Just ahead of Episode Eight of our current Tale for Our Time, a word from your host:
As I predicted just ahead of America's laughably misnamed "election" in 2020, things are cratering very fast on the free-speech front - in the US, the UK, and the rest of the anglosphere. (Things are a little different on the Continent, at least in parts.)
In such a world, I thank all of you who keep this l'il ol' website and its various activities part of your daily rounds. I so miss the Internet of yore and the heyday of independent bloggers (such as my late friend Kathy Shaidle) - before the woketalitarians seized control and tightened the screws, in new media and old. I have wasted much of the last week focused (from my sickbed) on different aspects of my brand new free-speech lawsuit in London and my eleven-year-old free-speech lawsuit in Washington.
Well, so be it. We stagger on for as long as we can. But, if you haven't yet seen our Steyn Show Free Speech Special with Alexandra, Tal and Andrew (with special appearance by Linda Keen), do check it out. It's full of great insights.
I'm particularly touched in such an environment by your kind comments about what we do here. Marc, a First Day Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes from Florida re this new Tale:
The Happy Warrior is back! Civilizational decline is best exposed using Mark Steyn's rapier wit and penetrating insights. This work will make a great hardback, like The Prisoner of Windsor. All the harder to cancel by the internet police. They will need an old fashioned book burn a la Fahrenheit 451.
Well, up to a point, Marc. It's true that The Prisoner of Windsor is available in hardback and digital editions. But one has to be quite artful to evade not only woke publishers but also woke printers. My final book will be distributed via (as I always say) the last photocopier in the woods.
In tonight's episode of Out of Time, our Victorian time-traveller muses on a not unrelated theme:
I should confess that, by this stage, I was finding myself as much unmoored by the language as by any of the physical changes in the landscape or even the physiognomical changes in the inhabitants. It seemed to me that it was simply not possible to have a rational society if its means of communication is entirely subjective: A singular person can be a 'they', a masculine person can be a 'she'? No disrespect to your own far superior literary endeavours, but I found myself recalling Dodgson's whimsical tosh about Alice in Wonderland – if I am not mistaken, from the second slice of said tosh, Through the Looking Glass:
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
Can you make 'she' mean 'he'? And also 'they'? I remembered Dodgson's next line:
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all."
Men destroy a functioning language because they wish to be masters.
Thank you again for all your comments, thumbs up or down, on this latest tale. Very much appreciated. If you'd like to know more about The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and don't forget, for fellow fans of classic fiction and/or poetry, our Steyn Club Gift Membership.
I'll see you back here tomorrow for Part Nine of Out of Time.