Monday, April 03, 2006

Tiresome one-liners from Kinky "the Cigar" Friedman

My respect for Kinky dwindles every day. Please post something good about him if you know of an interesting position he has, because I've heard very few.

Before I go on, I'd like to say that if Kinky didn't want his quotes taken out of context, he would have stopped using one-liners in his interviews and public statements. In fact, there's almost no context in which to place a Kinky quote. Here's a selection of choice quotes (commentary is mine):

  • I'm not pro-life, and I'm not pro-choice. I'm pro-football!
  • The Ten Commandments being taken out of the public schools. I want them back.... I want them back, they belong there.
  • I'll tell you right now. I'm for prayer in school.
  • It's not right for one atheist to throw prayer out. (obsessed a little, no?)
  • Throw 'em in prison and throw away the key, and make 'em listen to a Negro talking to himself. (in response to his preference for handling of criminals)
  • I was for Bush in 2004 ... he's a good man.
Most quotes came from the "Stop Kinky" blog which I read occasionally, but I've heard these quotes in several other discussions. One analysis of theirs that I'd like to point out is that Kinky is dishonest when he claims not to be a politician. To wit:
  • First, he has previously run for office as a Republican.
  • He voted for Bush in '04 (see above).
  • He is going the independent route as a political calculation. He's at the bottom of the pack in recent polls, and would not have made it past the GOP primaries. His only hope at this point seems to be name recognition, since there's no discernible platform as far as I can tell.
  • Running as independent despite any real ideological independence from Republicans is a political calculation from someone claiming to be an outsider to politics. Interestingly, from the Fox 7 News analysis I posted earlier it appears that Kinky's outlandish behavior and disregard for political correctness (which can at times be amusing and refreshing) may siphon more Democrats than Republicans from the two party lines, at best counterbalancing the vote-splitting that Carole "Foghorn" Strayhorn is doing to the GOP. Since he announced his candidacy before Strayhorn it's not likely that this aspect was planned, but regardless it seems to me that his candidacy weakens the Democratic party more than the GOP. Perhaps that's all he really wants?
Thoughts? I still have a lot of research to do before I decide which candidate I'll support, and I'm certainly open to the possibility that all that I've read so far has been nothing more than partisan mudslinging. Any perspective from the other side?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I've paid money to see Kinky Friedman. Okay, not recently, but I've done it more than once. Come to think of it, the first time was long enough ago that even the life-begins-at-conception folks would have been forced to agree you were not a person.

In those days at the Soap Creek Saloon and elsewhere, Kinky had a reputation for being irreverent and outlandish. In a time when Austin was the epicenter for "outlaw country music," Friedman was the outlaw's outlaw. It was a position that gave him license to say things no one else could say. You've possibly never heard "Jesus was a Jewboy," but I've heard Kinky deliver every verse.

Friedman was an equal opportunity skewer. He created and performed "Get Your biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed," as misogynist a little ditty as you'll ever hear. Nothing was off limits for Kinky’s lampooning. His one-liners were occasionally racist, sexist - or both. He made people nervous, made them cringe.

Call Friedman a brilliant social satirist or just an eccentric and often vulgar performer, he causes people to think, to react. He's made a career of making people uncomfortable, and some would say there's a tremendous value to that. You may find his one-liners "tiresome," but that's how he achieved whatever notoriety he has, and at least he's not trying to "reinvent" himself. He remains irreverent and outlandish.

So does any of that qualify Friedman to be governor? Who knows? Yes, insist on an eventual platform, or some semblance of one. But certainly, Friedman's not to be disqualified because he once voted for a moron. He's not to be dismissed as less than genuine because he would siphon votes while making people think. At least, I suspect that's what a Dennis Kucinich supporter might say.

At some point, you're going to have to ask yourself why there's a blog entitled "Stop Kinky." To whom is he a threat? If you're so sure that Kinky Friedman is irrelevant, then why condemn all those electrons to endless loops refreshing his name so many times on your screen?

Texas Hippie said...

I'm not worried about Kinky siphoning votes, 'cause I certainly did support Dennis Kucinich as well as Ralph Nader back in 2000. Kinky has every right to siphon votes, and that doesn't bother me. But for him to claim he's not a politician? Riiiight...

I'm not saying he's irrelevant, I'm just saying that I've not heard *anything* that would make me consider voting for him. My sources are mostly limited and obviously biased, but his quotes and actions speak for themselves. I was hoping to hear a different perspective that could help me consider the other side, and while I definitely appreciate your feedback your post hasn't changed my impression of his political worthiness. Then again, I'm not sure if *any* of the candidates this year are worthy. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

You may have gotten my point, even though you don't seem to consider it as responsive. If, as you say, you're just looking for "the other side," you may not find it. Few things are simple enough to allow such rectilinear responses. I've answered with an oblique view, from which you may be able to extrapolate ... or not.

In any case, one phrase you've chosen is far more succinct than any of mine, and I wish I had used it first.

Kinky Friedman, through his songs, his performances, his detective stories and his humorist writing, has focused almost exclusively on social commentary. It's what he has always done, and many say he has done it well, though the subtleties of it have frequently escaped some, confounded others and infuriated a few.

Has it occurred to you that what Friedman is doing now is offering a comment on what you've chosen to call "political worthiness?"

Shellie said...

Thank you for not jumping blindly onto the Kinkster bandwagon as it seems most of Austin has done recently. There are many valid reasons to be suspicious of Kinky.

I agree that the "not a politician" image is tiresome. Anyone who is running for an office is a politician and prone to the same tricks as the rest of them. In many ways, bringing celebrity to the political arena is much more dangerous for the reasons you discussed.

Good luck in your research.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I don't mind Kinky running for office, but why is he running like he's God's gift to the liberals? Everytime he opens his mouth about immigration, I want to scream! If he would quit pretending that he's anything other than a Republican who favors bio-diesel, I feel less like he was trying to sell me a bill of goods.