We started this week launching some new merchandise to fund my end of the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, but some readers feel we could still do more:
How about writing two books, or rather one book with two endings, and sell pre-orders? The book will be about the trial of the millennium, of course, and your victory, with the second edition featuring Mann's fraud trial as an epilogue. (Btw I will happily buy the book without spending my SteynOnline gift certificate.)
Another moneymaker would be a stage musical, with some music, like one of those Rice-Webber pot boilers, narrated by your good self.
Good God. I was thinking about what Mustafa Piece prize winner Michael E Mann is seeking in damages - the high seven figures - and reflecting how difficult it is to lose that much money in one fell swoop. And then I remembered Broadway, where you can close on your opening night and your entire investment is wiped out ten minutes after the reviews arrive at your first-night party. So your surefire "moneymaker" sounds a bit more like a quick way to guarantee that whatever I lose to Dr Mann is only my second biggest loss of the decade. However, if my $30 million counterclaim against Mann succeeds, I may sink it in my forthcoming Broadway musical Little Orphan Mannie about a cute moppet scientist funded by Daddy Warmbucks (played by George Soros) who's invited to meet the President and all the brainiest people in the country, and sings them the heartwarming planetwarming showstopper "The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow. Run And Hide."
Mike Fuller of California draws my attention to a passage by John Fowles from The French Lieutenant's Woman:
We can trace the Victorian gentleman's best qualities back to the parfit knights and preux chevaliers of the Middle Ages; and trace them forward into the modern gentleman, that breed we call scientists, since that is where the river undoubtedly has run. In other words, every culture, however undemocratic, or however egalitarian, needs a kind of self-questioning, ethical elite, and one that is bound by certain rules of conduct, some of which may be very unethical, and so account for the eventual death of the form.
Mark, "science" is a method, not a voice-of-authority. Following the scientific method will keep the investigator from fooling himself. If Michael Mann is disgraced among scientists as well as the general public, it may save science. For a while, at least.
I don't know if that's possible, given the massive silence to date despite the known problems. Mann's legacy may be "the last scientist," as the public stops listening.
Nicholas Hallam has also been seeking literary precedents, but sees the case more as Oscar Wilde vs Emile Zola:
I've been following your legal battle with Michael Mann with great interest and searching around for precedents. Robert Harris's excellent book on the Dreyfus affair An Officer and a Spy gives a chilling insight into the lengths the establishment can be prepared to go to prevent a wrong being righted. I hope that you won't feel embarrassed at the comparison with Emile Zola if I suggest that with your counterclaim against Mann the hockey stick affair has reached its "j'accuse" moment.
Alternatively, there is the Oscar Wilde trial where a vain and pampered litigant was confronted by some inconvenient personal truths. If you can get as many disenchanted scientists to bear witness to Mann's methods as the Marquess of Queensberry found rent boys to attest to Wilde's I am certain of your success.
I wish you the best of luck.
Hmm. So, pace Rand Simberg, Mann is not the "Jerry Sandusky of climate science", but the Oscar Wilde of climate science with his fellow scientists as his rent boys. Putting the green in green carnations.
Chris Brugman writes on the big climate-change non-event of the week, the Potemkin Parliament Pajama Party:
My theory for the Democrats' fake hearing/fake filibuster/grandstanding/whatever on climate change: the Dems are doing this in an effort to kiss liberal billionaire Tom Steyer's ass so he will give them the $100 million he promised to candidates in this year's elections who share his views on global warming.
Like a bunch of suckling swine fighting each other to latch onto momma pig's teats, they are lining up and pandering to a rich guy for his campaign money. It is so transparent and it reminds me of a cheesy red light district where the Democrats are playing the role of cheap hookers standing in windows begging for money.
They have no integrity at all.
I regard Dr Mann's use of legal threats in America, Canada, Britain and elsewhere as a freedom-of-expression issue. But his is not the only attempt to shut down free speech right now:
Maybe it's the funny accent, but damned if you don't provide some much needed perspective on just how deep down the rabbit hole we've fallen. One of your callers on Monday - I believe his name was "John" - indicated that because you thought that the Tea Party groups might have influenced the last election if not targetted by the IRS, it was case in point as to why the cavity search inflicted on them by the IRS was warranted. Your response certainly pointed out the hypocrisy of allowing leftist groups unfettered access to such tax "waivers" (not to mention unions who DIRECTLY contribute to candidates for the purposes of influencing elections), but to take it a step further, it's not the IRS' job to regulate speech!
