Friday, December 21, 2018

I Hope That You Have A Cool Yule!

And from the longest night of the year, I bid you a cool Yule!  In 2018, this site pumped my latest novel, presented a few new songs, had The Thirsty Bear and Hungry Snake make an appearance, announced some new readings and publications, featured some videos of my old bands, and showcased some miscellaneous news and nonsense.  For 2019, I have lined up some poems, another new song, more videos of my old bands, and some other fun.  I will see you then!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

R.I.P. William Blum

Today, I learned that William Blum died.  He was older, so it was to be expected at some point that he would pass on, but he seemed to keep active with his writing until nearly the end.  You can read an obituary about him here.  Generally, he offered a thoughtprovoking perspective on American foreign policy that I found refreshing.  He even contributed to this blog once.  I was trying to publish daily then and started publishing the work of others, and Bill allowed me to reprint an article from his excellent "Anti-Empire Report" enewsletter about The Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare.  Reading that article years later, it is quite obvious that Bill was quite right in his predictions.  That usually with the case with him.  He preferred a happier republic to a grumpy empire and hoped to influence his fellow Americans into not wasting so many of our taxdollars and soldiers' lives messing around in other countries for little good reason other than benefiting a rich few who are just being greedy anyway.  Sadly, more Osamas than Obamas listened to him, and the American government still does a lot of the same dumb stuff.  Fortunately, without the bravery of folks such as Bill who point out the truth of "The Emperor's New Clothes", it probably would be a lot worse.  He will be missed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Pushcart Nomination!

A big thank you to New Pop Lit for nominating one of my stories, "Yelp In Reverse", for a Pushcart Prize!  You can read about their nominations here:  They also nominated another one of my stories last year.  I did not win, but it was nice to be nominated.  Maybe I will have better luck this year!  If not, then, once again, it is an honor to be nominated.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Fluff Chicks in My Soup"

This was the second time we played this song that day, a tribute to some of the shallow people who made the 1980s so obnoxious. I like how the camera catches a closeup of the cool stickers on the guitar. Mark, our guitarist always decorated it with fun stuff. I also like the vaguely psychedelic camerawork at the beginning. My little Iggy Popesque dancing is also fun. This is the last video from this tv show, which was a local television variety show in Northwestern Ohio USA, recorded in 1990 or so.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "The Beaver Of Love"

This is another performance from the local variety show in Northwest Ohio, USA that The Escaped Fetal Pigs appeared on in 1990 or so. It is a version of one of our "hits": "The Beaver Of Love". The intro is the reggae version of it, which we called "Rastabeaver".  I have no idea why I was wearing an Ohio Diesel Fleet Supply t-shirt.  We weren't sponsored by them or anything.  Someone probably gave me a free t-shirt, so I wore it.  I didn't have much money, so free anything was good.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine (Take 2)"

This is the second take of "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine" that The Escaped Fetal Pigs played on the local television variety show in 1990 or so. The second take is definitely better than the first one, but I'm still not sure why we did it exactly. In any case, here it is. It's so exciting that you might lose your hat like I do in the beginning of the song!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine (Take 1)"

This is the first take of "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine" from the local television variety show that The Escaped Fetal Pigs played in 1990 or thereabouts.  I don't recall why we did two takes of the song.  This might have been a rehearsal take for setting sound levels or something.  Then again, this version is pretty shaggy, so we might have just decided to redo it.  I love how the host, Tom Martin or something was his name, is mad that some people think his variety show lacks variety and he complains about that as he introduces us.  Considering he stormed out of the taping before we finished playing and this never aired that I know of, those people were probably right.  The song is about a cult that worships Walt Kelly's comic strip and was always fun to play live because a lot of people would pogo to it.  I don't remember who made the "Pig Out With The Escaped Fetal Pigs" banner behind us, but it's genius.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "I Hate French" - Television Show

This is another performance from the local television show, a performance of "I Hate French" (at the beginning of the clip, you can also catch the end of "Squirrels", another one of our songs).  I particularly like this song because I got to play a bit of drums on it.  Earlier that day, in fact, I was the only drummer on it because Simon, our regular drummer, was doing something else during that song--I don't know what, perhaps locating that Bay City Rollers album he has in front of the kick drum here.  Here I get to just jump and bash the cymbals after a bit of help from Simon in locating a drumstick.  This was the last song of the set, so we were pretty giddy.  Mark is cracking up trying to get through the lyrics.  I also love Jim's hair flailing around while rocking out.  In addition, be sure to check out the lovely computer dot matrix printed banner in the background.  This performance dates from 1990 or 1991 somewhere in Northwest Ohio USA.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Mr. Potatohead"

This video is from the same day The Escaped Fetal Pigs played three shows, if I remember correctly.  The first was a lunchtime college gig; this was the second, for a local cable television show.  The third was a bar gig at night.  We were pretty tired by the second performance, so I don't know how well the third went.  The television show was fun, but the host hated us.  He was into country music, and we were not his cup of tea as they say.  I don't know if this ever aired.  The show was called something like "The Tom Martin Variety Show"; it was fun playing it anyway.  This song is an ode to one of Mark's, our guitarist, favorite toys.  This performance dates from 1990 or so and was somewhere in Northwest Ohio USA.  I don't remember where.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

