Parties and Prick Bodyguards on Election Night in Austin
Kinky Friedman, election night, Nov. 7, 2006.
Photo by Darren Abate
Yesterday evening I drove up to Austin to cover Kinky Friedman’s election night party, on spec for Der Spiegel. I was never really under any misconception that he would actually win against two polished, professional, political juggernauts, but it was a fun party nonetheless.
However, it was the worst media cattle drive I’ve seen in a while. The Schotz Beer Garden is not really a big place to begin with, and most of the walkways were taken up with photographers and news video guys mashed in around Kinky as he made his way to and fro. I don’t think the civilians in attendance ever really got to see Kinky until he got up on stage; the rest of the time, he had a wall of media around him.
Yes, the party had everything a photographer could hope for… Happy party goers, a plethora of fellow media with whom to tell off-color jokes, and even the requisite asshole bodyguard who got his kicks from shoving around female photographers half his size.
I don’t know who this asshole was, but he really should be sued for the way he manhandled the shooter from the Austin Chronicle. She was just standing there doing her job, right next to me, when the Hulk walks up behind her, puts a hand on the side of her neck, and shoves her out of the way, and then turns around to her to say, “I will move you out of my way!” I saw absolutely no reason for that kind of behavior. She wasn’t even doing anything wrong; he just wanted to get through.
I’ll see if I can find a photo of the prick.
Anyway, that was that. People mobbed Kinky, he gave a witty speech, signed some autographs, and then I drove back to SA to edit and transmit my photos.
On the way out, the parking attendant whom I had bribed with my remaining half-pack of Egyptian Dimitrino cigarettes to let me park close, was gone from her post. That sucked; I wanted to bum a smoke off her for the drive home.