Tough times call for telling tough truths. Few do it, of course, as most of us just push through the turnstiles of the state-run infrastructure and go on about our business, which is Big Government’s business.
In these dark times, it’s some comfort to know that someone, somewhere Out There gets it, and dispenses nuggets of wisdom.
Mark Steyn is such a fellow and it helps that he doesn’t care what Big Government thinks of him.
He is also a realist, and in his new book, “The [Un]documented Mark Steyn: Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned,” the abrasive political commentator knows where we are:
“Americans have more attitude than anyone else – or, at any rate, attitudinal slogans. I saw a fellow in a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ t-shirt the other day. He was at LaGuardia, and he was being trod all over, by the obergropinfuhrers of the TSA, who had decided to subject him to one of their enhanced pat-downs. There are few sights more dismal than that of a law-abiding citizen have his genitalia pawed by state commissars, but having them pawed while wearing a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ t-shirt is certainly one of them.”
A Canadian, Steyn lives in the U.S., and from that perch skewers leftists … well, right and left. His pugilist style is frankly a welcome skill, since so many conservatives seem to want to make nice with their ideological opponents. Steyn has no such delusions.
Billed as a sort of whimsical doomsday book, “The [Un]documented Mark Steyn” kicks over every leftist rock out there, and this compilation of some of the best of Steyn’s writing over two decades is like getting a coveted Christmas present in July.
The chapters in the book are arranged in categories (Chapter IX: The War on Women), and oh, what categories. Only a nimble mind could write on so many divergent topics, and do it so well.
Get this gem from “Barbie in a Burqa,” in which Steyn notes a British newspaper article detailing a Muslim makeover for the iconic toy, Barbie. Steyn then speculates on the possibility of an accessory friend:
“Mullah Ken? I’m not so sure about that. Given the longtime rumors, Ken’ll be lucky not to find himself crushed under one of those walls the Talliban put up for their sodomite-rehabilitation program. You’ll be glad to know the dolls are anatomically accurate: Burqa Barbie has no clitoris, and, just like Mohamed Atta on the morning of September 11, Ken’s genital area is fully depilated.”
The whole book is like that. And if you like a biting commentator with a sense of humor, you can’t do better than Mark Steyn. Kind of like Ben Hecht crossed with Jackie Mason.
He also wastes no words in blasting the criminal gang in the White House, where American lives are worth less than a cup of designer coffee. Steyn in particular wrote a devastating reply about the Benghazi fiasco:
“For whatever reason, Secretary Clinton chose to double down on misleading the American people. ‘Libyans carried Chris’s body to the hospital,’ said Mrs. Clinton. That’s one way of putting it. The photographs at the Arab TV network al-Mayadeen show Chris Stevens’ body being dragged through the streets, while the locals take souvenir photographs on their cell phones.”
Steyn’s work relies heavily on his uncanny ability to teach hard truths with biting humor. For example, when he discusses the tortured phoniness of Barack Obama’s memoir (to wit: “His Kenyan grandfather was not brutally tortured or even non-brutally detained by his British colonial masters”), Steyn cites other cases of the left using spinning lies as reality:
“In recent years, the left has turned the fake memoir into one of the most prestigious literary genres: Oprah’s Book Club recommended James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, hailed by Bret Easton Ellis as a ‘heartbreaking memoir’ of ‘poetic honesty,’ but subsequently revealed to be heavy on the ‘poetic’ and rather light on the ‘honesty.’ The ‘heartbreaking memoir’ of a drug-addled street punk who got tossed in the slammer after brawling with cops while high on crack with his narco-hooker gal-pal proved to be the work of some suburban Pat Boone type with a couple of parking tickets (I exaggerate, but not as much as he did.)”
Such top-drawer writing shows us that, every so often, Mark Twain’s spirit ascends yet again in American writing.
Lucky for us it resides for a time with “The [Un]documented Mark Steyn.”