Friday, January 13, 2006

The radical chic of The Kinkster

The other night independent Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman attended a fund-raiser at the home of Houston socialite Carolyn Farb. It was on the TV and merited coverage in the Houston daily.

Notables in the crowd were lawyer Dick DeGuerin, former Houston Port Commissioner Vidal Martinez, civic leader Ginni Mithoff and retailer Robert Sakowitz (whose store closed a long time ago, if memory serves), the paper said. And I saw Fred Hofheinz, the former mayor, on the TV coverage.

Entertainment was provided by Texas singer/songwriters Billy Joe Shaver and Jerry Jeff Walker and "comedian" Ruth Buzzi, whose last claim to fame was "Laugh In" back in the day (way back in the day).

What's going on here?

Is the grassroots campaign of The Kinkster catching fire in the tony homes of River Oaks richies? It would seem so. That would be good for The Kinkster, cause he needs money and selling the talking Kinky action figures only brings in so much scratch.

Is it suddenly "in" to support The Kinkster? Is this the Texas version of "radical chic"?

If you're of a certain age, you many know the term "radical chic" came into being back in the late '60s, when Leonard Bernstein and other certain Manhattan "limousine liberals" embraced the Black Panther Party with fund-raising parties. It was their way of "sticking it to the man," so to speak, and showing solidarity with the downtrodden. It backfired. Turns out the Black Panther Party members weren't the lovely people they seemed to be at first blush.

Tom Wolfe wrote about it in two essays that later were collected in a book, "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers."

There are obvious differences between the two -- The Kinkster fund-raising scene and the Black Panther's limousine liberal sponsors -- so it's best no to press too far in the comparison.

Still, you have to wonder what exactly Carolyn Farb sees as the merits of a Kinky governorship.

Farb, sometimes called "Dr. Farb" due to the honorary doctorate bestowed upon her by Northwoods University, explained her support thusly to the Houston paper: "I wanted to support him in the best way I know how. This is my way of helping him get to the Governor's Mansion."

You go girl. But what exactly is it that drew you to The Kinkster?

Could it be, the chicnness of it all?

Which brings up the question: will Kinky remember us little people now that he's rubbing shoulders with what passes for Houston's glitterati?

I don't know.

You can't blame The Kinkster. He needs all the help he can get. And when Carolyn Farb helps you, it's a pretty big deal, cause her own Web site says that when she gets behind your cause, she gives "200 percent of herself."

Two hundred percent of Carolyn Farb, I'll admit, is way more than 100 percent of Banjo Jones and the "Kinky for Governor" ad he slapped on The Brazosport News (free of charge), so he's thinking, what's the use? Might as well take it down. I ain't no Carolyn Farb. I ain't no high-roller. Hell, I might as well support someone else.

Or am I overreacting?

I don't know.

But I know one thing. I'm not chic, and I try not to be trendy. Maybe Kinky's just passed by folks like me. Is this adios, Mofo? I'll think about it.

9 comments:

Mouth of the Yellow River said...

Who do you prefer for Attorney General, Dick G. or Racehorse (who I understand also shows up at The Kinksters events sometimes)?

Banjo Jones said...

I haven't given a moment's thought to the attorney general's race.

Dwight Silverman said...

Banjo: You seem to presume that, in seeking Dr. Farb's support, he doesn't want yours. Does one negate the other?

Don't you think there's room for both of you under Kinky's Stetson?

Dwight Silverman said...

Oh, and by the way ... I live near (but certainly not in!) River Oaks, and I gotta say, there are a LOT of Kinky Friedman bumper stickers around here. Check out the parking lot at the Kroger on W. Gray sometime.

Slampo said...

You say Carolyn Farb's not a real doctor? I could have sworn that was her who asked me last summer if she could "perform an operation" on me ... Maybe that's why the insurance wouldn't pay.

ttyler5@hotmail.com said...

Naw, it's none of that!

The Kinster is not only the first genuine Austin-based Texas Outlaw songwriter and musician to run for Texasguv, he is also the first Heeb to run for Texas guv!

This is a matter of pride for the Texas Jewish community, and I salute Kinky on both counts!

He is also polling nearly as high as the semi-official dem candidate, and I expect Kinky to speed past Bell in the polls very soon now! I think it's very likely the Texas dems will finish 4th in the general election.

Mouth of the Yellow River said...

Banjo brushed me off on the Attorney General question. Seriously, the Texas governor's office is known as one with least direct powers among the States. More than most executive offices, it is demanding on consensus building with pretty strong Lieutenant Gov. and Attorney General positions among others.

Looks like the Kinkster has got a budding team even though some will have to be elected:

Head of the Rangers & DPS: Willie
Attorney General: Racehorse
Revenue: Carolyn F.
Land Commissioner:Ron Rodriquez
Public relations/Press agent: Banjo Jones

Now who should be the all important Lieutenant Governor?

Banjo Jones said...

let me put it this way. i don't sense a groundswell of support for the de-wussification of Texas -- which is Friedman's underlying theme -- and more of a bandwagon-jumping thing going on in certain quarters of the rich 'n famous. that's all i'm saying. whether or not the campaign is big enough for my big head (7 & 5/8) and her Big Hair remains to be seen. oh, and Slampo, that "operation" you spoke of is just her way of saying glad to meet ya.

Banjo Jones said...

oh, yeah, Lt. Guv?

Hmmm, how 'bout Mattress Mac?

He'll save YOU MONEEEYYYYY !!