 73 Takes A Swim", a new story, will be published on New Pop Lit soon.  I will, of course, let you know when.  In other news, Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead, my latest novel, is being prepared for publication.  I hope to have it out later this year.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Best Garage Sale Ever!

When I was younger, I used to go to garage sales a lot with my parents.  I found a lot of cool stuff cheaply priced.  I liked to read comics, so it was always a thrill when I found a garage sale with comics.  The best garage sale I ever went to though was when I was an adult.  This was because the garage sale was basically nothing but comics.  It was held by Tony Isabella, the creator of Black Lightning.  And now it looks like he's holding another one.  If you like comics, and you are anywhere near Medina, Ohio USA, then you will likely enjoy this garage sale!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Congratulations To The Red Fez!

Congratulations to The Red Fez!  Websites, especially literary ones, can often be ephemeral, but The Fez has managed to publish 100 issues.  They publish one a month generally, almost working like a print publication.  I'm not quite sure why they opted for that approach considering they are an online publication and could publish continually, but it's their shtick and it seems to be working for them.  They have published a few poems by me over the years, and if they keep going, perhaps they will publish a few more!  Congratulations on a milestone, Fezzers!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May 4th Report

Every year when I can, I travel to Kent, Ohio USA for the May 4, 1970 commemorations.  For those of you unfamiliar with the event, basically the military occupied a college campus and shot and killed some students during a protest against the Vietnam War.  It's a bizarre tale, best told by James Michener in his book about the incident (not the most factual of the Kent State books but the one that is best written).  This year was a rainy day, so instead of the commemoration being held outside, it was held inside at the student center.  It was the usual gathering of old hippies and curious students.  The speeches were well-meaning and boring, but that's ok, as the point of remembering the event is to put pressure, however small, on authority figures not to repeat it.  The students killed that day would be retiring from the careers they never had and probably be grandparents.  Instead, they were killed, some just walking by and having nothing to do with the protest.  You can see pictures of the four students who were killed above (I like how Jeff Miller's cleancut picture from high school has been taped over with his rock and roll drummer picture, which is closer to how he looked when he died).  Other students were shot as well; one was paralyzed.  It was as if the senselessness of the Vietnam War (or, as the Vietnamese call it, the American War) came to the homeland for a day.  It's sad how much life was stolen that day.  People should stop shooting people.

So not as good a commemoration when it's outside and the daffodils are blooming on the hill.  The last one I went to, which had Dick Gregory as a speaker, was much better.  Kent the city seems to be growing more corporate with every visit; it also looks as if the university is eating the town.  It extends much further into downtown than it used to with the result that downtown Kent feels a bit more like a fake town shopping mall than a real downtown.   It isn't all bad though.  I parked on one of the old streets I used to live in and walked to campus.  The city has made a nice walkway along the river, and even if Starbucks has replaced the grungy coffee shop called Brady's Cafe, the town still has its charming quirks such as the sign I saw advising dogs to make sure their owners were attached to the leash.

Now if the citizens of this country could keep powermad politicians on their leashes stuff like May 4, 1970 wouldn't happen.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Students First

Apparently, higher education has rediscovered that it is involved with students.  The result has been a new mantra of "students first".  On first glance, this seems like a sensible enough if banal strategy, but it likely leads to trouble.

Here's why.  Treating students first inevitable means catering to their desires and some of those desires such as getting an easy A and not having to work hard are not desirable.  Already, an A is the most common grade on campus.  Despite the Flynn effect, which suggests that as a result of living in a more complex society people today have higher I.Q.s than people had in the past, it is unlikely that today's American college students are so much smarter than past generations of college students that they earn more As than their forerunners.

What likely has happened is that As have become easier to get for a variety of reasons.  To cite one cause, if an instructor is an adjunct instructor, getting rehired from semester to semester is often dependent on getting good student evaluations.  What's an easy way to get student evaluations?  Give out As like candy.

Grades are sort of stupid anyway, but they can certainly can serve as a spur for learning for those less inclined to view learning as intrinsically valuable.  Not surprisingly, the result of catering to students has been that fewer students seem to get much out of college.  They view it as jumping through hoops to get their ticket punched, so they can get a college degree and become eligible for middle-class jobs.  The diploma is what is valuable; the knowledge and skills the diploma is a symbol of is viewed as less relevant.

Obviously, this is a backwards approach.  Let us hope that colleges rediscover learning and make that first.  A learning first approach would avoid many of the problems that come when students, ultimately the products of a university and not its customers (society is the customer, which is why higher education is subsidized in so many ways by the larger society), are placed at the center of education instead of placing at the center what the enterprise is all about:  learning.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Temperature Rising To War Fever

Anyone getting fired up about how the U.S.A. needs to waste tax money bombing peasants in some foreign land should think back to Iraq and Vietnam.  Neither war likely seems like a good idea to most Americans today, yet early on both wars were greeted with enthusiasm and much support.  Both North Korea and Syria seem to have pretty awful governments, which not many would be sad to see go, but the question is what is it worth?  How many civilian casualties?  How much destruction?  How many negative unintended consequences?  How much money, energy, blood, and lives wasted that could have been saved and utilized elsewhere?

