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Mark Steyn

Steyn at CPAC 2008
Born December 8, 1959 (1959-12-08) (age 50)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Author and Commentator
Website
http://www.steynonline.com

Mark Steyn (born December 8, 1959) is a Canadian[1] writer, political commentator and cultural critic. He has written five books, including America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, a New York Times bestseller. He is published in newspapers and magazines, and also appears on shows such as those of Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt and Sean Hannity.

Steyn, a Canadian citizen, now resides mainly in New Hampshire in the United States. He is married with three children.[2] Irish artist Stella Steyn is the great-aunt of Mark Steyn.[3]

Contents

Life and career

Steyn was born in Toronto. He was baptized a Catholic and later confirmed in the Anglican Church;[2] he was educated at the King Edward's School, Birmingham, in the United Kingdom. He has stated "the last Jewish female in my line was one of my paternal great-grandmothers and that both my grandmothers were Catholic".[4] He left school in 1978 at 18 and worked as a disc-jockey before becoming musical theatre critic at the newly established The Independent in 1986.[5] He was appointed film critic for The Spectator in 1992. After writing predominantly about the arts, Steyn's focus shifted to political commentary and moved to the conservative broadsheet The Daily Telegraph which stopped carrying his column in 2006.

Since then, he has written for a wide range of publications, including the Jerusalem Post, The Orange County Register, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, The New York Sun, The Australian, Macleans, Irish Times, National Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Western Standard and New Criterion.

Steyn's website "SteynOnline" provides special commentary and access to many of his columns and other published work. He occasionally posts to the National Review Online group blog, The Corner.

Steyn's books include Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now (a history of the musical theatre) and America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, a New York Times bestseller. He has also published collections of his columns and his celebrity obituaries and profiles from The Atlantic.

Steyn is a visiting professor at Hillsdale College.

Writing style

Steyn's writing draws supporters and detractors for content. His style was described by Robert Fulford as "bring[ing] to public affairs the dark comedy developed in the Theatre of the Absurd."[6] Longtime editor and admirer Fulford also wrote, "Steyn, a self-styled 'right-wing bastard,' violates everyone's sense of good taste."[6] According to Simon Mann, Steyn "gives succour to the maxim the pen is mightier than the sword, though he is not averse to employing the former to advocate use of the latter."[5]

Susan Catto in Time noted his interest in controversy, "Instead of shying away from the appearance of conflict, Steyn positively revels in it."[7] Canadian journalist Steve Burgess wrote "Steyn wields his rhetorical rapier with genuine skill" and that national disasters tended to cause Steyn "to display his inner wingnut."[8] Lionel Shriver wrote, "I love Mark Steyn ... however you may deplore his opinions, Steyn is funny."[9] Others have been less approving. For instance, Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic wrote that Steyn was, "... long on colorful rhetoric but short on dry facts."[10] British journalist Johann Hari wrote in the New Statesman: "Steyn's prose has a jangling musicality; like Ann Coulter, he writes in a demonic demotic that makes you chuckle even as you retch."[11]

Positions

Criticism of media

In a May 2004 column Steyn commented that editors were encouraging anti-Bush sentiments after The Daily Mirror and the Boston Globe had published faked pictures, originating from American and Hungarian pornographic websites,[12] of British and American soldiers purportedly sexually abusing Iraqis.[13] Steyn argues that media only wanted to show images to westerners "that will shame and demoralize them."[14] Boston Phoenix media critic Dan Kennedy said that Steyn's column was an effort to "rally the spirits of his fellow warmongers: by demonizing anyone who dared to criticize the war."[15]

In a July 2005 column for National Review, Steyn amplified his dislike for the media. He criticized Andrew Jaspan, the editor of the Australian newspaper, The Age. Jaspan was offended by Douglas Wood, an Australian kidnapped and held hostage in Iraq, who after his rescue referred to his captors as "arseholes." Jaspan claimed that "the issue is really largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive." Steyn responded in his column by arguing that insensitivity toward captors is not the most important, and that it was Jaspan, not Wood, who suffered from Stockholm syndrome. He said further, "A blindfolded Mr. Wood had to listen to his captors murder two of his colleagues a few inches away, but how crude and boorish would one have to be to hold that against one's hosts?"[16]