2018 Ohio Race For Governor

What a pleasure it was a couple of weeks ago to drive to Pennsylvania and see a welcome sign that just had the usual stupid state tourism slogan ("pursue your happiness" or some similar nonsense) and didn't provide free advertising for politicians.  This spring, when Ohio takes down the current governor/lieutenant governor highway overlay signs, we shall see if they get replaced by new signs with the names of the new officeholders on them.  Odds are, they probably will, for the vanity of politicians holds few limits.  I did seek out the candidates on Facebook to see where they stood on this small but easy issue.  Most ignored me, of course, but the Libertarian candidate said that he also thought it was a stupid waste of taxpayer money and was against it.  So, here's a shoutout to Travis Irvine for taking the right stance.  I was a little surprised the Greens didn't go anti governor's name on the welcome sign, as they did last election, but maybe they are just too disorganized this time to respond.  The Democrats ignored me, which was no different from their stance in the primary election.  At least, I could message them though.  For the Republicans, I was reduced to just posting a comment on one of their posts.  If this is any indication of how they will govern, then we can look forward to being ignored.  Unless, of course, we're a big campaign donor.  Politicians . . . sigh.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Song!: "Rubber Ducks"

This one is about how things that are really popular can be sometimes forgotten. Today, not many kids would know who Hopalong Cassidy is, but in the 1950s, millions of lunchboxes featuring him were sold, and he was arguably the most famous fictional American for a time. Ditto for Deanna Durbin. Today, mainly only hardcore Hollywood history buffs know her name. Tack is more obscure. He was a popular local wrestler, and I wondered what happened to him. The rubber ducks are even more obscure and only popular in a single household (other rubber ducks are similarly popular in their own respective households). Whether it's Donald Trump or an ex-lover, cheer up, odds are that he, she, or it will ultimately be more or less forgotten as time moves on. Some phenomena defies this entropy to forgetfulness such as Shakespeare or Marilyn Monroe but not much. The weird sound on here is the toy xylophone. 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.

The Hopalong Cassidy lunchbox has long since rusted away.
And the kid who carried it? His every hair has turned gray.

Even once popular things can get forgotten.
I hope someday to forget about you.

The Deanna Durbin fan club once numbered over a million strong.
Today, almost no one remembers her, so few are left to sing along.
"Pain is temporary, but Tack is forever" was his professional wrestling motto.
Today, at his corporate job, no one cheers, and he dreams of winning the lotto.

My little boy doesn't want his rubber ducks anymore with him in the bath.
They sit nice and dry in the closet as he takes a shower on his grown-up path.

Written October 2018
Recorded October 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

"Martha Stewart's Guide To The Nuclear Apocalypse"

I’m having so much fun these days, but I know the news can turn grim, so I want to show you that no matter how bad it can get, you can still have a stunning home. That should ease some of your minds. With the wonderful products from my growing collections, even a fallout shelter can be pretty. I will demonstrate how each one works, and how it can make your day-to-day lives easier even when it is time to duck and cover from an impending nuclear attack.

This week, I spent an entire day in an undisclosed friend's private fallout shelter. I can't tell you whom he is, but you do see him on tv a lot these days, which reminds me that I will showcasing my new nuclear war collection on QVC this Wednesday. Our series of segments begins at two minutes to midnight and continues throughout the day, just like a missile barrage, until my last appearance at 11pm ET. or the American communications system is disrupted by an electromagnetic pulse. I can tell you if that happens, then I plan on being well-stocked up with my latest book, “Martha’s Flowers, A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering and Enjoying”, so I, the hosts, crew, and studio audience won't be bored and will be ready to go when nuclear winter turns to nuclear spring. I can't wait to see what the radioactivity does to mutate my garden! I also plan on sharing more items from my apparel line--gasmasks, long sleeved shirts to guard against fallout on the skin, and my cheeky glow-in-the-dark t-shirts with inspirational slogans such as "Make America Glow Again!" on them. I am perhaps most proud of the stylish sneakers that anchor the line. With these on, you will easily be able to sprint to the nearest building and take shelter inside to wait out the fallout.

And that's a great place to start, with my Martha Stewart Fallout Shelter doors. I love them! An attractive yellow and black design modeled on the iconic Department of Defense fallout shelter, these inch thick doors should guard not only against the initial shock wave of the detonation, but also efforts by desperate neighbors to pry their way inside. They won't be able to hear you through the doors, but if they could, you could tell them the coupon code for a 10% discount on MarthaStewart.Com, so they will be better prepared the next time the bomb brings the neighborhood together.

Meanwhile, inside the shelter, you will be having a delightful time, with my Martha Stewart Emergency Generator, because you won't be able to count on the electrical grid and other utilities not being disrupted by the intense firestorms that will break out after the initial bomb blast. My solar panels will soak up any sunlight that gets through the atmosphere of dirt, ash, and dust created by the explosion and subsequent fires. And, when it is safe to go back outside, you can clean your house with my Martha Stewart Pressure Washer. An intense jet, paired with the detergent used in the on-board tank, blasts away grime to help preserve all that you want to clean. You'll feel as if you are nuking the dirt away yourself!