As always, it boils down to this.  Some people make money from wars.  They'll tell the rest of us any old line of crap to get us to go along.  Some times they even believe their own nonsense.  But it's always nonsense.  There are people I know whom I don't like.  I still don't kill them.  I'm not going to go kill someone I don't know just because I don't like their government.

Mucking around with wars wasn't a good idea a hundred years ago during "the war to end all wars".  Today, with nuclear weapons, civilization and life as we know it on Earth could be destroyed.  The U.S. is already spending about 21 cents of every tax dollar on some aspect of the military.  Throw in another 6 cents per dollar for net interest on the national debt, and there's over a quarter of all tax dollars being spent foolishly.  We need some money spent on the military obviously as the world isn't likely to suddenly become peaceful and loving overnight, but we only need to be able to blow up the world once and not ten times over.     

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What Wred's Reading: Superman: The High-Flying History Of America's Most Enduring Hero

I just started reading this book by Larry Tye.  My buddy Brent sent it to me since he knows I dig comics and super-heroes.  It looks to be a good read, and Tye seems to be fairly on target with his research.  He's even careful about it.  For example, on page 5, writing of Superman's co-creator Jerry Siegel, Tye writes that Siegel's writing appeared in "his own Cosmic Stories, America's first science fiction magazine produced by and for fans."

That may be true.  I am glad that Tye doesn't claim that Cosmic Stories is the first fanzine because it probably wasn't.  But "first science fiction magazine produced by and for fans" . . . hmm, maybe.  The distinction between that and the first fanzine is thin but notable, so ok.

This could be a superread.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

In April, I'd Vote For A Flat Tax

I just got done filling out my yearly tax forms.  This year might have set a record with 8 different forms for the federal taxes alone, and my financial situation is not particularly complex nor do I make a lot of money.

It's just the goofy tax system of the USA.

Filled with handouts to special interests and well-meaning attempts to modify individual behavior through punishments and rewards of the tax system, the federal tax code has probably grown so large that no one, not even those who work for the Internal Revenue Service, fully understand it.

By the time I'm done filling out my forms, I'm ready to vote for the most regressive flat tax possible just so I could have a simpler tax system and wouldn't have to spend my time next year filling out so many tax forms.  If general elections were held in the spring, there would be more Libertarians in public office just from votes from people such as me sick of filling out tax form after tax form.

Interestingly enough, I noticed Ohio is halfway there to a Libertarian taxfree paradise, which, despite my frustration with a needlessly complex tax system, is probably not desirable given that government services in Ohio already seem to run in a degraded mode (lack of funding may not be the only reason, but it's probably one of them).  Check this out:

Basically, from what I can tell, if you're self-employed, you pretty much don't have to pay state taxes in Ohio (only if you make over $125,000, and given how much the self-employed don't declare in the first place and write off as business expenses, there probably aren't too many above that any way).

Though I personally appreciate the state of Ohio letting me not pay taxes on some of my income, this is absurd.  Income is income, regardless of how it is earned.  It ought to be taxed at the same rate (ditto for the federal level where stock market income gets taxed at lower rates than labor income).

You can tell that Republicans have been running Ohio . . . into the ground.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Mickey The Moose!

I wandered into Comics Are Go the other day to discover that my buddy Scott had sold the store.  It seems to be in good hands with the new owner, who informed me that Scott was now making comics and not just selling them.  His latest is some sort of tie-in for a convenience store chain called Mickey Mart.  I've never been to one, but they must be cool places if they have their own comic book and were smart enough to hire Scott to do it!  I liked issue #2 even more than issue #1 because it was full of clever bits such as having the characters from The Big Lebowski be in the background when Mickey The Moose and his friends were in a bowling alley.  You can find out more of what Scott is up to at

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mike & Molly Script

It might be the strangest thing I've ever written.  I wrote a Mike & Molly spec script.  It's basically fan fiction since it picks up right where the series ends.  I watched The Flash tv show a lot last year, and Mike & Molly reruns ran right before.  I got to enjoying the show and watched the last couple of episodes of the series when they aired in prime time.  I wanted to practice more screenwriting, so I wrote a spec script for fun.  Considering the show is no more, there is little chance of the script ever being produced, but it was fun to write.  I hope it's fun to read.  You can find it here:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Doug And The Succubus

