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Sit down and put that beer away

So last week Kinky was serving as grand marshal in a St. Patrick’s Day parade and gets spotted taking a sip of Guinness while in the car.

Obviously he’s violating the open container law but no charges are filed.

Kinky had this to say in a statement issued by spokeswoman Laura Stromberg:

“Guinness is the drink that kept the Irish from taking over the world. It would be unthinkable not to have a Guinness during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. In fact, it would be spiritually wrong”

Ok, he wasn’t driving and it was a parade so I can forgive the breaking of the law. No harm done. But nobody is questioning what he meant by “the drink that kept the Irish from taking over the world.” What is that? Is that a slam on the Irish? Is he saying that the only reason the Irish have not turned their attention to world domination is because they have been too drunk?

Of course most people I’ve heard responding to this news sound pretty much like the equivalent of a bunch a frat boys at a kegger yelling “Chug it, chug it!”.

Kinky Friedman? Musician – YES, Governor – NO

I was having a brief conversation this weekend with respected man about town, Bill Shirley, and the conversation turned as it will to politics and podcasting. While we both agree that it *might* be a good thing to have Kinky on the ballot we seem to be in agreement that having Kinky in office is another thing entirely.

No one I have talked to can really say why they’re for Kinky…what he stands for or what we can expect from him as governor. In some regards I think people just enjoy saying the word “Kinky” out loud or revelling in the perceived effect of the word prominently displayed on the bumper of their pick-em-up truck.

I mentioned that a good podcast subject might be to conduct interviews with random Kinky supporters (who seem to be in force on any given night at the Continental Club) to find out what they *really* know about the campaign of Mr. Friedman. It was agreed that it might be quite amusing to hear the results.

This is not the first time I have expressed my doubts/concerns here. Please refer to my Freak Candidate Principle post from last September.

I spotted this over at the Burnt Orange Report. I must say, it’s refreshing to see some critical thought applied to the Kinky campaign.

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The Conservative Kinkster
by: Ryan Goodland
March 05, 2006 at 22:36:53 CST
(Please don’t waste your primary vote & state convention chances on signing Kinky’s petition if you care about helping either Democrat get elected Governor. – promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)

I was talking to some friends tonight about Bob Gammage and the primary on Tuesday. These friends are young, urban artsy types and are pretty excited about Kinky Friedman; one even said he was skipping the primary specifically to sign Kinky’s petition. He’s probably not alone; drive around Montrose in Houston and you’re bound to see more than a few cars with those “Kinky Friedman: Why the Hell Not?” bumper stickers.
It’s disconcerting to see so many smart people out there fall for Friedman as if he’s the cool, progressive alternative to whoever the Democratic nominee will be. Following his campaign in the news, the more I learn about Kinky Friedman, the more conservative I realize he is. So rather than chastise him for being a potential spoiler, here are some on-the-merits reasons why you shouldn’t skip the primary to sign Friedman’s petition. Or vote for him at all.

1. Kinky Friedman wants to tear down the wall of separation between church and state. He supports school prayer and posting the Ten Commandments in Texas classrooms.

2. Kinky Friedman wants to put up a wall between Texas and Mexico. In a March 2005 appearance on “The No-Spin Zone,” Friedman said, “Good fences make good neighbors, and, Mr. Fox, help us build that fence.”

3. Kinky Friedman won’t say if he supports a woman’s right to choose. When asked, Friedman dodged a question about his position on abortion. Incidentally, Texas is one nineteen states with a legislature that would be likely to ban abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade were overturned.

4. Kinky Friedman has promised to root out cronyism…and appoint his biggest campaign contributor Secretary of State. No one should be appointed to a position just because he “gave the most money,” according to Kinky. Except if you donate $600,000 to Kinky’s campaign. Then you get to be Secretary of State.

5. Kinky Friedman didn’t take the time to vote for the equal rights of the GLBT community. As Karl-Thomas has pointed out, Kinky didn’t bother to vote on Proposition 2 last year, which amended the Texas Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriages.

6. Kinky Friedman did take the time to vote for George W. Bush. That kind of voting record sort of speaks for itself.

7. Kinky Friedman talks out of both sides of his mouth on public education. Friedman says he wants a teacher pay raise, but at the same time he wants to spend the state’s 4.3 billion dollar surplus this year on a tax rebate.

8. Kinky Friedman is a Republican. In 1986, Friedman ran for Kerrville JP as  a Republican.

If Carole Strayhorn is Rick Perry in a skirt, as Bob Gammage has said, then Kinky Friedman is Rick Perry with a cigar. Why anyone would skip the primary for this guy is beyond me.

Texas Freak Show

I’ve been playing music for a long time now. Not conventional music, either. My band is eclectic and has almost zero commercial potential. Still, we have managed to sell a few thousand CD’s with a modicum of effort and enjoy a small but enthusiastic following.

Our primary outlet these days is festival performances, primarily the Texas Renaissance Festival each year.

While playing these festivals one thing became obvious. Bands with unusual instrumentation enjoyed much larger audiences and sold more product than those who lacked said unusual instrumentation. I’m talking about bagpipes, hammer dulcimers, hurdy-gurdies and the occasional glass harmonica.

I actually coined a term for this.
I call it the Freak Instrument Principal.
Any band, no matter their overall actual talent, that sported a freak instrument was going to do much better than a band that did not feature a freak instrument.

You can see this in action if you pay attention. There are two bands at faire that I like a lot. Cantiga and Wyndnwire. They are beyond talented.
But check out their shows. Not a huge crowd and a small but steady trickle of CD sales.

Then check out The Rogues or Tartanic. Piles of people gathered around clapping and hooting and buying CD’s hand over fist.

Are The Rogues or Tartanic better or more talented than Wyndnwire or Cantiga? Not by a long shot. But the sheer bombardment of sound combined with men wearing dresses compels people in a way that other bands will never be able to compete with.

The Freak Instrument Principal does seem to have a counterpart in politics. This is exemplified in the upcoming election for Texas Governor. I’m talking about Kinky Friedman and his bid to get on the ballet for 2006.

Yup, it’s the Freak Candidate Principal.
Should he be governor? I honestly don’t know.
I kinda lean towards no on this.
Will he become governor? We’ll see.

He’s compelling. He’s outspoken. He’s probably crazy. The idea of Kinky being elected to public office has a “theater-of-the-absurd” appeal that just might get him to his goal, not because he’s suited for the job but because he is so ridiculously NOT suited for the job. And many people here in Texas seem to think that concept qualifies him in and of itself.

He’s not the first one of his kind.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota, Arnold Schwarteneger was elected Governor of California (even though Gary Coleman was far more freakish) and let’s not forget they guy who was the original freak candidate…

Who could have known?
The important thing is, we know now.

Vote wisely!