October 07, 2004


Visited Kinky Friedman in 1996. Bunch of Clinton-Gore signs on the lawn; framed letter from Bill Clinton on the wall; cigars everywhere. The cigars and letter are probably still there, but I donít think the lawn has any Kerry-Edwards signs:

I'm pals with Clinton and pals with Bush - so, obviously, if John Kerry wants to be president, he has to make friends with me. Hey, is that my phone ringing?

"Start talkin'," I said as I picked up the blower.

"Kinkster," said a familiar voice, "this is John Kerry. I haven't been very happy with you lately."

"Why the long face, John?"

"Are you aware that I'm running for president of the United States?"

"Are you aware," I said somewhat indignantly, "that my books have been translated into more languages than your wife speaks?"

There was silence, followed by a peculiar choking sound. I puffed patiently on my cigar and waited. One of the drawbacks to the telephone is that there's very little you can do to physically help the party on the other end of the line. Either Kerry would recover by himself or else he was definitely going to lose Ohio.

"I went to Vietnam," he said at last.

These are long extracts, so for ease of reading Iíll leave them unitalicised. This next section is wonderful:

"I don't understand how you can support Bush's policies. I'm told you grew up a Democrat. What happened?"

What did happen, I wondered, to the little boy who cried when Adlai Stevenson lost? What happened to the young man whose heroes were Abraham, Martin, and John?

Time changes the river, I suppose, and it changes all of us as well. I
was tired of Sudan being on the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. I was tired of dictators with Swiss bank accounts, like Castro and Arafat and Mugabe, masquerading as men of the people. I was tired of Europeans picking on cowboys, everybody picking on the Jews, and the whole supposedly civilized world of gutless wonders, including the dinosaur graveyard called Berkeley, picking on America and Israel. As I write this, 1.2 million black Christian and Muslim Sudanese are starving to death thanks to the Arab government in Khartoum and the worldwide mafia of France, Germany, China, Russia, and practically every Islamic country on the face of the earth. What happened to the little boy who cried when Adlai Stevenson lost? He died in Darfur.

"I don't know what happened," I said. "But as Joseph Heller once wrote, 'Something happened.'"

"You'll be back," said Kerry. "You'll be back."

Not anytime soon. Link to the full piece requires registration, by the way.

(Via Bernie Slattery)

Posted by Tim Blair at October 7, 2004 03:15 PM

I think the site takes paying registration.

Posted by: Dylan at October 7, 2004 at 03:24 PM

"Why the long face, John?" - classic, just classic!

Posted by: Will S at October 7, 2004 at 03:28 PM

You wouldn't italicise it, Tim, but you'd make it bold?

Posted by: TribeHasSpoken at October 7, 2004 at 03:31 PM

You'd prefer non-bold? As you wish.

Posted by: tim at October 7, 2004 at 03:32 PM

I love the Kinkster - I'd love to get hold of some mp3's of him singing with The Texas Jewboys. Any links anyone ?

Posted by: Robert Blair at October 7, 2004 at 03:49 PM

Thanks, Tim. It is more readable this way.

Posted by: TribeHasSpoken at October 7, 2004 at 04:04 PM

They don't make Jews like Jesus anymore.

That is the only Kinky Friedman thing I remember.

That, and I'm a Jehovahs Bystander. We belive, we just don't want to get involved.

Posted by: Andy at October 7, 2004 at 04:47 PM

Dylan, I even decided to spend the $US12 for the subscription but it has the most arcane subsciption method I have ever come across.

Robert Blair, His albums are pretty broadly available on CD and you can always go to www.kinkyfriedman.com. One of my favourites: Proud to be an Asshole from El Paso. Also, the line from Sold American:

Writing down your memories on some window in the frost


The lonely night is mourning for the death it never dies

Semi from TramTown (is that how we capitalise it?)

Posted by: Semi at October 7, 2004 at 05:34 PM

Even though women putting their biscuits in the oven and their buns in the bed is no longer in the GOP platform, it's great to finally get Kinky in the party.

Posted by: a fan of his music then and politics now at October 7, 2004 at 05:49 PM

I wonder how many other liberals have connected the dots and quietly made the same decision as Kinky in the last few years. Unless there's an unreported lemming stampede of Republicans moving left (and if that was happening I'm sure we'd hear about it) I suspect the American election is going to result in a clear victory for Bush.

Posted by: Arty at October 8, 2004 at 12:30 AM

I'm with Kinky. (That would make a good T-shirt.)

Unless there's an unreported lemming stampede of Republicans moving left...

Our local newspaper didn't report on Democrats for Bush, but they did do a story on Republicans who were unhappy with him. Some of these are dismayed at his spendthrift policies, but others were old-school isolationists. They didn't hold with this adventuring and bringing democracy to foreign lands. I don't know if they'll vote Kerry, though; they're more likely to vote Buchanan, if he's running, or just stay home.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at October 8, 2004 at 01:59 AM

>I think the site takes paying registration.

You can read the article at http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/roundupcurrent.html


Posted by: jorgen at October 8, 2004 at 02:08 AM

Thanks, Jorgen!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 8, 2004 at 05:49 AM