Day Two of The [Un]documented Mark Steyn's launch week saw my Monday soundbite about culture trumping politics spread faster than Ebola. Dana Loesch was asked about it on Fox & Friends, and later The Five devoted a segment to it, and then returned to the subject later in the hour when they heard I was in the building. (I was, but I was talking showtunes with Bill Hemmer.)
During the day, I also swung by Dana's radio show, Janet Mefferd's, and The Wilkow Majority. I also joined Stuart Varney on the telly for an hour of good company and lively discussion: Here I am with Lou Dobbs talking about the midterm elections and the death of Total's CEO in a plane crash on a Russian runway, and with Judge Napolitano talking about the government workers sitting at home on "paid leave".
~I'm delighted that so many listeners enjoyed my two-hour interview with Hugh Hewitt on Monday. I explained the thinking behind the book thus:
MARK STEYN: As you say, I've been on your show since I think just after the Iraq invasion.
HUGH HEWITT: Yes.
MS: So that's 2003 now. And a lot of people got to know me over the years through your show and through appearing in American publications. And they weren't aware that I had this sort of vast other life writing in Canadian and British and Australian publications. And so it's a kind of mélange. And sometimes, I think it's interesting, if you write something in a Canadian paper, and ten years later you suddenly go 'Oh, yeah, this is actually highly relevant to Obama's dependency culture...' You write something about the National Health Service a gazillion years ago, and it suddenly turns out to be highly relevant to Obamacare. So I had all these moldering old clippings yellowing in the basement, and I figured some of them still hold up over the years.
Or as I described to someone in the course of the day: Not everything's one of your greatest hits, but some of these pieces are my "Bohemian Rhapsody", or "My Way", or "I Will Always Love You".
Speaking of songs, my conversation with Hugh roamed far and wide musically:
Everybody has nicknames for Doris Day. I think Rock Hudson used to call her Eunice.... And a lot of her best friends call her Clara. But Bob Hope used to call her J.B, which stood for Jut Butt. And as he told me, he said it's because you could play bridge on her butt. And I don't believe Bob Hope ever did. I like to think of that, actually, you know - Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour playing bridge on Doris Day's butt - but I don't believe they ever did.
On the other hand, Doris Day has never felt the urge to record a song about her butt:
MS: I heard this song by Meghan Trainor, 'All About That Bass', which is like a huge hit at the moment. And it's basically ...a love song to Meghan Trainor's butt. It's about a woman who has like a ...not Doris Day's pert jut butt - I don't want to make this the subtext of the show, but she is rather more spectacularly endowed in that department ...and the song is basically 'yes, my butt is huge, and isn't it fabulous, and I'm singing this love song to my butt.' It's basically the 'I'll Be Seeing You' for butts. It's basically 'The Way You Look Tonight' for butts....I mean, it would never have occurred to Nat King Cole to sing a love song to his butt. And what I find so odd about these things today is they're less and less about boy meets girls or whatever... they're essentially these naval-gazing songs about how fabulous I am. It's not about: Oh, some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger across a crowded room. No, it's some enchanted evening, you may look in the mirror and see how fabulous your butt looks.
Even though I was meant to be pushing my own book, I found time to plug a fellow author:
MS: If you only buy one Saudi government official's book this Christmas season - or this Ramadan season, according to taste - make it Yes, Saudi Minister by Ghazi Algosaibi.
That's what they call on Broadway a money quote. I so enjoyed my conversation with Hugh, and he certainly conveyed the full range of the book. I'll try to post a few more excerpts from it in the days ahead, but in the meantime you can find the whole thing here.
Another delicious dispatch from the culture wars--excerpted from Mark Steyn's newly-launched book--shows up today, this time in the National Post. The book may be new, but the photo featured in the paper's double spread is of Steyn circa--oh, I dunno--say, 1997?, at the height of his Seth Rogan-esque bushy-bearded Jew-fro days.
C'mon, NatPo editors. Can't you find--or, better yet, take--a photo of the man that's at least from this decade, if not this millennium?
When I was at the Telegraph in London, I think the general rule was that the picture bylines should be at least ten-to-fifteen years younger than the rheumy geezers and wizened crones they were meant to represent. But sometimes you can go back too far. That byline pic in the Post is by my dear friend and longtime UK assistant Moni - and, gulp, it may be closer to 1987 than 1997.
~Today, Wednesday, is Day Three, and I'll be starting it with Bruce & Dan in Chicago just after 7.30am Central. At 9.30am Eastern, I'll be joining Mike Gallagher nationwide, followed by Dennis Miller live coast to coast for the full hour at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific. At 4pm Eastern I'll be with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, followed by Brian Lilley on Sun News in Canada, Lou Dobbs on Fox Business, and David Webb on Sirius XM.
Still to come this week: Megyn Kelly, Mark Larson, Laura Ingraham, John Gibson and more. Full details of my TV and radio appearances each day can be found in our "On The Air" box at right.
~The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is available in hardcover from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and other US retailers, and in Canada from Indigo-Chapters, Amazon, McNally-Robinson and fine bookstores from Nanaimo to Nunavut. E-book-wise, it's in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and, for your iPhone et al, iBooks. It's already in the Politics Top Ten in both Canada and America, although, as Hugh's interview demonstrated, there's a lot more than politics in there.
By the way, parsimonious readers often complain that, even when my tomes are riding high on the bestseller list, it's hard actually to find them in public libraries. But, as Joël Cuerrier demonstrates with this photograph, even in Quebec les bibliothèques carry my books, albeit in this case seventeen years late.