I kept a fitful eye on the Oscars, only because, on TV and radio in the ensuing days, someone always asks me what I made of it. But God Almighty, what a pious, earnest, joyless, charmless, showbizless yawneroo it was. Every time I passed the telly, someone was telling the audience that "your voice matters" and that Hollywood gives "a voice to the voiceless". And then they'd cut the mic of the Best Sound Mixing guy because his co-winner had gone long.
~The weekend's real razzle-dazzle spectacular was the world premiere of the very first Dennis Miller/Mark Steyn stage tour. Thank you to the sell-out crowd who turned out to see Dennis and me in the beautiful Santander Center in Reading, Pennsylvania and to the rather more selective audience who showed up at the Crouse-Hinds Theatre in Syracuse, New York. I always love treading the boards in historic theatres, so Reading was a particular delight: I was not hitherto aware that the great John Philip Sousa had died shortly after his rehearsal at the Santander. As I told the crowd, I went one better: I died at rehearsal. Still, it was an auspicious venue for the debut of a new double-act: Laurel & Hardy had appeared there, and later Abbott & Costello, and now Miller & Steyn. That's the decline of America in three acts.
Jack Yates, a First-Weekend Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, enjoyed himself:
Saw Mark and Dennis in Reading PA this evening. Best night out that we've had in ages. Raucous laughter with great insights. Truly memorable.
His fellow Pennsylvania Club member, Richard Caskey, worried that I might have been too good. But fortunately his fears were misplaced:
The Reading show was terrific. After Mark's set I thought Dennis might have left the building, not wanting to follow that. But he came out and killed. Congratulations... I wish I had time to get to Syracuse. Thanks for a wonderful evening.
There's a reason I go first, Richard. I'm no fool.
After a sell-out in Reading, Syracuse was a tougher sell, because we were up against the big SU/Duke game, which I think is baseball, or possibly American football, or maybe lacrosse... Whatever it is, the presence of Miller & Steyn caused a stampede to the box-office - the SU box-office, that is, and the team had their biggest ever attendance. So we broke box-office records, just not our own. But America's least statistically detectable minority group - Syracuse residents who dislike basketball - seemed to have a good time, and they were augmented by a splendid turnout from Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal and other points north, for which I'm very grateful. At Reading, by the way, we had theatregoers from DC, Virginia and beyond. Great to see you all, and meet a few of you along the way - and thank you also to WPHT's Rich Zeoli and WSYR's Dave Allen for doing the introductory honors.
The VIP tickets are all sold out for Wilkes-Barre, but there are eight left for Rochester - which get you not only great seats but a photo with me and Dennis after the show and an autographed gift to take home. You can find more details about the Miller/Steyn shows here.
~Do they have ladies' basketball in Syracuse? Make the most of it while you can:
Transgender sprinters finish 1st, 2nd at Connecticut girls indoor track championships
You don't say. See if you can spot the "transgender sprinters" in this photograph, cisboys and cisgirls:
First, the revolution devours its own: no matter how woke you are there's always someone wokier waiting in the wings. And so the great Martina Navratilova, queen of Wimbledon and a four-decade LGBTQWERTY activist, has been booted out of the movement for her transphobia after writing in The Sunday Times of London that transgender participation in women's sports was "insane" and "cheating".
It's certainly not - oh, what's the word? - sportsmanlike. Not cricket. I was about to add "not playing with a straight bat", but straight bat-wise it's not clear how fully transitioned some of these lady athletes actually are. But, given the presence of Serena Williams at the Oscars, unsporting conduct is an entirely lost concept.
It's striking that sports has instantly become a key battleground for transgender issues. In the old days men who had what we used to call "sex changes" sought to become ladylike ladies, plus femme que des femmes. The muscular-calved flat-chested young demoiselle thrusting to the finish line above is a pioneer of an entirely new identity.
But where else can a biological man's natural genetic strength find an outlet in today's world? All the physical jobs are being lost to automation, and all the non-physical ones - from hotshot lawyering to the paper-shuffling cubicle jobs in health-care administration - are better done by women. When it comes to being the breadwinner and the provider, women are better at being men. When it comes to the fashion catwalk and the beauty pageant and the female athletics track, men are better at being women. Sooner than you think, the swap will be complete.
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with a brand new SteynPost on fake hate and funny tinges. Our Saturday movie date looked back at some memorable Oscar ceremonies of the past, and our Sunday musical selection celebrated the very first Oscar-winning song. If you were too busy watching Syracuse lose to Duke or cisgenders lose to the New Woman, I hope you'll want to catch up with one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
See you on the telly with Tucker tonight, live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.