Doug and Frank and I would
tramp together to the high school,
a long walk, and, with his
early facial hair, voted most likely
to be a wizard, Doug entertained
us daily for months with his
stories of how a succubus nightly
rode him devilishly evil.  Not quite
as good as the pornographic magazines
we hid in the woods but
stirring enough for the long trudge
to school, the saga went on
until one day when Doug said
his parents called an exorcist and
that was the end of his
getting laid.  Frank and I never
knew if Doug was full of
bull or mentally ill, but, being
teenage virgins, we longed, at times,
for a little demonic delight ourselves.
That would come later as the
women in our lives would suck
the child out of us and,
at times, make us wish that
we could go back to a
time when Doug was the only
one of us making whoopee.  Stuff
falling off the walls and houses
shaking with Doug cursing in ancient
languages while his mother and father
prayed around his bed doesn't sound
too bad when your wife is
out getting gangbanged while you are
cutting the grass at the formerly
happy home, or your girlfriend isn't
letting you see your child anymore
because she's decided that she doesn't
love you anymore so you have
to get a lawyer and sue
her only to find out the
child wasn't yours anyway. Most people
create their own hells.  At least
Doug's put out. Six Sex Six.

17 December 2015

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rock And Roll Will Never Die, But The Rock And Rollers Will

Buddy Holly died in the plane crash
that got the Bopper and Valens too.
Eddie Cochran preferred to die by auto,
while Brian Jones drowned before he could sue.
Joplin and Morrison both overdosed,
following Hendrix, who choked to death on spew.

Rock and roll will never die.

The first drummer of the Dolls drank too much coffee,
while Elvis ate too much to stay on the throne.
Lynyrd Skynyrd revived the plane crash.
Sid Vicious oded, but he didn't go alone.
Nobody much noticed Darby Crash's suicide
once John Lennon got shot by a fan in a zone.
Bob Marley found out that cancer was not much fun.
AIDS decided that a B-52 would no longer answer the phone.

Rock and roll will never die.

Kurt Cobain broke out his shotgun.
Tupac and Biggie let others pull the trigger.
Amy Winehouse should have stayed in rehab.
The original Ramones have now all had a gravedigger
Ben E. King stood until he couldn't stand any longer.
But, though the corpse pile will keep growing bigger,

Rock and roll will never die.

1 May 2015

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Upon A Street, Two Strangers Meet

Walking late at
night, I notice
that most people
cross the street as
they approach me.
We each get a
sidewalk for our
journey with a
street as a moat
between the two
of us instead
of a twinge of
trust as we cross
paths, and though I
do not do this,
they do, so it
amounts to the
same as if I
did, and maybe
they just had to
cross the street at
some point, so they
did it then, but
I don't think so.
The pattern holds
up far too well.
I don't know if
I should feel sad
or happy that
I am scary.
What do they think?
“I'd rather be
sexist than raped.”
“I'd rather be
racist than robbed.”
I suppose there's
nothing wrong with
being cautious,
but I wish we
lived in a world
where a midnight
stroll were soaked more
in moonlight than
it were in fear.

22 December 2014

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Slampit Etiquette

The hardcore band doesn't notice,
too busy thrashing,
nor do the slamdancers,
too busy bashing,
but, being bored,
I do.

Oi Boy has retired
from the evening's stagediving
and retreated to the
edge of the slampit,
where he has latched
onto a black-haired beauty,
much to her regret,
I'd say,
based on the way
she leans away.

He is yelling,
but thinks he is whispering,
the secret to life,
the secret that is hazy
when one is sober
but gets clearer and clearer
the more alcohol one drinks.

She listens politely,
but I can tell that
she doesn't want to
feel his hot breath,
smell his long unwashed body
and longer unwashed clothing,
hear his bullshit philosophy,
look at his snot-crusted noserings,
and as for taste,
I'm guessing,
based on her expensive
pretorn clothing,
that Milwaukee's Best
has never been good
enough for her.

28 July 2014

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Three Good Years And One Bad Day

I'm waiting for your phone call
The one that will likely never come
I'm waiting for your phone call
The one where you tell me
How you made a horrible mistake
And you just realized it
I'm waiting for your phone call
The one where you tell me
That you want me to take you back
So we can try again

I'm waiting for your phone call
The one that will likely never come
I'm waiting for your phone call
The one where you apologize
For the last phone call
When you dumped me
I'm waiting for your phone call
Because since you left
I don't have much to do
Except let the heartache bleed away

To speed it along
I have been throwing your things away
Which is somewhat therapeutic
I noticed that your toothpaste expired
The same month as we did
How did the company know?
I'd call them up and ask
But I want to leave the line free
I'm waiting for your phone call
The one that will likely never come

But if it ever does I hope that I have the courage to tell you to go fuck yourself and then hang up

24 June 2014

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Shutting Up

For all audiences

Shit, my well-meaning friend got fired up one day and told me we needed to speak up for those who
Haven't got a voice, that we needed to be a voice for the voiceless. I kept quiet and didn't disagree
Underneath the lengthy diatribe, but I thought that, in fact, I'm pretty sure that my friend was mixing
Things up, the metaphorical with the literal, because most of those poor, discriminated against,
Terrorized motherfuckers aren't mute. They can speak for themselves. But the people who like to
Instead speak for them do so just so the voicemore don't have to listen to what the voiceless have to
Not say or say or whatever. Because I'm pretty sure that my friend and the other do-gooders doing
Good as voices for the not actually so voiceless wouldn't like what the voiceless have to say when they

Use their voices to say what they think about the people who like to speak for them because those nice
People just won't shut the fuck up and listen.

