Just ahead of our post-election Tale for Our Time - a tale that gets more unnervingly timely with every day - let me put in a word for our complementary entertainment at the other end of the day: the audio version of The Mark Steyn Show. Last week we had an experimental mélange of the Steyn Show and our Clubland Q&A and, while reaction was mixed, the majority of respondents seemed to enjoy it. So we're going to try it again tomorrow, Wednesday, live around the planet at 11am North American Eastern - that's 3pm GMT/4pm British Summer Time. We'll have some regular Steyn Show features, but I'll also take your questions on the woes of the world live as they roll in. Hope you'll join me.
Ahead of that, welcome to Episode Ten of our serialization of George Orwell's Animal Farm. Dafna Breines, an Israeli member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes:
With all the talk of Nineteen Eighty-Four around, it seems it's been a long time that our bigger problem is that we're living out Animal Farm.
As another commenter often says (my apologies, I forgot who), the Left thinks Orwell wrote how-to books.
Well, it doesn't have to be either/or, Dafna. It can be both - and with a dash of Soma from Huxley's Brave New World thrown in.
In tonight's episode, the rulers of Animal Farm discover one of the consolations of totalitarianism:
It was a few days later than this that the pigs came upon a case of whisky in the cellars of the farmhouse. It had been overlooked at the time when the house was first occupied. That night there came from the farmhouse the sound of loud singing, in which, to everyone's surprise, the strains of 'Beasts of England' were mixed up. At about half past nine Napoleon, wearing an old bowler hat of Mr Jones's, was distinctly seen to emerge from the back door, gallop rapidly round the yard, and disappear indoors again. But in the morning a deep silence hung over the farmhouse. Not a pig appeared to be stirring. It was nearly nine o'clock when Squealer made his appearance, walking slowly and dejectedly, his eyes dull, his tail hanging limply behind him, and with every appearance of being seriously ill. He called the animals together and told them that he had a terrible piece of news to impart...
You can enjoy Animal Farm episode by episode, night by night, twenty minutes before you lower your lamp. Or, alternatively, do feel free to binge-listen: you can find all the earlier instalments here.
If you've yet to hear any of our first four-dozen Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. Or, if you need an extra-special present for someone, why not give your loved one a Gift Membership and start him or her off with just shy of fifty cracking yarns? And please join us tomorrow - after our combo Mark Steyn Show/Clubland Q&A - for another episode of Animal Farm.