Voices from Russia

Sunday, 12 June 2011

12 June 2011. Quotes to Live By… From a Great Philosopher… Kinky Friedman

Filed under: cultural,literature/belles lettres,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Richard “Kinky” Friedman (1944- ), offbeat country musician (Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys), mystery-novel author, raconteur, and twice independent candidate for Governor of the State of Texas… y’all all take a listen, y’hear…

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Editor’s Foreword:

In 2006, Kinky Friedman won 12.6 percent of the vote as an independent candidate for Governor of the State of Texas. That’s nothing to sneeze at, considering how the news media snubs anyone other than the “major” candidates. To be blunt, no one believes in the Republican or Democratic Parties anymore. NO ONE DOES… not even the pols who use them to “win” office. It’s a situation similar to the Soviet Union of the late 80s, when the KPSS was full of people who didn’t believe in the party’s ideology, but belonged to it for the sake of advancement and gain. Shall our end be similar? That’s opaque to me… but we’re all strapped into the roller-coaster, and we’ll ALL find out in short order, I fear…

BMD

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The many people who lead anonymous little lives long for fame. The handful of people who’ve become truly trapped in the thing that fame is, invariably long for anonymity. As far as the rest of us go, we have to deal with so many assholes every day we figure we probably should’ve been proctologists, and, at least, get paid for it.

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How can you look at the Texas legislature and still believe in intelligent design?

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Voter apathy is the political cancer of our time. In Texas, only 28 percent voted in the last governor’s race, a certain death knell to any independent candidate. But if we’d had mandatory voting as they have in Australia, or voting on weekends to maximise the vote, or same-day voter registration to get more young people and new voters into the process, the story would’ve been very different. The irony and the tragedy of low voter turnout is that it suits the politicians perfectly, though they’ll never admit it. Frankly, we deserve the lacklustre leadership we’re getting. Anytime the voter response is as low as 28 percent, it enables the powers behind the two political parties to over-ride the will of the people. This is what George Washington warned us about. He was the good George W.

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The Democrats and Republicans are the same guy admiring himself in the mirror. And if an alternative is on that ballot in Texas, I guarantee you, Texans are gonna take it. The politicians don’t know this yet, but the people do.

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There’s lots of doors swinging open and closed in this world, I thought. And there’s lots of people in our lives leaving and entering doors that we can’t see. All we can hope is that when the Lord closes the door, He opens a little window.

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This is a wonderful country. But it’s been better. And I hope and trust that we can make it better again. The insidious problem with apathy is that it feeds on itself. The more apathetic you get, the more certain you become that nothing will ever change. The lamer the politicians get, the worse they represent the people, the more convinced we all become that it’s just no use to try to beat them.

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Politicians go to church and peddle this religiosity, and it hasn’t served us very well. I like what Thomas Paine said, “The world is my country, and to do good is my religion”. I’m a Gandhi-like figure; the only currency I value is the coin of the spirit. That’s very important in my life.

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No one’s ever won the human race, but guys like Abbie Hoffman sometimes make it fun to watch. Every hamster doesn’t ride the wheel.

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We’re first in executions. We’re 49th in funding public education. We’re in a race with Mississippi for the bottom, and we’re winning.

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For those few who find lasting fame within their lifetime, things can sometimes be even more frustrating. If you think it’s hard living with who you are, try living with who you’ve become.

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We’ve got to clear some of the room out of the prisons so we can put the bad guys in there, like the paedophiles and the politicians.

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No one ever takes good advice. We take pop advice, and glib advice, and bad advice, but not good advice. The only way you can get any advice across is obliquely, accidentally… like in a song. If you set out to write the great American novel, you’re not going to. It’s written by a guy who’s trying to pay the rent, or by someone like Dostoevsky, who’s paying gambling debts.

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Treat children like adults, and treat adults like children.

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The death of someone close to you is never as much fun as it’s cracked up to be. I should know. I’ve been to that rodeo on a handful of occasions, and every time you get thrown, it gets a little bit harder to pick up your hat and dust it off.

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Cats, as a rule, don’t like lawyers. They have great insight into human character.

