March 27, 2017

‘A Blast From The Past’ by Kinky Friedman

Jennifer Petty Mann grew up in New York City, moved to London, England, then back to Boston, and is now happily ensconced on the EightMile river in Lyme with three little ones.  A former teacher, window dresser for Saks, and designer, she is taking her love of books to the proverbial “street.” 

Blast_from_the_PastRichard S. “Kinky” Friedman almost defies description.

A renaissance man and possible hysterical realist* (think Tom RobbinsStill Life With Woodpecker); he is a singer, writer, columnist and ocasional politician.  (He ran as an independent for Governor of Texas in 2006 and received 12.6% of the vote…)

He is primarily known, by me, as a member of Don Imus’ irreverent entourage.  In an effort to force my better half to read my columns I capitulated to reading/ reviewing the male coup de foudre that is A Blast From The Past.

I admit to liking it and finding much of it to be enticing enough to read the other one I took out, but it is definitely male humor. Fart jokes are the least of it.  Jamieson Whisky, public sex, genitalia, drugs, and the other staples of male humor are accounted for in bulk.

Despite being a tad traumatized (I am truly a prudy girl no matter how much I try to overcome it ), Kinky captures the dark insightfulness I like so much in David Sedaris.  (10.10.08)

Looking closely at something is always going to provoke and subsequently educate, more than a glossing over can. Kinky is brave enough to look under the rug and face what he finds.

Kinky is obviously a smart man and I liked his casual usage of literary references, many of which he left to hang in the breeze rather than over-explain.  (Reichenbach Falls 12.20.08).

I wouldn’t liken Blast From The Past to L”Elegance du Herisson (9.5.09)  in its thoughtful asides, but it isn’t a horse of an entirely different color either.  There are many bits that give one pause and deserve closer attention.  Abbie Hoffman’s cultural detritus for one …

There are also small gems like his mention of an idiot drunk in the bar named Myers who thinks of opening a British food shop in the Village.  “Most ridiculous idea I ever heard … whole idea’s a pipe dream.  Never happen.” **

I also loved the bar they frequent called the EAR because two of the bars on the B burned out.

Actually, the more the think about it the more I realize how good it it.  Possibly my mamby-pamby attitude is altering?   Am I becoming more indulgent of bathroom humor and private parts?  Nah.

… but I am going to pick up A Case of Lone Star.  Let’s see how Kinky does with that …

*Hysterical Realism, also called recherche postmodernism and maximalism is a literary genre of strong contrast between elaborately absurd prose, plots or characters and precisely specific social phenomena. 

 **Myers of Keswick
634 Hudson Street (between Horatio and Jane St.)
New York NY 10014
Phone: (212) 691-4194
Fax: (212) 691-7423
Mail: info@myersofkeswick.com
MON – FRI: 10am – 7pm
SAT: 10am – 6pm
SUN: 12noon – 5pm
(One of the best little shops around. Truly.)

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