»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, February 17th, 2006


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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro.     John Derbyshire here, speaking to you from our state-of-the-art recording studio here on the 72nd floor of NRO world headquarters in the heart of Manhattan.

Our dedicated staff of sound engineers have taken up the places at the instrument panels; the On Air light is flashing; my producer is waving the Go sign from behind his plate glass window; and our megawatt transmitters are powered up to reach the remotest regions of the earth. So let's go with Radio Derb!


02 — Politician shoots lawyer.     Dick Cheney shot a lawyer. It was home for the Democrats to get much traction on that, since most Americans would shoot a lawyer if they thought they could get away with it.

The outrage didn't really get off the ground until Cheney decided to give only one interview on the subject, to Fox News. As far as the big TV networks are concerned, you can burn my house, steal my car, drink my liquor from that old fruit jar, shoot as many lawyers as you like, but don't diss me in favor of those knuckle-dragging fascists over at Fox.

The real storm has now broken and impeachment can't be far away.


03 — Winter Olympics too white.     Bryant Gumbel is one of those lefty airhead TV newspeople left over from the pre-Fox News era, a sort of black male Katie Couric.

Well, Bryant was covering the Winter Olympics for HBO and here's what he had to say about the Games quote: "Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention." End quote.

Y'see, Bryant, the good folks down in Mozambique and Haiti don't get much chance to practice winter sports because they don't have winters.

Anyway, Bryant's comments caused no great fuss. Should I have the honor of covering the U.S. track and field team in the Summer Olympics; and should I, in the course of my duties, pass some remark about feeling like a spot on a domino; I'm sure that won't cause any fuss, either.


04 — Where to smoke in Britain.     In its ongoing campaign to stamp out what liberties British people still have left, the Tony Blair government has enacted a ban on smoking in all enclosed public spaces.

There are, however, some interesting exemptions from the ban. Tony's subjects may continue to smoke in private homes, care homes for old people, hospitals, prisons, and hotel bedrooms.

So here's the scoop. You get to Britain and light up a cigarette in the arrivals lounge at Heathrow airport. The police arrest and prosecute you. You are convicted and ordered to pay a £500 fine.

Don't pay it! You see, if you don't pay the fine, they'll put you in jail, where you can smoke as much as you like.

You can't say the British have no sense of humor.


05 — It gets lonely on the range.     For us foreign-born types of a certain age, the cowboy was America.

Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger; Gary Cooper and John Wayne; Matt Dillon and Rowdy Yates; to us, growing up in foreign parts, seeing America only on movie and TV screens, this was the essence of American manhood.

How innocent we were! Those rugged, self-reliant, slow-talking, fast-drawing hombres were actually burning up inside with suppressed homoerotic longings. So at any rate says country music singer Willie Nelson in his latest release, titled "Cowboys are frequently, secretly fond of each other."

The song has lines like, "What did you think all of them saddles and boots was about?" and "Inside every cowboy there's a lady who'd love to slip out."

My sources in the country music business tell me that Willie is pulling our legs — that the only public issue you can ever get him to talk about is the legalization of pot.

Still, what with Brokeback Mountain and now this, I'm beginning to wonder what those cowpokes got up to in those long nights out there on the range.

Now I'm going back through my cowboy memories, looking for subtexts. That Roy Rogers song about a four-legged friend, for example. Is that like, you know the beast with two backs?

And what was with all this cowboy fondness for … chaps?


06 — If you want to get ahead, get a head.     One of the little jokes I share with my rather gruesome-minded ten-year-old son is when we're driving along in the car and we see a sign that says Stop Ahead, one or other of us yells out: "Stop! A head!" Like, you know, there's going to be a severed head lying in the road.

Well, this came true for some airport baggage screeners at Fort Lauderdale the other day. They found a human head with teeth, hair, and skin in the luggage of a Haitian woman, a follower of Voodoo apparently, who said she intended to ward off evil spirits with it. The head had a fair amount of dirt clinging to it, so presumably it had been stolen from a grave. The woman was ticketed for failing to properly list the head on her customs declaration form.

Chances are, by the time you hear this, the woman will have a platoon of ACLU lawyers working for her. After all, wasn't her freedom of religion violated here? This is a multicultural society, don't you know.


07 — To be a lawyer, break the law.     In the matter of demonstrating respect for the law and intolerance of wilful law-breaking, you'd think that the American Bar Association would be way out in front of the rest of us.

Well, think again. The ABA's Committee on Legal Education has voted to give ABA accreditation only to colleges that establish racial preferences in their admissions process.

Since (a) in most states you can only take the bar exam if you've graduated from an ABA-accredited school, and (b) several states, including some big ones like California and Florida, have banned racial preferences in college admissions, it follows that (c) in order to qualify for the bar exam in such states, you have to be complicit in illegal activity on the part of your college. To become a lawyer, you must begin by breaking the law.

I want to go on Dick Cheney's next quail hunt.


08 — Despots scold us on human rights.     The United Nations Human Rights Commission has, at the invitation of the U.S. government, taken a tour of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility.

And guess what recommendation they've come up with? They want the facility shut down. Really! No kidding!

They issued a report saying that, quote, "The U.S. treatment of detainees, some of whom have been held for more than four years, violates their rights to physical and mental health." End quote.

The only proper comment on that is to read off for you the names of some of the 53 countries currently sitting on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Here they are. Ready?

China, Cuba, Egypt, Guatemala, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe.

Get the picture? If we're looking for things that should be shut down to the general benefit of the human race, I have a suggestion or two.


09 — Happy Birthday, Dear Leader!     Kim Jong Il, President-for-Life of the North Korean workers' and peasants' paradise, celebrates his 64th birthday this week. Happy Birthday, Dear Leader!

Can I resist the impulse to break into song? No, of course I can't.

[To the tune of "When I'm Sixty-Four."]

Now that I'm older, still got my hair,
Still in charge up here.
Doo de doo de doo.
Will you still be trying to subvert my role?
Do you think I'm some kind of fool?
I've got the bombs so I can't be touched,
    If I starve a million more.

You will still fear me,
You will still feed me,
Now I'm sixty-four.
De doo de doo.

Every summer we could hold six-party talks in China —
    If they're on my terms.
Doo de doo de doo.
I'll run rings round you!
Hoo hoo, hoo-oo-oo.
Oo-oo politicians on my knee:
Putin, Bush, and Hu.
Hm hm hm hm hm hm hm, doo doo, doo-de doo doo.

Send me some food aid, send me some oil,
Or I'll sell a nuke!
Hm hm hm hm hm.
Knuckle down and do precisely what I say
Or South Korea gets blown away!
Pull out your soldiers, back off your ships;
    I'm here for evermore.

You may not like me,
But you won't touch me.
Now I'm sixty-four.
Doo doo de doo.



10 — Signoff.     That's it, folks: all the news that's fit to send coffee squirting out your nose.

For more vignettes of the decline of Western civilization, tune in again next week for your reliable infusion of doom and gloom from Radio Derb.


[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]