Monday, December 21, 2020

I Hope That You Have A Cool Yule 2020!


Hey, will you look at that?!  Another year has come and gone!  From the longest night of the year, I wish you a cool Yule!  See you in 2021!  

If you need something fun to remember 2020 by, then get the best book released this year, ahem!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

New Song!: "This Coffee Is Going Right Through Me"

This song was inspired by remembering a bit of New Castle, Pennsylvania USA slang from the 1980s wherein a group of friends laughing and having a good time were said to be busting balls, presumably because one could laugh so hard that one could figuratively blow out one's testicles (this likely never happened literally so from what I remember the girls used this term as well).  Since the rest of the world would only think of busting someone's balls (i.e., making fun of someone), that phrase didn't make it into the song, but it did remind me of long nights of youth drinking coffee and laughing with friends at one of the area greasy spoons.  This led to a song wherein the speaker (singer?) reminisces about how the years have flowed through him like coffee through an old man's bladder.  The lyrics aren't terribly profound or poetic, but they do the job (hey, it's a song inspired by the phrase "busting balls"--aside from the alliteration in the phrase; don't expect Shakespearean wordplay).  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 used to hang out with you when no one else would.
Now you pretend you don't know me.  Darling, you're no damn good.
We used to stay up all night drinking coffee,
laughing so hard, I thought it would make me pee

This coffee is going right through me.

I don't hold grudges.  I just pack them away,
put them on the shelf and take them out on some rainy day.
That's how I came to think of you this morning.
I was drinking coffee, and it was pretty boring.

I decided to look online to see if you were alive or dead,
even though you've been dead to me for years, except for in my head.
Still, I was sad to see that you were truly gone,
all the time we could have been drinking coffee and having fun.

Written December 2020
Recorded December 2020


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

Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Angry Housewives Return!

 

If ever a band fit the mood of 2020, it is The Angry Housewives.  Trapped at home and getting angrier every day.  Strangely enough, they existed in 1990.  Anyway, I had to clear up some space on my main Soundcloud account, so The Housewives have graduated to their own page.  You can glory in the domestic madness here.  Sadly, as a result, all the links and embedded plays for previous Housewives posts on this blog will no longer work (and, no, I won't be going back and updating posts from years ago); just use the link above.

If you want to hear more conventional music from these musicians, then the Yeast? 7" is still available.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "The Ventriloquist's Doll" by Mark Justice

“Well, Stanley, are we ready to go?” Fenton Harcourt asked, checking his appearance in the brightly lit mirror.  He squinted his eyes through thin, wire-rimmed glasses, and looked his egg-shaped face over.  “I feel like I’m getting old, Stanley.”

You look like death,” a small voice muttered.

“What?” Fenton turned quickly, eyes fixed on Stanley, his wooden eyes open and staring blankly.

“Are you ready yet, Mr. Harcourt?” came the voice again.  Oh, from the door, Fenton sighed as the stage manager’s face peered through the opened door. “Everything’s ready for you, Mr. Harcourt,” the stagehand smiled, nodded and shut the door.

“Okay, Stanley, time to get on with the show.  After tonight, we’ll take a nice, long break.  We need a break, don’t we?”

You need to be dead,” a little voice whispered.  Fenton removed his glasses, grabbed at his temples with his thumb and middle finger and rubbed.  Too much work and too little rest, he thought.  Hearing that other voice all of the time was one of the eventual drawbacks of being a ventriloquist.  That other voice.  That other personality.  That other presence.  Always thinking of yourself as two people had its complications, Fenton laughed to himself.  He put his glasses back on, ran a palm over his thinning hair, wiping the perspiration from his balding, pointy head.

“Fenton the Magnificent,” he billed himself.  He liked the way it sounded and thought it reminiscent of vaudeville.  Sometimes, though, when he was in a dour mood, he thought it sounded more like a name you’d see spread across a gawky carnival sideshow tent.  He had thought of using Fenton the Fabulous, but the double F sounded too contrived.  He tried Fenton & Stanley once, but after a promoter paid him with 2 checks, one written out to him, the other to Stanley, he began billing his act as it was now.

He picked Stanley up, cradled him, and walked through the dark hallway toward the soft cold light of the stage.  The room was thick with the smell of smoke, stale and cloying. He sat on the stool that was centered under the spotlights on the stage, a small table next to him, a glass of water on it.

He began the routine as always, a few tired jokes, some impressions.  He played straight man to Stanley’s wisecracking; that seemed to work well.  Audiences loved Stanley--he was sharp, witty, sometimes abrasive.  He seemed to be more so lately.

While he repeated yet again the rehearsed lines of give-and-take dialogue with his wooden counterpart, his mind wandered off to that show last week in Topeka. Right in the middle of the act, Stanley started making comments to a woman who sat in a table near the stage.  At least it seemed like that.  The heavyset woman wore a gaudy dress, complete with an equally garish hat.

Fenton thought he’d break routine by interacting with the members of the audience that night.  “Nice hat,” he started to say, “looks like a kite on your head" but he could have sworn he heard “you’re fat; I want to take a knife and stick it in your head.”

He glanced over at Stanley, felt the worn wooden rod that turned his head pull slightly under his fingers as Stanley’s head moved a little toward him, eyes looking into his.  Ahh, fingers are sweaty, must have slipped.  Fenton saw the woman’s response, said, “Stanley, that’s not a nice thing to say to the fine lady …”

“I’m sorry,” he muttered, finishing with an overly big smile and an exaggerated wink and felt relief with laughs began to leak up.  Good, they get that I’m joking … “I’m sorry,” he muttered again.  Now, was it just tiredness, or did he hear “for your husband,” come mumbling from Stanley?  Fenton moved his fingers to pull the string that operated Stanley’s mouth, but it wouldn’t budge.  Was it caught on something?  Did a knot somehow get in the twine?  He fiddled with it for a few seconds, then it released.  Stanley's mouth opened and closed easily, just like normal.

Fenton fanned the cloud of memory from his mind; just one more night, he thought to himself.  Let's just finish tonight.  Mindful that his much-needed vacation was only an hour away, Fenton's mood lightened.  He felt himself move into a space that seemed automatic not in the machine-like sense but in that he didn’t have to work to be funny.  He didn’t worry about remembering lines or finger movements or timing.  He simply was in the moment, and that felt good.  Laughter echoed back to him as Stanley made crack after crack at his expense.  He didn't mind.

He allowed himself another few moments of simply feeling then slowly became aware of something … different.  Confused, he looked at his audience, then at Stanley.  Stanley was shuddering, giggling on his knee.  All by himself.  A small shock of pain pricked Fenton's chest.  A little pop of light flashed in the front of his brain.  He then realized that he, himself, was laughing, too, his leg nervously dancing up and down.

I am ready for a rest, he thought to himself.

He finished his routine with a simple “thank you” and bowed to the audience. Applause was still heavy in the air as he walked off the stage.  "Well, Stanley, we're all done now. Time to go home and rest ..."

"In peace ..." Fenton thought he hear a small voice squeak as he strolled through the dark corridor to his room.

"Good show, Fenton," a husky voice called to him from the doorway.  Fenton turned and smiled at the manager's round face, sweaty skin glistening.

"Thank you."

"Hey, you seen any makeup lying around?  We're missing some, thought you might have ..." the manager paused, "accidentally packed it."

"Certainly not!" Fenton responded, brows furrowed.

"Okay, okay, just have to check.  Here's your money.  Hope to see you again."  The salty sweat smell lingered a few seconds after he left the room.

……….

The drive home was comforting.  The first thing Fenton did when he arrived was open all of the windows to let the cool early Fall air breathe a little fresh life into the staleness that had built up while he was gone.  He put his suitcases on his bed and carried the trunk that held Stanley to Stanley's room.