In a January 2007 column in the Chicago Sun-Times, Steyn wrote that Barack Obama was "black, and white, and Hawaiian, and Kansan, and charismatic, and Congregationalist, and Muslim. [...] He was raised in an Indonesian madrassah by radical imams, which is more than John Edwards can say." He added, "The madrassah stuff was supposedly leaked to Insight Magazine ... by Hillary Rodham Clinton's team."[17] Two days later, Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times responded to Steyn regarding what she called the smear on Obama and the attack on Clinton. She wrote, "And there is no evidence whatsoever that Clinton's campaign had anything to do with spreading the damaging rumor that Obama hid a Muslim background." Sweet noted the visit by CNN's John Vause to the state-run elementary school in Indonesia that Obama attended from 1969 to 1971.[18]

Conrad Black trial

Steyn wrote articles and maintained a blog[19] for Maclean's covering the 2007 business fraud trial of his friend Conrad Black in Chicago. Questions were raised in the media over the objectivity of Steyn's coverage,[20] for example Andrew Clark of The Guardian, referring to Steyn as one of Black's "loyal supporters", quoted from Steyn's Blog, "If it is bad news, I'm sorry I won't be there to support my old boss ..."[21] Suanne Kelman wrote in the Literary Review of Canada[22] that the leader of Black's media cheering section at his Chicago trial was "above all Maclean's Mark Steyn, in both the magazine and his logorrheic blog." Kelman stated that Steyn began coverage with the view that Black's trial was a "cruel farce".

After Black's conviction, Steyn published a 7,500 word post mortem in Maclean's, excoriating Black's defense team and blaming them, with a list of others, for the outcome.[23] Describing the article, Toronto Star business columnist Jennifer Wells said, "... columnist Mark Steyn lifts his leg and relieves himself with the force of a Clydesdale in the direction of Greenspan and his co-counsel Eddie Genson." Wells concludes that Steyn was "... stingingly absurd to suggest that Conrad Black was done in by his lawyers. He was done in by the facts."[24]

Eurabia

Mark Steyn believes that Eurabia — a future where the European continent is dominated by Islam — is an imminent reality that cannot be reversed. "The problem, after all, is not that the sons of Allah are 'long shots' but that they're certainties. Every Continental under the age of 40 — make that 60, if not 75 — is all but guaranteed to end his days living in an Islamified Europe."[25] "Native populations on the continent are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic."[26] Steyn claims that Muslims will account for perhaps 40 percent of the population by 2020, but Globe and Mail correspondent Doug Saunders labels the assertion false:

Slightly more than 4 percent of Europe's population is Muslim, as defined by demographers (though about 80 per cent of these people are not religiously observant, so they are better defined as secular citizens who have escaped religious nations). It is possible, though not certain, that this number could rise to 6 percent by 2020. If current immigration and birth rates remain the same, it could even rise to 10 percent within 100 years. But it won't, because Muslims don't actually have more babies than other populations do under the same circumstances. The declining population growth rates are not confined to native populations. In fact, immigrants from Muslim countries are experiencing a faster drop in reproduction rates than the larger European population.[27]

In his book "America Alone", Steyn posits that Muslim population growth has already contributed to a modern European genocide:[28]

Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since the second World War? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can't buck demography — except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out, as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you cannot outbreed the enemy, cull 'em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia's demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.

Author and U.C.L.A. Public Policy Professor Mark Kleiman fears that Steyn is "justifying genocide, both retrospectively in Bosnia and prospectively in the rest of Europe."[29] Andrew Sullivan calls Steyn's book "an intellectually vulgar diatribe based on the crudest demographic reductionism"[30] and also wonders, "is Steyn actually advocating genocide? When you read the full context of the paragraph in the book (pages 4-6), there are no exculpatory words around it."[31]

Steyn responded to such criticisms by saying:[32]

My book isn't about what I want to happen but what I think will happen. Given Fascism, Communism and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, it's not hard to foresee that the neo-nationalist resurgence already under way in parts of Europe will at some point take a violent form.

Criticism of multiculturalism

Steyn has commented on divisions between the Western world and the Islamic World. He criticizes the tolerance of what he calls "Islamic cultural intolerance." Steyn explains that multiculturalism only requires feeling good about other cultures and is "fundamentally a fraud ... subliminally accepted on that basis."[33] In Jewish World Review, Steyn argues "Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture — the subjugation of women — combine with the worst attributes of Western culture — licence and self-gratification." He states, "I am not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture — rule of law, universal suffrage — is preferable to Arab culture."[34]

After a piece in which Steyn ridiculed Ayatollah Khomeni for giving advice on child abuse and bestiality,[35] Scott Horton, leftist lawyer and Harper's writer, commented on Steyn's writing, saying "it would be quite an understatement to call this language intolerant. Indeed, it can easily be paralleled with ethnic stigmatization that has occurred in the most vicious societies in modern times."[36] Steyn replied to this commentary, and others like it, by illustrating that his reference was founded in factual citation of the writings of Ayatollah Khomeni.[37]

