I've tried to cut back on the gushing about Mark Steyn around here. After a while you run out of superlatives, and anyway, it gets repetitious. In addition to that, I often hesitate to pull quotes from his writing because they're always richer in context, each sentence being part of a carefully crafted whole. Also, I'd really hate to spoil his punch lines. So I probably don't quote him as much as I used to.
But I wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea. He's the best. There is no second. In these times when reality so often seems a crazy parody of itself, his talent for verbally tearing away the veil to expose the absurdity, and the truth, underneath, while making us laugh, is of incalculable value. Because truth and the right to speak it, despite what our current minders believe, are still important.
So here are a few fresh excerpts which are really too good to miss. But you can't read them unless you promise to read all of the pieces in full:
Disgrace in Benghazi:
So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser. No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.Bingo!
The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation. No, no, a filmmaker would say; too crass, too blunt. Make them sober, middle-aged midwesterners, shocked at first, but then quiet and respectful.
The president is too lazy and cocksure to have learned any prepared remarks or mastered the appropriate tone, notwithstanding that a government that spends more money than any government in the history of the planet has ever spent can surely provide him with both a speechwriting team and a quiet corner on his private wide-bodied jet to consider what might be fitting for the occasion. So instead he sloughs off the words, bloodless and unfelt: “And obviously our hearts are broken . . . ” Yeah, it’s totally obvious.
The Sleeping Laughingstock:
As a Canadian, I’m interested to see that America has belatedly adopted the divided responsibilities of the Westminster system. Proceeding from the Pimp with the Limp show to Letterman to Beyoncé and back again, Barack Obama makes a perfectly adequate (if somewhat cheesy and downmarket) ceremonial queen.Emphasis mine. Try to find a better description of President Barack Obama.
Lying in State:
This is a security fiasco and a strategic debacle for the foreign policy of the United States, not a liquor store hold-up. What is wrong even with the bland, compliant, desiccated, over-credentialed, pansified, groupthink poodles of the press corps that they don’t hoot and jeer at Victoria Nuland? I know why she’s doing it; I know why Hillary Clinton is desperately trying to suggest that some movie trailer on YouTube is the reason that a mob in Benghazi knows the location of the US Ambassador’s safe house. But why would anybody else even pretend to take this stuff seriously? Elderly Soviet propagandists must be wondering why they wasted their time jamming radio transmitters and smashing printing presses when they could just have sent everyone to Columbia Journalism School.I've been sputtering incoherently for days about the liberal media's "handling" of this story. Mark Steyn does them justice in one paragraph.
His great book After America is now out in paperback. Being neck-deep in reception prep for my daughter's wedding, I probably won't be able to plug it properly. So just go buy it, please, and grab some extra copies for Christmas gifts. While you're at it, pick up a dozen or so copies of America Alone, which the events of last week have proven to be as relevant as ever.
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