Of course, before that, you'll be inside for a long time waiting out the fallout, and you will inevitably get the munchies after the initial adrenaline-filled terror subsides, so I have brought out my new canned food line. Based on the military's MRES, which stands for Meal Ready-To-Eat, mine are MRS, which stands for Martha's Ready-To-Snack. They are guaranteed to last at least a decade, so you can stock up ahead of time in case nuclear winter kills all the vegetation in your garden and no fresh food is available for years. While you are waiting for the plants to grow again, assuming you don't perish of radiation poisoning in the meantime, you can utilize my new book, a wonderful resource for learning how and when to plant, nurture, and, at the perfect time, cut from the garden. I also shouldn't forget to mention the Martha Stewart Electric 2-in-1 Edger and Trencher tools. Not only does it create a clean line along flower beds, walkways, and borders, and cut a crisp trench with a three-position depth adjustment, but you can also use it as a weapon to defend against any looters, invading armies, or radioactive mutants who might attack you once you leave the fallout shelter.

And it comes in the same great colors as all the gardening products in my collection: black, slate, and a pretty mint color!

I hope you never have to experience a nuclear attack, but if you do, then these great products from the Martha Stewart collection will make it more bearable. And, best of all, I just signed a deal to manufacture and sell these items in North Korea, so, if my influence grows there, then, someday, even the missiles bearing the nuclear warheads might be more stylish!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What Wred's Reading: Close Up Magic

I stumbled across this gem while doing some maintenance on the blog.  The author, Eddie Willson, and I had exchanged zines or whatnot at some point, and I had really enjoyed reading his novel The Black Car Leaving.  He had that novel online for a long time, but it seems to have disappeared as of late.  Fortunately, you can still find Close Up Magic, Eddie's short story collection, available as an ebook.  I've enjoyed reading a story a day.  His subject matter tends to be life in modern England usually from a working class intellectual perspective.  Plenty of heartbreak and humor within, all told well in Eddie's usual shorthand, charming style.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

NOIFF 2018!

My buddy Mark Justice is showing some of his films at the 2nd Annual Northern Ohio Indie Film Festival, which is being held on October 13, 2018 in Lorain, Ohio USA. I don't know which of his films are showing, but I am in all three of them, so you can catch me on the big screen there one way or another. Unfortunately, that's the only place you'll catch me because I can't make the event. I hope to catch it next year, however!

Monday, September 10, 2018

"Big Daddy Pane (Take 2)" by Yeast?

This is the second take of "Big Daddy Pane" from the Slippery Rock University tv show in 1994 that Yeast? played.  They get fancy with the camerawork in this one, and the take is a bit better in that we start together and I don't pull off the microphone too many times while singing.  This was one of the four tracks from the Dick Bennett 7".  We recorded the record right after our other guitarist Chris quit--he was actually supposed to be at the recording session, but he never showed up--and before our new guitarist Drew joined, and we were still in power trio mode at the time of the tv taping.  The song was inspired by Dave and I meeting a guy named Kevin at Mama Joe's in Kent, Ohio USA.  Mama Joe's was a pizza place that used to let the local hardcore bands play in the basement.  They stopped soon after one of the bands wrecked the basement.  I was there for that show, and that band--I don't remember the name now, something Youth?--started punching the crowd and then wrecking their own equipment.  After they wrecked their own equipment, they proceeded to destroy the basement of the venue.  Most of the crowd fled.  Dave and I would peep our heads around the corner of the staircase only to have to duck when a projectile flew past us.  Finally, one of the pizza workers came downstairs and discovered the chaos and called the police and that was the end of the show, and of shows in general there if I remember correctly.

It remains the most nihilistic performance that I have ever seen.  I don't know what the band thought they were doing.  Out G.G. Allining G.G. Allin?  In any case, in the midst of all that insanity, this guy named Kevin entertained Dave and us with a story of how he just got out of jail.  From what I recall, the song basically does recount Kevin's story.  He stabbed a hippie.  He drove the hippie to the hospital.  He went to jail.  His mom sent him cigarettes.  He was afraid of being anally raped.  He also was quite generous and did just keep offering us cigarettes and beer.  I don't know whatever became of Kevin, but I hope he stayed out of jail.  I hope the same for all of us.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Yeast? TV Interview

This is the interview segment from The Hart Rock Cafe show that Yeast? appeared on in early 1994.  I don't recall why I end up being the only one interviewed.  It could have been that Damon and Dave just didn't want to, or that the show's producer only wanted one of us to talk, or that there simply weren't enough seats.  In any case, I got to do the talking.  I am happy that I was reasonably articulate and answered the host's questions.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

"Generic Smokes" by Yeast? Live

Yeast? played this tv show in 1994 right before the Dick Bennett 7" was released, so we did two songs from it.  "Generic Smokes" probably was the most popular song on the ep, so we did it, of course.  This version is pretty rocking.  Damon's bass line keeps the song grooving.  I always liked that Madman shirt as well.  We read a lot of comic books in that band.  Dave's drums are stripped down, so he could focus on the core of the beat.  The guitar sounds really good as well.  This song has evolved over the years as I have continued to play it, but this is a pretty good early version of it.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

"Big Daddy Pane (Take 1)" by Yeast?

There isn't much video of Yeast? in comparison with many of my other bands.  In fact, this footage from a Slippery Rock University tv show may be all that exists.  It's certainly all I have.  The band does two songs including two takes of "Big Daddy Pane".  This one is the first take.  I don't recall why we did two takes.  Most likely someone screwed up either in the band or the tv crew and we rerecorded it.  The tv show was some sort of music talk show by a guy named Richard Hart.  He was not a member of professional wrestling's Hart Foundation as far as I know, but that would have been cool if he were.  He was probably just a college student in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania USA majoring in tv production or something.  His show might not have lasted much longer than the band did, but both were fun.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New Song!: "Ready For The Next"

This one is about wrapping something up and beginning something new, whatever that is.  I liked the guitar sound on this one so much that I threw in a guitar solo.  The weird instrument this time is a child Avengers toy tambourine.  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.

