The Undocumented Mark Steyn

BOOK: The Undocumented Mark Steyn
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Copyright © 2014 by Mark Steyn

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, website, or broadcast.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Steyn, Mark.

The undocumented Mark Steyn : don’t say you weren’t warned / Mark Steyn.

pages cm

Summary: “He’s brash, brilliant, and drawn to controversy like a moth to a flame. Mark Steyn is America’s most brutally honest columnist, ready to sound off on every hot issue in the news-and always ready to ruffle feathers. Prepare to be shocked and entertained by this curated compendium of Steyn’s most provocative, hilarious, and thought-provoking columns”-- Provided by publisher.

ISBN 978-1-62157-319-7 (ebook)

I. Title.

PN4913.S766A25 2014

814’.54--dc23

2014032955

Published in the United States by

Regnery Publishing

A Salem Communications Company

300 New Jersey Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001

www.Regnery.com

Distributed to the trade by

Perseus Distribution

250 West 57th Street

New York, NY 10107

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Books are available in quantity for promotional or premium use. For information on discounts and terms, please visit our website:
www.Regnery.com
.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Me and My Little Black Dress

I: UP, DOWN, OVER AND OUT

Viagra Nation

Decaffeinated

Unsung Songs

Oh, Say, Can You See?

II: SPIRITS OF THE AGE

Life Class

E Pluribus Composite

Sheet Music

Did the Earth Summit Move for You?

The Media’s Maternal Instincts

Living Large

III: THE REPUBLIC OF MANNERS

Potpourri Roasting on an Open Fire

Last Dance

We’ve Figured It Out

The Audacity of Grope

In the Absence of Guns

Arms Are for Dining

IV: THE BUREAU OF COMPLIANCE

Signs of the Times

Carried to Extremes

Illegally Admiring the King’s Deer

Ninjas vs. Turtles

The Butt Stops Here

V: HOMELAND SECURITY

Priorities

Choc and Awe

The All-Seeing Nanny

The Paramilitarized Bureaucracy

VI: THE STORIES WE TELL

Meeting Mr. Bond

Boy, Meats, Girl

Look Where Your Stories Have Landed You

Cover Story

When Harry Met Hillary

VII: IMPERIAL ECHOES

Keeping It

Queer Theory

Son of Empire

The People’s Queen

Celebrity Caesar

The Footstools of Camelot

VIII: SEPTEMBER 12

History’s Calling Card

The Brutal Afghan Winter

The Brutal Cuban Winter

The Limits

Too Big to Win

Drone Alone

A National Disgrace

The Man at the Border

IX: THE WAR ON WOMEN

My Sharia Amour

Barbie in a Burqa

How Unclean Was My Valley

X: MYSTIC CHORDS

Sounds of the Rude World

Decoration Day

Say, It Ain’t So Joe

Happy Birthday, Mister Bob

We Aren’t the World

The Parliament of Euro-Man

Changing His Tune

Changing His Words

Moon River and Me

XI: AFTER WORK

The Aristorockracy

The Waste of People

A Town with Pity

The Post-Work Economy

Tribal America

XII: BIRTH OF TOMORROW

Post-Modern Family

Only the Clonely

Stork Report

The Right to Choose

How Weird How Soon?

XIII: CURTAINS

Double Act

Croc of Gold

Every Dog Should Have His Day

The Seventy-Year Itch

XIV: LAST LAUGHS

Joking Aside

The Pinkshirts

Little Stasi-on-Avon

“There Is No More Molly”

The Unsafe Space

XV: LENGTHENED SHADOWS

Footsteps in the Desert

Sex at Sunset

A Stroll at Twilight

XVI: AGAINST THE GRAIN

Dutch Courage

The Uncowardly Lioness

The Reformation of Manners

POSTSCRIPT: EVERYONE’S A CRITIC

Throwaway Line

My Favorite Wahhabi

Of All the Gin Joints in All the Towns in All the World

Laying It on the Line

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INDEX

INTRODUCTION

ME AND MY LITTLE BLACK DRESS

A DECADE OR SO
back, early in the 2004 presidential election season, a publisher took me to lunch and pitched me a book. She wanted me to write a John Kerry election diary. Easy gig. All I had to do was follow him around and mock him mercilessly. Well, I hemmed and hawed and eventually she got the picture and said, “Okay, what would you like to write a book about?”

And so I replied, “Well, I’ve got this idea for a book called
The End of the World
.”

And there was a pause and I could feel her metaphorically backing out of the room, and shortly thereafter she literally backed out of the room. But not before telling me, somewhat wistfully, “You know when I first started reading your stuff? Impeachment. Your column about Monica Lewinsky’s dress was hilarious.” She motioned to the waiter. “Check, please!” And I got the distinct impression she was feeling like the great pop guru Don Kirshner when the Monkees came to him and said they were sick of doing this bubblegum stuff and they needed to grow as artists. My “Monica’s dress” column appeared in Britain’s
Daily Telegraph
in 1998, although it was, in fact, datelined two decades later—August 22, 2018:

         
She is older now, her once dazzling looks undeniably faded, her famous beauty worn and creased.

               
“Sorry about that,” she says. “I was supposed to get ironed yesterday.”

               
Yes, it’s “that dress”—the dress that, 20 years ago this month, held the fate of a presidency in her lap. It has been two decades since the day she gave her dramatic testimony to the grand jury and then promptly disappeared into the federal witness protection program. Even as she recalls her brief moment in the spotlight, she looks drawn. But that’s because, following extensive reconstructive surgery, she’s been living quietly as a pair of curtains in Idaho.

               
“What do you think?” she says, saucily brushing her hem against the sill as her pleats ripple across the mullions. “It cost less than Paula Jones’ nose job.”

               
To be honest, I was lucky to get the interview. The dress was supposed to be doing the BBC—the full sob-sister treatment, Martin Bashir, the works—but, to protect her identity, they wanted to do that undercover secret-location protect-your-identity trick with the camera that makes part of the screen go all fuzzy and blurry.

               
“Are you crazy?” she yelled at them. “It’ll look like I’ve still got the stain.”

The Nineties were a lot of fun for a columnist. A third Clinton term and I could have retired to the Caribbean. But then came the new century and the new war, and I felt like Ingrid Bergman in
Casablanca
when she tells Bogey, “I put that dress away. When the Germans march out, I’ll wear it again.” I put Monica’s dress away. When the jihadists march out, I’ll wear it again.

My apocalyptic tome came out in 2006 (courtesy of the publisher of the book you’re holding right now) as
America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It
—jihad, demographic decline, the death of Europe, all the fun stuff. I followed it with
After America: Get Ready for Armageddon
—debt, doom, decadence, societal meltdown, total civilizational collapse, all the even more fun stuff. I don’t know whether the Monkees in their serious-artist phase ever
felt it might be nice to sing “Daydream Believer” occasionally, but, after a decade of apocalyptic despair, I’ve found myself passing the closet and eyeing Monica’s dress wistfully. All jihad and no play can get to you after a while, so, in the interests of a balanced diet, what follows runs the gamut from Clinton’s boxer shorts to Barbie’s burqa.

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