Happy New Year! In case you missed it, here's how the last twelve months looked to Mark:
2018 was the second year of the Trump Administration and the third year of the Brexit negotiations, but notwithstanding the tumult of the times the New Year began with the same-old same-old. Mark contemplated the west's descent into an Endless Night of the Long Knives, while the US President allegedly wondered why America only got immigrants from "s***hole countries" - prompting Steyn to ponder transatlantic nuances in posterior vernacular, and, with all these asterisks in the news, to revisit the Riskie Awards.
~In news from the resistance, the once ubiquitous "pussyhat" went the way of Robert E Lee statuary because it excludes "trans women and women whose private parts are not pink". Starting the year as they meant to go on, the American media got waisted:
~Awards season began with insufficient Asians at the Oscars and too much Hillary at the Grammys:
If you thought that was stiff and phony, worse was to come at Saudi Arabia's Most Beautiful Camel contest.
Mark celebrated the bicentenary of Shelley's great poem on the transience of glory - "Ozymandias" - and spent the rest of the month looking on the works of ye mighty and despairing, from the increasingly totalitarian "social media" cartel to a re-Talibanized Afghanistan.
Fortunately, just in time for Valentine's Day, came the delights of Germany on two wives a day and the latest billets doux from FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page:
The Academy Awards saw major Oscars for Frances McDormand outside Ebbing, Missouri and Gary Oldman's Churchill turn, but it was not to be Dunkirk's finest hour. Nor was it Oscar's finest hour: ratings dropped faster than Harvey Weinstein's bathrobe as the Inclusion Riders of the Showbiz Apocalypse lectured the world on "intersectionality". Getting into the spirit of things, the G7's least binary prime minister, Justin Trudeau, decided to tour India dressed as a Bollywood bridesmaid - in an effort to get a piece of what Steyn regards as one of the biggest stories of our time, the abolition of the sexes:
Yet another English town was revealed to be afflicted with mass Muslim gang-rape of children for years on end - this time, Telford, in Shropshire. But, as the United Kingdom degenerated into the United Cuckdom, the media looked the other way, and the authorities preferred to chastise those who were boorish enough to point it out.
In another bad year for free speech across the west, Canada's Lindsay Shepherd pushed back against her tormentors ...and survived. She joined Mark on a special edition of The Mark Steyn Show:
By contrast, a rare exception to the ever tighter constraints on speech was the unbounded license accorded to the Democrats' favorite Hitler-lover, Louis Farrakhan:
In related news, Mark and Tucker addressed a Democrat legislator's belief that the Rothschilds control the weather:
In other meteorological developments, the Stormy clouds gathered.
~It was another year of mass shootings. On America's Number One radio show, Mark interviewed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who spoke movingly of the difference in police response at his own shooting and at the Parkland school massacre:
On the fiftieth anniversary of a famous speech on mass immigration by Enoch Powell, immigrants had become such objects of veneration that, on TV with Stuart Varney, Mark found himself discussing the Governor of New York's bizarre claim to be "undocumented". For those lacking gubernatorial levels of personal security, Steyn considered the contradictions between open borders for illegal immigrants and Orange Alert for US citizens:
It was a landmark month for murder in London and New York, leading to the British state's war on cutlery:
~Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg came to Congress to testify on his "monetization" of two billion people. But, if you strayed beyond the dreary homogeneity of the new Internet cartel, you could find yourself in trouble:
Small Town Mayor Forced to Quit for Following Kassam, Steyn, Wilders on Social Media
Mark was not impressed by the new thought-crime commissars and their court eunuchs. There was a rare sighting of a contrarian spirit at the multiplex with a new movie on Ted Kennedy, Mary Jo Kopechne and Chappaquiddick, but elsewhere even bestselling novelists who declined to get with the group-think found themselves dropped by their publishers.
~April was the cruelest month for CRTV, which lost on every single claim in its ten-million-dollar lawsuit against Steyn. In an unusually readable judicial narrative, Judge Gordon found room to include CRTV head honcho Cary Katz and his Chief Content Officer Chris Crane scoffing at "Pussy Steyn" and pledging to "put this motherf**ker on the hook for everything". Despite the spectacular triumph of the pussy motherf**ker, CRTV promptly re-sued Steyn - yet by the end of the year had mysteriously ceased to exist.
And so, on the hundredth anniversary of the Royal Air Force, Mark felt almost like a one-man dambuster.