The room itself was Spartan in d├ęcor--medium grey-blue walls, dark wood trim, a picture of Fenton holding Stanley centered on one wall.  The beauty of the room came from the picture window that illuminated the entire space.  Under the window sat a small rocking chair.  Fenton placed Stanley in the chair and stepped back to look out the window.  He sighed.  "Well, Stanley, now we can rest for a while." Stanley gazed at him with his eyes wide open, mouth in its fixed, rictus grin.

Fenton fell asleep to the crashing and aching of a storm that had swept in.  He started from sleep several times as peels of thunder shook the house. He awoke to a strange sound--a rhythmic chattering.  Was he dreaming?  Was some branch beating against the window?  He felt a draft of cold air drift past him like a ghost. He got out of bed and followed the apparitional breeze.  It was coming from Stanley's room.

He turned the light in Stanley's room on.  Immediately, his hands went to his eyes to block the light's glare--all red and flashing, little pops of light under his eyelids. He squinted a few times, made sure he was seeing what his eyes told him he was. The rocking chair was no longer facing him--it was facing the window.  It rocked back and forth a few times then stopped.  The chattering sound stopped as well.

What is this? Fenton thought to himself.  The window was thrown open, curtains billowing with each gust of wind that came through.  Naked and spindly tree branches whipped the window, tapped against the glass.  "Oh, that's it," Fenton said aloud, the crackle of adrenaline passing from his body; his breathing slowed.

"Come on, Stanley. I'll put you back. Did the wind push you around?" Fenton mumbled as he turned the rocking chair back towards himself.  He patted Stanley on gently on the head.  "Good night, Stanley," he yawned as he stretched, began walking back to his bedroom, rubbing his sleep-filled eyes.

When sleep did come again, it was fitful.  Fenton felt unsure, anxious, and a little fevered.  He dreamed of the tree slapping its thin wet branches against the window.  Tap tap tap.  Click click click.  The noise became louder, more constant, like an annoying mosquito buzzing around your ears while sleeping, one that couldn’t be found and swatted into silence.

"Stanley!"  A shout startled him out of his sleep.  He sat up, head throbbing, disoriented--what time is it?  Where am I?  It was hard to think clearly.  That tapping sound.  It was here again.  Where was it coming from?  The storm had passed, he'd shut the window, so what was it?

His eyes began to adjust to the darkness, but he couldn't see what was making the chattering sound--click click click.  It sounded like it was coming from near the foot of his bed.  The filtered light of the full moon lit the room with a pale, milky haze.  Fenton sat up in his bed, got on to his hands and knees and eased over the edge of the bed.  What he saw made him stop for a second and doubt that he was awake at all.  He looked at his hand, moved his fingers, and rubbed them against one another.  They felt real--didn't feel like a dream.

Sitting on the floor, near the foot of the bed, was Stanley, in his rocking chair, his eyes wide and staring.  His mouth was opening and closing, wooden lips clicking together rapidly, click click click.  Fenton felt an icy wave of nausea roll from his stomach to his head, blurring his vision.  He felt dizzy and wished he could close his eyes and that this would all be a nightmare he could vomit up and get back to sleep.

He watched Stanley's clicking mouth open and close, its eyes staring blankly back at his own.  He wasn't sure how long the wooden teeth clapped flatly against one another.  All of a sudden, the movement stopped.  The chattering mouth was silent. Fenton lay on the cold carpet for a moment then leaned closer.  He got so close that he could smell the faint odor of paint on Stanley's face.  A moment passed. Two.  Fenton wanted to breathe a quick sigh of relief and shake his head as if trying to shake off belief, even chuckle to himself, but he couldn’t.

He glanced at Stanley again.  Stanley glanced back.  Fenton felt the crackles of adrenaline spread over his body, like the pinpricks of a limb waking from sleep. Suddenly, Stanley's body began to convulse in the rocking chair, pulsing and spasming rhythmically as if possessed.  A low raspy sound gurgled its way out of Stanley's head.  The gurgle built slowly to a moan that grew louder and more frantic; the groan became a shriek, started to break into a giggle.  The giggle grew louder and turned into laughter.  Stanley convulsed and laughed.  Fenton's mind began to swim, consciousness wavered, and he thought he might pass out.

Suddenly, the laughter and convulsing stopped.  There was silence in the bedroom, stifling silence.  Fenton stared in horror and realized he had wet himself.  He stared at the doll.  Its eyes moved to stare into his.

"Boo!" came the voice from the doll's mouth.

In an instant, Stanley was upon him.  Its mouth, opened wide, clamped down on Fenton's left cheek.  A jab of pain shot across Fenton's face.  He felt the skin break and a warm gush of wetness run down his face.  He wrapped his hands around Stanley's chest and pushed him away from him.  He looked at Stanley's bloody mouth, touched his wet cheek, and felt a little light-headed.  The doll reached out and grabbed Fenton's nose and squeezed down hard.  Fenton yelled as he felt the little wooden hands twist and pull away.

Stanley held up his thumb, sticking between his first two fingers.  "Got your nose!" it shrieked then punched Fenton in the eye.  Fenton recoiled and put his palm against his eye, winced, and slowly began to crawl backwards.  Stanley began walking slowly towards him.

Fenton continued crawling backwards, crablike, into the hallway.  Stanley continued slowly towards him, waving his arms and shaking his head. “Booga, booga, booga, I’m gonna getchya!” it yelled.

Fenton felt a blow of dull pain at the back of his head and felt his vision narrow and blacken. He’d hit the back of his head on the open bathroom door. His hands felt something cold. He had crawled into the bathroom. He quickly stood up, grabbed the open door’s knob, and pulled it shut behind him. He felt the cold, smooth linoleum on his feet and stood in the darkness.

“This can’t be happening,” Fenton kept repeating to himself.  “Maybe I’m just dreaming.”  He fumbled for the faucet, turned the knob for the cold water, cupped his hands under the flow, filled them, then brought them up to his face.  The cold water was a welcome shock to his skin and made him feel as if he were truly awake now.

“Alright, this is just a dream,” he muttered and felt for the light switch.  He flicked the switch up and winced as the cold light burned his eyes.  He opened them slightly and looked up at the mirror.  He saw his face all scrunched up and clammy looking, his right cheek purpled and glistening red, the blood flowing slowing down the side of his face.  He then noticed the writing.  Smeared on the mirror, in white greasepaint, were the words, “I DON’T LIKE STANLEY!”

"That's right, Fenton old pal, I hate the stupid name you gave me!" Fenton heard Stanley’s voice.  Something popped in his brain that made him feel a little dizzy.  He looked over his right shoulder.  The door was open, and there was Stanley, eyes wide, wooden teeth clacking up and down quickly.

“Hiya, pal,” Stanley said, and in that instant, leapt onto the back of Fenton’s neck, wrapping its fabric arms and cotton-stuffed legs around his face.  It rested his wooden head on Fenton's and dug his chin into the top of it.  "I don't like Stanley!" he screamed.

Stanley shifted his weight and thrust forward, driving Fenton's face into the mirror.  "I don't like Stanley!" it shrieked, smashing Fenton's face into the mirror with each word he spoke:  "I" smash "don't" smash "like" smash "Stanley!" smash. On the last hit, Fenton's head broke the mirror.  He screamed as large pieces of it cracked and fell, small shards of it sticking in his face.

"Aww, did the poor baby get a boo boo?" it mocked.  "Here, let me give you a kiss," it said as it scrambled around his head to his cut face.  "Humpty ..." it began as it thrust its groin on him, then spun around and grinded its rear against Fenton's bloody nose ... "dumpty!" it cackled, then leapt off him and was gone.

Fenton felt suffocated, like he was slowly drowning in syrup--a sickening sweet smell of delirium was light in the air.  He was still hoping to wake from a horrible nightmare and find Stanley sitting quietly in his rocking chair in his room, cold, silent, and wooden.

“Stanley, why?” Fenton asked as he stumbled out of the bathroom, trying to avoid stepping on the broken glass that had fallen on the hallway carpet.

