Today we throw a few impromptu questions at zine superstar Dr. Wred Fright, hoping to catch him off guard. How will he respond?
QUESTION #1: Do you have a favorite short story writer living or dead?
ANSWER: I do not have a single favorite short story writer as I like too many to pick just one. However, I will name a few for anyone looking for a good read. I recently reread a book of stories by P. G. Wodehouse and enjoyed them quite a bit, though it was easy to see his winning formula at work when reading a bunch in a row (better to read one at a time). And, just today, I read “The Egg” by Sherwood Anderson and was reminded of just how good a writer he was. Among Americans, I’d say the three best in the last century were Carver, Hemingway, and O’Connor, but with so many fine writers to choose from, that’s certainly quite debatable. Worldwide, Borges, Joyce, and Murakami come to mind. I’m also a little puzzled that the Nobel folks apparently think that Alice Munro is a better writer than Margaret Atwood. Not only are Atwood’s stories more interesting, but she’s a more versatile writer overall.
QUESTION #2: Who will save Cleveland: Lebron James, Johnny Manziel, or you?
ANSWER: I gave up on Cleveland sports when my fellow citizens reauthorized a sin tax so I can pay more for beer and the team owners can have more money to pay men millions of dollars to play children’s games, so I have no opinion on whether it will be LeBron or Johnny saving Cleveland. Given the history of local sports, I would forecast more disappointment, but I hope that I am wrong. It also probably won’t be me; I’m only here by happenstance and have little interest in the area anymore, though I remain somewhat oddly fond of it. Cleveland could probably save itself if the people here would quit being so corrupt, incompetent, and insular (hey, even changing two of the three might work). My best local illustration of what it’s like to live here is a recent murder of a barowner, in which the leading citizenry of the area did their best to rally not for stamping down on crime or ending the poverty that can lead to it, but for convincing people that they should be sure to patronize the restaurants and shops in the neighborhood of the murder. I was reminded of the idiocy of George Bush when he encouraged people to go shopping to support the war on terror. Money apparently trumps everything else in America anymore (maybe it always did), even basic decency and sense, and Ohio is essentially America in miniature.
QUESTION #3: Should the UFC’s Ronda Rousey fight Cris Cyborg?
ANSWER: I don’t follow UFC, so I also have no opinion on Rousey and Cyborg (based on non-answers such as these, I apparently am approaching Zen enlightenment or complete apathy–in any case, I apologize, as the questions were good). People actually trying to hurt one another is disturbing and hurts my delicate artistic feelings (which is better, at least, than getting kicked in the head). I figured out that I pretty much only like wrestling because it allows me to tap into the reptilian part of my brain that enjoys competition and violence while actively subverting and ridiculing that aspect with the cartoonish humor and underlying ballet where the opponents are actually working together. Maybe it’s the same in UFC, but they’re better at hiding the strings. I don’t know, but I like Brock Lesnar much more when Paul Heyman does his talking for him.
Wred Fright is the author of the two novels, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and Blog Love Omega Glee. For more information about him, please visit http://www.wredfright.com
(Watch for Wred’s pop story, “Brian Moves Back,” soon to be posted at our main site, http://www.newpoplit.com)