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.
Afterwards right here at SteynOnline we will have a brand new Sunday Poem, on a theme all too appropriate for this weekend.
Meanwhile, welcome to Part Twenty-Nine of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, a very popular book among Steyn readers. But, if you don't care for it, you can find one of our four dozen classic yarns by far more eminent authors right here. In this week's episode of Passing Parade, we feature two somewhat reclusive men - one of whom wound up just down the road from me in New Hampshire, the other of whom left Liverpool to become one of Australia's "ten-pound poms" and then drifted on to more exotic parts of empire. J D Salinger's reclusiveness aided what was evidently to him the principal advantage of literary celebrity - the chicks - while Ken Bigley found himself briefly famous for all the wrong reasons in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq.
The latter's end was terrible, and I wrote about it too bluntly for the Telegraph's editor Martin Newland, who spiked the column. Iraq is no laughing matter: when I was there not long before Mr Bigley, revenge kidnappings were already underway and I had considered the prospect of winding up in his situation and how best to avoid it, and, after one encounter on the western highway, was glad I'd given it some thought. But the Britain on display seventeen years ago was certainly a joke. To reiterate my point, I cited a little girl whom I mentioned earlier today and about whom I still feel the same:
Christine Hanson will never be three, and I feel sad about that. But I did not know her, love her, cherish her; I do not feel her loss, her absence in my life. I have no reason to hold hands in a 'healing circle' for her. All I can do for Christine Hanson is insist that the terrorist movement which killed her is hunted down and prevented from targeting any more two-year olds. We honour Christine Hanson's memory by righting the great wrong done to her, not by ersatz grief-mongering.
That's the way I feel about Ken Bigley. Here's the column the Telegraph declined to publish:
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