For the uptight about language

Shhh, my well-meaning friend got fired up one day and told me we needed to speak up for those who
Haven't got a voice, that we needed to be a voice for the voiceless. I kept quiet and didn't disagree
Underneath the lengthy diatribe, but I thought that, in fact, I'm pretty sure that my friend was mixing
Things up, the metaphorical with the literal, because most of those discriminated against,
Terrorized poor and powerless aren't mute. They can speak for themselves. But the people who like to
Instead speak for them do so just so the voicemore don't have to listen to what the voiceless have to
Not say or say or whatever. Because I'm pretty sure that my friend and the other do-gooders doing 
Good as voices for the not actually so voiceless wouldn't like what the voiceless have to say when they

Use their voices to say what they think about the people who like to speak for them because those nice
People just won't shut up and listen.

11 February 2014

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Tyrant Next Door

The tyrant next door doesn't like you planting vegetables in your front yard, so city council passes a law and now you will pay through your taxes for men to come and fine you if you grow vegetables in your front yard.

The tyrant next door doesn't like it when you hold a garage sale, so city council passes a law and now you can only hold one garage sale a year, you can't hang a sign for it, and you have to pay money to the city so you can hold a garage sale, which doesn't make any sense since the reason you're holding a garage sale in the first place is because you need money, but it does make sense from the tyrant's point of view since the tyrant doesn't really want you to hold a garage sale.

In fact, the tyrant next door doesn't like how your garage looks. That door could use a little paint. So city council passes a law and now you will pay through your taxes for men to come and nag you to paint your garage. Don't shirk on your responsibilities! When you offer to just tear down the garage, they say no. The tyrant doesn't care if you don't even have a car. You must have a garage if you want to live in this city, buddy! Trim those bushes as well! Keep those property values up for the tyrant!

The tyrant next door has a few kids. Kids are expensive. So city council passes a law that you have to pay through your taxes for people to teach the tyrant's kids even if you don't have any kids yourself.

The tyrant next door really likes sports. Sports are expensive. So city council passes a law that you have to pay through your taxes for a new stadium that you will never visit, but that the tyrant will really enjoy. Go team! Subsidize spoiled millionaires playing children's games to please billionaires who don't know what else to do with their money (might I suggest giving it to the poor?).

The tyrant next door really likes art. (Except when you put some in your yard, then the tyrant complains.) The art the tyrant likes is expensive. So city council passes a law that you have to pay through your taxes for arts grants since you need to be cultured. Did you know that the tyrant's daughter is an artist and no one will otherwise buy the shit she calls art? Now you do!

The tyrant next door likes to call the cops on you just for fun. It's always a good time, especially to watch from the tyrant's window when the policecars pull up. However, the officers always look slightly disappointed when they don't find any heroin or domestic disturbance or whatever shit the tyrant made up to get them there.

The tyrant next door is friendly when you meet. Would be shocked to be thought of as a tyrant since the tyrant only wants what's best for the community. Hey, the tyrant pays taxes too. The tyrant can't grow vegetables in the front yard either. Isn't that fair? Hey, who are you to interfere with the tyrant's right to petition the government so the tyrant can tell you what to do? This is a democracy after all! How dare you? You must be a tyrant too! This is the United States of America! Don't you know this is the land of the free? We kicked the tyrant out of here a couple of centuries ago in our revolution.

We didn't want no tyranny no more, no sir!

That must be why now in every village, town, and city, the tyrant just has to settle for living next door.

19 November 2013

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

10 Years Of Wred Fright's Blog!

It was ten years ago on this day that I published the first post on this blog.  I joined Blogger initially to comment on King Wenclas's blog, and then figured I should actually do something with the blog.  I had some poems hanging about from a poetry reading I got suckered into (I was planning on reading from my first novel and then learned it was a poetry reading series, so I had to quickly write some poems), so I threw them up as posts.  Gradually, over the years, the blog came to be the entirety of WredFright.Com, as Google made it more functional.

There probably aren't too many blogs still running from a decade ago, so, to celebrate, I'll be running some poems in 2017.  Thus, things will be very similar to 2007.

Cheers to ten years of blogging!