A small voice spoke delicately and evenly. “Oh, I already told you, butterball.  I don’t like ‘Stanley.”  The voice came from the kitchen.  “I hate that stupid name, you moron, you dope, you jackanapes!” it cackled.  There was a loud crash, clanging and clinking, sounds of metal, plastic, and wood being tossed.

“Stanley, why are you doing this?” Fenton heard himself mumble through growing waves of nausea and disbelief.

“Oh, because I love you, Fenton. I love you.”

Fenton came into the kitchen, blood oozing still from his face.  Silverware and wooden stirring spoons were thrown all over the white linoleum floor.  Standing in the middle of the mess was Stanley.  It picked up a wooden spoon and thrust it between his legs from behind.  “I’m sportin’ wood for ya!” it cackled maniacally.

Fenton took a few slow steps backwards and began to turn around.  “Oh, no, no!  Come back, lover!” it screamed.  Fenton felt a hard impact on his back.  “You’re not getting away that easy!  Oh, Fenton, I love feeling your fat sweaty fingers digging into my back every night.  I just wanted to show you what it feels like to have a little of me inside you!” it said as it jabbed repeatedly the handle of the wooden spoon into Fenton’s back.  Each thrust brought spasms of pain wracked Fenton’s body and dropped him to his knees.

“How do you like it?” it wailed.  “Don’t you love it?  I love it!” 

Stanley leapt onto Fenton’s crumbling, shaking, body, standing on his shoulders. “I’m a little teapot, short and stout …” it began, reaching around and jabbing Fenton’s head from behind, each punch grinding the pieces of broken mirror further into Fenton’s bloody cheeks.  “Here is my handle …” it whispered as it scrambled around onto Fenton’s face and thrust its crotch into his mouth, “… and here is my spout!”  It laughed and head-butted Fenton then ran off.  Fenton heard footsteps then the bathroom door slam.

Fenton sat for a moment and began to sob.  He slowly got to his feet, went to the bathroom, and tried the door.  It was locked.

“Who is it?” came a tiny, lilting voice from behind the door.

“Stanley, stop this!  This can’t be happening; you can’t really be alive …” Fenton thought how both stupid and insane these words sounded as he spoke them.

“Oh, indeed I am--now you wait your turn; I’m getting ready for you, Fenton, so hold your horses!”  Fenton slumped down and began to weep softly, despair and fragility taking his body over.  Fenton felt as if his sanity was beginning to fracture, small cracks and pops like light bulbs breaking in his brain.

A few minutes passed.  Fenton heard the doorknob turn slowly.  “Fenton,” it called to him in a singsong way, “I’m ready for you.”

Fenton stood up and watched the door open.  Stanley stood there, his face all white with fat blue smears over his eyes, a sloppy red smile smeared over his mouth.  He was a grotesque clown, standing there, holding a shard of broken mirror in his right hand.

“Yes, Fenton, I stole the makeup; but it’s okay, ’cause I was just clownin’!” Fenton’s eyes grew huge.  Shocked, he quickly stood up and began slowly backing away.

“Why don’t you want to clown around?” it muttered menacingly.  “Don’t you wanna clown around?” it asked loudly.  “Don’t you want to clown around, Fenton?” it screamed as it took slow and deliberate steps toward him.

Fenton continued backing, shaking his head.  He felt like he was falling through a tunnel with only a little light at the end.  He felt the blackness surround and smother him.  The little light at the end of the tunnel grew larger, but all that could be seen was Stanley’s hideous clown face, teeth chattering at him, arms swiping at him with a piece of broken mirror.

“I’m tired of playing, Fenton.  Daddy’s home, and he’s had a hard day.”  It continued walking, slowly.  “Do you want some, Fenton?”

Fenton was woozy.  He stumbled back into the kitchen.  The floor was cold and slick under his bare feet.  Pain shot through the sole of his foot.  He pulled his leg up quickly and saw the end of a serving fork sticking out of his foot.  He felt little wooden hands push him from behind, and he began to fall.  On the way down, he felt a wrecking blow to his temple as his head smacked the side of the countertop. He landed on the cold tile and lay on his back, his vision blurred, his thoughts fuzzy and random.

“Aww, Fenton, you’re all forked up now!” Fenton felt its small feet walk up his body.  It sat down on his chest.  “Oh, Fenton, you’ll like this, being the cut-up that you are,” it cackled.  Fenton felt an icy slash of pain across his forehead as the mirror shard sliced into his flesh.  All Fenton heard was giddy laughter.

“Don’t cry over spilt blood” it laughed as it brought the shard down again and again, cutting and slicing, crisscrossing the skin, splattering bright and sticky blood all over the white linoleum.  Fenton barely felt the pain any more.  He felt himself drifting away, falling into a fog that billowed around his consciousness.

“Oh, Fenton, you’re as pretty as a picture--you’re such a doll,” it cooed and sank the shard into his throat.  The last thing Fenton heard was his own breath, gurgling and hissing …

………

The dummy’s head was bigger than normal, but the ventriloquist didn’t mind.  He tried its mouth, made it open and close, and rolled its eyes.  “Oh, you’re so messy …” it said, holding the head lovingly in his lap, his right hand working inside its still warm and wet interior.  Now, for a name, it thought.

“I know … I’ll call you Stanley!” it cackled.

Mark Justice is the author of several books.  His latest is Toxic, a nonfiction work. I am pleased to run on his work on drinkdrankdrunk!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Alternative Incite Reviews Edna's Employment Agency!

  

My old ULA comrade Joe Smith is doing a new zine called Alternative Incite.  He's up to #2, and I have enjoyed both issues so far.  In #2, he reviews my latest novel, Edna's Employment Agency.  Given that reviews for independently-published novels are hard to find these days--hey, even reviews for mainstream corporate literature are somewhat hard to find these days, so you can imagine what trying to get a DIY novel reviews is like--that is greatly appreciated.  I would have been happy even with a bad review (hey, at least someone read it!), but fortunately Joe liked it.  He wrote:

"Do you know what the world needs?  More people like Wred Fright.  Talk about someone who follows the creative impulse, I think Wred has given his free reign over his life.  Wred is the author of four novels--Blog Love Omega Glee, Frequently Asked Questions [A]bout Being Dead, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, and Edna's Employment Agency.  He also has a blog, which he posts to on a regular basis, and he always seems to have other writing or zine-related irons in the fire (see the listing for The Slush Pile below to see what I mean).  In short, Wred is a DIY-publishing dynamo who deserves some of your time and attention.

Should you decide to do that, I recommend you start with Edna's Employment Agency.  I was told (and not necessarily by Wred) that the book is "laugh-out-loud funny" and, because I'm a bitter, cynical fuck, I didn't believe it.  I should never have doubted him.  Wred had me laughing out loud by page 3.

I must confess, I haven't gotten all the way through the book, so I can't give it a thorough review at this time.  (Sorry, Wred).  To that end, I'll borrow the following text from the book's introduction to give you some idea of what you're in for:  'If you like television shows such as The Office and Parks And Recreation, then you likely will enjoy this novel of workplace humor.'

For the record, I did not like those shows (or I didn't watch them), but that didn't stop me from enjoying the pages I did read.  Regardless of your thoughts on The Office and Parks [A]nd Recreation, I think you'll like it too, assuming you like to laugh and you don't mind some foul-mouthed dialog.  Check this book out.  You'll be glad you did."

Thanks, Joe!  

In addition to possessing good taste in novels, ahem!, Alternative Incite also hipped me to some other good stuff in the reviews.  I already ordered a zine that sounded interesting, one which I hadn't heard about before.  It's good to see that there are zines still out there worth reading, and Alternative Incite is one of them!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

"Hatebomb" Video!

 
I had fun making this video.  I kept to the song storyline of two retail store managers who take their rivalry too far and acted out scenes from the lyrics mainly, though I threw in some musical clips as well in the middle.  It's appropriate that this month contains Black Friday as I can easily imagine this song being set in some November as each store tries to outdo the other.  

For more silly fun, please read my latest novel:  Edna's Employment Agency!