For fans of Russian "collusion", May brought the start of the second year of the Comey "investigation". For those on the receiving end, "the process is the punishment" - as always. But Mark was also struck by the heavy Anglo-Aussie involvement in the stitch-up of Trump staffers, as he discussed in "Tinker Tailor Clapper Carter Downer Halper Spy" and on Sky Australia's "Outsiders".
~In First Lady news Steyn applauded Hillary's venture into sight gags, and Michelle Obama's revival of a neglected Eighties soft-rock classic:
As noted above, girls can be boy scouts, but what difference does it make in the age of the middle-aged child?
~May also marked the first anniversary of The Mark Steyn Club. We celebrated with the only Song of the Week we could have chosen, and with a cavalcade of Non-Stop Number Ones, in which Mark talked to Andy Williams, Bananarama, Paul Simon, Artie Shaw, Lulu, Julio Iglesias and other hitmakers about some of their biggest-selling records. He also offered a Tales for Our Time sampler, featuring Steyn on Conan Doyle, Scott Fitzgerald, Conrad, Kipling, H G Wells, Jack London and more.
Our birthday observances were especially sweet coming after his legal vindication in the CRTV vs Steyn trial. You don't win them all, though: Mark's long campaign to decriminalize Kinder Eggs in America resulted in a hollow victory.
The big story of the month was the Trump/Kim summit in Singapore. Steyn was live on air as the US and North Korean motorcades departed for a momentous meeting:
~Bertolt Brecht's "dissolution of the people" appeared increasingly to have been taken up as public policy by every western government, but in Italy the new coalition pushed back. At the G7 summit, Justin Trudeau lost an eyebrow, but Mark thought he spotted it as a huge thunderstorm tore through downtown Toronto:
Also in Toronto, Steyn was honored by Canada's Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms with the first ever George Jonas Freedom Award. His acceptance speech begins about half-an-hour in, but don't miss Conrad Black's delightful intro to Mark, and the presentation of the award by George's widow Maya:
The summer brought good news for two longstanding friends of The Mark Steyn Show. On Dominion Day Patsy Gallant was inducted into the Order of Canada. Here's Patsy telling Mark about a unique childhood connection to Ã‰dith Piaf - and then giving us two of the Little Sparrow's greatest songs:
In other summer news Goodfella Paul Sorvino was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Here's Paul telling Mark about a unique family connection to "O Sole Mio":
President Trump turned his eyes to the heavens and announced the creation of America's "Space Force". Most commentators mocked, but Steyn interviewed Michio Kaku, who was minded to take it seriously:
Back on earth it was business as usual: the surrender of the public square to Islam; the accelerating demolition of the entire western inheritance; and the rise of the phallocentric woman. The media preferred to get excited by the presidential candidacies of Chelsea Clinton and Creepy Porn Lawyer. At the same time they seemed entirely oblivious to the Trumproaches running around inside their heads every morning.
~Down Under, Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian prime minister who knifed Tony Abbott and seized the crown, was himself stabbed and left for the vultures. Steyn did his best not to gloat in "The Spiller Spilled".
~Throughout the year Mark guest-hosted America's Number Three cable show "Tucker Carlson Tonight", including Tucker's weekly news quiz "Final Exam". Here's Steyn presiding over the showdown between his fellow Torontonian Susan Li and telly colossus Geraldo Rivera:
After the Obama era's merger of the party and the state, Steyn noted that it was all beginning to get a bit out of hand:
Elsewhere in Washington a judge came to the United States Senate and, in the usual majestic and dignified proceeding for which the world's greatest deliberative body is known, found himself grilled about his high-school calendar and instantly convicted of being a gang rapist.
It could have been worse, however. He could have been accused by The Washington Post of consorting with Steyn.
~On the seventeenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, Mark found himself noticing the remarkable number of Afghans everywhere but Afghanistan:
~In Her Majesty's frosty northern dominion former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier announced a new political party, the People's Party of Canada. As M Bernier tweeted:
Want to know what I believe in? Watch this 35min interview with the great Mark Steyn.
Speaking of great interviews Steyn talked to Tucker Carlson for a full hour to mark the publication of his excellent book Ship of Fools. Mark and Tucker discussed everything from impending civil war to unpasteurized cheese to what it's like to find yourself on the receiving end of false rape allegations:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you...
That's easy for Kipling to say. He never had to play Serena Williams at the US Open.
