Sunday funnies

Do any of you hear Mark Steyn when reading his essays? I do. Take this, for example:

I started the engine. It was a manual, and, being distracted by the flying curses and jiggling knockers, I stalled the thing. And for a moment I had a horrible vision of the two chavs (in Britspeak) falling on me, glassing me, driving their stiletto heels into my skull, and making off with the car, leaving me to turn up on page 17 of the local paper under the headline “Has-Been Writer Found Dead In Two-Girl Special Gone Tragically Wrong.” I cast around for a copper, but as is traditional none were in sight. Obviously they don’t show up for public drunkenness or aggravated toplessness, but the ladies’ homophobic remarks would surely have led to an ASBO (Anti-Social Behavior Order) for Section Five hate speech and six months of sensitivity training. As I drove off, one of them banged on the hood while the other yelled, “You’re everything that’s wrong with this country!” Which seemed a bit unfair considering I was only on British soil for a mere 72 hours.

Scathing social commentary wrapped up all pretty in a hilarious anecdote with jiggling bits!

British historian Paul Johnson on humor:

His concern with the human dimension of history is reflected as well in his attitude toward humor, the subject of another recent book, “Humorists.” “The older I get,” he tells me, “the more important I think it is to stress jokes.” Which is another reason he loves America. “One of the great contributions that America has made to civilization,” he deadpans, “is the one-liner.” The one-liner, he says, was “invented, or at any rate brought to the forefront, by Benjamin Franklin.” Mark Twain’s were the “greatest of all.”

And then there was Ronald Reagan. “Mr. Reagan had thousands of one-liners.” Here a grin spreads across Mr. Johnson’s face: “That’s what made him a great president.”

Jokes, he argues, were a vital communication tool for President Reagan “because he could illustrate points with them.” Mr. Johnson adopts a remarkable vocal impression of America’s 40th president and delivers an example: “You know, he said, ‘I’m not too worried about the deficit. It’s big enough to take care of itself.'” Recovering from his own laughter, he adds: “Of course, that’s an excellent one-liner, but it’s also a perfectly valid economic point.” Then his expression grows serious again and he concludes: “You don’t get that from Obama. He talks in paragraphs.”

Funny and true. Johnson is the subject of the WSJ Weekend Interview. The man is a gem. An octogenarian Mark Steyn, if you will. Another taste:

Pessimists, he points out, have been predicting America’s decline “since the 18th century.” But whenever things are looking bad, America “suddenly produces these wonderful things—like the tea party movement. That’s cheered me up no end. Because it’s done more for women in politics than anything else—all the feminists? Nuts! It’s brought a lot of very clever and quite young women into mainstream politics and got them elected. A very good little movement, that. I like it.” Then he deepens his voice for effect and adds: “And I like that lady—Sarah Palin. She’s great. I like the cut of her jib.”

The former governor of Alaska, he says, “is in the good tradition of America, which this awful political correctness business goes against.” Plus: “She’s got courage. That’s very important in politics. You can have all the right ideas and the ability to express them. But if you haven’t got guts, if you haven’t got courage the way Margaret Thatcher had courage—and [Ronald] Reagan, come to think of it. Your last president had courage too—if you haven’t got courage, all the other virtues are no good at all. It’s the central virtue.”

Courage. Our current president lacks it, but that’s what you get when you vote for the dude who consistently voted “present.” Read the rest.

Dude: I would never, ever vote for a man wearing skinny jeans. Not that I’d vote for Mitt anyway. Run, syphilitic camel, run!

3 Responses

  1. Great post. Yes, I hear Mark when I read him.

    Re the skinny jeans, I was so hoping for a picture. Romney may have many good qualities but he’s just not real. Guys who get a makeover every election cycle can’t be trusted.

    • Thanks. (And though I never wish for Rush absences, I do so love Mark days. Walter Williams days are grand, but Steyn days are sublime.)

      Agreed re Romney. Skinny jeans, really? lol. I wondered if the jeans in question were the super-tight low ones that make me wonder if the wearers are slowly turning into eunuchs.

    • (And I find it hilarious when I read Steyn that I hear the intonation and stresses. No one else does that in my head, and I’ve listened to Rush for eons. But Steyn sticks with you somehow!)

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