Two years ago today - January 9th 2021, just before six o'clock in the morning at Mississauga Hospital in Ontario - our dear friend Kathy Shaidle departed this world far too soon. In our movie department this weekend, Rick McGinnis salutes his peerless predecessor by going (not quite) full Bette Davis.
Kathy was not only SteynOnline's film essayist but also, as Mark likes to say, "the only writer I know who was both a respected poet nominated for major prizes and the 'Ed Anger' columnist of The Weekly World News". She was good at all three - and that barely begins to scratch the surface of what she did.
The photograph at right was taken in Ottawa a few years ago just before Mark bundled her into a taxi for pizza at the Prime Minister's. As he wrote of Kathy on the day of her death:
She had a carefully constructed persona as an agoraphobic misanthrope who never left the flat. Whereas, as Mark Steyn cruisers who had the good fortune to be at her dinner table will attest, in real life she was gregarious and occasionally (as I told her a couple of weeks back somewhat to her horror) verging on bubbly. I had the pleasure a few years ago of introducing her to half the Canadian cabinet over pizza at the Prime Minister's house. Reading about it afterwards, the highly-strung leftie bloggers were horrified at the thought of the hated Shaidle piercing the holy sanctum of 24 Sussex Drive like a one-woman trial run for the mob's storming of the US Capitol. But the various ministers of the Crown seemed to enjoy the opportunity to shoot the breeze with her - as we all did.
You can read more about Kathy from Laura Rosen Cohen here:
Those one liners – that zing, that was the sound and the Five Feet of Fury of Kathy Shaidle. I know I'll never have that again.
~Private Eye is the venerable British satirical magazine. Satire is not what it was, as Nick Dixon of GB News and The Daily Sceptic has just discovered:
Private Eye Called Me a Nazi
We were surprised to find Mark had a small role in fitting out Mr Dixon for his SS uniform:
Clearly Private Eye felt Steyn's two very recent heart attacks were not sufficient, and he deserved another blow in the form of their deadly investigative journalism, which went as follows:
'Meanwhile, on his personal podcast, GB News presenter Mark Steyn said the slowing of the birth rate of "Aryans", who built "Western civilisation", had been accelerated by Covid vaccines.'
Listeners can judge for themselves whether the above is an accurate précis of Steyn's remarks: It can be heard here, about nine minutes in, directly after Mark's first public disclosure of his brace of heart attacks.
But what caught our eye was the sentence immediately following the passage quoted above:
He [Steyn] openly celebrated the fact that Ofcom does not regulate his personal show.
Oh, dear. OffComm is the UK broadcast regulator currently "investigating" Steyn over two of his shows.
Private Eye was once famously "anti-establishment". But in its flabby dotage it now deplores those so uppity as to "openly celebrate" their freedom from establishment regulation. In their next issue, perhaps they can call for the Lord Chamberlain's powers to regulate London theatre to be restored. Sad.
~Thank you for all your good wishes to Mark at this difficult time. He continues to convalesce, but on GB News The Mark Steyn Show goes on without him tonight at 8pm GMT - that's 3pm North American Eastern (US and Canadian viewers may find the replay more convenient - that's at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific). You can watch from anywhere on the planet on the GB News home page - or you can click the livestream here (you may have to refresh the page):
~Notwithstanding Mark's ill health, we had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with guest-hostess Laura Rosen Cohen back in the chair for our Clubland Q&A. As mentioned above, Rick McGinnis marked the second anniversary of Kathy Shaidle's death with a touch of Bette Davis. And Steyn's Song of the Week observed the centennial of a most influential man.
If you were too busy following Kevin McCarthy's landslide victory in the House of Representatives, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
Clubland Q&A is a special production for The Mark Steyn Club, now in our sixth year. Membership in the Steyn Club comes with some unique benefits, including:
~Our nightly audio adventure Tales for Our Time;
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books, mugs, T-shirts, and other products;
~The opportunity to engage in live Clubland Q&A sessions such as this Friday's;
~Transcript and audio versions of The Mark Steyn Show and other video content;
~Mark's ongoing series of video poetry and other weekend specials;
~Advance booking for his live appearances around the world, including the annual Mark Steyn Cruise;
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest;
~and the chance to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the planet.
See you back here for your comments on tonight's show.