Much grumbling among the e-mailers: Where was Mark Steyn, absent yesterday from his regular spot at th start of Thursday’s broadcast? (A touch of “What-have-you-done-for-me-lately?” in that, after the Hitchens comet on Wednesday, still a source of comment in avrious places across the web, including, for example The Belmont Club and Reference Tone.)
Mr. Steyn is in fact headed towards D.C. and the same conference I am attending. Here’s a recent entry from Mark on Timbits and Ramesh Ponnuru’s new book, The Culture of Death to tide you over. (Note to Radioblogger: Must book Ramesh asap.)
And here is the free excerpt of Steyn’s send-off of John Profumo, from his regular obit feature in The Atlantic (easily worth the price of a subscription):
It began like a movie: July 8, 1961. An unusually warm evening at a grand country estate. A girl in the swimming pool. She pulls herself up out of the water. She’s beautiful, and naked. A larky lad has tossed her bathing costume into the bushes. Among the blasé weekend guests dressed for dinner and taking a stroll on the terrace, one man reacts with more than amused sophistication as the girl hastily wraps a towel around herself. She leaves with someone else the next day, but not before the man on the terrace has inquired after her name.
It was Christine Keeler. The house was Cliveden, country home of the Astors. The name of the fellow who threw away her swimsuit was Stephen Ward, to whom Lord Astor had rented a cottage on the estate for £1 a year. Ward was, formally, a society osteopath and basked in the dingy glow of reflected celebrity: his client list included Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, and, when in town, Averell Harriman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Frank Sinatra. The man in the dinner jacket so taken by the girl in the dripping towel was the Right Honorable John Profumo, Her Majesty’s secretary of state for war. The man the girl left with was another guest of Ward’s, Yevgeny Ivanov. Miss Keeler was a showgirl at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho. Commander Ivanov was the Soviet naval attaché in London. ‘Showgirl’was a euphemism for call girl, ‘naval attaché’a euphemism for KGB officer.
Tell me you aren’t hooked.
Read Frank Gaffney’s warning about the number of troubles to our south. Suddenly, it is 1980 again.