Programming note: If you missed today's Clubland Q&A live around the planet, you can catch the action replay right here.
Meanwhile, welcome to Part Six of our latest nightly audio entertainment - The Fixed Period, Anthony Trollope's sole venture into dystopian fiction. Richard Langworth, a Mark Steyn Club member and my fellow Granite Stater from smack dab in the middle of New Hampshire, writes:
Coincidentally, an email "pass-along" offers a modern variation of the Fixed Period.
Brad, a 67 1/2-year-old patriotic Brittanulan, wishes to comply with the law—but not the prescribed method of departure. (After all, opening one's veins in a bathtub, like condemned Roman senators or Frankie Pantangeli in "Godfather 2," is awfully messy.)
So Brad drives his car into his garage and seals every doorway and window as best he can. With a bottle of his favorite wine, he climbs behind the wheel, lowers all the windows, selects his favorite Mark Steyn Audio Tale, and starts the car. He has done his duty to his country.
Two days later, a neighbor peers through his garage window and sees Brad in the car. She notifies the emergency services and they break in, pulling Brad outside. A little sip of water and he is found to be fine. But his Tesla has a dead battery.
Richard, a Senior Fellow with Hillsdale's Churchill Project, adds:
Churchill turned 67 1/2 on 30 May 1942, the day he wrote his first memorandum recommending development of floating piers, the Mulberry Harbors, which rose and fell with the tide and made possible the landing of heavy equipment after D-Day. Just sayin'.
Indeed, Richard. In tonight's episode, President Neverbend decides it is his duty to resist his friend's abnormal sprightliness and enforce the Fixed Period:
My whole energy must be devoted to the literal carrying out of the law. It was a great world's movement that had been projected, and if it were to fail now, just at its commencement, when everything had been arranged for the work, when again would there be hope? It was a matter which required legislative sanction in whatever country might adopt it. No despot could attempt it, let his power be ever so confirmed. The whole country would rise against him when informed, in its ignorance, of the contemplated intention. Nor could it be effected by any congress of which the large majority were not at any rate under forty years of age. I had seen enough of human nature to understand its weakness in this respect. All circumstances had combined to make it practicable in Britannula, but all these circumstances might never be combined again.
If you're in the mood for something more immediately dystopian of an evening, my serialization of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four can be heard here.
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, Baroness Orczy, Dickens, Forster, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Gogol, P G Wodehouse, L M Montgomery, Robert Louis Stevenson and more), we've introduced a special Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club. You'll find more details here. Oh, and don't forget, over at the Steyn store, our Steynamite Special Offers on books, CDs, and much more.