Monday, November 9, 2020

New Recording!: "Hatebomb"

This song is a fun early one. The Escaped Fetal Pigs played it, and then I brought it back for Team Fright. It's based on my old K-Mart store manager going on spying expeditions at the nearby Fisher's Big Wheel store. The song imagines two retail store managers taking their rivalry into warfare. Thankfully, such carnage remains in the imaginary realm, but my old store manager sure would get fired up. He took his job seriously. The low stakes corporate espionage used to make me chuckle though. Old Big Wheel finally went out of business, but my old K-Mart didn't celebrate for too, too long before WalMart killed them off. Maybe today WalMart and Target store managers engage in these sorts of hijinks. For the new recording, I enjoyed adding some chanty background vocals while letting the drums just go crazy and the guitar carry the song forward. This was a lot of fun to revisit.

Read my latest novel for more workplace humor!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

What To Do With Old Zines?

 

I once amassed 32 boxes or more of comic books by seldom getting rid of one.  Fortunately, before I had to move them and probably get a hernia in the process, I decided to shed them and over the years whittled the collection down to 1 box.  Eventually, even that 1 box will finally go.  

With zines, I never quite let things accumulate to that level.  Over the years, I've gotten rid of most of the zines I've read soon after reading them.  I've given them away to friends, traded them with other zinesters, left them at coffeehouses and record stores, and often given them away to libraries, both academic and anarchist.  Some of the libraries were great (Bowling Green State University's Popular Culture Library who seems to still have my donations) while others were not (Kent State University's Special Collections who seemed to lose the zines immediately after I donated them).  Regardless, I still had a big box of zines that I had saved.  After one last backbreaking move, I decided it was time to shed them as well.  As much as I would like to find them a good home by donation, I didn't want to risk the crapshoot anymore as libraries go under (the anarchist ones) or change policies (the academic ones), nor did I want to pay a bunch of money in postage shipping the donation, so I decided to try selling them before I did the easiest thing and just threw them in the recycling bin.

To my surprise, the zines sold.  There must be some serious zine collectors out there, which is cool because the zines do feature some good reading.  And, once someone has paid money, he or she tends to value the possession more.  However, strange a psychological quirk that is, it does seem to exist for many people.  Currently, I have up a couple of Stephen Perkins's publications, which are about zines and are from the early 1990s.  I imagine this stuff is fairly rare.  The box is empty now, though I am still rereading my way through a stack of Zine Worlds.  I've been rereading the zines as I shed them, which has been quite fun.  This led to the ULA anthology project I did earlier this year (those zines should see the auction block in 2025 after enough time has passed from the anthology that it is clear I do not need them any more).  

On a related note, I was happy to see that Zine World founder Doug Holland has resurfaced, though his resurfacing has a sad cause (the death of his wife).  Maybe now, we'll finally see the long-awaited Pathetic Life anthology.

The Zine Worlds are dense reading, so I don't expect them to be sold until next year at the earliest.  They are rather rare, so I expect they will sell.  Of course, rarity does not always equate to valuation.  No one else may care.  In which case, there is always the recycling bin.  But that would make me a bit sad.

I might have gathered some more zines by then or more might have turned up that I stashed somewhere in some other boxes with other stuff, in which case they will be headed out the door one way or another as well.  Eventually, I imagine the only zines left in the house will be file copies of my own zines.

But if I move again, I might want to shed them also.

One thing I won't shed is my latest novel!

Monday, October 26, 2020

"Candle" Video!

 
I had fun making this little video!  I hope that you have fun watching it (you know, in a moody and depressing way)!   It is definitely fitting to have a gothy video up during the Halloween season though!

If you prefer a laugh instead, then please read my latest novel!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

New Recording!: "Candle"

This song is one of the earliest I ever wrote.  It probably stems from 1991 or so.  My pals in The Escaped Fetal Pigs helped me to flesh it out, though I have played it with many of my other groups.  My pals Pogeybait liked it so much they based another song around the music.  It's based on a newspaper article I read about an elderly couple's murder-suicide.  The wife was apparently suffering from Alzheimer's, and the husband couldn't stand to see her suffer any longer, so he ended things.  Given the heavy subject matter, the song can get a bit melodramatic.  Since the Pigs were primarily a humorous band, the drummer used to do a lap around the venue during the intro to see if he could make it back in time for his drum part.  That helped to undercut the fact that we were turning into a poppy goth band for the next two minutes.  Since this recording is solo, I just made the drums kind of crazy.  For the weird instrument, I'm blowing on a bottle like I'm in a dollar store jug band (i.e., they can't afford a jug).  If anybody wants to hear the song in full melodrama, I have a version with just guitar and vocals from this session.  I do prefer this version though.  The song is still fun to play though after all these years.

If you need some cheering up after this somewhat depressing tune, then please read my latest novel!  It's a comedy!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

New Song!: "Starter Spouse"

This song stemmed from a realization that most of my heroes have long since passed or proved not as heroic as I once thought them to be, leaving me if I still wanted a hero to be that hero.  In other words, for example, if I wanted music that I liked, then I had to make that music.  No one was going to make it for me anymore.  It's all part of a great chain.  Someone inspired me.  Now it's my turn to be the inspiration.  I may not succeed in inspiring anyone, but it's my turn to try anyway and pass on to the next generation what I can.  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.

You have to be your own hero
Because no one's going to save you.
In fact, no one's there at all.

Do you remember your old heroes?
How you used to look up to them?
Now, when you're looking, you're looking down.

It's your time now
To show them how

And whatever became of them?
They're all depressed, disappointments, or dead.
Just take a look around.

And as for your starter spouse,
You had fun setting up house,
But now it's time to tear it down.

And they still want you to follow their path,
And that just makes you laugh.
You say, "No thanks, I'll find my own way around."

Because you were a starter spouse too.
And now you're finished with that,
But you're not finished at all.

Written September 2020
Recorded September 2020


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

Monday, October 5, 2020

New Mark Justice Book!

 
My buddy Mark Justice has a new book out!  After a couple of excellent novels, he's branched out to nonfiction.  Toxic deals with Mark's experiences reading the Bible and finding it incompatible with what he thought were his Christian religious beliefs.  In addition to the heavy and thought-provoking subject matter, it's also a very funny book.  The humor is very brutal and for believers will be considered blasphemous, but it's right in line with how betrayed and disappointed Mark feels about his faith.  I was lucky enough to read the book prepublication and provided a blurb for the back cover:  "Toxic is the book that one should really find in a hotel room.  Not only is it funnier than The Bible, but also it leaves out the boring bits, so we can focus on the kinky sex, gratuitous violence, and general insanity in the 'holy' book that still undergirds American society.  Watch what those judges and politicians usually put their hands on when they get sworn in.  The President has control of nuclear weapons, and he's offering an oath on a book that has a guy get murdered because he masturbates meanwhile Lot has drunken sex with his daughters and God's like totally cool with that even after almost entirely destroying a couple of cities for being 'sinful'.  You'll never wonder again why our modern, 'scientific' society can still be so stupid.  You'll know.  By the end, you might be as angry as Mark Justice is in this book, but you'll also recognize a mythology when you see one, no matter how many people run around still believing in it and doing strange things like stocking hotel rooms with a book that not many of them have apparently actually read."

Sunday, September 27, 2020

"Gordon Ward Interchange" Video!


I had fun making this video!  I hope you have fun watching it!

