Skip to content

Comedy Today

April 13, 2019

An insight into the younger comedy crowd. One night, I watched an high-energy gay act, and being gay was his way of presenting his act. And the younger audience went with him to show support for his gay perspective, even though the jokes were kinda typical. Then it hit me. The younger crowd want to think everyone is the same in their generation, but they haven’t been screwed yet by their own or others just yet, so they get behind any performer that represents a politically correct cause—a lesbian or homosexual talking about gay rights, a Mid-eastern comic about discrimination, a black guy talking about racism, a woman talking about Me-too or women’s rights, or discrimination from men or male chauvinism, fat people talking about shaming but doing the same fat jokes. All of these are causes, or ideologies, not art. Life is far more complex. In their quest to be different, they are generic and lack individuality.

But if a performer don’t embody a cause, and talk about the difference of people and their hypocrisies, this younger audience filters those comments through these causes, and either judge you, or feel if they laugh they are somehow validating racism, sexism, fat-shaming, or whatever. And worse, think you’re part of the problem.

The only way they will get out of this closed minded moralistic and censorious alleged open-mindedness rut is getting older, losing their job, having their hearts broken, getting burned by people within their generation, and being broke and having their convictions supported by a life instead of a steady income. When will they become their own person instead of a supporter.

Go with the Q

December 19, 2018

 Listened to Beverly by NRBQ. Aaaaah, reach for the heart when you want to pulse out beyond your dreams….aaaaaaah, you can’t touch me, for I can fly away from the gravity of the darkness.
Oh, and if you try to take me down, I will hurt you! ha.

People should be lucky they have a job: serving?

December 19, 2018

I was in a breakfast place at a community table, and this woman who was clearly retired and who lived in Santa Rosa but had a vacation rental was talking about how wonderful the tech industry is and how she didn’t understand why people were upset about it. She was eating next to her son, who was in his thirties and looked like he had some history of substance abuse and wasn’t all there but dependent on her. and she gave off the vibe of never really holding a job, but had money, and her husband was probably dead–and probably glad of it. She looked like her body dried out years ago from her firm opinions.

“They create jobs and spend money.”

“Yes, they create service jobs,” I said. “You either serve them or work for them–there’s no in between.”

“Well, people are spending money at restaurants and coffee houses and clubs.”

“Yes, and who is spending the money, the tech people and again they are being served–make my coffee, bring me my meal, play a song for me.” I paused, “And it’s a prospector mentality, they’re here for the money, They’re consuming and not building anything, a lot of local businesses go under, new stores go in, then when the ecnomy dumps we have vacant buildings, and they leave after they break a piece of the coral reef.

“Well, they create jobs. Look at all the coffee houses, like a place like Verve, which has jobs for people.”

“Again, service jobs.”

She haughtily said, “They can go into management there.”

“Oh yeah, great, you work for twenty years standing on your feet serving people coffee. And there you are in your forties.;No severance, benefits or any skills. Sounds like a great future.”

Her son’s eyes brief lighted up, he smirked. He clearly enjoyed that his mother was slightly miffed someone disagreed with her, and told her so. She was clearly a type who spoke, and people had to listen and not respond.

Well, she ran into the Fred Man.

“I think the tech industry is a good thing,” she said, getting up, and followed by her smirking son.

Who can argue that?

I’ll pass on the Bruce Juice

October 1, 2017

Springsteen’s on Broadway debut I’ve been reading the interviews and I find him, well-meaning, earnest, perceptive–and incredibly BORING! I’m always drawn to his early anthemic work (First four albums) before he became infected with Woody-Gurthritus. I grew up in Freehold, even went to his high school, and ate the same food, walked the same streets. In spite of his politics and clarion call Bruce Freehold voted for Trump (That’s a question I’d like to see a reporter ask him: Why did your hometown vote Trump?). But as an artist, he later became a singer doing emotional autopsies of the lost without going after what defeated them. Instead of giving us a chorus to summon up a spirit to overcome adversity in his later albums, he was lyrically sulking, morose, and self-consciously literate (I guess it would harder for him to write about his daughter’s dressage horsemanship.) Yikes, the painful Seeger sessions, the satuated dreariness of Magic, the funereal The Rising. And to be fair there was a solo middle period that had some stuff–but would have been better with the East Street Band. And when I see him on stage now, granted his up there in age, but he mainly talks through the songs and the audience sings! ( He’s obviously saving his voice for every other songs or a big finish, which is fine by me.) And Mr. Blue Collar selling shirts for forty bucks but balancing it out by positioning a non-profit group statrioned at the exits and asking the crowd to donate (but that’s still nice, yeah.)

