Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dissing Mister Steyn

As an unapologetic Canadian Steynophile (some years back I even won the Free Mark Steyn contest), I've been watching the anti-Steyn backlash that's been brewing south of the border with a mixture of puzzlement and bemusement. Out of the blue, and for some strange reason, a slew of right wing pundits have begun to bash Steyn for--get this--"doom-mongering."

Funny, that's why I enjoy reading him: because he doom-mongers so consistently--and so amusingly.

Here, for example, is a riff selected at random from his "doom-mongering" book, After America:
For decades, western elites have been bored by their own traditions and festishized the exotic. Obama was both the beneficiary of this syndrome and its apotheosis. He was living his own COEXIST sticker: his parents were Kansan and Kenyan, as if paired by an alphabetically minded dating agency; he was Hawaiian and Indonesian; for white liberals he offered absolution from racial guilt, but he wasn't one of those in-your-face types like the Reverend Al and the Reverend Jesse yelling grievance jingles all day long; he was a community organizer from the mean streets of Chicago, yet he was also by some happy if vague process an alumnus of half the schools in the Ivy League, and he had the great good fortune not to live in any of the "communities" he "organized" but instead in the more salubrious Hyde Park, a community organized by John D. Rockefeller's money; he embodied "change," but he peddled the same reassuringly shopworn bromides ("America, this is our moment") whose woozy evasions liberals chose to regard as the second coming of Cicero; he was kinda Christian (albeit of the paranoid, neo-segregationist, Afro-nationalistic branch) but sorta Muslim (from a Jakarta madrassah, but don't worry, not one of the heavy-duty kind); he had a white grandmother but also an undocumented auntie served with an unenforced deportation order. If that's not the all-American resumé for the twenty-first century, what is?
Okay, maybe it wasn't picked at random, but so what? It's merely one example from a book replete with such deliciously "negative" flights of prose.

I submit that, in the wake of the ObamaCare rollout debacle, Steyn's "doom-mongering" is not only appropriate, it's freaking prescient. I further submit that what's really gotten these dissers in a snit is pent-up frustration over the fact that they can't do what Steyn can do, and that Steyn can do it with such grace and apparent ease.

In other words, jealously over Steyn's peerless wit and way with words is what has sparked the backlash.


Prospero said...

The chattering classes within the Beltway, right and left, can not tolerate a Cassandra warning that the Emperor is Naked, much less making a bad marriage with folks like Assad and the MB. It ruins their group psychosis that all people are equal, not simply created so under law, but actually equal in goals and ability. That this delusion infests the right-wingers is a testimony to the power of the puerile progressivism that is sucking the joy out of living in a free society.

Not to mention your great point that Steyn's punditry is not only witty but substantive, something the D.C. cocktail circuit has long been missing.

Unknown said...


The editors said...

No one comes close to Steyn in craftsmanship, in recreational use of vocabulary and in the novel uses of English. His coinages! His playfulness! Each column must burn away at the snooty college degrees of his critics. Unfortunately, the critics have not convinced me that there is reason to ignore Steyn's gloomy prospects.

stephen said...


Janet said...

Good call. I like the quote from After America.

Unknown said...

Thank you.

Unknown said...

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Mark Steyn is a writer par excellence. Mr. Steyn writes his Jeremiads out of a deep love for Liberty. That he loves Liberty is certain. You don't put yourself and your family through what he has for mere glory or power or money.

If he overstates his case once in awhile in his passion to protect all that he holds dear, the discerning overlook that.

However, while there is a time to warn, once the war is on, doomsaying becomes demoralizing defeatism. Churchill issued grave warnings before WWII. Once the enemy was engaged, his rhetoric was always positive: " is, perhaps, the end of the beginning..." -- "... we shall never surrender..." -- "Never, never, never, never give up."

And, they won.

Mr. Steyn's books are the warnings before the war. Thus, they are, now, less helpful than they were, for we are in the fight of our lives for our beloved country, the United States of America. However, even though we now need to use the language that empowers a people to fight through to victory, Steyn's books yet have much to tell us.

Even after the war with the statists is won (and we WILL win), Steyn's grim wit and keen insights must be read: to prevent this from ever happening again.

In closing, a promotion:



Janice Moore
Mount Vernon, WA USA

Unknown said...

Hear hear, to Janice.
We are in a battle and at times it seems quite overwhelming. It is the wit of Steyn that helps me get through this. There have been weeks when only the late night jokes were acceptable updating on our culture. Steyn is a step up in the consideration of what is going on in this world. He makes consideration palatable.

Colonel Robert Neville said...

You are entirely correct of course.

Last night I lovingly covered in clear plastic adhesive my copies of Steyn's After America, Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell, The Tao Of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee, More Guns Less Crime by John R Lott and Muslim Mafia by Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent P. David Gaubatz.

Thus preserving an almost perfect selection of empirical insight and understanding for my son and daughter. No, really.