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Well, first of all, the average person now that is pretty disgusted with the politicians is definitely the majority in this country. It’s like Mark Twain’s time, when Mark Twain said there’s no native criminal class in America except the US Congress. We realise these people aren’t lawmakers; they’re lawbreakers, and that the longer you’re in, the more experience you have in politics, the worse you get. And we just can’t trust somebody that’s been a public servant for 20 or 30 years.

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There is a place where you can go where Marilyn still dances with DiMaggio, and Juliet with Romeo. And the name of the place is love.

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The term “Politics” can be broken down into two root words: “Poly”, meaning “many”, and “Ticks”, blood-sucking parasites.

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Well, I pride myself in trying to be a good shepherd, and not being a hired hand. I’ve said that the governor doesn’t know the waitresses’ name at the coffee shop. He doesn’t bother to know her name. And I know her name, and sometimes I ask her for her telephone number. That’s the difference between us. I’ve met real Texans by being a musician and an author. I think that’s the key. And, real Texans have had it. My Dad’s airplane, his B-24 in World War II, was called “I’ve Had It”. That’s how Texans feel right now. By the way, this protest vote should not be taken lightly. As I’ve said before, this “middle finger” vote is exactly the spirit of the American Revolution. It’s what created this country, the protest vote. Without the “middle finger” vote, we wouldn’t be here. If they hadn’t of drug Sam Houston out drunk from under the bridge and got him to run for governor, it’d be very different. An opium addict and a drunkard, Sam Houston, the most visionary governor we’ve ever had. The greatest. He made Texas.

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People are drooling for the truth. They want honesty from politicians, and they’re not getting it.

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The French head of the International Money Fund was arrested for trying to do to a maid what he’s been doing to the Unites States for years.

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In politics, just about everything that can be misconstrued is. So, you’re screwed. You can’t explain satire. You can’t even explain what being an artist is. An artist is anyone who’s ahead of his time and behind on his rent. But an artist isn’t understood by the mainstream public. If you go through Kinky’s books and songs, the first thing you run into is the word “nigger” and They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore. So, Kinky’s a racist. But the song is an anthem against bigotry. And if you go through the books, you find all kinds of outrageous stuff. And that’s what they did. Some of that is aided by political correctness, which has had an impact on America. If I were managing a young Richard Pryor or George Carlin, we wouldn’t make it. We’d lose too many sponsors to the Al Sharpton types.

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You don’t accomplish much by swimming with the mainstream. Hell, a dead fish can do that.

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You struggle with your demons and you conquer them.

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I believe apathy, lack of leadership, and politics as usual have been responsible for tarnishing the Lone Star. I want to make her shine again. You Can Lead a Politician to Water, but You Can’t Make Him Think is for anybody who believes in the Alamo of the mind. It’s for Texans, non-Texans, and spiritual Texans, for people who got here as fast as they could and those who are still thinking about it. Can we use some of the ideas in this book that are already working very successfully in other places? Of course, we can, and we should. So, what’s stopping us? Politics, folks. Politics and politicians who no longer respect us, just as we no longer respect them. I can’t think of a living politician today who truly inspires me. Most people I talk to feel the same way. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young person or an old person.

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The Republicans and the Democrats let us all down. The only time they get off their asses is to attack each other. Witness Tom DeLay. I mean, that’s what they do.

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We’re at the top of everything we should be at the bottom of, and at the bottom of everything we should be at the top of, as far as statistics go. Texas does have an independent spirit, which doesn’t always manifest itself in politics because politicians have hijacked the power… good people don’t get into politics; it’s very rare.

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There’s a little bit of Nazi, I thought, and a little bit of Jew in all of us. How we deal with these diverse parts of our being will have a lot to do with what kind of lives we will eventually lead, and what kind of world we’ll be able to make for our children and our kittens.

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Editor’s Afterword:

I’m a BELIEVER… in God… in mankind… in goodness and honesty. NO… I do NOT believe that we should cower in fear before the Paul Ryans, the Richard Cheneys, the Dropout Scott Walkers, the Sean Hannitys, the Franklin Grahams, or the Sarah Palins of this world. We can defeat them and we can tear down the gilded idol of Ayn Rand that they dance about… for if we don’t, they’ll plunge the world into an abyss of evil clothed in the tawdry robes of false religiosity and the paste jewels of jingoistic chauvinism. SHALL WE? It’s up to YOU…

BMD

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