Sadly, the Crisco Disco cassette in the video is long out of print, but you can still score Yeast?'s first 7" here!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

New Recording!: "Gordon Ward Interchange"


I always liked this song because it's fun to play.   It was one of the first songs I wrote on guitar.   It was probably written 30 years ago now.   It first appeared on a little solo cassette I did called Wright, then it appeared on the Crisco Disco casssette by Yeast?, which was also pretty much a solo record.  I wrote it while I was in The Escaped Fetal Pigs, but I don't think we ever played it much if at all.  Yeast? the band seldom played it if at all.   And then it kind of disappeared except when I'd break it out on my own.   This might be the first time a recording of it ever had drums on it (even if one of the "drums" is just me slapping my thighs).  It probably is better with just vocals and guitar, but I enjoyed fleshing out this version into a bit of a noisefest.  The song's just about thinking about a lost love. The weirdest line in it is based on a closed movie theater whose marquee kept losing letters until finally it was down to "e", "ich", and "ing".   There actually is a Gordon Ward Interchange near the Ohio and Pennsylvania border where I-80 and the old State Route 60 meet (now called some other route number).   I have no idea why it's named for Ward.  From what I remember, he was some sort of television anchor.  Maybe it's named for a different Gordon Ward entirely, but it works to bring up the idea of crossroads (this way to New York City; this way to San Francisco; this way to Pittsburgh; this way to, um, Sharon, Pennsylvania USA?) and making choices, most of them apparently bad, since the speaker (singer since it's a song) apparently is feeling regretful.

One thing you won't regret is reading my latest novel (unless you pee your pants in public from laughing too hard)!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Video For "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine"!

Here's the video I made for the new recording of "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine". We had a lot of fun making it. Thanks to Walt Kelly for the all the great comics!

For more fun, please read my latest novel!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

New Recording!: "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine"


This is one of the first songs that I ever wrote once I learned how to play guitar. It was fleshed out by my buddies in The Escaped Fetal Pigs:  Mark Justice on guitar, Jim Grant on bass, and Simon Luke on drums.  It might be the earliest of my songs that I still play regularly, mainly just to have a primarily Pigs song in my setlist.   I never really played this one with other bands like I did with "Candle" and "Hatebomb".  It was written almost 30 years ago now in October 1990.  The only song older in my current set is a cover of a Billy Bragg song (my last remaining cover song in fact).  I really liked Walt Kelly's classic comic strip Pogo, so this was a tribute to him, imagining a kind of crazed cult that treated Pogo like it was The Bible.

Hey!  I can think of worse religions!

It is a simple song but always fun to play.  You can check out a Pigs version here and here and here and even one we played switching instruments here (in fact, the last song we ever played).  It might be the song we have the most videos up of, I guess.

For this version, I played everything.  It's fun to play with just guitar and vocals live, but since I can do multitrack recording at home, why not add some rhythm tracks, background vocals, and oddball noises?

If all goes well, next week I'll post a video for it.

If you like this kind of silliness, then please check out my first novel, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Old Songs, New Recordings, Plus Videos

I usually post new songs and old videos here, but a new project will be a bit different.  I plan on rerecording some old songs since I generally play them better than I did 10, 20, and, yikes!, 30 years ago.  Along with the new recordings, it will be fun to make music videos for them and pretend it's 1983 (you know, the heyday of MTV, Friday Night Videos, Night Tracks, and all the real rock and rollers hating on videos).  I did a test run on a song I didn't write and had a lot of fun doing it.  Look for the new recordings and videos of old songs here in coming weeks, months, and years.

If you need something to tide you over in the meantime, then please check out my last big project, the ULA anthology!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Idea That Voters Should Select Candidates In Primary Elections Seems to Be Growing

A few months ago I wrote about how I thought it was obnoxious that the county party where I live endorsed candidates in the primary ahead of the election.  It was a blatant attempt by party bosses to favor certain candidates over others.  It looks like some others have now also objected to this practice as Our Revolution has launched some activism along these lines.  Presumably, this is because their candidates tend to be of the progressive and grassroots type who gets usually victimized by this process.  I'm not sure how common this practice is, but it definitely needs to be discarded.  Once again, voters should be picking the candidates for the general election, not party bosses.  If enough people object to this practice, it will go away.  Unfortunately, most people don't seem to care about much these days, so it will definitely be an uphill battle.  It is one of many sensible election reforms that should be made.  It's not quite to the ridiculousness of having a partisan referee an election, but it's pretty close.  By the way, the Ohio Democratic Party never did get back to me about why they were endorsing candidates ahead of a primary election.  Sigh . . . I guess they were too busy preparing to lose another general election.  Just saying, maybe they wouldn't have such a horrible losing streak if they just let voters decide the primaries.

Our "democracy" is pretty laughable these days, but that's also pretty depressing.  If you want an all around more pleasant humorous experience, then please read my latest novel.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Print Version Of Edna's Employment Agency

I finally got a copy of the print version of Edna's Employment AgencyAmazon did a nice job!  The novel was designed as an ebook, so the print version is a bit of an afterthought (nothing against print, which I like just fine).  It looks great though!  They basically print the pdf version of the book with a few formatting modifications.  The oddest one is that they take pages of the pdf that aren't full pages and center them instead of keeping them at the top of the page.  That's a bit strange, but I found it didn't bother me once I started reading.  And I enjoyed reading the book as well.  In fact, it made me laugh out loud numerous times.  It was pleasant to read it as a reader and not as a writer revising it or whatnot.  It's a very funny book.  It's definitely the best book I've read this year (though of course, I haven't read all the other hundred thousand books that have come out, and I might be a bit biased having written the thing as well).  But I write the kind of books that I want to read.  I like to laugh and I like thoughtprovoking works, and this novel fits those descriptions.  I am very happy with it.  It is nice to have a print version this handsome as well rather than just a printout of the pdf paperclipped together.  It's mainly there though for those who prefer to read in print (and they are of course welcome to just print out the pdf if that's cheaper/easier).  It is nice to have it available, however.  

Sunday, August 9, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "Peel" by Mark Justice

Jim sat around, eating an orange.  He thought softly of an oil lamp burning, the thin smoke discoloring some greasy wood mantle while slowly licking his fingers, his short, sticky fingers.  That sour sensation of the taste of skin and orange delighted him, and he continued licking until his tongue was numb.  The numbness was good, and while Jim thought of spice and tea and rum somewhere warm and wet, he sucked his index finger to a red throb.


The throb on his tongue gave him the taste for another orange.  He rolled back from his cross-legged way and felt for the net of oranges.  Deftly, he grabbed a rather large one and rolled back to his sitting.  That was good, to be sitting, he thought, and with his finger still throbbing, cut into the orange. 


Jim slowly peeled a small section back, and was caught in a rapture of the smell and juicy mist.  He grabbed some salt, sprinkled some on the peel, and ate it.  The bitter and salt crashed in his mouth until he moaned.  He began to cut again with his white plastic serrated-edged knife, with a quick draw, there was a clean cut, and a sharp jab of pain in the throbbing finger.

 
Excited by the sensation, Jim quickly pulled the orange peel.  The mist spurted, with a tinge of blood, onto his face.  Jim smeared the sticky red all over his face then licked his fingers, carefully sucking the cut index.  His mouth leaped in excitement at the taste, a flash of cold to his stomach, heart quicken in his chest, the taste, the salt taste!

 
Jim dropped the orange and licked at his finger.  The open wound, drawn vertically, was slowly pouring the great taste away.  He began to play with the wound, fascinated at this mouth on his finger, mimicking words to music in his head, a song that had just been played by the instrument on the floor.
 

There was a pain, real sharp and stingy, the more Jim pulled the flaps of skin open.  What a sensation!  This wasn’t tea or sand or oil lamps; this was orange!
 

There was a sudden tear in the skin, down his finger to the second knuckle.  The blood began to wash down his hand and arm and collect between his legs. 


Jim gleefully smiled, brought the knife up to his finger and dug down along the cut, drawing it into his palm.  Slowly he rolled back the edges of his skin-peel, the gap widening each time his tongue caressed it.  The hot salt and juicy flesh bubbled in Jim’s brain. 


He couldn’t stop at the hand, good night, no!  There was so much more to unravel.  The knife slowly dug its way down his arm, stopping at the soft inbend just opposite the elbow.

 
The glorious red blood flowed evenly down both halves of Jim’s split skin.  He began dragging his finger along the flap, in galloping triplets.  It began to curl into itself and roll back.  That pain was unbearable, and Jim managed a smile.  He worked the gallop all along the freshly cut furrow until one side was rolled.  With a yellow smile, he began to pull. 