I always have to text you first.
And when we make love, you just say, "It hurts."
I used to think you were my one and only.
Now I think that I'd be better off being lonely.

I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready for the next.

I'm getting bored at my job.
And when they pay me, it's like being robbed.
I think it's time to move along.
It feels so right, how could it be wrong?

(Feel free to add more and improvise)

Ready for the next song!

Written June 2018
Recorded June 2018

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "I Hate French" - Live At Firelands

I like this version of "I Hate French" because I got to play the drums on it.  I don't remember if Simon, our usual drummer, had to use the bathroom or what the deal was, but I got to end up playing drums on this version.  It was fun.  Dating from 1990 or 1991, this was part of a lunchtime performance for the college students at the Firelands campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio USA.  Actually, we like the French, at least I do.  I think Mark, our guitarist, wrote this song to tweak his friends at The French House, a campus residential house in Bowling Green where only French was spoken, but I'm not sure.  It's a funny song and predated the whole dumb American anti-French freedom fries fad of the George W. Bush years by a decade.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Yelp In Reverse"

New Pop Lit has published a new short story of mine called "Yelp In Reverse".

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Thanks For The Reading!

Thanks to everyone who came out for last night's reading!  It was a lot of fun!  It, so far, is the only one that I have given for Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead, which, if you missed the reading, you can still purchase at Mac's Backs.  It currently is the only bookstore on Earth where you can just stroll in and buy a physical copy.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Fluff Chicks In My Soup" - Live At Firelands

This video is another song from the Firelands campus performance of The Escaped Fetal Pigs.  We played this Bowling Green State University branch campus for a midday concert for the students.  This is either from 1990 or 1991, but whenever it was, the women were still using massive amounts of hair spray for those quintessential 1980s hairdos, and the 1990s were proving a bit more environmentally conscious, so this song ridicules people whose personal vanity ranks higher than preserving the environment.  We were probably also mad that the fluff chicks wouldn't date us, though I'm not sure any of us would have dated them anyway, so maybe not.  This performance is notable for me getting my exercise by running laps around the auditorium between the verse and chorus.  I was sick that day, so I must have been feeling better during this song.  Thank you, fluff chicks, or, maybe, soup!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Escaped Fetal Pigs - "Simon On Acid" - Live At Firelands

The Escaped Fetal Pigs did some crazy things, and this video shows one of them.  We booked three shows in one day, and this was the morning one.  It was a branch campus of Bowling Green State University called Firelands and we were playing at like 11 a.m. or lunchtime for the students.  Then we played a tv show in the afternoon, and then a bar or something in Bowling Green, Ohio USA that night. This was in the spring of 1991, I think, but it could have been the fall of 1990. I do not remember.

It was a pretty tiring day.  On top of that, I think I was sick and Mark the guitarist kept getting shocked by the microphone because something wasn't grounded.  On the bright side, we did have fun exploring the props of the college theater department as you can tell from the hats we are wearing during the show.  I also like how the camera operator got into the spirit of "Simon On Acid" with the camerawork.  You can read more about that song here.

I liked a couple more of the performances from this show, so I'll be posting those in the coming weeks as well.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Satan Tortilla - "Satan Tortilla"

This was my one gig with Satan Tortilla, and it was the band's first gig. It was at The Good Tymes Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio USA on June 18, 1991 and was a fun show. I was living with Simon, the drummer of The Escaped Fetal Pigs, that summer, and we had some free time, so we joined a band our buddy Kramer was putting together. He played bass and got a couple of other local eccentrics to join in. Jose (I don't remember the name exactly, so that may be incorrect) was a really good guitar player, which was good because I was still learning to play, and Steve was a Bowling Green State University English instructor whose role in the band was to smash stuff for additional percussion.

It was a very weird band.

Underneath the distortion and effects that Kramer loved and which made us distinctive from other punk and psychedelic rock bands in town (you know aside from having a guy in a hockey mask and overalls chop up guitars) was a pretty good garage rock band. This song was our theme song. The lyrics went something like "Satan Tortilla. It's going to eat ya." It was my favorite of the tunes. You can see it here complete with flying tortillas being flung at the audience and being flung back (watch for Billy from Madhatter Music's amazing catch and rethrow of one). The video also includes some spoken word thing about the 1960s and the start of another tune. I was only in the band briefly. I went back to Pennsylvania for the rest of the summer, and the band continued on without me. I think Simon kept playing with them. Either I was too busy in the fall when I returned to rejoin, or I had already been replaced. I don't remember. The band later put out a couple 7" records, but this video is all that remains to document my tenure in the band.

I think I still have that shirt somewhere.  I miss those shoes, Vision Street Wear if I remember correctly.  If anyone knows where to find a new pair, get in touch.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New Short Story!

New Pop Lit will be publishing a new short story of mine called "Yelp In Reverse" soon.  I will let you know when it's up.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

New Thirsty Bear & Hungry Snake!

