Continued from page 1

His literary material is distributed online in a variety of formats — and, best of all, free from the “big publishing houses and chain bookstores.” His live performances are a freewheeling mix of music, comedy and book readings — lonely artistic islands that have been spared from the “tsunami of political correctness” and cookie-cutter thinking that Mr. Friedman says has swamped American culture.

The musicianly lifestyle and the small but securely taboo-free social space Mr. Friedman has found on the road lately have him feeling like someone who has recovered from a nasty virus.

“Basically, it’s a giant step down from a musician to a politician,” he says. “Being on the road as a musician is a higher calling than being a politician.” Conceivably, one career might have translated into the other: “It’s quite clear to me, having been both, that musicians could better run the country than politicians. We won’t get a helluva lot done in the morning, but we’ll work late, and we’ll be honest.”

For Kinky Friedman, at least, elected office just isn’t meant to be. He’s OK with that. “I think the Lord has bigger things for the Kinkster,” he predicts.

And when the Lord finally decides to call Kinky home, he’d like to be cremated — and his ashes “thrown in Rick Perry’s hair.”