Autumn brought SinÃ©ad O'Connor's conversion to Islam and the bloodiest slaughter of Jews in American history.
~As impeachment fever mounted, Mark and Tucker chewed over the latest cover story for the Obama Administration's banana-republic interference with the 2016 election campaign. On a related theme, SteynPosts examined the clash of populism and post-democracy:
Populism prevailed in the CAQ victory in Quebec. and Andrew Lawton interviewed Steyn in depth on immigration - north and south of the border, and around the world. Does Canada need more populism? Not according to Justin Trudeau, who decided it needs more pot.
~As Mark said many years ago, in the future everyone will be Hitler for fifteen minutes. In consequence, Churchill is now Hitler:
If Churchill can be Hitler, a squirrel can be a service animal and a white man can be a person of color. But a woman can no longer be a woman.
~October also saw the first annual Mark Steyn cruise. It was completely sold out, and Mark was pleased to host many of our regular SteynOnline features before a live audience from America, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Among the guests were bestselling authors and film-makers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, who taked about the trials and tribulations of being an Irish conservative, the new all-gay all-Muslim all-abortion Ireland, and how to make compulsive drama out of the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury transcripts. They also discussed their must-see new movie, Gosnell:
~October also saw the centenary of singer-songwriter Bobby Troup, which we celebrated with an audio special featuring live music from Mark, Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer, and Tal Bachman, who gave us a live shipboard performance of Troup's biggest hit:
~October brought the twentieth anniversary of The National Post, a paper whose early years Mark was proud to be a big part of. He celebrated with a cavalcade of Steyn classics, starting with his shameful ties to Tony Blair. He then found himself inside Buckingham Palace and outside Bar Erotica; choking up at the heartwarming friendship between McCain and Bush; sauntering along the nude beaches of St Tropez admiring the viceregal wedding tackle; gazing enviously at David Frum's fatwa; and. finally, refusing to bow to the Pinkshirts.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marked the centenary of the armistice. Steyn looked back on the war that made the world we live in, picked out some songs of love and war, and before a live audience performed the only poem we could have chosen for that day.
Remember, remember 2018's November: There was no gunpowder, but there was treason and plot and Theresa May's explicit betrayal of Brexit. Welcome to the Hotel Brexifornia: You can check "Out" any time you like, but you can never leave.
~The Mark Steyn Show presented a special Free Speech Forum recorded before a live audience and featuring indispensable blogger Kathy Shaidle, singer-songwriter Tal Bachman and broadcaster and parliamentary candidate Andrew Lawton:
But what price free speech in a Europe that is already rationalizing its surrender?
But the festive season was fast approaching, which means of course the bollardization of Christmas.
Yuletide began in the now traditional fashion, with the usual "known wolves" going Allahu Akbar at the Christmas market. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" really can't stay and it's lights out for Rudolph's red nose, but it's okay to send your kid to the school nativity play with a blow-up sheep sex-doll from Amazon. In such a world it is rather remarkable that "Silent Night" has survived to celebrate its two hundredth birthday.
~Mark and Tucker tried not to giggle over Bill and Hillary's floppo stadium tour and the Democrats' sudden abandonment of Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren. A modicum of seriousness was restored as Steyn asserted the necessity of republican virtue at the end of the year's final Clubland Q&A.
~The word of the year was, without doubt, cockwomble. Barely had Mark congratulated Max Boot on being the first American to be called a cockwomble than Steyn became the first man anywhere on earth to be sued for calling someone a cockwomble. This one will go to the Supreme Court.
~We always love the end of the year when the media give themselves awards and congratulate themselves on their bravery, etc. Alas, for CNN's "Journalist of the Year"...
As for Time's Man of the Year, Jamal Khashoggi proved to be, as Steyn had argued all along, not a journalist at all but merely a propagandist whose "journalism" was written by others.
At the end of a year of very welcome legal vindication for Mark (if interminable ongoing litigation), all of us at SteynOnline are relieved and surprised to have survived. We thank all of the guests, musicians, audio and camera crew, producers and directors and editors and others who help create the content at this site - and we especially thank all those Mark Steyn Club members and Steyn cruisers and early bookers for the first Dennis Miller/Steyn tour and gift-certificate purchasers all around the world who've helped see us through to our seventeenth year. We wish you and yours only the best in the twelve months ahead, and we look forward to ringing in the new all through 2019.