Per the letter from 8 former FEC commissioners referenced therin, under no possible interpretation of existing statute is the IRS authorized to question or regulate political speech. The regulations they've enacted are almost verbatim the election law statute that was overturned in Citizens United. "Social welfare" and influencing elections are often the same damn thing! As even the arbiters of morality at the ACLU pointed out, an anti-war protest group has the right to advocate political change without that being questioned by a tax collector as to whether it's deemed "social welfare" or explicitly political. It's both! If they illegally contribute to a campaign, it's the FEC's job to prosecute, not the IRS.
Anyway. Sorry for the rant. Best of luck with the lawsuit. Every other month or so, I create a false Twitter account just to troll Nobel Laureate Mann in your honor. I'm of course promptly ejected by the completely impartial Twitter-mullahs. Well worth it.
Buying my never expiring Steyn gift-certificate to mail to the good Dr. as a previous mailbag participant suggested.
Last week's Song of the Week was "Blue Moon". As often happens with much recorded standards, readers were eager to fill me in on favorite versions I neglected to mention:
For the classic anti-doo wop version, there's no one better than Julie London, accompanied by Jim Hall.
Julie London? Geezers like me instantly fell in love with her, way back then.
One of my first disc-jockey gigs many years ago was a late-night slot. I asked the program director what he wanted me to play, and he said, "Bearskin rug music." I was sufficiently young and callow that I wasn't familiar with the term, so I asked him what he meant. And he told me to go away and listen to Miss London's record, Julie Is Her Name. Which is a classic bearskin-rug album: "Cry Me A River", "No Moon At All", "I'm In The Mood For Love", "Gone With The Wind"... It's a very spare accompaniment - Barney Kessel on guitar, Ray Leatherwood on bass. When you put her with a full orchestra, I never feel Miss London smolders quite so bearskin-ruggily. And by the time you get to some of her later stuff - like (gulp) "The Mighty Quinn" - you become aware that there's a very fine line between cool and sensual, and sounding bored out of your skull. But I agree with you on "Blue Moon". Sultry all the way. On the other hand:
Thanks for another wonderful "Song of the Week" article!
Until you mentioned it, I wasn't aware of Eric Clapton's work on Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook cut of "Blue Moon," but I wasn't surprised at Hot Rod's choice of sideman for the song. I've long felt that Clapton's solo on the studio version of "Sunshine of Your Love"is essentially a psychedelic-blues rendition of "Blue Moon."
The next time you catch "Sunshine Of Your Love" during the local conglomerate classic-rock station's dutiful rotation through its playlist, try singing Larry Hart's lyrics over the opening notes of the solo. Clapton eventually wanders away from Rodgers' chord progressions, but it's remarkable how well the old standard holds up as a guitar freak-out.
Thanks for your prodigious output and your fight against the repressive forces of political correctness.
You're right about "Sunshine Of Your Love". I remember thinking that back when I was a teenager and figuring it must be a happy accident. But then I listened to Clapper's album from last year, Old Sock - which includes "All Of Me", "The Folks Who Live On The Hill" and "Love Is Here To Stay" - and you realize he's got an awful lot of this stuff inside him. Bonus trivia: The couple of new songs he does on that CD are co-written by Nikka Costa, the daughter of Don Costa, Sinatra's longtime arranger on "My Way", "New York, New York" and much else. As a little girl, Nikka sang with Frank on a kiddie-song he did back in the Eighties, "To Love A Child". From Blue Eyes to Slow Hand in one easy step.
And finally, from Oman:
Staying at the Muscat Holiday Hotel after stumbling around the country for the last ten days getting some port navigational aids to work, I came across this when I clicked the link to your website:
"This website or part thereof is blocked due to its breaching of the decency code of conduct of Sultanate of Oman. It has been found to either be abusive, offensive, obscene, immoral or promoting misleading or fraudulent information or illegal material. If you believe that the website you are trying to access does not contain any such content, please submit the below form: "
Which I can only deduce to mean... Keep up the good work boy!
I'm sorry to hear that. We do have a few readers in Oman, but it sounds as if it may be degenerating into the Sultanate of Michael Emann.
~Drop Steyn a line on his lawsuits or anything else at Mark's Mailbox.
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