Criticism by Christopher Hitchens of Mark Steyn

Christopher Hitchens believes that Steyn errs by "considering European Muslim populations as one. Islam is as fissile as any other religion, and considerable friction exists among immigrant Muslim groups in many European countries. Moreover, many Muslims actually have come to Europe for the advertised purposes; seeking asylum and to build a better life."[38] Nevertheless, Hitchens' review of his book America Alone was extremely favorable, calling it "admirably tough-minded."[39]

Support of Iraq invasion

Steyn was an early proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2007 he reiterated his support while attacking Democrat John Murtha, stating that his plan for military action in Iraq was designed "to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don't have to share the blame for the defeat. ... [Murtha] doesn't support them in the mission, but he'd like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years".[40]

Canadian Islamic Congress human rights complaint

In 2007, a complaint was filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission related to an article "The Future Belongs to Islam,"[41] written by Mark Steyn, published in Maclean's magazine. The complainants alleged that the article and Maclean's refusal to provide space for a rebuttal violated their human rights. The complainants also claimed that the article was one of twenty-two (22) Maclean's articles, many written by Steyn, about Muslims.[42] Further complaints were filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission refused in April 2008 to proceed, saying it lacked jurisdiction to deal with magazine content. However, the Commission stated that it, "strongly condemns the Islamophobic portrayal of Muslims ... Media has a responsibility to engage in fair and unbiased journalism."[43] Critics of the Commission claimed that Maclean's and Steyn had been found guilty without a hearing. John Martin of The Province wrote, "There was no hearing, no evidence presented and no opportunity to offer a defence — just a pronouncement of wrongdoing."[44] The OHRC defended its right to comment by stating, "Like racial profiling and other types of discrimination, ascribing the behaviour of individuals to a group damages everyone in that group. We have always spoken out on such issues. Maclean's and its writers are free to express their opinions. The OHRC is mandated to express what it sees as unfair and harmful comment or conduct that may lead to discrimination."[45]

Steyn subsequently criticized the Commission, commenting that "Even though they (the OHRC) don't have the guts to hear the case, they might as well find us guilty. Ingenious!"[46]

Soon afterwards, the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a public letter to the editor of Maclean's magazine. In it, Jennifer Lynch said, "Mr. Steyn would have us believe that words, however hateful, should be give free reign [sic]. History has shown us that hateful words sometimes lead to hurtful actions that undermine freedom and have led to unspeakable crimes. That is why Canada and most other democracies have enacted legislation to place reasonable limits on the expression of hatred."[47] The National Post subsequently defended Steyn and sharply criticized Lynch, stating that Lynch has "no clear understanding of free speech or the value of protecting it" and that "No human right is more basic than freedom of expression, not even the "right" to live one's life free from offence by remarks about one's ethnicity, gender, culture or orientation."[48]

The federal Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed the Canadian Islamic Congress' complaint against Maclean's in June 2008. The CHRC's ruling said of the article that, "the writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike." However, the Commission ruled that overall, "the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature, as defined by the Supreme Court."[49]

Steyn later wrote a lengthy reflection of his turmoil with the commissions and the tribunals. The reflection appears as the introduction to The Tyranny of Nice,[50] a book authored by Kathy Shaidle and Pete Vere on Canada's human rights commissions. In it, Steyn writes:

I've learned a lot of lessons during my time in the crosshairs of the [Canadian human rights investigator Jennifer] Lynch mob. Although the feistier columnists have spoken out on this issue, the broad mass of Canadian media seems generally indifferent to a power grab that explicitly threatens to reduce them to a maple-flavoured variant of Pravda. One boneheaded "journalism professor" even attempted to intervene in the British Columbia trial on the side of the censors. As some leftie website put it, "Defending freedom of speech for jerks means defending jerks." Well, yes. But, in this case, not defending the jerks means not defending freedom of speech for yourself. It's not a left/right thing; it's a free/unfree thing. But an alarming proportion of the Dominion's "media workers" seem relatively relaxed about playing the role of eunuchs to the Trudeaupian sultans.

Award

Mark Steyn was awarded the 2006 Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism for writing which "best reflects love of this country and its democratic institutions".[51] The announcement quotes from Steyn's syndicated column for 26 June 2006, "Be Glad the Flag Is Worth Burning":[52]

One of the big lessons of these last four years is that many, many beneficiaries of Western civilization loathe that civilization, and the media are generally inclined to blur the extent of that loathing.

