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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Politics? Only If It's Kinky 

    Although I am a politically interested person with a history of activism, I doubt I will discuss this area much in this blog. The reason is that it is just too complicated to do it properly while also doing a blog focusing on issues such as sports and culture, which really affect the quality of peoples' lives in ways about which many political snobs of all stripes have no clue.

    Also, politicians basically suck, also of all factions, ideologies, and lands. Summing up that view, probably unintentionally, is a headline on the Tennessean.com site about a recent vote by the Metropolitan Council, the legislative body of Nashville and Davidson County: Council unanimously approves weakened ethics bill .

    There may be exceptions to this rule, as there are to almost all rules (except those of the IBF, WBC, and WBA, of course). And one exception to my rule of leaving the yammering about politics to those who are not good enough to write or talk about sports, culture, technology, media, and beer, is the campaign by humorist, mystery novelist, and country singer Kinky Friedman for governor of Texas.

    On Thursday, Dec. 8, Kinky Friedman filed his official papers with the office of the Texas Secretary of State in Austin to run for governor in 2006 as an independent. So far his campaign has been played mainly for laughs, with slogans like, "I'm Jewish, I'll hire good people," and "How hard could it be?" and "Why the hell not?"

    But Kinky has recently shown signs that he is in this race for keeps, and to win it if he can. He has brought in a team of advisors from the Jesse Ventura campaign and administration, and polls show him getting anywhere between 13 and 18 percent in a three-way race with a Republican and Democrat opponent, although that would still place him last.

    A lot more information can be found on Kinky Friedman's web site .

    You can even order a Kinky Friedman Talking Action Figure there for just $29.95.

    Getting online coverage of Kinky's filing these papers again shows how completely inept the web sites of most newspapers are. Since the signing was in Austin, I went to the site of the Austin American-Statesman .

    To access it, though, you have to fill out a registration form. The newspaper web sites have not even been able to make one common registration form yet, so if you are an inquisitive person -- as most people reading about Kinky Friedman online are -- you have to sign up separately for all these web sites.

    Then you are asked a series of absurd questions for anyone outside their region, like how often you read their newspaper (there is no box for "I don't, this is a web site and not a local newspaper"), enter your zip code, and answer questions about whether you want to receive classifieds for the Austin area (which you could also likely find for free online).

    This is one of these sites of these dying forms of media that will never get it, and will die a noisy, painful, and costly death.

    Anyway, I signed up, even though I know I had signed up before to read this site. So after all that fuss, I finally found the article on Kinky on this site, and it was an Associated Press report which was reproduced all over the web! Now you really know these people will never get it.

    Go to Google News and search for "Kinky Friedman" and you will have half a day's worth of reading about the Kinkster.

    On one of those sites with this AP story, that of KWTX channel 10 in Waco, Texas, there is another headline near the Kinky story which explains the root cause of why he actually has a shot at winning. The story is called "Most Believe Political Corruption Widespread, Poll Finds" .

    It begins, "According to a new Associated-Press-Ipsos poll, 88 percent of Americans believe political corruption is a deeply rooted problem." A longer version of this story is also widely available, including on the web site of Newsday .

    Maybe if politics were as honest as boxing, we'd all be better off.

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