The tearing sounds of the separating flesh were pleasing, and the squirting of the blood all so delightfully for Jim.  He continued tugging, and stopped as he held in his left hand the skin of his right, which was a glittering red, and Jim sucked air for the intensity.  Looking at the still dripping skin, he picked up the knife, and contemplated his left arm…



Jim sat, happily, as he looked at the pile of hide at his knee. His red arms glistened, but not as bright as his legs, or his stomach, or his chest. 


The breath in his chest was slow and deliberate, so he could observe the new blood flows with every inhale. What sharp, piercing ecstasy! 


Jim thought for just a moment, and while looking at his flesh, picked up the salt. 

 

Mark Justice is the author of Gauge Black:  Hell's Revenge.  Check it out for more pulpy goodness!  That one's a Western.  Obviously, this Website does not recommend self-cannibalism, but it does recommend reading more Mark Justice.  I am pleased to run on his work on drinkdrankdrunk!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Facemask Follies

So it seems the politicians, public health officials, and even the general public just will not let the COVID-19 panic pass.  The latest hysteria is the mandatory wearing of facemasks among the entire population (at least, most people have learned that lockdowns don't work; they do not stop the virus; they just create more problems--for a nice overview on the stupidity of lockdowns, please check out Heather Mac Donald's "Four Months Of Unprecedented Malfeasance").  Unfortunately, mandatory facemasking is just as dumb as the lockdowns.  Those of you who think facemasks are the solution, please have an open mind and keep reading.

First of all, facemasks apparently do not stop the spread of the virus.  I know this goes contrary to the heavy propaganda push about wearing them from politicians, public health officials, and the general public, but it appears to be true.   Let's start with the World Health Organization.  Their most recent publication about facemasks is "Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19" updated on 5 June 2020, which is an interesting overview on masks in a variety of settings.  For health care workers treating COVID-19 patients, WHO clearly recommends the wearing of facemasks.  However, given how many healthcare workers wore masks and still died from the disease, one does wonder if they are as effective as WHO hopes.

Moving on to the issue at hand, it gets worse.  Even WHO admits that there is no evidence suggesting that masking an entire population will be helpful:  "At present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID-19 and in healthy people in the community) on the effectiveness of universal masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19."

Of course, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  Universal masking could work; we just don't know yet.  However, such a pronounced change in social behavior needs some evidence before it's adopted.  The politicians such as the governor of Ohio USA who have mandated facemasks did so without evidence (mine, in the picture above, says "Resign DeWine" if you're curious--he can compel me to wear one, but he can't compel me to like it).

Even a politician with some horsesense (DeWine also was dumb enough to push for the Iraq War because of the weapons of mass destruction lies, so one expects him to make idiotic decisions; the only ones dumber than him are the Ohio voters who keep electing the moron so he can continue to make more dumb decisions to make their lives worse) such as Bernie Sanders is pushing universal facemasking.  Despite giving up on his presidential run, Sanders continues to send out fundraising emails (Why?  I have no idea.  You will have to ask him.  Maybe he's hoping the Democrats will figure out Joe Biden is senile and turn back to him at the last minute).  In a recent one, he wrote, "The science is clear: Wearing a mask is the best way to protect ourselves from the coronavirus and save lives, and the widespread use of masks will get Americans back to work sooner and reunite families who have stayed apart."  Since the research I was finding while researching mandatory facemasking was suggesting quite the opposite, I emailed Sanders asking if he could point me to that "clear science".

He did not reply, but he did send me four more fundraising emails.

I unsubscribed.  

Well, maybe he didn't get back to me because there is no clear science.  While I did find the occasional study that suggested facemasks might be good for sick people to wear, I found more often stuff that stated that facemasks were more or less useless overall such as this:  ("A cloth mask or face covering does very little to prevent the emission or inhalation of small particles.").

And this: ("In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks").

And this:  ("Viruses, including the coronavirus that scientists believe may be the cause of SARS, are so tiny that they can easily pass through such barriers.").

And this:  ("[B]oth surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS–CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface").

That last link raises another interesting issue.  If you click on it, you don't go to the actual study; instead, you go to an article about the study.

This is because the study has disappeared.  It was retracted by the authors.  Parsing the retraction carefully, it looks as if the authors wanted to correct whatever mistake they made, but the editors said no.

Maybe their mistake was simply going against the groupthink tide.  One bizarre sideline of researching this issue was how much of the research tended to disappear.  A study by a retired dentist from 2016 about how facemasks don't work in dentistry?

Poof!  Gone!  You can find it mentioned by Peter Hitchens in this article, but if you go to where it was posted, you find this:  "“Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review” by John Hardie, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCDC, it has been removed. The content was published in 2016 and is no longer relevant in our current climate."  However, you can still find it if you know where to look.  Take that URL from the link and go to one of the links in my link section that takes you to websites from the past.  I can't tell you more because I don't want it to disappear even more so, but you can find it if you want to.  Fortunately, the retired dentist has kept writing.  You can see what he thinks about COVID-19 here (while you're there, you might as well read "Should You Wear A Mask?  What Does The Science Say?").

I even experienced some of the Orwellian memory hole censorship personally on NextDoor.Com.  Some well-meaning moron had slapped up a quick post called "Wear A Mask!" and the thread exploded like no thread that I had ever seen on there.  Most folks were pro-mask and not just for themselves; they wanted you to wear a mask as well.  In fact, if you didn't, they thought you were a horrible person who was trying to kill them.

The fear that the politicians and public health officials have whipped up about the virus goes beyond even the considerable fear whipped up by the politicians during the War On Terror.  Back then, we were supposed to be afraid of terrorists; now, apparently, we're supposed to be afraid of one another.  For those of us old-fashioned Americans who believe along with FDR that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance", this is particularly annoying.

These folks couldn't be reasoned with.  I would cite the WHO report, and they would tell me I was citing "junk science".  One poster claimed that New York USA had mandatory facemasking and that's why they were doing better than we were in Ohio USA.  But when I looked up the per capita death rate on the CDC website, New York was so bad they had it divided into the city and the state, and they both were in the top ten in the USA with the City being #1 by itself (Ohio was 27th or something at the time, with something like 1/10th of the per capita deaths of NY overall).  When I pointed this out, they carried on as if they lived in some alternate reality where Ohio had the larger death rate.  It was like people thought they had a right to their own facts, not just their own opinions.

The people on my "side" per se and resistant to mandatory facemasking were an interesting bunch as well.  Most seemed to believe in various conspiracy theories about the virus.  I get the conspiracy theory appeal.  Even when they're daft, they still reassure people that someone somewhere, even if they're evil, knows what they are doing, and life is not as chaotic as it seems.

There is a comfort in that because otherwise the truth appears to be that we are just led by morons who have no idea what they are doing.

Eventually, NextDoor.Com just deleted the whole thread.  Maybe someone complained, or maybe they didn't want to offend the State Of Ohio, who was one of their main advertisers (reminding us all to "Wear A Mask!" among other things).  I tried contacting them to find out, but there seemed no way to reach them.  Since I wasn't down with censorship, I just deleted my account.

The censorship and groupthink is definitely creepy.  To add more creepiness on top, my home county made headlines for establishing a snitch line where people could inform on those not wearing masks.  I am sure this is in a fine tradition of fascism.  Maybe the Nazis had such a snitch line in Amsterdam and that's how poor Anne Frank got caught.  Either way, it's annoying to pay taxes to these people and they won't even provide basic services because they're terrified of the virus (for example, closing most of the county buildings to the public), but they'll waste tax money on a snitch line about something that does nothing to help the situation.

My county is corruptly run by Dems while Ohio is corruptly run by Repubs, but when it comes to mandatory facemasking, they're in agreement.  They love citizens being muzzled.  Not only is it a nice symbol of a voiceless public, but it makes the politicians able to pretend that their failed lockdown policies weren't to blame for failing to stop the virus and then creating an economic disaster (a gift that may keep on giving), it was the public not wearing masks that is to blame.