Every once in a while, I get some spare time combined with a desire to do a photocomic starring a stuffed bear and a sock puppet snake.  Recently, that happened.  The result is below:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Fake News Gazette

The Trump News Gazette*

Publishing All The News Donald Trump Likes Since 1783**

Today, the greatest President ever*** announced his new initiative to end all problems in America. Typically, the fake news media did not cover this announcement, focusing instead of some tawdry, unimportant scandal****. Yet, the news was huge. Called "Keep America From Becoming a Shithole," the new initiative takes all the money from the U.S Treasury and loans it to Trump, Inc. to finance an array of daring projects.***** The President touted just a project or two, and, by the way, if you'll pardon this aside from your humble correspondent, the President's hair looked AWESOME! But back to the content, for example, the Ohio Turnpike will now be named The Trump Turnpike. "I like the ring of that," the President said, "Kasich couldn't get the job done when he tried to sell the turnpike, but I get things done."

The audience was puzzled by the mention of Kasich, then Sarah Huckabee Sanders ran to the podium and explained to the audience that he was the governor of Ohio. "Forget him!" the President said, "I mean forget him again. You already forgot him. Sad! I also have some huge news. As you know I have asked for the resignation of my current Secretary of War."

Huckabee Sanders whispered something in the President's ear.

"Oh, yes," the President continued, "Defense. Defense. Like football. All right, folks, let's not get me started on the NFL. Shameful. Sad! Anyway, I think the best defense is a good offense, so I was very, very disappointed that the current Secretary of War, I mean Defense, hadn't started any wars. I mean, he's been in office for a year. And not a single war. I mean I'm not going to be like Obama and just be content to continue the wars of other presidents. I want one of my own. I want the history books to note a Trump Doctrine like that, you know, Madison Doctrine or whatever. So I am appointing Bobby Lashley as my new Secretary of Defense. Folks, he's tremendous. I worked with Bobby when I did some wrestling with my great friend Vince McMahon in his WWF. Bobby's also black, so to all those people who say I am racist, look who I am appointing as Secretary of War. He's going to do a tremendous job, folks. And to further prove I'm not racist, I'm going to ask Bobby to start in a white country, maybe Norway, for his first war."

"Come out, Bobby," the President called, and Bobby bounced onto the stage and posed shirtless, flexing his muscles for the crowd, "No, we'll start off with something easy like Iceland. Maybe you should have put in that Trump golf course, folks. The geysers would have been awesome if we made them water hazards. But, seriously, folks, Iceland's a terrific country. It's going to make a great state someday after we take it over."'

The audience applauded the President's brilliance. Bobby Lashley bodyslammed the one member of the audience who didn't applaud.******

*Formerly The Fake News Gazette

**Correction, since 2018

***Correction, the current President, not the greatest President, which is a title historians argue about.

****The current impeachment of the President trial going on in the Senate

*****Ideas left over from the Obama Administration that the Republican Congress would not fund.

 ******He later apologized to the man who it turned out was a double amputee who didn't have hands. The President invited the man to dinner and asked everyone there to give him a hand for attending. Then, noticing his unintended pun, he noted that everyone with hands should start their own "#MeToo" movement on Twitter since people without hands had real problems unlike those whiny feminists. The President further noted that the double amputee would be liked very well by those feminists since he couldn't grab anyone by the pussy. At this comment, Huckabee Sanders rose and slipped out the side door and went and had several Irish Car Bombs at a bar with Sean Spicer and your humble correspondent, who had also left earlier to start drinking heavily to write this article.

Monday, June 4, 2018

She-Hulk Joins The Avengers Again!

Well, you can't keep a good Hulk down.  Not much long after She-Hulk's own series got smashed (again!), she has reappeared.  She's back in The Avengers.  That was enough for me to try the first issue.  Not as fun as FF, her last team book that I bought, but it's good to see the character in use.  Writers of team books such as The Avengers always enjoy having characters they can develop since many of the other characters such as Captain America have solo books and, as a consequence, those writing their team books have less leeway with them.  So it looks like Shulkie will be playing that free spirit role for writer Jason Aaron.  From the one page with She-Hulk in the first issue, it looks as if Aaron is continuing Mariko Tamaki's storyline of She-Hulk as a post-traumatic stress disorder survivor.  I much prefer a fun She-Hulk, so I probably will be sitting this series out.  It isn't bad, but, having read many, many comic books over the years, it takes a bit more to hook me than what is here.  Still, it is nice to see She-Hulk back in the spotlight again so quickly.  Maybe if she becomes a fan-favorite here, then the wait for her next solo book will be much shorter!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Flyer For The July 21st Reading

Mike Fournier sent along a nifty flyer made for the July 21st reading.  Here it is:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Another Review Of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead

I stumbled across another review of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead!  I was pleasantly surprised to see that a writer pal of mine had written it.  I had sent a review copy to Razorcake, and my buddy Mike Fournier ended up reviewing it for them.  He definitely got it!  My favorite bit is "Even if you’re not into tipping sacred cows, Frequently Asked Questions about Being Dead is a fun read for its snappy dialogue, which moves with the gag-laden pace of good screenplays, or vaudeville. This book is a trip, well worth checking out."

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cleveland Reading!

My zine buddy Mike Faloon has a new book out called The Other Night At Quinn's.  He's touring to promote it with Mike Fournier, another talented writer.  At their stop in the Cleveland, Ohio USA area, they're reading at Mac's Backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118).  The date is Saturday, July 21, 2018, and the reading starts at 7 p.m.  They invited Ben Stein and myself to read with them.  It should be a fun reading! It is free, so your money back if you don't like it! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Yeast? Warehouse Find!

