Programming note: Tonight, Monday, I'll be live with Tucker Carlson, coast to coast across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific, with a rerun at midnight Eastern. Hope you'll tune in. Don't know what's on the agenda, but herewith a potpourri of Monday headlines:
I've been boycotting the Grammys since "Feline Groovy" inexplicably failed to garner, as the rock journalists say, a half-dozen awards. So I didn't discover until this morning that the Grammy producers had booked an actual grammy, Hillary Clinton, to appear in a sketch about the Fire and Fury audio book. I know there are those who think pop culture's completely lost its sense of danger and rebelliousness, but c'mon, in an age whose very slogan is one of groupthink coercion (#MeToo) what could be edgier, as they say, than to book a serial enabler of serial predators? Cool! #Time'sUp - but, oddly, never for Hillary. Next year maybe Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose can appear in bathrobes and play a few cords.
~Meanwhile, in further news of female empowerment, Australia is promoting itself as a hub of the booming "modest fashion" market:
Modest fashion is clothing that conceals rather than accentuating the body â€“ and it is quickly increasing in popularity.
Hmm. Interesting. Why would "modest fashion" be "quickly increasing in popularity"? Particularly for, say, unaccompanied women walking at night in certain neighborhoods of western cities?
Once upon a time Australian fashion was associated with women like Elle Macpherson, who was known as "The Body" because it was very evident that she had one. But from The Body to the body bag is a mere blink of an eye. This new exhibition, funded by Australian taxpayers and promoted by my old friend Julie Bishop's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, celebrates the Australian inventor of the burqini and "the rise of the hijabistas".
That's great news! Tie me burqa hood down, sport! Who'll come a-shroudin' Matilda with me? Sorry, I'm just working on my Grammy nomination for Best Covered Versions.
Unfortunately, The Australian's Caroline Overington is none too happy at being fitted for her burqini:
'Modest Australian fashion.'
In case you don't know what that is, it's skirts to the floor, ladies.
It is full body suits at the beach. It's covering up your hair, and draping yourself in heavy fabric as you go about your day.
When did this become something the Australian government wanted to promote, and celebrate?
Tim Blair adds:
Anyone heard from the feminists on this?
No - because what could be more empowering than volunteering for prison garb?
~Meanwhile, back in the real world, an Italiian "migrant rights" group, Rosso Leone, is offering free courtship lessons to the more excitable young Mohammedans about how to behave if the local womenfolk are unaccountably resistant to your charms:
Marco Gheller responsabile di Leone Rosso ha spiegato come funziona il progetto della cooperativa per trasmettere la cultura italiana ai profughi. "Le insegnanti - spiega Gheller al Carlino - due donne italiane ma di origine africana, spiegano ai ragazzi che nella cultura occidentale la donna ha gli stessi diritti e doveri dell'uomo, che quando dice 'no' va rispettata, che non va picchiata".
Which means, with allowances for my rusty Italian:
Marco Gheller, spokesman for Leone Rosso, explained how the cooperative project works to convey Italian culture to refugees. 'The teachers, two Italian women but of African origin,' Gheller told the Carlino, 'explain to the boys that in western culture a woman has the same rights and duties as a man, that when she says no she must be respected, that she should not be beaten.'
Beaten - picchiata. That's another advantage of all this "modest fashion": You can't see the bruises.
~I've been saying for months that Christopher Steele's "dossier", cooked up by Democrats colluding with Russians, was an obvious Hitchcockian MacGuffin, the thinnest veneer of a pretext to set the caper in motion:
It seems a reasonable inference, to put it as blandly as possible, that the dossier was used to justify the opening of what the Feds call an "FI" (Full Investigation), which in turn was used to justify a FISA order permitting the FBI to put Trump's associates under surveillance. Indeed, it seems a reasonable inference that the dossier was created and supplied to friendly forces within the bureau in order to provide a pretext for an FI, without which surveillance of the Trump campaign would not be possible.
Congressman Trey Gowdy now says apropos any release of the "FISA memo":
"If you think your viewers want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used, whether or not it's ever been vetted â€” if you are interested in who paid for the dossier, if you are interested in Christopher Steele's relationship with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, then, yes, you will want the memo to come out," Gowdy told Wallace.
"Do you want to know that the Democratic National Committee paid for material that was never vetted, that was included in a court proceeding?" he asked rhetorically.
"Do you want to know whether or not the primary source in these court proceedings had a bias against one candidate? Do you want to know whether or not he said he'd do anything to keep that candidate from becoming president?"
No good can come from Mueller's "investigation", because you can't draw sweet water from a foul well. And this well was dug in a sewer - as an attempted coup against an election result they could not accept.
~Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, has died at the age of 91. I assume James Corden's team of writers are working on jokes about flat-pack self-assembly coffins, so I won't bother...
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with our Australia Day music special featuring my interviews with Men At Work's Greg Ham and the great classical guitarist John Williams. No covered women, sadly. In a different musical vein I celebrated one of the biggest-selling records of all time - from 1927. And we way overdid it on hirsute grooviness with a tribute to Peter Wyngarde, the original Austin Powers. If you were busy over the weekend, we hope you'll start your week by checking out one or more of the above.
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See you on the telly in a few hours.