As you know, I'm supposed to be starting a new daily TV show this month. Instead, my inbox is filling up with letters like this:
Silent Night? Thought you might be referring to my CRTV nights as I await the debut of the Mark Steyn Show.
First we were told December 5, then the 12th.....what is going on?
Disappointed in North Dakota,
Well, I share your disappointment, Peggy, although I'm contractually obligated to be somewhat restrained in my expression of it. I've filmed content for the show in three different countries, and I'd like to get it on the air. And the only thing I hate more than failure is feeble explanations of failure. But briefly:
This is the first time anybody has attempted to do a daily TV show from the far North Country and to be honest the logistics have proved somewhat daunting. Nevertheless, the set and the building were supposed to be completed on November 21st, allowing for two weeks of blocking, lighting and rehearsal before launch, which is tight but do-able. (For comparison, CRTV's Mark Levin had months of rehearsal on his set.)
Instead, on what was supposed to be the day of our first show - the 5th - befuddled plumbers were opening up the sewer line under the set. As for the 12th, the air-conditioning guys were crawling all over the building trying to figure out why the cooling system necessary for all the very hot equipment still wasn't working. In the old days, we would have cried "The show must go on!" But in the Age of OSHA the municipality won't even approve the occupancy of the building, and the traffic traipsing in and out put a halt to any filming schedule. We will overcome these issues and the unreliable and incompetent construction crew, but lady guests don't find it encouraging when it's 50 degrees in the makeup room and there are hardhats taking out the ceiling tiles and opening up ventilation shafts.
A few passing strangers tootling through the Great North Woods have dropped by the set to offer encouragement, from Stephen Harper's spokeslady to Goodfella-and-missus Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino. And, as radio listeners will have heard me complain, I do have one issue which I hope the delay allows time to correct, and that is getting my world-class flautist past the sclerotic and inept US immigration bureaucracy. But that may take even longer to fix than the HVAC and plumbing.
As I said, we've filmed a lot of content, and some of it is time-sensitive, so it is distressing to me, as the calendar leaves fall, that some of the show content is falling with it. The December launch was a corporate decision and the inability to meet the promised November 21st completion date was devastating. But bear with us, Peggy, and we will get this thing on the air, if I have to relocate it to Quebec and run it out of a basement in Grand-MÃ¨re. Which would, on balance, be a lot easier.
~At the risk of enraging you further, while you're holding off on subscribing to see whether this TV extravaganza ever actually happens, my cat album Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, dedicated to my own groovy feline Marvin, is a rather more reliable bet for overnight delivery. It's got a four-and-a-half-star rating at itTunes and continues to stack up five-star reviews at Amazon. This latest is from Jenny O:
Love Mark Steyn, love the tunes.
Thank you, Jenny. I love the tunes too, and hope we did them credit. If you need a stocking-stuffer for the cat-fancier in your family, Feline Groovy is available on CD - and, if you can't wait for the mailman, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.