An old buddy of mine recently surprised me by sending me ten copies of Yeast?'s Dick Bennett ep, a 7" record from back in 1994.  Long out of print, he had the copies leftover presumably from putting them on consignment at various Washington D.C. record stores.  I haven't had this record in stock since 2003 when the last copies were given away as part of the final issue of The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus zine.  Recorded when Yeast? first became a power trio (our other guitarist at the time simply didn't show up for the recording session and subsequently disappeared from the band entirely), this clear vinyl 7" has four songs on it:  "Johnson Wants To Rant", "Generic Smokes", "Big Daddy Pane", and "Warm Fuzz".  Our buddy Ryan poses on the cover as a parody/tribute to P.J. Harvey's 4-Track Demos cover.  It is for sale for $5 postpaid.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Update On Governor Highway Signs

In my seemingly nonstop Quixotic quest to get vain politicians to stop wasting taxpayer money by needlessly putting their names on highway signs, I thought I'd provide an update of the 2018 Ohio gubernatorial campaign.  At this point, I've emailed or called all the primary candidates that I could track down.

Of course, none of them have responded.

This is because:

a) politicians are vain and want their names on highway signs;

b) campaigns are busy;

c) they think I'm a crank;

or d) all of the above.

Ah, well, soon the primary will be over, and I can concentrate on fewer candidates.  Maybe then, I can email and call instead of one or the other.  My hope is, of course, some journalist or state representative will pick up the cause, and I can go back to just exclusively writing about silly stuff such as comic books and rock music.  Until then, the quest continues . . .

Here's what I have done so far.

Democratic Candidates

Dennis Kucinich/Tara Samples - Emailed/ No response

Analysis - I like Dennis, but he is undoubtedly an egomaniac, so I don't see him going for this, though, like all candidates, he should.

Bill O'Neill/Chantelle C. Lewis - Emailed/No response

Analysis - Given that O'Neill once printed all his campaign material in his own garage, I would have expected he would be all about saving money, but so far, it's crickets from Geauga County.

Paul E. Ray/Jerry Schroeder - Couldn't find any contact information

Analysis - If you run for governor, at least get a Go Daddy website or something.  Given this candidate has no chance, I didn't bother following up.

Joe Schiavoni/Stephanie Dodd - Emailed/No response

Analysis - If I were this guy from the Youngstown area, I would have held a press conference on I-80 in front of the Ohio border and pointed at Kasich's and Taylor's names on the sign and then the closed rest stop immediately after it and drawn the implication about misplaced budget priorities.  This guy is probably running just to get wider name recognition, but if you can't recognize the mileage you could get from a cheap political stunt like that, maybe you shouldn't bother running next time anyway.

Richard Cordray/Betty Sutton - The email bounced back, so I called and left a voicemail.

Analysis - This guy seems like he has pennypinching potential, but if you can't get your website email working, should I really trust you with running a state government?

Larry Ealy/Jeffrey Lynn -  See Ray/Schroeder above.  Supposedly, Ealy is a former male stripper.  He should have done a striptease by the Welcome to Ohio highway sign outside Cincinnati and said he would strip out unnecessary spending.

Green Party

Constance Gadell-Newton/Brett R. Joseph - Emailed/No response

Analysis - Given that she's running unopposed, maybe the campaign is on cruise control until the fall, but this was still a disappointment.  The previous Green Party candidate earned my vote by being the sole candidate to pledge to do away with the governor's name on the Welcome to Ohio highway signs.

Republican Party

Mike DeWine/Jon Husted - Emailed/No response

Analysis - Given the pissing match over who is most primitive going on right now, DeWine should have beaten up Taylor over this fiscal responsibility issue.  After all, her name is currently on the signs.

Mary Taylor/Nathan Estruth - Couldn't find any contact information.

Analysis - Given that Taylor's name is up on the signs currently, I didn't hold much hope here, but one would think she would have an email or phone number listed on her campaign site.  Apparently, you can give her money, but otherwise she doesn't want to hear from you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thanks For The Fun In Michigan City!

I had a lot of fun at the Michigan City Zine & Small Press Fest!  Thanks to Michele McDannold and the other organizers!  I gave a talk about zines, was part of a panel of zine publishers, and read some poetry.  I also have quite a stack of summer reading now!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Nice Article On The Michigan City Zine Fest!

Michele McDannold, the organizer of the Michigan City, Indiana USA Zine Fest forwarded me a nice article about the event.  It is here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Palookaville 23: Clyde Fans Finally Finishes!

I must have missed this last year when it came out, possible because I had given up hope of it ever happening, but Seth finally finished Clyde Fans.  The long-running serial started in the late 1990s in Palookaville.  The serial started in issue 10 and has concluded in issue 23, which doesn't sound unreasonable until one realizes that 10 was published in 1997 and 23 in 2017.  That's 20 years!

Anyway, another enjoyable issue of Paolokaville, and I am glad that I lived long enough to read the end of the story.  If you want to see what I have written about Palookaville over the years, then you can click here, though I apparently had no comment on issue 22 since there is no post on that one.  I must have liked it though because I read 23.  Will there be a 24 now that Clyde Fans is done?  Maybe not even Seth knows . . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Song: "Window Shopping"

This one is about online dating, a very interesting phenomenon in the Internet age. Some people are very serious about finding a mate while others are just window shopping.  Hilarity ensues when the two collide.  I had a lot of fun with the toy piano on the recording.  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.