Hey, I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. Hey, the early Bruce did his job. The later one was more of a sedative–and sorry, there’s too much out there to overcome pain, whereas he dwelled in it. The time he seems to awaken is doing classic frat-rock early sixties stuff–yeah, fun and movement awakens dreams by making you realize you’re alive. His tone, and his music–well, twilight’s only one part of the day, and if I have to chose one–I’ll take the dawn.

Maybe all this is based in the deep-seated bitterness and pain I experienced by having to listen to his song “Outlaw Pete.” And I only heard it once, and it still hurts! Maybe he should write a song so I can recover from that tune and pursue a more productive life.

Harvest within – Pinot, Santa Cruz Mountains, and You

September 9, 2017

Ah,the Santa Cruz Mountains, and it’s a bummer tht summer fades but the harvest for wine begins, which makes up for it. ‘m blessed to be connected to several great people and wineries, John and Lorraine Schumacher of Hallcrest Vineyards, Annette Hunt and David Hunt of Skov, Al Drewke of Roudon Smith, Brandon Armitage of Armitage Vineyards, and Ryan Beauregard and Rachel Ungar Beauregard of Beauregard Vineyards. Great to have a chance to hang out and participate in crush. There are some people who look at wine ratings and simply consume, then there are others, who have some soul and are connected to the richness of the wine and nature and music and people and place and it all comes together with a soul that goes beyond the glass and into the sun, leaves, soil, and your heart.

These wonderful people have given me a strength beyond myself and were all there with their arms and cash to help me when I was ill.

I’m harvesting more than grapes–every day. Ah, to go through cancer and find myself here again–ah, life, life, life! Maybe that’s why I feel so strong about what I believe and comedy and friendships and love–my roots are here, and personality is terrior uncorked.

But Pinot Noir is the way to go!

Waaaaaah Happened Part Two

September 8, 2017

Hillary’s new book shouldn’t be What Happened. It should be Waaaaaaah Happened!

“Waaaaah, waaah, waaah, Mommy the big man picked on me. I don’t want to fight back,l hold my ground, when he goes low I want to go high. Where’s my Waaaaaaambulance! Where’s my speaking points. Waaaaaaaah.” People want a fighter, man. If you couldn’t find it in yourself back then, then you didn’t have it to begin with. Go hang out with Marcia Clark (the failed OJ prosecutor) and waaaaaaaaaaaaah over a vertical Chardonnay and self-pity tasting!)
“They picked on me for being greedy and taking over 150 million in speaking fees and saying real Democrats don’t do that. Mommmy! Waaaaah!

(When he said you were a horrible woman you should have gone New Jersey on his ass and say, “Why didn’t you just march over to him, poke him and say, “You who burn contractors and don’t pay them, you talking about outsourcing jobs and wesaring thousand-dollar suits and and wearing one of your ties made ion China, and you call that a haircut, and what are you going to do next grope me you pompous country-club loving spoiled brat who has never accomplished anything that has enriched anybody except you and your family!” )

“My staff said I should have owned up to my email mistakes earlier and I didn’t and it hurt me! Waaaaaaaaaah. I ignored Bernie Sanders messages, didn’t campaign in Wisconsin, even ignored my husband’s warning I was losing the middle class. Waaaaaaaaaah! It was my turn to be president, not fair, not fair! Waaaaaaaah.”

What Happened, I know what happened.

If I fought cancer the way you did you campaign, I’d be dead.

Waaaaaah Happens

September 8, 2017

Why I work at a Winery: a woodpecker taught me

August 15, 2017

Why do I like working at a winery…

The dead woodpecker lying in the street. That’s where this started. Since cancer, anytime I see something dead I get all worked up—a little spirit gone, a little spirit.

Then I thought of the spirits around me…and flashed to how I finished an evening of work at Hallcrest Vineyards…

For well over twenty years I have worked part-time at various wineries in the fog-lipped tipped redwood Santa Cruz mountains. I’ve made my wine, helped with numerous harvests, walked around in waders and hoses to clean and sulfur barrels, done punch-downs, bottling, and worked tasting rooms. A lot of sweat-equity, beers, dope, and library wines, and laughter and juice-stained jeans and good food and music and passionate, unique winemakers.

Anyway, I was sitting down after work on Sunday,sipping a great glass of Cabernet at Hallcrest Vineyards, looking at the old farmhouse building, the stainless steel tanks, and out in the fields was Bear the dog, and Pinot the cat was lolling in the shade. Here I was sitting in the Hallcrest Vineyards world in Felton created by John and his karma-centric wife Lorraine Schumacher I also thought about Ryan Beauregard and his wife Rachel Ungar Beauregard of Beauregard Vineyards, David Hunt and Annette Hunt of Skov Winery, Al Drewke of Roudon Smith, Brandon Armitage of Armitage Winery,Barry Jackson of Equinox, and there were a few places I didn’t like working at but learned what I didn’t want to do, as well as how to sell wine better, and learned to take the unpleasant and at least walk away with knowledge to take me forward (Some people never learn to unpack.). Everyone of these people make wine and have created these worlds with a passion, Ryan’s love of Bonny Doon, the Hunt’s love of winemaking itself and the life of it all, and John’s passion for Pinot and organic wine and Lorraine as his combo where they share a love and support for many others—actually, all of these people do the same thing, and as I sip the wine, I feel so humbled that everyone of them was their to support me emotionally and financially during my battles with cancer (So maybe I did something right along the way.). Quality people know quality people, and if you do it right, the aftertaste lingers forever.