Roger Ailes of Fox News presented the prize, which included a cheque for $20,000.

Bibliography

  • The Story of Miss Saigon (by Edward Behr and Steyn; 1991, ISBN 1-55970-124-2)
  • Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now (1997, ISBN 0-415-92286-0)
  • The Face of the Tiger (2002, ISBN 0-9731570-0-3; collected columns)
  • Mark Steyn From Head To Toe: An Anatomical Anthology (2004, ISBN 0-9731570-2-X; collected columns)
  • America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (2006, ISBN 0-89526-078-6)
  • Mark Steyn's Passing Parade (2006, ISBN 0-9731570-1-1; collected obituaries)
  • Tyranny of Nice (2008, ISBN 978-0-9780490-1-0; introduction)
  • A Song For The Season (2008)
  • Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech And The Twilight Of The West (2009)

References

  1. ^ Russell Shorto (2008-06-29). "No Babies? - Declining Population in Europe". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/magazine/29Birth-t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  2. ^ a b "SteynOnline", FAQs February 14, 2007. Accessed August 24, 2008
  3. ^ http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/TalkRadio/Show.aspx?RadioShowID=5&ContentGuid=5a09faeb-8c06-4e9f-bf6f-71f8b3349ae7 Mark Steyn on Hugh Hewitt's radio show on the 27th of August 2009
  4. ^ "Happy Warrior — Espying the Jew". National Review Online. 2006-08-28. http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=ZmVlNTEwOThkMDU0Y2I3OTEzMTI4MTdjMjI3YjBjYmU=.html. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  5. ^ a b Mann, Simon: "A critic proud to quote his critics" theage.com August 19, 2006. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Fulford, Robert "Mark Steyn, opinionmonger" robertfulford.com (Published by National Post, November 19, 2005)
  7. ^ Catto, Susan: "Canada's Conrad Black Controversy" TIME, June 27, 2007
  8. ^ Steve Burgess: "Mark Steyn's Latest Victims" Mediacheck, thetyee.ca April 24, 2007/
  9. ^ Shriver, Lionel: "The abortion row in the US ...", The Guardian, March 9, 2006
  10. ^ Follman, Mark, Right Hook, September 29, 2004, salon.com
  11. ^ Hari, Johann, Apocalypse Now, The New Statesman March 12, 2007
  12. ^ Gossett, Sherrie Bogus GI rape photos used as Arab propaganda WorldNetDaily, May 04 2004
  13. ^ Papers Run Fake Abuse Photos, May 31, 2004
  14. ^ Steyn, Mark Now's not the time for Bush to go soft Jewish World Review, May 17, 2004
  15. ^ Dan Kennedy, "Steyn's way" The Boston Phoenix June 24, 2004
  16. ^ Steyn, Mark. "A Weird Stockholm Syndrome" (subscription required) National Review, July 18, 2005.
  17. ^ Steyn, Mark "Media are gonna Barack around the clock Chicago Sun-Times, January 21, 2007
  18. ^ Sweet, Lynn, Barack Attack Unfounded Chicago Sun Times, January 23, 2007
  19. ^ Steyn, Mark Maclean's Blog Central
  20. ^ Media on trial, J-Source.ca
  21. ^ Andrew Clark on America series, Guardian
  22. ^ Kelman, Suanne (September 1, 2007). "The Trial Coverage on Trial". Literary Review of Canada. http://reviewcanada.ca/essays/2007/09/01/the-trial-coverage-on-trial/. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  23. ^ Steyn, Mark "The Black Trial: The human drama the jury didn't see" McLean's, July 30, 2007
  24. ^ Wells, Jennifer "While Rome burned, Black's lawyers napped" Toronto Star, July 21, 2007
  25. ^ Steyn, Mark, "She Said What She Thought", SteynOnline.com, December 2006, Archive copy at the Internet Archive (Edited version published by theatlantic.com December 2006)
  26. ^ Steyn, Mark: "The future belongs to Islam", Maclean's, October 20, 2006
  27. ^ Saunders, Doug, "The 'Eurabia' myth deserves a debunking", Globe and Mail, 2008-09-20
  28. ^ Steyn, Mark: "America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It", Regnery Publishing, 2006
  29. ^ Kleiman, Mark: "Mark Steyn's Solution to the Euro-Muslim Problem", The Reality Based Community, February 18, 2007
  30. ^ Sullivan, Andrew: "Steyn, Reynolds, Geonocide", The Daily Dish, February 21, 2007