He's got a box of expired condoms.
He doesn't know why he hasn't thrown them away yet.
The sight of them depresses him.
He's trying hard to forget.

She's going window shopping.
She's going to find herself a new man.
She's going window shopping.
She's going to swipe right on whomever she can.

She can.

She wants to go on her last first date
They say that love is a wonderful thing.
She should really know by now
That they say a lot of things.

He's going window shopping.
He's going to find himself a new woman.
He's going window shopping.
He's going to swipe right on whomever he can.

He can.

That old man isn't lonely; he's happy.
He's ready to deploy.
He's living on donuts and fear.
Feels like he did when he was a boy.

He's going window shopping.
He's going to find himself a new man.
He's going window shopping.
He's going to swipe right on whomever he can.

She didn't fuck Karen or Laura.
She did not fuck Pauline.
Anita said that she'd go out,
But she's nowhere to be seen.

She's going window shopping.
She's going to find himself a new woman.
She's going window shopping.
She's going to swipe right on whomever she can.

Written April 2018
Recorded April 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

All American Reunions Video With GoGoBots Music

I found this video while going through my old videocassettes. It dates from 2000 or so. The reunion planning company that I worked for hired my buddy Mike Dee to make a video to send to prospective high school classes to let us organize their reunions for them. I ended up doing the voiceover announcing, and somehow Mike and I, or my boss, decided it was a good idea to have our band, The GoGoBots, provide the background music. I'm guessing my boss didn't want to mess around with paying royalties for real music licensing because why otherwise would you let an obscure punk band be the soundtrack for your corporate video? In any case, this was fun to watch. And, no, the company can't plan your reunion. They're out of business now. Just like The GoGoBots.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mariko Tamaki's She-Hulk

One of the subjects that I have posted about over the years that gets the strongest response, oddly enough, is She-Hulk.  That subject was fairly random.  I was shedding my comic book collection and there were a few titles where I was missing an issue or two, and I decided to fill in the holes before I disposed of the rest.  As such, I set them aside until the end of the project.  She-Hulk was one of them.  At that time, I was trying to post daily on here, and I needed material, so it was pretty natural to write about the comics that I was reading and disposing of.  Since then, I have kept tabs on Shulkie and her exploits from time to time.  The last time I checked in, She-Hulk had her first lawyer for a writer, and now, finally, a She-Hulk series got her first woman for a writer (it only took nearly 40 years).

Strangely enough, the writer was Mariko Tamaki, who once stayed at my house while she and some other Canadian writers were promoting an anthology called Girls Who Bite Back on a book tour (marking the second time a Marvel comics writer crashed at my house, as Joe Meno once wrote a Beast story or two).  As usual, She-Hulk seems to be very fortunate in whom she gets as a creative team.  And, as also sadly usual, most comics readers don't care, and the series gets canceled.

Oh, well, Marvel seems to have a fondness for the character, as I do, so they will likely bring her back at some point.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

It's 2018. Can We Finally Take The Stupid Signs With The Governor's and Lieutenant Governor's Names Off The Welocme To Ohio Highway Signs?

A few years back, I complained about Ohio sticking the names of the governor and lieutenant governor on the welcome to Ohio highway signs.  Upon further investigation, I found out that it cost about $25,000 for those signs.  Last time, only The Green Party candidates pledged to do away with that waste of money.  Well, it's 2018, so let's see if we can finally get rid of those signs.  I will be asking the various gubernatorial  campaigns if they will be doing away with this practice.  We'll see what they say!  I will keep you posted.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Michigan City Zine & Small Press Fest

I will be attending the Michigan City, Indiana USA Zine & Small Press Fest in April.  I will be giving a talk about the history of zines, be on a panel about zines, and be reading some of my fiction/poetry.  I also will have some books for sale and free stuff to give away at a table.  It should be fun!  If you are in the area, come on by.  They have some other fun weekend events planned around the event also.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Read An EBook Week!

It is Read An EBook Week!  To celebrate, Smashwords is having a big sale, including on Blog Love Omega Glee and Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead.  I, meanwhile, will continue reading the ebook I have already been reading, Derz's And In That Grove There Was A Bat.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Another Review Of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead!

I particularly like this review because it's by The Derz, whose writing I dig!  It's also fun to have a review in the U.K.!  If you want to read the book, The Derz writes of, then it is available here.

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Novel From Ann Antognoli!

A couple of years ago, I read a book by Ann Antognoli and wrote about it on the blog.  At that time, I noted that Ann was thinking of writing another novel.  Well, she did, and it is here!  It's available on Amazon in print and as an ebook.  And, while you are there, pick up this one also!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Want A Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead Postcard?

I had some postcards printed up to promote Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead.  If you want one, then please email me at wredfright AT yahoo DOTT com.  I'll probably send you a bunch if you send me a self-addressed stamped envelope.  You are welcome to distribute them at the cool places in your neighborhood such as coffee shops.  Thanks for the help in spreading the word! 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day From Wred Fright!

Looking for something unique to get your lover for Valentine's Day, or maybe you don't have a lover and that's bumming you out and you want to cheer up?:  How about a copy of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead?  It's a weird love story, but it's still a love story.  It will last longer than flowers, it won't put weight on you like chocolate will, and it will make me love you also!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Autographed Print Copies Of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead Are Now Available!

