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 the September edition of The Hundred Years Ago Show.
~Welcome to Part Thirty-One of our ongoing weekend entertainment: Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, a favorite book of Steyn readers and proving very popular in this audio serialization.
Last week we featured a pair of casualties from the war on terror. In this week's episode we turn our eyes toward the final frontier and celebrate two men curious to know what spring was like on Jupiter and Mars. First, a songwriter who was a one-hit wonder ...but, curiously, managed to get two songs out of his one hit. Next, another peripheral but enduring brush with fame:
Some great men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have great catchphrases said to them. James Doohan is an honorary member of that last category. He was the guy who spent four decades on the receiving end of the request to 'Beam me up, Scotty' – if not on TV, where no character on Star Trek ever actually uttered the words, at least in real life, where fans would cheerfully bark the injunction across crowded airport concourses in distant lands, and rush-hour freeway drivers would lurch across four lanes of traffic to yell it out the window at him.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Mark saluting celestial songs and celestial catchphrases in Part Thirty-One of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
Thank you for all your kind comments about last week's episode on Oriana Fallaci and Moustapha Akkad. John Lewis, a First Month Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from the English Home Counties, writes :
The usual great listen for my Sunday morning walk.
Peter Lucey, a First Week Founding Member from not too far away from Mr Lewis's pad, appreciated my eulogy of an unlikely Hollywood producer:
MS's piece on Moustapha Akkad is a favourite Steyn piece, pithy and informative. I loved Halloween, a classic horror that launched John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis's careers, and rejuvenated Donald Pleasance's. Prior to MS's piece I was ignorant of Mr Akkad's role. He had the courage to fund Carpenter, (and grant him full artistic control and a share of the profits) and Halloween is the masterly result.
And then Akkad was murdered. (I take the photograph is with his daughter, Rima? Another savage waste.of life...)
It was a husband-and-wife suicide team, and the missus wasn't very good at it. As I said last week:
She struggles with the cord on her explosives belt, but it jams, and she tugs more frantically, and her husband sees her fumbling and pushes her out of the room.
Peter adds this postscript:
Mrs al-Shamari survived and was jailed in Jordan. She was hanged in 2015, in retaliation for the hideous burning alive of the Jordanian pilot by ISIS.
Say what you like about Jordanian justice, but in the craphole of US military "justice" at Gitmo Mrs al-Shamari's counsel would still be in the early stages of objections to the scheduling conference for the pre-trial motions.
Josh Passell, a First Weekend Founding Member from Massachusetts, says of my farewell to La Fallaci:
This has always been one of my favorite obits you ever wrote, Mark. All your best traits, to which you add undisguised admiration. As you've said, it's hard to write a decent obit about someone you hold in contempt; it can't be a whole lot easier to bring the necessary remove to write about someone as brave and uncompromising (and pretty!) as Fallaci. It was a treasure to hear you read it aloud.
We'll be right back here next weekend with the penultimate instalment of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade. If you're minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you're more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we've covered Conan Doyle, H G Wells, George Orwell, Dickens, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Gogol, Jack London, Baroness Orczy, Victor Hugo, O Henry, John Buchan, Scott Fitzgerald and more), we have a special Gift Membership that makes for a great birthday present.