  31. ^ Sullivan, Andrew: "Steyn and Genocide"; see also Christopher Hitchens, Facing the Islamist Menace, City journal, Winter 2007 edition, (Swedish) Andreas Malm, "De Räddas Revelj", Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, 2008-02-10 and Eva Ekselius, "Bli Moderna Nu, Annars ...", Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, 2008-03-27
  32. ^ Steyn, Mark: "A mass murderer-in-waiting writes", The Corner on National Review Online, February 19, 2007
  33. ^ Steyn, Mark: It's the demography stupid The Wall Street Journal January 4, 2006
  34. ^ Steyn, Mark: "Battered western syndrome ..."Jewish World Review, August 23, 2002
  35. ^ Steyn, Mark: "Celebrate tolerance, or you're dead" Macleans magazine April 28, 2006
  36. ^ Horton, Scott: "Jonah's Fascism" Harper's Magazine, February 17, 2008
  37. ^ http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/1516/26
  38. ^ Hitchens, Christopher: "Facing the Islamist Menace" City Journal, Winter, 2007
  39. ^ Facing the Islamist Menace
  40. ^ Steyn, Mark "Why the Iraq war is turning into America's defeat", Chicago Sun-Times, February 18, 2007
  41. ^ Steyn, Mark (October 20, 2006). "The Future Belongs to Islam". Maclean's. http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20061023_134898_134898. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  42. ^ Ontario Human Rights Commission (April 9, 2008). "Commission Statement Concerning Issues Raised by Complaints against Maclean's Magazine". Press release. http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/news/statement. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
    Statement on Decision in Maclean's Cases, Ontario Human Rights Commission. April 9, 2008
  43. ^ Ontario Human Rights Commission (April 9, 2008). "Commission Issues Statement on Decision in Maclean's Cases". Press release. http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/news/macleans. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  44. ^ Martin, John (May 9, 2008). "I'll take Mexican 'justice' ...". The Province. http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=a0388a2a-c589-4ad4-aa89-7f90cc384124. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  45. ^ Hall, Barbara (April 22, 2008). "Letter to the Editor published in Maclean's Magazine". Ontario Human Rights Commission. http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/news/macleansletter. 
  46. ^ Brean, Joseph (April 9, 2008). "Rights body dismisses Maclean's case". National Post. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=433915. 
  47. ^ Lynch, Jennifer (May 5, 2008). "Letter to the editor of Maclean's magazine". Canadian Human Rights Commission. http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/media_room/letter_editor_lettre/maclean-en.asp?highlight=1. 
  48. ^ "A bit late for introspection". National Post. June 19, 2008. http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=597251. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  49. ^ "Canadian Human Rights Commission dismisses complaint against Macleans". Canadian Press. June 28, 2008. http://macleans.ca/canada/wire/article.jsp?content=n062808A. 
  50. ^ Shaidle, Kathy; Vere, Pete (2008). The Tyranny of Nice. Interim Publishing. pp. 82. ISBN 0978049012. http://thetyrannyofnice.com/. 
  51. ^ "The Breindel Award Winners". New York Post. 8 June 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060716012805/http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/editorial/67148.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  52. ^ Mark Steyn (26 June 2005). "Be Glad the Flag is Worth Burning". The Orange County Register. http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/sections/commentary/commentary_columns/article_573632.php. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mark Steyn (born 1959) is a Canadian journalist, columnist, and film and theatre critic.

