To start a new week at SteynOnline, I thought it might be interesting to see how this old interview from C-SPAN stands up after twelve years. Not in the sense that the boyish charmer below has been ground into a ravaged husk by a decade of vexatious litigation, but in the sense that the topics addressed that day in 2006 are still with us, and it was, as they say, a forward-looking discussion. Click to watch:
~A fortnight ago in this space, I mentioned Phelim McAleer and Jonathan Leaf's new play about Chevron, Ecuador and the all-time biggest eco-scam, The $18 Billion Prize. The thespian community blather incessantly about being "transgressive" and "challenging", but whenever somebody comes along and does anything actually "transgressive" and "challenging" of the cozy groupthink all the brave theatricals get the vapors and pass out in shock. As usual, Phelim has had to cope with the bizarre logic of actors walking out of the production because they're not in 100 per cent agreement with everything their "character" says.
As if that's not wacky enough, critics who actually saw the play are having their reviews spiked by editors who didn't, but who feel the need to enforce the party line. Barry Horwitz, editor of Theatrius, claims to have been on the front lines during Berkeley's "Free Speech" movement in the Sixties. But that was then and now is now, and Mr Horwitz is disinclined to extend free speech to a drama critic writing honestly about what he's seen. The reviewer in question, Daniel J Kennard, explains his side of the story here, and gives us the concluding paragraph of his unpublished notice:
This is not a play that is against the environmental movement, nor contra progressive values. This is a play that reminds us that integrity matters, an important and timely reminder in the age of #RESIST.
"Integrity matters": That's something I find myself thinking about a lot these days.
~By the way, Phelim will be joining us on our inaugural Mark Steyn Club Cruise from Montreal to Boston this autumn, along with former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Mrs Thatcher's advisor John O'Sullivan, and other guests, as we essay some seaboard versions of The Mark Steyn Show, Tales for Our Time, our Sunday Poem and other favorite features. We look forward to having you aboard, but, if you're thinking of joining us, don't leave it too late, as the price is more favorable the earlier you book.
~Next week I'll be back in my hometown of Toronto to celebrate the splendid work of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms and to accept the signal honour of the very first George Jonas Freedom Award. Hope to see you there. It should be a fun night, and we will try to do George proud.
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with the launch of the second season of Tales for Our Time, my monthly series of audio adventures. For Year Two, we went back to the author who began our radio yarns, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the final case of his most famous creation. You can hear Part One of "His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes" here, and Part Two here. In less congenial literary matters, I considered "The Gripes of Roth", and our Saturday movie date looked at the fine art of a Hollywood flower arranger. Our Song of the Week celebrated the ninetieth birthday of the composer Charles Strouse and a song sure to pep you up - "Put On a Happy Face". If you find yourself of glum visage this Monday morning, we hope you'll want to check out one or two of the foregoing as a brand new week begins.
Thank you so much for all the Mark Steyn Club subscription renewals this last month. As our second year begins, I know very well that I would not be here without the support of our members around the world, for which we are all profoundly grateful. For more information on the Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our limited-time Gift Membership.
Catch you on the telly tonight with Tucker live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.