As I mentioned on yesterday's Clubland Q&A, I have to take off for a few weeks to remote parts in order to crack the back of a project that's been on hold for fifteen months because Cary Katz and CRTV were suing me for $10 million. (They lost.) At any rate, the coming weeks will take me somewhat off the grid WiFi-wise, and that can't be helped because it's a very small window of opportunity. Katz and CRTV have re-sued me in multiple jurisdictions, this time for a combined $20 million. (For the benefit of the many lawyers among our readership, we've got links to the various suits here.) So, before we get into the usual sclerotic folderol of American "justice" with its scheduling conferences to schedule next month's scheduling conference, and motions to delay, and petitions for expedited lethargy, and orders to show sloth, I thought I'd grab a little time to take a quick trip back to the real world and actually get some work done. I'll be doing what I find most rewarding - tracking down the story and seeing where it leads, for a project needs must keep under wraps for the moment.
~While we're at it, I'd also like to clarify that $4 million-and-counting that Judge Gordon awarded me on February 21st. How am I enjoying that four mil? Am I making like Scrooge McDuck and ploughing dollar bills back and forth in my John Deere all day long?
Well, no. When the judge made her "interim" award in January, I quite liked the idea of getting all that dough, especially after what that depraved goon has put me through, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he left me on the hook for in production costs for shows he aired, and the exhausted savings accounts and maxed-out bank cards and ruined credit ratings it took for us to pay those bills and meet payroll. I thought about all the work I had to put on hold - books, albums, a DVD project - and figured the money would go toward finishing those, and leave enough over for a sports car or a yacht or some other bauble.
But very quickly I realized that I don't want a dirty man's dirty money going toward my DVD or book research, or even my sports car. In fact, I don't want a single penny from Cary Katz in my bank account. I'm happy to live off my writing and my broadcasting and my stage performances and even my CD royalties, as I have done since I was a teenager.
So, instead, I decided that, once the legal costs are paid, I'd like to divide the remaining three million or so between two institutions that exemplify the best of America - Hillsdale College and the Gatestone Institute.
Hillsdale is an all but lone bastion in US education of total independence from government (it won't take a nickel from the state or the feds) and also of genuine constitutional conservatism. I taught an occasional writing class at the college for a few years, and it was there that I first met several young Americans who I've been pleased to see go on to splendid success in the media, including my occasional sofa-mate from "The Greg Gutfeld Show", Kat Timpf. Hillsdale's president Larry Arnn is a great constitutional scholar, but also, as a former researcher for Churchill's biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, a shrewd and appreciative student of the rest of the anglosphere. So his is not a narrow and reductive view of western liberty.
By comparison, the Gatestone Institute is an increasingly vital link as the lights go out in the rest of the world. Every morning Gatestone provides necessary information you won't find elsewhere on what's really going on in Sweden, Germany, France, Britain and across the Continent. Indeed, many of its correspondents find it easier to get published by Gatestone than in their own countries. In a world where free speech is diminishing almost everywhere you look, Gatestone has a vigorous commitment to freedom of expression in service of the truth.
So, as I said, my plan was to divvy up the damages Judge Gordon imposed on CRTV between Hillsdale and Gatestone, and then get on with my life. Unfortunately, Katz hasn't coughed up a penny of what he owes, and indeed, twenty-four hours after Judge Gordon's decision, the dishonorable unprincipled thieving sociopathic bum told us that he would never pay what he called her "absurd" award. We shall see about that.
~Just over a year ago, I launched The Mark Steyn Club. I'm extraordinarily grateful to those of you in every corner of the world who decided to sign up - even though what we would actually do in the Club wasn't terribly clear at that point. But we tried a little of this and a little of that, and we wound up with monthly audio adventures, and some video poetry, and our live Q&A sessions, and a few other bits and bobs (I don't mind the bobs, it's the bits I can't stand). There aren't many websites that bring you Shelley and Andy Williams and Gogol and Bananarama, and, although I don't suppose many experts would propose that as a business model, it seems to be working for us. Our little Club is a roaring success and, because of that, I want to use its revenues to grow it, not throw them down Cary Katz's fetid toilet. So I'm taking a few weeks off to work on something separate that, if all goes well, should enable me to fund a vexatious litigant's multiplying meritless lawsuits - and leave our Club subscriptions available to keep bankrolling expansion of our Club operations.
In the meantime, we'll be going a bit quiet here, although do check in with us for some topical takes, encore presentations, and, for our Club members, a few open threads. More importantly, for all Steyn Club members, we will extend your subscription by the weeks that I'm absent so that, rest assured, you will enjoy a full-strength twelve months of annual membership (or three months of quarterly membership).
Among our innovations for this second year of The Mark Steyn Club is our inaugural Club cruise, sailing from Montreal to Boston this September at the height of fall foliage season. We'll be doing a lot of what we do here, but at sea and with an audience of Club members to help contribute: we'll present live editions of The Mark Steyn Show with presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Mrs Thatcher's speechwriter and doughty Brexiteer John O'Sullivan, and bestselling authors and filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney; plus some live Tales for Our Time and Sunday Poems in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; and a live-music Song of the Week with the great Tal Bachman. It'll be a fun cruise, so I hope you'll consider joining us.
See you soon - and thank you for sticking with me.