Yeah, that little wood pecker flew and had a spirit, but having gone through cancer, I learned to be more deeply amazed by how the spirit of other people’s personalities can create a world. I mean, there I was, sitting down surrounded by what John and Lorraine built—the stainless steel tanks, the old farm building, the crush pad, a world—and all of these people opened the book of their lives and allowed me to be a character within it, and just as the wine was made so was I made in different ways. And again, I believe the force, and their friendship, and the chance to be part of their worlds and drink deeply in many vertical ways..well, it all shaped my passions too, and reinforced them, and gave my soul an estate vintage along with an occasional hangover and a laugh to the music in the sound of a glass being filled and empty and the pop of another cork to experience what the years and work have brought to us.

I sipped the wine, and toasted all those layers of experience these people have given me, and I can savor them, and those spirits bring me to other places, but more than anything, make me grateful I remained here to see the entire world.

To the spirit in the glass we drink and shape. And I toast them along with this life–and that’s why I always have liked working at wineries.

I think of that woodpecker,he just wanted to fly, and don’t we all–and we can do it on our own two feet, standing tall…

It’s a surf spot not a park, stupid

June 6, 2017

I went to my surf spot yesterday. The hardest part is being surrounded by these soulless, wel–meaning, happy-faced people who have gotten better at getting waves but are still horrible surfers in every possible way. The spot was where the cool people once hung, who had a passion, and who knew stoke. All this crowd knows is getting a healthy work-out, talking to each other so they can validate themselves at what they think is cool, and in the water it’s like being surrounded by a boring mix of social media stew.

So I got past that. But I’m still so weak from neuropathy and that draining battle with esophageal cancer. It has taken me away from the ocean, So I paddled around hoping to score a scrap, but nothing came my way, but with each paddle I felt a strength trying to crawl back into me, and it would be slow in coming. I felt like I was crawling on the water.

But I came in. There was my surf buddy John Stone who offered to help carry my board up the stairs.

“Thanks for helping me, I’m kinda tired,” I said.

“It’s okay, Fred. You’re keeping me stoked knowing you doing this.”

He walked away and I leaned against the car, trying to compose myself. Thinking back on how surfing this spot and all the people changed by life, perspective, and hardened my individual spirit with a resolve that could never be reduced. Their stoke was a re-bar within my foundation–and it has lead me to improve my life in so many ways. The crew is so rock solid–and none of us have ever had a harsh word.

Then he comes this family, carrying their beach chairs, Costco boards, smiling after their beach day. It was recreation. The husband says, “I bet I could get better at surfing if there were waves every day.” And I ignored them–they wouldn’t be here if the city didn’t improve access. And most of the others the same. When it was difficult, and you had to care, and not just consume the place, these people were at other beaches–and that’s where they should have stayed, and all they do is contaminate a surf spot. They remain outside of me. They would never sacrifice anything to be here, or anywhere else, They are the world that just goes along, and they reproduce, and become reruns. And they can only find this world, after others discovered it first. I don;t care for people who say the ocean is for everyone–who wants to be everyone. Everyone are the ones who try to stop you with the rules that favor them, but ones they can break. They’re everyone else. I’ve run against their world, just trying to express myself. They can be everyone they want to be–these every ones.

I hang with originals.

My guess is they went for ice cream.

Fred For Your Head: Latest one lines on Trump and more

May 30, 2017

Welfare people have to work to get their medical benefits, okay, so should Congress and the Senate?

Paris climate change—used to be called “retreating

Funny how Trump administration types who have made their millions on insider trading are offended by leaks.

Trump is over seventy and complaining about leaks–to his urologist.

Trump’s HUD Secretary Ben Carson says, “Poverty is a state of mind”–it’s a state: West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi….

The only leaks Trump GOP likes are the ones they take when they trickle down on us.

The sad thing about Hillary’s commencement speech–I didn’t realize it took her 48 years to graduate from Wellesley College.

One thing I never associated with Trump: giving away intelligence.

Not only did Comey lose his job, under TrumpCare is ineligible for coverage.

Trump wants to open logging on National Parks and Redwood Cafes.