Autographed print copies of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead are now available!  They are $20, and that includes postage.  Just select that option from the order menu instead of EPUB or PDF.  I can also personalize the autograph; please just send me an email with the specifics if your PayPal order doesn't have an option to include a note.  Of course, include your shipping address if PayPal doesn't do that automatically for you.  I'll probably still email you to clarify the details.  The print book looks pretty nice; Amazon's print on demand unit has done an excellent job!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Updated Bear And Snake Strip For The Trump Era!

I bet I could run this same comic every presidential administration.  I just need to update the name of the current disappointing officeholder.  I also should probably add Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead or whatever new novel I have out then.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Print Edition Of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead

I wasn't planning on putting out a print edition of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead, but I am sure glad that I did!  When I uploaded the Kindle edition to Amazon, I saw they had an option to work up a print counterpart.  I decided to try it as an experiment.  I knew that some of my readers still prefer print, so I wanted to have it as an option even if it wouldn't be as cheap as the ebook due to printing costs.  There were a couple of minor hurdles, but I got it uploaded.  I was a little concerned about how the printed book would look since the book wasn't designed with print in mind, but Amazon's print on demand service did a great job!  I just got my print copy today, and the book looks great!  I had thought about doing a print run, but what can be done with print on demand is amazing these days.  The books are quite akin to any trade paperback, and it's nice to know that there won't be any remainder copies floating around unloved in bookstores.  It's probably a little more environmentally sound to only get these books printed up when someone actually wants one.  You can check out the print edition here.

Monday, January 29, 2018

New Book About The Afterlife!

Michael Shermer has come out with a new book that seems interesting.  It's called Heavens On Earth:  The Scientific Search For The Afterlife, Immortality, And Utopia.  I plan on reading it.  It seems like a nice, nonfictional counterpart to Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead.  I wonder what Shermer would think of that fictional afterlife.  I hope he would get a laugh out of it!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bruce Goose, Where Are You?

One of my favorite minor characters in Blog Love Omega Glee is the cranky old man, Bruce Goose, who likes to tell Jake such sage advice as "Never marry a poet."  Goose, of course, tries his hand at some poetry of his own and tries to get published in Francine's blog.  Well, although Goose is a fictional character, I was delighted to discover that there apparently is a real poet who went by the name of Bruce Goose.   There is no connection between the two; I just liked the name for the character, and if I had known that a poet went by that name, I would have chosen another name for the character, which would have been sad because I really like that name.

In any case, the nonfictional Bruce Goose, someone is looking for you.  It is Tom Prince.  I will let Tom send out the APB for Bruce in his own words from the email he sent me:  "He is (was) the son of Kenneth Fearing. If he lives (surprisingly), are you able to contact him? I am doing a documentary about Read Sky Poetry Theatre and Bruce would be interested to know that. If he can't recall me, mention the Five 0 Tavern and the Cause Celebre Cafe."

So Bruce if you're out there, please get in touch with me, and I'll put you in touch with Tom if you can't reach him directly.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Freedom Of Speech Under Attack In Egypt

I read recently about the government of Egypt hassling Ahmed Naji about his novel.  It is sad to note that things that should have been settled for good during the Enlightenment still have to be fought for in the 21st Century.  A person should be free to express herself or himself without the government shutting her or him up.  I am certainly glad to live in a country that recognizes the right to freedom of speech and guarantees it through the First Amendment.  No government has tried to shut me up because of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead and other things that I have written.  The same courtesy should be extended to Naji.  Maybe someday writers worldwide will not have to go through what Naji is going through.  We will have to work to make that world.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

If You Buy Two Books This Year . . .

The latest publishing craze seems to be Fire And Fury:  Inside The Trump White House by Michael Wolff.  It is nice to see people reading and, with my publisher's hat on, buying a book, but it's a tad surprising that people need to read a book and spend money to find out that the president is a bit of an idiot (well, he's more an idiot savant.  No other confidence man ever charmed himself into The White House).  But, if anyone needs a laugh after reading of the horror that a man with little impulse control has access to nuclear weapons, then buy another book this year:  mine.  Not only is it less likely to end up moldering in Goodwill stores in a few years (you can check out all the Bush and Obama books there now), but it's a lot cheaper and probably more fun.  It just hasn't been on tv nor has the president tweeted about it, though both are welcome developments (I'd send Trump a copy, but he apparently doesn't read).  So, after you read about some fake news, read some fake story, otherwise known as fiction.  Even with all the conflict driving the plot, you might find it more relaxing than the real world at the moment.  And if Trump ends up causing us to get all dead, then you'll know what to expect from the afterlife, or at least a silly version of it.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wred Fright Bundle On Etsy!

Like the eBay special, I am also running a bundle special on Etsy.  For $15, you get all three of my novels (a print copy of The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and ebook copies of Blog Love Omega Glee and Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead).  That includes shipping, so it is a good way to kick off your reading in 2018!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

First Review Of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead!

Thanks to the gang at Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight and reviewer Rose Smith for being first to run a review of Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead!  It is very hard for indie books to get any reviews, so it is very nice to get such a thoughtful review straight out of the gate!  

Monday, January 1, 2018

Wred Fright Bundle On eBay!

I'm running a special on eBay.  For $15, you get all three of my novels (a print copy of The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and ebook copies of Blog Love Omega Glee and Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead).  That includes shipping, so it is a good way to kick off your reading in 2018!

Book Trailer For Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead

Book trailers are pretty silly in general, but this one is really silly! It is for Frequently Asked Questions About Being Dead.