Programming note: Tomorrow, Sunday, I'll be hosting another audio edition of Steyn's Song of the Week on Serenade Radio in the UK at 5.30pm British Summer Time (that's 12.30pm North American Eastern/9.30am Pacific). You can listen from anywhere on the planet by clicking the button in the top right-hand corner here.
~Welcome to Part Twenty-Eight of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, a very popular book among Steyn readers, but, of course, if you don't care for yours truly, we have dozens of more illustrious authors over at our Tales for Our Time home page. On which subject Larry Durham, a South Carolina member of The Mark Steyn Club, enthuses:
I thoroughly enjoyed your reading of Burning Daylight. Since I joined the club in January - while recovering from the Kung Flu and several other personal tragedies - Tales for Our Time has become my sanctuary from twenty first century western civilizational collapse and the other cold, stark realities of life. Currently I'm deciphering The Riddle of the Sands with Carruthers and Davies (by jove!). Again, many thanks for your splendid readings.
Thank you, Larry. Riddle of the Sands sorely tried some listeners' patience a couple of seasons back, so I'm glad you're enjoying it. While you're prowling the back catalogue, do check out both The Prisoner of Zenda and its contemporary inversion: They're just the ticket to close out this wretched summer.
This week's episode of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade features two chroniclers of our age, albeit in very different ways:
Dominick Dunne died the day after Ted Kennedy, and so his passing went all but unnoticed, coming as it did just as the American media's week-long orgasmic frenzy of Camelotian prostrations and ululations was getting into gear. Dunne would have accepted the black jest of bad timing, albeit with regret. The Kennedy family blames him for the present woes of their cousin, Michael Skakel, currently banged up in the big house for a long-ago murder of a fifteen-year-old girl who had the misfortune to live next door...
After Dominick Dunne, we consider a man who would have disdained almost all the company Mr Dunne kept: Michael Wharton, The Daily Telegraph's peerless satirist "Peter Simple", who lived long enough to see his most fanciful jests come true...
Peter Lucey, a First Week Founding Member from the English Home Counties, writes of last week's episode:
Excellent as usual. Just amazed that MS knew of Die Toten Hosen - the Dusseldorf punk band that recorded with Ronnie Biggs. That track is the only poor one on The Dead Trousers' album 'Learning English: Lesson 1' - a fun collection of lesser-known punk classics. )A guilty pleasure of mine...)
You're too easily amazed, Peter. Our late chum Kathy Shaidle liked to taunt Warren Kinsella and his ersatz punk band with the fact that I'd seen the Sex Pistols live and actually met one of them, in connection with some old friends you can hear on this show.