Contents

Sourced

On Culture

  • "Bisexuality is the proportional representation of sexuality in a world where most of us - straight or gay - operate a first-past-the-post system." ~ "Sorry, but voters prefer straight choices", Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2006
  • "In the multicultural West, our values are that we have no values: we accord all values equal value; the wittering English feminist concerned that her tolerance is implicitly intolerant or the Sudanese wife-beater and compulsory clitorectomy scheduler." ~ "The slyer virus: The West's anti-westernism", The New Criterion Vol. 20, No. 6, February 2002
  • "As for 'cultural genocide', if there's any going on these days, it's the genocide of the Britannic inheritance - in North America, in the Antipodes, in Blair's Britain." ~ "The slyer virus: The West's anti-westernism", The New Criterion Vol. 20, No. 6, February 2002
  • "To London's Europhiles, Britain is obviously "part of" Europe. But, in the age of jet travel, cellphones, wire transfers and the internet, we are less bound by physical proximity than ever. Yet Britain for the first time in history has chosen to be imprisoned by geography and to disconnect itself from its own culture." ~ "The slyer virus: The West's anti-westernism", The New Criterion Vol. 20, No. 6, February 2002
  • "As I understand it, the benefits of multiculturalism are that the sterile white-bread cultures of Britain, Canada and Australia get some great ethnic restaurants and a Commonwealth Games opening ceremony that lasts until two in the morning. But in the case of those Muslim ghettoes - in Sydney, in Oslo, in Paris, Copenhagen and Manchester - multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture - the subjugation of women - combine with the worst attributes of Western culture - licence and self-gratification. Tattoed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of Northern England are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the vice-regal escort at Rideau Hall. Yet even in the face of the crudest assaults on its most cherished causes - women's rights and gay rights - the political elite turns squeamishly away." — "Battered Westerner Syndrome inflicted by myopic Muslim defenders", column, 23 August 2002
  • "We're told the old-school imperialists were racists, that they thought of the wogs as inferior. But, if so, they at least considered them capable of improvement. The multiculturalists are just as racist. The only difference is they think the wogs can never reform: good heavens, you can't expect a Muslim in Norway not to go about raping the womenfolk! Much better just to get used to it." — "Battered Westerner Syndrome inflicted by myopic Muslim defenders", column, 23 August 2002
  • "As one is always obliged to explain when tiptoeing around this territory, I am not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture - rule of law, universal suffrage - is preferable to Arab culture. That's why there are millions of Muslims in Scandinavia, and four Scandinavians in Syria. Follow the traffic. I support immigration, but with assimilation." ~ "Battered Westerner Syndrome inflicted by myopic Muslim defenders", column, 23 August 2002
  • "The great thing about multiculturalism is it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures - the capital of Bhutan, the principal exports of Malawi, who cares? All it requires is feeling good about other cultures. It's fundamentally a fraud, and I think was subliminally accepted on that basis. Most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don't want to live in anything but an advanced Western society." ~ "It's the Demography, Stupid," column, 4 January 2006

On Western Civilization

  • "As a famous Arnold Toynbee quote puts it, "Civilizations die from suicide, not murder", as can be seen throughout much of the Western world right now. The progressive agenda - lavish social welfare, abortion, agnosticism, multiculturalism - is collectively the real suicide bomb." — "It's the Demography, Stupid", column, 4 January 2006
  • "Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not all European countries." ~ "It's the Demography, Stupid", column, 4 January 2006
  • "Europe by the end of this century will be a continent after the neutron bomb; the grand buildings will still be standing, but the people who built them will be gone. We are living through a remarkable period: the self-extinction of the race who, for good or ill, shaped the modern world." — "It's the Demography, Stupid", column, 4 January 2006
  • "A decade and a half after victory in the Cold War and end-of-history triumphalism, the "what do you leave behind" question is more urgent than most of us expected. The Western world, as a concept, is dead and the West, as a matter of demographic fact, is dying." ~ "It's the Demography, Stupid", column, 4 January 2006

On US Politics

  • On John Edwards, U.S. Senator from North Carolina: "The stump speech of pretty-boy Senator John Edwards, which I've heard often enough to be able to mouth along with him, has room for everything, including vivid, wrenching portraits of despair: 'Tonight somewhere in America a ten-year-old little girl will go to bed hungry, hoping and praying that tomorrow will not be as cold as today because she doesn't have the coat to keep her warm.' You'd have to have a heart of stone not to be doubled up in laughter at that line." — "It's the war, stupid", 1 March 2004
  • On protests against going to war with Iraq : "One woman bore a picture of some female genitalia – possibly hers, the provenance was obscure – over the caption 'This Bush Is For Peace.' Another waxed eloquent: 'Trim Bush.' Out in Marin County somewhere, other bushes for peace disrobed, lay down on a hillside, and formed the words 'No War.' I wonder if there are any conflicted nudists, with a bush for Iraq and a rack for Bush." — The Spectator, 25 January 2003
  • On Al Gore: "The Eco-Messiah sternly talks up the old Nazi comparisons: "what we're facing is an ecological Holocaust, and the evidence of an ecological Kristallnacht is as clear as the sound of glass shattering in Berlin." That 221,000 kilowatt-hours might suggest that, if this is the ecological Holocaust, Gore's pad is Auschwitz. But, as his spokesperson would no doubt argue, when you're faced with ecological Holocausts and ecological Kristallnachts, sometimes the only way to bring it to an end is with an ecological Hiroshima. The Gore electric bill is the eco-atom bomb: you have to light up the world in order to save it." Chicago Sun Times March 4 2007

