Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Poets Have Never Been Cowboys

Recently Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) defended maintaining the funding of the National Endowment for the Arts. His best argument for continuing the funding was that if the funds were cut, the Cowboy Poetry Festival (held in Nevada, what a surprise) might have to be cancelled.

Unfortunately, I am not making this up. We (taxpayers) are subsidizing cowboy poets and powerful people in government think it would be tragic if we stopped providing this service. Isn’t it interesting that you would get the same reaction from a junkie if you threatened to take away his smack.

I think that if I needed an example of why cutting the funding was needed, I might play the “cowboy poetry” card. If we do go broke, people 100 years from now will say “Look at those idiots, the deficits were so high, but they still spent money on that cowboy poetry.

What is cowboy poetry anyway? When I told my friend Sue that I was going to write on this subject, she said that it wouldn’t be fair to comment on it without actually reading some of it. She is obviously an intelligent woman, so I did read some cowboy poetry using a new technology called the “Internet”.

It is bad. It is “last thing I would read in the doctor’s office” bad. It is “Oprah reading list runner-up” bad. It is “against the Geneva Convention to read this to prisoners“ bad. It is “third-grade poetry contest” bad. I had to clean my computer monitor after the download to get the stench out.

But if it so bad, why do cowboys continue to write it and why is there a tax-payer funded festival every year to promote it? My theory is that cowboys do this stupid thing for the same reason men have done stupid things throughout the ages: Chicks dig it.

And there is another dynamic taking place here. Woman love cowboys. They find this rugged masculinity very sexy and appealing. Why do you think so many men’s colognes have “western” names? Even business executives want to smell like cowboys, because woman love cowboys. If you can’t be a cowboy, the next best thing is to splash on some Stetson and smell like one.

Even gay men are attracted to cowboys. My evidence is the cowboy character in The Village People and the movie Brokeback Mountain. So if you like men, you like cowboys.

And when cowboys write poetry, they reveal their sensitive side. And guys know that women crave that mix of strength and sensitivity. Of course most guys who realize this, still have problems making it work.

Woman: “What the hell are you doing?”

Man: “I’m trying to be strong”

Woman: “Well stop it and try to be more sensitive, you jerk!”

The next day …

Woman: “What the hell are you doing?”

Man: “I’m trying to be sensitive”

Woman: “Well quit being a wimp and show some strength!”

So I’m not surprised that cowboys write poetry. I’m also not surprised that a cowboy poetry festival is popular as hundreds of cowgirl wannabees descend upon northern Nevada (including maybe some Vegas showgirls). For a weekend the cowboys have more groupies than rock stars. Sure they are saddle sore for the next week, but they don’t mind. It wouldn’t even surprise me if a cowboy poet first coined the term for that reverse riding style.

So yes, I guess cowboy poetry has a purpose. And yes, I suppose people have a great time at the festival. But I still don’t understand why one dime of taxpayer money should go to fund this. If the cowboys are having as much fun as I think they are, they will most assuredly pay all the expenses.

So in honor of cowboy poetry, I will end this blog with a cowboy poem of my own:

Tham Chaps

Tham chaps are rubbin’ me the wrong way
Tham chaps are ruinin’ my day
Tham chaps in D.C.
Are really irritating me

Tham chaps are chaffing my thighs
And tellin’ us lies
They take corn for my cattle
To make gas for Seattle

Tham chaps are pinching my buns
And they’re after my guns
They don’t want to hear
Then they go taxin’ my beer

Tham chaps are inflaming my loins
As they grab all tham coins
They’re taxin’ my smokes
And screwing us folks

Tham chaps are grinding my nubs
And sayin’ thing that are dumb
Thar dense as a bird
And make more manure than my herd

Tham chaps are rubbin’ me the wrong way
Tham chaps are ruinin’ my day
Tham chaps in D.C.
Are really irritating me

Yee Haw!


  1. Nice! A Village People referance in a Economics Blog.

  2. Don't forget that we also are funding The Cowgirl Hall of Fame somewhere out West as well. Cost several million to build and provided a handful of jobs. We have got to stop wasting our taxpayer dollars on these local 'bring-home-the-bacon' projects that do not benefit a much larger demographic of the US citizenry who are picking up the tab.

    I, too, hope your elephant doesn't take a huge dump mid-year. We've been down here long enough and need to come up for air sooner, rather than later.