politics

Kinky Friedman embarks on "Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011"

This spring, starting April 27th in Kansas City, Missouri, Kinky Friedman, author, musician, politician, and self-proclaimed Governor of the Heart of Texas, will be performing dates throughout the Midwest and East Coast as part of his Springtime for Kinky Tour of 2011. Often returning to places he has not visited in two decades, the Kinkster will appear solo (primarily) and promote his most recent books, What Would Kinky Do? and Heroes of a Texas Childhood. There will be a book signing at each venue.

Buoyed by his Go West Young Kinky Tour last spring and his monster appearance on the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in October, Kinky will take his show to many of his favorite American cities. Playing the songs for which he is best known, such as “They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Sold American,” reading passages from his books, and carrying on his hilarious running commentary on the state of the union, Kinky, the prodigal son of Texas, will, indeed, return to the scenes of his crimes of years gone by.

Though years have passed since the last full-on Texas Jewboys show, Kinky continues to be associated with that infamous band of his early career, partly because of his long friendship with Bob Dylan (Kinky did, of course, travel with the Rolling Thunder Revue), but mostly because of the band’s total outrageousness and those legendary songs. On the projects list for 2011 is a Willie Nelson CD of Kinky's songs, which will be no less than the third tribute album to Kinky and his work. Willie, who has a new Sony record deal, and who has been swapping stories and playing chess with Kinky for decades, will confirm these tunes as American standards.

Meanwhile, Kinky continues to “spit out books like sunflower seeds,” with a brand new deal to co-write one with old pal Billy Bob Thornton. And he is now being immortalized onstage with a play called Becoming Kinky . . . The World According to Kinky Friedman, written by Ted Swindley, who created the long-running hit Always . . . Patsy Cline, and starring up-and-comer Jesse Dayton.

Kinky may be finished with politics, but politics may not be finished with Kinky.  He continues to be a popular guest on cable news channels, appearing with hosts as diverse as John Seigenthaler and Bill O’Reilly, and his regular contributions to Texas Monthly never fail to take proper shots at the insanity of Texas politics.  He also contributes to such national media as The New York Times and Playboy, more often than not skewing deserving politicians wherever they may be.

And that’s not all in 2011: an Australian tour is on the agenda for June. Kinky will be joined by long-time Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, as the two old friends visit Kinky's second favorite continent. But in the meantime . . .

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Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011

Wed., April 27  KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Thurs., April 28  LITTLE ROCK, AR Juanita's
Fri., April 29  ST. LOUIS, MO Off Broadway
Sat., April 30  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Blue Door
Sun., May 1  NEWPORT, KY (CINCINNATI, OH) Southgate House
Mon., May 2  NASHVILLE, TN 3rd and Lindsley
Tues., May 3  CLEVELAND, OH Wilbert's
Thurs., May 5  MILWAUKEE, WI Shank Hall
Sat., May 7  BERWYN (CHICAGO), IL Fitzgerald's
Sun., May 8  PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
Mon., May 9  NEW YORK, NY Highline Theater
Tues., May 10  ROCHESTER, NY Water Street
Fri., May 13  ALEXANDRIA, VA (WASHINGTON, DC) Birchmere
Sat., May 14  WOODSTOCK, NY Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble

International politics in Africa and more Pamela

The Serengetti - Tanzania, Africa- for the Grateful Web

Hi Everyone!  How are you?  Hopefully staying sane in this insane world!  I am continuing to listen to VOA and BBC every day, and glad to hear the war is (maybe?) nearing an end.  It has been interesting hearing the differences in American and British perspectives, although we are "united in the war effort".  The British angle is definitely more analytical and objective, expressing more views from other nations as well as their own.  Most Tanzanians don't think the war is justified, and they don't like Bush.  They think he is using excessive force to accomplish a task that should have been left to the United Nations.  We are not seen as a liberator, we are seen as a big bully and it's quite embarrassing to be an American right now.

At the village level, the war has had an impact on my ability to initiate projects, because the grant review process was stalled until the war ends.  All first-year Environment/Agriculture volunteers were scheduled to go to Dar Es Salaam March 23-29 for meetings on how to fine tune our grants and implement projects.  However, just prior to this, the war began and our meeting has been postponed until a date that is still unknown.  Also, we were put on modified standfast, meaning we were not allowed to leave our regions.  A week later we were put on full standfast, and not allowed to leave our villages except to buy supplies.  This lasted for two weeks, and now we are back on modified standfast.  When the war began, there were several Muslim protests held around the country, but nothing potentially violent or dangerous resulted from them, so the Ambassador and Peace Corps staff have relaxed a bit.

I have still been keeping busy - gardening, building a rainwater harvester, talking to people to prepare for projects, teaching English, reading a lot, and traveling.  After we found out we weren't going to Dar and before we were on full standfast, a couple other volunteers and I traveled down to the town of Njombe to visit our volunteer friends there.  We took a bus out to a village 3 hours east of Njombe, and I would have to say it was the scariest bus ride of my entire life!  The road was muddy and the terrain was very mountainous.  At one point, the bus was spinning tires trying to make it up a hill, and a guy jumped out to run along side the bus with a block of wood!  I assume he was our emergency break system !?!  Once we arrived at our destination however, the ride was well worth it.  The landscape there was absolutely breath taking - steep lush and green mountains covered with tea, other crops, and forest, and surrounded by thick mist.  On high points you could see out over several layers of mountains, probably for hundreds of miles out onto the plains.  It was incredible!

Last week, I traveled to another beautiful area in my district, near the village of Ifwagi.  Each of the 17 volunteers around Mafinga brought 3 students (one boy, two girls) to a Girls' Empowerment Conference.  The students learned about women and children's rights, HIV/AIDS, rape, good nutrition, and also fun things like new songs, how to crochet, sew underwear, make corn-husk dolls, and play hacky sack and frisbee!  I think the students had a great time, being away from home and their chores (especially the girls, who haul all the water, wash clothes, and help their mothers cook.)  The volunteers also had a great time.  We set up a tent city and made sure the local dukas (shops) made a profit this month by buying up all their beer!

This weekend, I had the options of climbing Mt. Kili or going on safari in Ruaha National Park, and was leaning towards the safari because it was not as expensive.  But now I've decided to hold off on that as well (until ya'll come visit!), and save my money to go to South Africa in July to see my friend Lori, go to an International Film Festival on Zanzibar, also in July, and maybe go to Lake Victoria in June.  I am having no problem enjoying life here!