On European Politics

  • On the French view of international politics: "According to my dictionary, the word 'ally' comes from the Old French. Very Old French, I'd say. For the New French, the word has a largely postmodern definition of 'duplicitous charmer who undermines you at every opportunity.'" ~ The Australian, 23 February 2007
  • "The principle underpinning the EU is not "We, the people" but "We know better than the people" — not just on capital punishment and the single currency, but on pretty much anything that comes to mind. Not so long ago, Jean-Pierre Chevenement, France's Defence Minister at the time, insisted that the United States was dedicated to the "organized cretinization of our people." As a dismissal of American pop culture - MTV, Disney - this statement is not without its appeal, though it sounds better if you've never had the misfortune to sit through a weekend of continental television. But the reality is that nobody is as dedicated to the proposition that the people are cretins than M. Chevenement and the panjandrums of the new 'Europe.' The EU is organized on this assumption. If, like the Danes and now the Irish, they're impertinent enough to tick the wrong box in referenda on deeper European integration, we'll just keep asking and re-asking the question until they get it right." ~ "The slyer virus: The West's anti-westernism", The New Criterion Vol. 20, No. 6, February 2002

On British Politics

  • On David Cameron's Conservative Party: "The carbon emissions trading system imposed by Kyoto is absurd and entirely ineffectual, but in London, David Cameron wants to apply it to hamburgers. Cameron wants to impose some sort of Kyoto-esque calorie trading system on fast-food purveyors whereby McDonald's would have some trans-fat cap imposed to ensure they pick up the tab for what that $3 Big Mac really costs society. And David Cameron is the leader of the alleged Conservative Party. He's also living in a country whose major cities have been hollowed out by Islamist cells. Nevertheless, as England decays into Somalia with chip shops, taxing the chip shops is the Conservatives' priority." ~ Chicago Sun-Times, 28 January 2007

Attributed

  • On America's international image: "The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist."
  • On the CIA: "The CIA now functions in the same relation to President Bush as Pakistan's ISI does to General Musharraf. For Musharraf, the problem is the significant faction in the ISI that would like to kill him. Fortunately for Bush, if anyone at the CIA launched a plot to kill him, they would probably take out G. W. Bish, who runs a feed store in Idaho."

On Canadian Politics

  • On Quebec: "The dumbest secession movement in the world: they want to leave Canada in order to set up a country that looks exactly the same - confiscatory taxation, moribund health service, no mail service on weekends."
  • On Canadian health care: "Unlike Britain but like North Korea, in Her Majesty's northern Dominion the public health system is such an article of faith that no private hospitals are permitted; 'America' is the name of Canada's private health care system."
  • On the Canadian flag: "At least the Red Ensign had the guts to be a boring flag, not a propaganda symbol."
  • On Denmark's flag planted on Arctic land claimed by Canada: "There's something Danish in the state of rotten."

On Europe and the European Union (EU)

  • "The EU's Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia has decided to shelve its report on the rise of anti-Semitism on the Continent. The problem, as reported in The Telegraph, is that the survey had found that 'many anti-Semitic incidents were carried out by Muslim and pro-Palestinian groups', and so a 'political decision' was taken not to publish it amid fears it would 'increase hostility towards Muslims.' Let's go back over that slowly and try not to get a headache: the EU's main concern about an actual epidemic of hate crimes against Jews is that it could provoke a hypothetical epidemic of hate crimes against extremist Muslims."
  • "Europe's ruling class has effortlessly refined Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, and I will defend to the death my right not to listen to you say it.

You might disapprove of what Le Pen says on immigration, but to declare that the subject cannot even be raised is profoundly unhealthy for a democracy. The problem with the old one-party states of Africa and Latin America was that they criminalized dissent; you could no longer criticize the President, you could only kill him. In the three-party one-party states of Europe, a similar process is under way: if the political culture forbids politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable politicians, as they are doing in France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and elsewhere. Le Pen is not an aberration but the logical consequence."

  • "If Adolf Hitler were to return from wherever he is right now, what would he be most steamed about? That in some countries there are laws banning Nazi symbols and making Holocaust denial a crime? No, because that would testify to the force and endurance of his ideas — that 60 years on they're still so potent the state has to suppress them. What would bug him the most is that on Broadway and in the West End, Mel Brooks is peddling Nazi shtick in The Producers and audiences are howling with laughter. One reason why the English-speaking democracies were the only advanced nations not to fall for Nazism or Fascism is they simply found it too ridiculous."

