SteynOnline celebrates its twentieth birthday later this month, and we're marking the occasion by getting back in the cruise biz. No tests, no vax passports, that's all yours to choose or not; but just a week of fun on the high seas with Bo Snerdley, Michele Bachmann, Eva Vlaardingerbroek and other Steyn favorites. More information here.
For me, the big event of 2006 was the publication of my book America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It. It was a bestseller and also a somewhat influential book, although insufficiently so - which is why, a generation on, we are now living the end of the world, and the demographic transformation of what we used to call Christendom is even more of an unmentionable subject than it was back then. The point to remember, then as now, is that the things they mention incessantly are there to distract us from the things that should be mentioned: climate change, for example, is useful as a ways of drawing all the attention from demographic change.
Nevertheless, prominent men were engaged by the thesis - on both sides of the aisle, more or less: Mitt Romney and Joe Lieberman each read the book and recommended it. President Bush recommended it to his staff; Michael Gove, currently a Cabinet minister of His Britannic Majesty, did not then have any staff to recommend it to, so he commended it more generally to the world at large. Mr Lieberman has been 99.99 per cent marginalized by his own party; Messrs Gove and Romney have moved on to newer enthusiasms; and the entire Bush era now seems like a colossal missed opportunity.
Both the President and Vice President sought my counsel on the book's theme and invited me to Washington. Mr Cheney grasped the full significance of its thesis, and started the conversation with a brusque summary of its geopolitical consequences: "So this is a paradigm shift?" His daughter Liz, who was in attendance as his Deputy Special Assistant or some such, nodded. Many of the west's prime ministers likewise called me in for private meetings, as did at least one queen and one crown prince. Tony Blair was asked by Christopher Hitchens if, at Continental get-togethers with his fellow panjandrums, my demographic prognostications were part of "the European conversation". The PM shifted nervously and said it was part of "the subterranean conversation".
Alas, it's even more subterranean today.
It was a busy time for me, with almost non-stop interviews through the autumn and well into the new year. My debut appearance on Hannity & Colmes at Fox News led to a decade's guest-hosting on the show, although I didn't enjoy the format quite so much after Alan Colmes' departure. From those first promotional appearances, I thought you might like to revisit this interview by Michelle Malkin, who was then running her website Hot Air. Mrs Malkin and I subsequently made the mistake of getting mixed up with Cockwombling Cary Katz's CRTV, which didn't work out too well for either of us, and one consequence thereof is that the encounter below is unlikely ever to recur.
The interview is a period piece, but one that I think is of interest. I made one rather big error in my book: I assumed America (or Washington, or "the government", however you wish to phrase it) was serious, and thus would prosecute its war seriously, and on all fronts. Instead, two decades on, the only salient point about "the day everything changed" is that, in its wake, North America and Europe chose to double the rate of Muslim immigration to the west. We are besotted and decadent, and in the end that matters more than how many Cruise missiles you have. Click below to watch:
~from Hot Air, October 25th 2006.
We had a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with our Clubland Q&A and more big questions on the ever widening gulf between rulers and ruled. On Saturday The Hundred Years Ago Show offered our weekly sense of perspective with Boris Johnson's politico-media great-grandfather meeting a similarly sudden downfall, albeit far more brutally. Our weekly movie date found Rick McGinnis considering All Quiet on the Western Front, while Steyn's Song of the Week celebrated an iconic prog rock track turned faintly camp easy-listening staple. Our marquee presentation was another Steyn Show Special - with Yasmine Mohammed talking to Mark about many of the issues raised above.
If you were too busy this weekend wondering why all the unmarked vans at the rental companies are booked up for the early hours of Wednesday morning, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
Our Steyn Show Special Edition and The Hundred Years Ago Show are special productions for The Mark Steyn Club, now in our sixth year. Membership in the Steyn Club comes with some unique benefits, including:
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~Mark's ongoing series of video poetry and other weekend specials;
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We will see you on the telly for the next Steyn Show - and then back here for your comments.