In truth, the virus isn't going to be stopped.  It's going to run its course.  All the politicians and public health officials on power trips and the population that supports the nonsense they slop out can do is make more problems on top of the annoying virus.  Some countries such as The Netherlands and Sweden have somewhat recognized this.

Sadly, if you watch the network news and read a lot of the panic porn articles online, you probably are too terrified to critically think enough to recognize that the true way forward is to return to normality as quickly as possible (indeed, we never should have panicked in the first place).  Strangely enough, the voices of reason currently seem to be all coming from right wing nutjobs, which makes things even more terrifying.  I suppose, like a stopped clock, they are right once in a while (in the stopped clock's case, twice a day; in the right-wingers' case maybe only on this issue).  So, if you need an alternate to the mainstream media hysteria, check out Justin Hart and Alex Berenson for some counterweights.  Just like Trump, when liberals and progressives push nonsense, it just makes them harder to believe the next time, even if they're right.  So, please, people who are otherwise semi-reasonable, stop pushing for mandatory facemasking and other strategies that will do little or nothing to stop the virus.  Start pushing for a return to normalcy and away from hysteria over a nasty variation of the common cold.  There are almost 8 billion human beings, more than ever in history; this virus is not going to make a dent in that number overall.  Politicians and public health officials cannot conquer death; they can make a mess of life though. 

In 1984, Orwell wrote "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever."  Even old George couldn't imagine that we would be so dumb that the face would be wearing a facemask.

1984's a better book overall, but it isn't as funny as Edna's Employment Agency, and, let's face it, if you made it through that post about how crazy Americans have gotten panicking over a virus, then you need a laugh.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "Miss Texas" by The Midnight Rider

while we’re on the subject of outlaw students, I guess I should break down the life/times of my all-time favorite advisee…..veronica was born in texas, is long/lean and weighs roughly 99 lbs…..she looks like a heroin chick and for all I know, she is one…..she looks like the kind of girl that a biker couldn’t keep satisfied for long (if you smell what the rock is cooking)…..that’s not to say veronica isn’t sexy-as-fuck, but i don’t think my stubby/little turtle could do the job….for most of the time that I’ve known veronica, she’s had a long-haired, survivalist boyfriend that looks like a professional wrestler….the dude is actually prettier than professional wrestler, edge, but I think that’s what I’m gonna call him……veronica’s edge is 6’4” with rippling muscles and tattoos covering roughly 75% of his body…..edge is something of a gun nut/aficionado and I’ve never seen him when he wasn’t packing heat (including my office and inside the local walmart)…..is he a drug dealer?----well, yeah……are there 100 plus guns in his house including assault rifles?-----I would guess over 200, but I’ve only seen 10-12 pistols plus hand grenades and an ak-47 (and that was at a cookout at his parents’ house)….and I don’t know much about the edge’s politics, but let’s just say that he’s not a fan of the government…..i don’t necessarily have one specific story for veronica, but I’ll try to do a random sketch….veronica graduated with a 4.0 and should have been the valedictorian, but the cashpoint powers-that-be didn’t want to present her with the award at graduation because she had gotten a d.u.i the week before…..she also got felony possession of a firearm because she was driving her boyfriend’s truck and there was a pistol in the glove compartment (he was too drunk to drive and having a gun in your vehicle when you’re drunk is a felony in illinois)….the shitty thing is that some member of the liberal arts faculty (my money is on swede hansen) sent a poison pen letter to the vice president arguing that “a felon doesn’t represents the values of cashpoint university” (and half of our students are felons from chicago who pay their tuition using government grants)……since I was veronica’s adviser, my boss called me into his office and asked if I thought she deserved the award-----I responded that she had the highest g.p.a. and dean bell ultimately decided to put it to a vote of the graduation committee…..veronica won and the committee decided (perhaps sarcastically) that I should present the award to her at graduation----and right before I went onstage to give the speech, the fucking lesbian nun took me aside and whispered in my ear to “act normal”……the second veronica story that I wanted to tell has to do with a halloween party/bonfire that her boyfriend’s parents have thrown every october for the last 27 years……the first time I went, I slept in my car in the front lawn----and when I woke up, there was a dude passed out in a tent to my left and a dude passed out on the grass to my right….the party served as a drug/arms dealer convention as fun-loving criminals from 3 states made their way to goose lake……when I first arrived I asked the edge if he thought the police might show and he responded: “no dude, the police around here are scared of us because they know we’ll fucking shoot them if they come on our property”…..the compound itself was divided into three sections; 1) the small/main house, 2) the old people’s barn and 3) the young people’s barn…..i don’t really know what the main house was like because I was never allowed inside (I think that honor was reserved for the family and their giant/guard dogs)…..i was prolly 45-years-old at the time, so I generally split my time between the 2 barns……the old people’s barn was full of fat/crazy uncles hitting one-hitters and talking about other people’s wives’ titties…..the edge’s obese mother held court in the center of the space----pouring white russians and loudly proclaiming that she’d rather eat food than give her husband blow jobs (note: this wasn’t just at the first party I attended----it was at every party that I attended)….in between the 2 barns, there was a firepit…..there was a band the first year, fire dancers the second and fireworks the third (it seemed the family had blown a good portion of their savings on court dates that year)…..to make up for the fact that there were only fireworks that year, several partygoers went to their trucks and returned with an assortment of firearms (including an assault weapon) which they would fire indiscriminately into the air…..my favorite moment at the firepit occurred when a random dude sobered up after passing out on the ground only to discover that people were laughing at him for pissing his pants…..after screaming at us and challenging everyone within earshot to a fight, the dude dragged a couch out of one of the barns and proceeded to drag it into the middle of the bonfire…..then, as the flames licked at his bare feet, the dude jumped on top of the couch and again challenged everyone at the party to a fight…..i honestly believe 90% of the people at that party could have beaten his ass (on top of the raging bonfire), but the crowd seemed to view him as comic relief and ultimately just let him scream it out…….i don’t really know how to describe the young peoples’ barn other than to say that IT WAS THE KIND OF PLACE WHERE OFF-DUTY STRIPPERS WENT TO UNWIND AFTER THEIR SHIFT…..it was halloween too, so sluts in fishnet stockings were doing lines off of every available flat surface…..99-lb veronica was dressed as a saloon girl and wearing a corset that was so tight that it made her tits appear larger than her head……as soon as the edge saw me, he put me in a bear hug and within 30 seconds, I was doing lines of adderol off a table next to a dead cow’s skull (that was being used as a decoration)……the walls of the barn were painted black and were covered with dayglow graffiti featured demons/devils/faceless cowboys fucking big-breasted barbie dolls----it was like the space had been decorated by hank 3……veronica introduced me to one of her friends (a stripper from davenport) as her professor and for the rest of the evening, the chick (whose name I don’t remember) followed me from barn-to-barn rubbing up against me and sitting in my lap…..she was 19/blonde/covered with piercings and I knew after the first 30 seconds that she would have fucked me…..at the ending of the evening she asked where I lived (i.e. she wanted a “ride” home), but I made up an excuse…..and you might ask why a fat/lonely/45-year-old professor (who hadn’t been laid in 3 years) would turn down an 19-year-old stripper?-----well, ultimately I think it was the picture of her 4-year-old son……that and the fact that I got the feeling that if she knew where I lived, she’d come back over christmas break with her boyfriend and steal everything that wasn’t nailed down…..i guess I could have fucked her in my car, but I think part of the fun for the stripper is fantasizing about the john’s life/house/money…..i still have a picture of her sitting in my lap and sometimes I beat my meat on the toilet seat thinking about what it would have been like…..i heard the edge fucked her a few weeks later and that led to veronica fucking the edge’s best friend in the edge’s bed to get revenge…..as the night progressed, I would eavesdrop as partygoers in the young peoples’ barn discussed their brushes with the law----most had spent a night or two in jail for minor drug offenses, but there others who had done hard time----I was obviously intrigued, but also couldn’t run the risk of appearing to be too much of a groupie…..one dude had defended his girlfriend’s honor by caving another dude’s head in with a tire iron (and it turns out the first guy’s girlfriend had been cheating on him and the victim had been telling the truth)…..one dude had broken into a walmart at night to steal electronics and another had run out of a pharmacy with a handful of oxycodone…..there was a redneck girl who had broken another girl’s nose in a fist fight and a hillbilly who had spent 2 nights in jail for (repeatedly) hunting squirrels out of season in some rural wisconsin county…..if there were 42 people in that barn on that particular night, I would guesstimate that all 42 (both male and female) had spent at least one night in jail as part of their criminal careers……perhaps you’d like to know what happened to veronica after she graduated in the fall of 2014…..i don’t know the particulars, but she eventually broke up with the edge….there was a major car accident in which the edge was under-the-influence----the car was totaled and when the edge finally woke up from his medically-induced coma, the police were there to arrest him…..veronica went to trial for her earlier drunk driving/weapons charge and the judge sentenced her to drunk driving school (among other punishments)……while at drunk driving school, veronica met the owner of a construction company (who, as luck would have it, received his d.u.i. on the same night)…..they hit it off and before the weekend was over, the dude offered veronica a job as his administrative assistant in iowa city…..did he want to fuck her?----I’m sure he did……do all the construction workers at that job site want to fuck her?---I’m sure they do…..i’ll conclude with a snippet from the letter of recommendation that I wrote for veronica after her graduation: “In our personal conversations, Veronica has shown herself to be a kind and generous individual. She is a person of utmost integrity, one who is self-reflective, hardworking and modest. I believe Veronica is a wonderful representative of the ideals that [Cashpoint] represents and I would certainly give her my highest recommendation.”

