October 07, 2004
KINKY FOR W
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