Programming note: Aside from Tucker tonight, I'll be here tomorrow, Tuesday, for another Clubland Q&A taking questions from Mark Steyn Club members live around the planet at 4pm North American Eastern time. For the time in your neck of the woods, please check local listings.
~The moronization of a know-nothing present-tense culture continu ...no, no, sorry, I can't face plunging in for another weekly churn of grim halfwit politics, so let's ease our way gently via a canine diversion:
Tim Rice needs no introduction round these parts, but, if he did, he's one of only fifteen showbiz colossi to have run the EGOT and emerged as an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner. Nevertheless, you're always looking for the next hit, and over the weekend he sent me this video that an enterprising twelve-year-old lad in his neighborhood cooked up for a song Tim wrote with Alan Menken. Tim and Alan won an Academy Award for "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, and of course the other blockbusters in the Menken catalogue include Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. But this is the first time either man has written a song about the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and, having been in Nova Scotia just a few days ago on the Mark Steyn Club Cruise, and not too far from Little River Harbour (where the breed originated), I thought we'd start the week with a little bit of rock 'n' toll. Click below to watch:
That's composer Alan Menken singing Tim's lyric, including his rhyme of "terrier" with "inferrier", which strikes me as rather Yip Harburgian. I'm occasionally asked why I made a cat album as opposed to a dog album, but it seems obvious that the feline songbook is far richer than the canine songbook - with the formidable exception of "Old Shep". But "The Nova Scotian Duck Tolling Retriever" is causing me to think there may be at least a maxi-EP in dog songs.
~We'll have one more Tim Rice item afore ye go today, but, meanwhile, as I was saying, back to the moronization of a know-nothing present-tense culture. On Friday President Trump was in Ohio and talking up two local predecessors, William McKinley, who took a bullet for his country but that's no reason not to re-assassinate him, and Ulysses S Grant, whom Lincoln turned to in the Civil War after a bunch of other commanders had had their clocks cleaned by Robert E Lee - who, said Trump, "was a great general".
As John Hinderaker notes over at Powerline, the Twitterers went into instant meltdown. NBC's Morgan Radford:
@potus: "Robert E. Lee was a great general..."
To which Soledad O'Brien (former CNN anchor, no idea where she is now) responded:
The racism in the GOP runs deep.
So deep that Robert E Lee's a Democrat, and Ulysses S Grant was the Republican who stopped him.
Trump calls on blacks to 'honor' him with votes, then praises Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
Er, yeah, because maybe Trump thinks that in 2018 blacks in, say, Rahm Emanuel's Chicago don't cast their votes on the basis of how good a general some guy from 150 years ago was.
This is where identity politics leads. Once you're labeled, the label is dispositive. A week ago, we reached Peak Stupid with the climbdown of astronaut Scott Kelley after the sin of quoting Winston Churchill. Poor Scott had not realized that Churchill is a "racist". So, in an age when everyone born before 1992 is Hitler, even Churchill is Hitler. Was Churchill a great wartime leader? Of course not! How could he be? He's Hitler!
NBC: @potus: "Churchill was great on Dunkirk..:
Soledad: "The racism in the GOP runs deep."
WaPo: "Trump calls on blacks to 'honor' him with votes, then plays Tristan und Isolde and reads The Cat in the Hat...
As I always say, sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive. Or at any rate its media do.
~Congratulations to Steyn Club Cruise special guests Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, whose new film Gosnell was the fourth highest-grossing new film in North America this weekend after First Man, Goosebumps 2, and Bad Times at the El Royale, God help us. You can read my review of the excellent Gosnell here.
~I was sad to see this headline the other day:
'Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue,' immortalized by Buddy Holly, dies at 78
Peggy Sue Gerron cropped up in our farewell to Bobby Vee a couple of years back:
The real-life Peggy Sue was the girlfriend of Buddy Holly's drummer and co-writer Jerry Allison: If you're from Lubbock, Texas, you get to meet girls called Peggy Sue. If you're a schoolboy in Lancing, England like Tim Rice, the chances are a lot slimmer.
And yet Tim wound up writing a song with Bobby Vee called "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?" It's not entirely historically accurate (Miss Gerron wound up marrying Jerry Allison) but, in light of that headline, the song is very affecting and elegaic, for an era and a lady who was a big part of it. You can hear Tim and Bobby's song in full here.
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline starting with a brand new edition of The Mark Steyn Show, in which the aforementioned Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer returned to talk about not only Gosnell but also the trials and tribulations of being an Irish conservative. Our Saturday movie date marked the hundredth birthday of Robert Walker and saluted his magnificent performance in Strangers on a Train. With Hurricane Michael's devastation still afflicting the panhandle, I presented an hour of Songs in the Keys of Florida, and our Sunday musical selection featured Tal Bachman celebrating Bobby Troup's centenary with a live video performance of "Route 66". If you were too busy getting your kicks on I-95 or the QEW, we hope you'll want to check out one or two of the foregoing as a new week begins.
We also announced a brand new double-act: the legendary Dennis Miller and the not so legendary me on stage together for the first time. You can pre-book tickets for Reading, Pennsylvania here, and for Syracuse, New York here - and we've now added two further dates at the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Penn, and at the Kodak Center in Rochester, NY (although pre-booking for the latter pair won't open for a couple of days yet). At all four shows there's a special opportunity to meet Dennis and me before the show.
Catch you on the telly tonight with Tucker live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific, and tomorrow for our Clubland Q&A. Anyone can listen from anywhere in the world, and Mark Steyn Club membership is required only to ask a question. So, if you'd like to shoot me a headscratcher, there's still time to sign up. For more information on The Mark Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our special Gift Membership.