Kinky's Got His Mojo Workin'

A Texas wild man enlists his Appalachian counterpart in his crusade

Here's a conundrum: Kinky Friedman and Mojo Nixon are both one of a kind, and yet they are very much alike. Both are rootsy musicians with an interest in politics who talk a mile a minute -- often dishing out the same well-honed patter they've been using for years. And each of them, like Mark Twain, uses outrageous humor to mask a mind that truly and passionately cares about America and the regular Joes and Janes who live here.

So it makes perfect sense that Friedman has enlisted Nixon to help him out on the petition drive that will get him on the ballot for the Texas governor's race. Friedman needs to collect the signatures of more than 45,000 independent Texas voters to get on the ballot, so Nixon has emerged from two years' retirement to play three Texas gigs, the last of which is this Saturday at the Continental.

"You can't have a comeback unless you go into retirement, and you can't have a comeback unless you have some good reason to come back," says Nixon from his crib in San Diego. He's between airings of his Sirius Radio political talk show Lyin' Cocksuckers; he's as voluble and profane on the phone as he is on the air; and he...Wait a minute, Mojo. Your political talk show is really called Lyin' Cocksuckers? "Yeah, 'cause that's what politicians are," he says. "You know, it's kinda hard to advertise that show. They told me that I would be allowed to call it that, but I would have to refer to it as LC or something. In fact, at first, I couldn't even send them e-mails, 'cause their porn filters would catch 'em."

So what separates Kinky from all those dishonest fellatio artists out there? "One, Kinky's a romantic, a true believer. Kinky is not an evil whoredog. He truly believes in the goodness of people, and God bless his ass for that," Nixon says. "Two, you can't tell if he's serious or not. It's an Andy Kaufman situation. What the fuck is really going on here? We know what the Democrats and Republicans are gonna do -- they've got a song and dance. They're selling us the same bag of shit with different colors on it."

According to Nixon, the "whoredogs" only care about their rich backers. "They don't give a fuck about me and you. Our balls could be on fire, and their mouths could be full of water, and they'd hold it in for the guy that gave 'em the check."

Kinky, on the other hand, is running what Nixon calls a "spiritual" campaign. "If you get that, you get the whole thing immediately," he says. "Arguing over taxes, the details of governing, is boring. Nobody wants to hear about that, and the governor in Texas is just a figurehead. Why not have a fun figurehead?"

Well, why not? Friedman would serve as a far more effective figurehead than Perry or anyone else in the race. Many a figurehead serves as something like the conscience of his country -- think Prince Charles and his preservationist drives. Kinky would do wonders to improve the image of Texas in America and the rest of the world. He's come out in favor of expanded health care for poor children, better public education and raises for teachers, and more enlightened policies on drug abuse and energy, all areas of concern, embarrassment and/or shame for all but the most conservative Texans right now. So sending Friedman to the Governor's Mansion would be great PR, if nothing else. The national media already loves him. "If you're running MSNBC and you gotta fill up 24 hours a day, Kinky's a good interview," notes Nixon. "He's a funny fucker for five minutes. He's got an act, and he's gonna use it. And now that he's had to work so hard, he's got two, possibly even three new jokes. Shocking!"

And despite the Kaufman-esque undertones of Kinky's campaign, Nixon believes he can win. "Perry's gonna be stuck under 40 percent forever, and the Democrats right now have 20 percent. But in the latest Zogby poll, Kinky's got 17 percent of registered likely voters. Which is humongous! People like Kinky -- crazy people -- never get above 2 percent. And that's what I love about Kinky: He's truly crazy. Nuts. A fun-lovin' psycho. And if he can get above 15 percent, why can't he get 30 percent? And if he can get that, there's no reason he can't win this damn thing. It's already gonna be split four ways...Some people are gonna vote Democrat no matter what, like my daddy. But that still leaves plenty of Democrats to come over to Kinky. And plenty of people who don't ordinarily vote, too. And others will vote for Kinky out of spite and hate."

Hell, more unlikely candidates have already won elsewhere. "Arnold Schwarzenegger cannot even pronounce 'California,' and he's the fuckin' governor," Nixon says. "Kinky has fame, and that's the greatest commodity in America. Arnold has an enormous amount of it, which is why he's governor. But Kinky's got enough in Texas. He's up to 17 percent."

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