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

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Lawn Letter

I wrote a letter recently thanking a local newspaper writer for pointing out the dangers of lawn chemicals.  The newspaper published it, which was nice of them.  Once again, please don't poison yourselves and the rest of us just because you have a fetish for a certain way your yard can look.  Please learn instead to enjoy clover, dandelions, and the rest of stuff that grows in a yard beyond grass.

OK, you can tear out Canadian thistles.  I hate them also.  But do it manually.

To be fair, they have some benefits, as does poison ivy (birds like the berries), but they can both grow somewhere else other than my yard.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "Write About What You Know" by Victor Schwartzman

Sidney wrote poetry, short stories, novels and screenplays.  He decided to write something original, and started with the basics by writing a list of fundamental plots:

--Man achieves goal

--Woman in danger rescued (old)/Woman in danger rescues herself (new)

--Two people achieve romance despite obstacles

Sidney was surprised the list was so short.

But for the past three thousand years, the stories of all literature, plays and films boiled down to those three plots.  Everything else was a twist.

Sidney realized that if he could create a new plot, his fame and success would be unimaginable.  Two weeks later, the notebook screen remained blank.   He could not come up with a new fourth plot.  Worse, every twist he thought of had already been done.

Then it took an ugly turn when his friends suggested he follow the writer’s Golden Rule:  write about what you know.  To write original, start with what is original about you.

His deliberations eventually grew quite uncomfortable as he tried to think of what was original about his work, his thoughts, himself.  Days flowed by.  Ultimately, Sidney concluded there was nothing original about him.

He was not religious but prayed to God for an answer.  To Sidney’s surprise, God replied.

“I understand your concerns, my child.  Rest assured, it is not you that is not original.  It is your entire world.

“Millennia ago, I created the Earth.  Then, I created a copy.  Your planet is the copy.  I knew copies never turn out as well as the original, but I had hopes.

“The original Earth is fine.  Never been a war and there are colonies on Mars.  Your Earth, I’ve thought more than once of shutting it down.”

“Why haven’t you?”

“Still curious, my child.”

“Can you help me?”

“It would ruin the experiment.  Oh, one more thing.  When you die here, there is no Heaven or Hell.  You’re just dead.”

Then God left.

It was very quiet.

Sidney now understood his entire world, his whole life, was God‘s disappointing experiment. 

Sidney looked at the blank monitor.

Write about what you know.

With the knowledge life was meaningless, Sidney wrote a self-help book.

It was quickly published and sold millions.

When he sat down to write the sequel, Sidney wondered:  How can I make this original?

Victor Schwartzman is a Canadian writer with whom I used to be in the Underground Literary Alliance.  I am quite happy that he is still writing and willing to share some of his work on drinkdrankdrunk!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

New Song!: "The Whistleblower Takes Up Harmonica"



Woo-boy!  It's a tough time politically right now.  I may be the only one who feels like this (and maybe not), but it seems like everyone else has gone nuts.  The Left seem to think we can all survive hiding in our houses for months on end from a virus (um, that will just bring even more problems when the economy and other things collapse as a result) while the Right think the Left are all killers because they don't join them in gargling bleach or whatever else Trump goes on about.  What's been so disappointing is to see so many supposed freethinkers fall in line and stop thinking critically and just follow the party line of their tribe.  For example, if you think Andrew Cuomo's declaration that his COVID-19 orders would all be worth it if they saved even one life is inspiring, then you need to think a bit about what he would do if anyone ever approached him about preventing auto accident deaths (the answer is he would shut down the roads--does that make sense to you?  Do you think we could survive very long as a society that way?).  Meanwhile, people like me, seemingly rare, just try to carry on, don't panic, and still have a bit of fun (note:  we're all going to die anyway; have a good time before you go).  At this point, it's gotten so confusing that matters of right and wrong and heroism are all garbled.  Years ago, Michael Jordan was a hero for playing a game while sick.  Now he'd be viewed as a creep endangering others (it apparently was food poisoning so facemaskers can still cheer him).  Good grief!  Well, now he joins Edward Snowden in the grey no person's land.  Snowden and other whistleblowers actually take human rights seriously, yet we live in a country where he's still wanted for treason, so he has to be sheltered in what's basically a dictatorship.  It's so depressing that I can imagine many people just say forget it when it comes to do the right thing and just fall into line with whatever other people are doing, pretending to themselves that it is the right thing (and 9 out of 10 times, it still ain't hard to figure out what the real right thing is).  If you think walking around the supermarket looking like you are about to perform surgery is a-ok, then go on with your bad self, but don't try to convince me that it's doing anything much beyond making you feel better about a situation that you have little control over (and if you don't believe me, then maybe you'll believe the World Health Organization, who wrote, "Many countries have recommended the use of fabric masks/face coverings for the general public. At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider (see below).").  This song is for anyone who does the right thing anyway even when everyone else is headed in the wrong direction ("It's totally safe to go back in that burning building.  Get back to work!").  Your anti-social behavior may save yourself or even us all.  Authority figures and the masses are not always wrong, but they are definitely not always right.  Think for yourself.  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 supermarket is awash in fear
And I'm just trying to buy some groceries
Everybody's wearing a mask
Looks like they're going to be robbing the place
But they're looking at me like I'm the criminal
Because I don't have anything on my face
Joseph Goebbels would be amazed
At how quickly people today fall into line
All an authority figure needs to do is scare them a little
And they never even bother to use their minds

The whistleblower is taking up harmonica
Because there's nobody to blow a whistle to
Still plenty of people to blow a whistle on though
What's a poor whistleblower to do?
Do the right thing, and you're the one they'll send to jail
Say everything you said was just fake news
Meanwhile nobody else really gives a shit
It's enough to give a whistleblower the blues

My Bilderberg invitation must have gotten lost in the mail
That's OK; I never wanted to rule the world
I just wish people would stop taking of pictures of themselves
Long enough to realize that freedom is more than just a flag unfurled
Underneath all the corporate and government propaganda
It's hard to know what's true
But my bullshit detector is still working
And I got it pointed at you 

Written June 2020
Recorded June 2020


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