On Culture

  • On Christmas: "The Jews - the Ellis Island/Lower East Side generation - were merely the latest contributors to the American Christmas. For their first two centuries on this continent, the Anglo-Celtic settlers attached no significance to Christmas: it was another working day, unless it fell on a Sunday, in which case one went to church. It was later waves of immigrants — the Dutch, Germans and Scandinavians — who introduced most of the standard features we know today — trees, cards, Santa. Nothing embodies the American idea — e pluribus unum — better than the American Christmas. This is genuine multiculturalism: if the worry is separation of church and state, the American Christmas is surely the most successful separation you could devise - Jesus, Mary and Joseph are for home and church; the great secular trinity of Santa, Rudolph and Frosty are for school and mall."
  • On the movie Monster: "I confess I went into the movie ready to dislike Miss Theron. I'm sick of newspaper articles detailing the amount of time, talent and technical wizardry required to turn some silver-screen beauty into an average-looking woman. There are plenty of average-looking women out there — gritty Britty TV drama seems to be full of them — and it seems excessively unfair that they can't even get a shot at the frumpy roles because Nicole Kidman's hogging the false nose again."
  • "If you look at the range of Hollywood movies playing in most cities in the developing world, you'd hate the America they portray as well."

On International Affairs

  • On the Israeli-Arab conflict: "In fact, there is a Palestinian state: it's called Jordan, whose population has always been majority Palestinian. It's not as big a state as it used to be, but that's because King Hussein, in the worst miscalculation of his long bravura highwire act, made the mistake of joining Nasser's 1967 war to destroy Israel. Hence the 'occupied territories' - they're occupied because the Arabs attacked Israel and lost."
  • On Newsweek's flushed Koran story: "In a way, both the U.S. media and those wacky rioters in the Afghan-Pakistani hinterlands are very similar; they're both highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and are prone to fanatical, irrational, indestructible beliefs — not least the notion that you can flush a 950-page book down one of Al Gore's eco-crazed federally mandated low-flush toilets, a claim no editorial bigfoot thought to test for himself in Newsweek's executive washroom."
  • On the United Nations and Darfur: "The good people of Darfur have been entrusted to the legitimacy of the UN for more than two years and it's killing them. In 2004, after months of expressing deep concern, grave concern, deep concern over the graves and deep grave concern over whether the graves were deep enough, Kofi Annan took decisive action and appointed a UN committee to look into what was going on. They eventually reported back that it wasn't genocide. Thank goodness for that. Because, as yet another Kofi-appointed UN committee boldly declared, "genocide anywhere is a threat to the security of all and should never be tolerated." So, fortunately, what's happening in the Sudan is not genocide. It's just hundreds of thousands of corpses who happen to be from the same ethnic group, which means the UN can go on tolerating it until everyone's dead, at which point the so-called "decent left" can support a "multinational" force under the auspices of the Arab League going in to ensure the corpses don't pollute the water supply."
  • On the Iraq war: "Another six weeks of insurgency sounds about right, after which it will peter out..."

On US Politics

  • On Judge Roberts' Senate confirmation hearings: "I would be in favor of these nomination hearings continuing on for another three months, three years, until the last registered Democrat on the planet has expired in shame at the pitiful spectacle of these 20 minute questions, content-free questions, dancing around a lot of irrelevant issues that only expose the Senators' lack of understanding of the matters they are supposed to be dealing with."
  • "Diversity" doesn’t extend to, say, some dirtpoor piece of fundamentalist white trash. Her presence wouldn't "enrich" anyone. "Diversity" means "more blacks." That's why traditional African-American colleges are exempt from its strictures: as 100% black schools, they're already as diverse as possible."

On British Politics

  • On Cherie Blair and 'Cheriegate': "Nude models, diet quacks, psychics: I cannot speak for Britain, but in North America these are three of the four categories of person that most of us spend the first 10 minutes of our day dumping from the in-box. If Cherie had a fourth confidante with a guaranteed plan to increase the length of Tony's penis by three inches, the Blairs would have a full set. They could throw the perfect spam dinner party."
  • On the 1997 UK General Election: "For those who can't stand the me-tooness of it, there are all kinds of malcontents' parties on the ballot this time, johnny-come-latelies to Screaming Lord Sutch's long-standing Monster Raving Loony Party. There's the Natural Law Party, which believes in better government through "yogic flying" - that is to say, bouncing vigorously up and down on mattresses. If that worked, the Tories would be a shoo-in."
  • Quoting General Charles Napier on how the British dealt with suttee in India: "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre. Beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom, and then we will follow ours."

About Steyn

  • "The arrogance of Mark Steyn knows no bounds" ~ Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom ([1])
  • "Mark is not a Jew, but he plays one on TV." ~ Caroline Glick, The Jerusalem Post ([2])
  • "Our treatment plants will always be ready to receive the literary outpourings emanating from his most humane soil" ~ Ghazi Algosaibi, Minister of Water and Sewage, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ([3])

External links

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